30 April, 2008

This and That


A few random notes:

The New York Times had a nice article about the bike lending scheme in Washington DC. I'm a huge fan of these programs which have been fairly successful in Europe. Actually, some early attempts had problems, but the newest models seem to be working.

Our TIG welded production city bike prototype will arrive late next week. I'm very excited.

We will also get the frame that may be the basis for a possible multipurpose bike. I'm still working on this concept, but the idea is a bike that's halfway between a city bike and a touring bike, wide 650b tires, wide gearing, light lugged frame, porteur bars, chain guard... It'll be fun to build up. Any ideas?

27 comments:

Seth said...

How about all matching fender/chainguards for that bike?

Anonymous said...

is there price yet on what these production city bikes are going to cost? roughly?

Michael S said...

Chris,
With the arrival of nice weather, is the shop going to be open any Saturdays? I'd like to ride out to Annapolis and see your Silver bike in person.

patrick said...

the multipurpose part city/ part touring sounds like my kogswell!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hollyandpatrick/2372360557/in/set-72157594255151037/

only thing is, keep the trail high enough so that a load can be carried front and back without poor handling... if that makes any sense.

Anonymous said...

The idea of the 650b bike sounds great! Maybe wide enough to fit the grand bois 42mm? Please include canti studs.

CFG WHEELS

Anonymous said...

No matter how many times it happens, Im still always taken aback when I see the discussion of bike stuff always trump discussion of bicycle riding issues...

this thread is typical: 5 comments, and not one on the subject of bike sharing, etc..

Anonymous said...

You can borrow one of my bikes if that makes you happy. Didn't this post ask for comments about bike stuff?

Anonymous said...

I was in Lyon, France about 8 years ago , and there was little evidence of bicycle commuting or urban cycling at that time. I understand that the bike share program has been very successful there and is transforming the city.

Anonymous said...

BACK to STUFF

My Atlantis sounds like your multi-purpose bike.

Michael S said...

The Atlantis is a full-on touring bike. I don't think it has perfect mounts for fenders or for a chain guard, does it? And I don't think anyone would describe the Atlantis as lightweight...
Plus, I would imagine this frameset would be significantly less than the Rivendell.

ANDY said...

The all-purpose bike is what I need/want, for 50% city commuting, 25% riding on hard-pack trails in the park, and 25% longer rides out in the country (no more than 50 miles). But I don't necessarily think wide gearing is required. I always imagined my own all-purpose as a 5-speed.

Match-painted fenders or racks would be sharp (a la some Jack Taylors). I would use a saddlebag and maybe a basket on the front.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Anon, The pricing for the frames is not yet set, but my hope is that we can sell the city bike frames for under $500.

Michael, No Saturday hours, sorry. This company is a lot of fun and I mean to keep it that way, even if we loose some sales by not being open on weekends. Our bikes will be at Cirque if you want to see all of them.

Michael S said...

Chris,
I understand your perspective and its no problem, see you at the Cirque.

Anonymous said...

"The pricing for the frames is not yet set, but my hope is that we can sell the city bike frames for under $500."

Finally-the bike I've been waiting for! I hope you can make this work, I'll be the first to order one.

Mike C said...

My only qualm with 650b tires is that (AFAIK) there aren't good studded tires available in that size yet. 650b may be a growing niche, but a niche it remains, and given how long I had to wait for a carbide-studded 406 tire to appear, I don't know if I'd buy a 650b bike for a year-round commuter.

Otherwise it all sounds great (porteur rack & matching fenders & chainguards! - or how about a full chaincase as an option?) - just maybe not a 4-season machine if the tire size precludes studs.

James said...

How about some Hetres big enough to share?
Sort of like a chubby unwanted child of a grandes écoles professor of architecture who has a TV show on RTL and an ex-supermodel for a wife, who ships his chubby unwanted red tyre like child around for his relatives and staff to SHARE.

johnson said...

big enough to share? what does that mean?

as an owner of an atlantis, an xo-1, and a number of lesser 'city bikes' i can say that the stiffness and weight of the atlantis is a good, not detrimental thing. load the atlantis up with a large commuter winter load, or a large grocery load, and it handles just the same as with no load. load the xo-1 up, or say my schwinn world sport commuter, or my whitcomb road bike, and the front end wont stay put, the back end flexes all over the place and it feels like you are pedaling through over whipped mashed potatoes. as the man once said, designing a bike frame for a target weight is bad design, designing a frame for an intended purpose is smart.

if one were to say, only get coffee on their city bike, or only ride fire roads with no or minor loads, a light, flexy frame would be smart. but if the bike is to be a true all rounder, then beef it up and remember how minor the frame weight is in the total weight equation. lets face it: 42 mm tires, racks, baskets, chain guards, none of that stuff is light.

finally, gearing is more or less personal, and wide or narrow really is up to the end user not the frame designer. that said, why limit yourself to a narrow range? i'm not saying more choices number wise are good, but no one really ever complains about having that granny gear when they hit mile 54 and have 25lbs of whatever strapped whereever.

in other news, i was digging around the junk pile at a local shop, and came across some SR apex cranks, 118 bcd, 46/28 wide range gearing, as low of a q factor as my TA cyclotouristes. maybe a style to look back into. it uses normal guy bolts, and other hardware, can be set up as a single, double, or triple, and is as elegant if not more so than the TA set up.
link to picture:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xo1/2457275507/

Anonymous said...

The city in northern europe that I grew up in has had share bicycles for more than 25 years. Primary issues have been theft and vandalism. Not easy to cope with.

At my high school, we had about 600 bicycles parked in front on any given day.

There are studded tires for 650B, the Nokians A10. Used them for the last 5 years. Initially I bought them direct, but now PW carries them.

Jace said...

Chris, would you consider 132.5 spacing and semi-horizontal drops to better accommodate internal hubs?

jimmythefly said...

Any thoughts of accomodating 650b 2.35 or 2.1 knobbies? If you plan clearance for 42mm + fenders, it can't be far from those knobbies without fenders. I'm not sure it's what you had in mind, but a small geometry tweak could offer a tad more versatility (always a selling point around here!)

Johnson, those are some beautiful cranks! I'll echo what you said about trying to use panniers on a cyclocross bike -whippy.

Anonymous said...

Are 650b wheels good for anyone over 5'9" in height? I'm 5'11" and it seems like the frame would expose a mile's worth of seat post, or make the wheels look puny in relation to the frame (aesthetics, I know...)

Chris Kulczycki said...

Jace, The production city bike will have 132.5mm spacing and semi-horizontal dropouts, though the prototype has vertical. The multi-purpose will be a dérailleur bike.

Jimmy, You can't just increase tire clearance, at least not here at VO. To get the handling dialed in perfectly we design the frame and fork for a particular and small range of tire sizes. Once you install bigger, or smaller, tires it no longer handles like a VO frame should.

Anon, the photo I just posted is of my 62cm 650b city bike.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Beautiful. This new bicycle sounds like a nice camping bike -

johnson said...

correction: the apex cranks i listed earlier are not the 118 bcd cranks, but rather have a bcd of 86, ala the old stronglite cranks. apologies for the confusion (on my part and then on yours).

Steve said...

Anonymous asks:

Are 650b wheels good for anyone over 5'9" in height? I'm 5'11" and it seems like the frame would expose a mile's worth of seat post, or make the wheels look puny in relation to the frame (aesthetics, I know...)


Not only yes, but Hell Yes. I'm your height. My Saluki is a 60cm, my Kogswell P/R is a 61.6. Both frames show a fistfull of post, and I think both are in proportion and look great. See for yourself:

The Saluki:
http://freewebs.com/palincss

The P/R:
http://tinyurl.com/yqtdag

K Matthias said...

Is the TIG a cost saving issue? Too bad because IMHO it makes it immediately much less interesting. For cost savings I can see needing to do that. I sure don't like the aesthetic, though. Still I don't see lugged bikes in that price range, so that must be it. Guess I'm not that buyer. I still love all the stuff you're doing, though, Chris. Cheers!

2whls3spds said...

Did I understand you to say the City Bike Framesets are under $500???? I WAS in the process of building up a pseudo city bike on an old Moby frameset. Might have to change my mind now!

Aaron