The City bike is built up. I think it looks great and rides superbly. We may change the name to something like "multi-purpose" or MP frame because it works pretty nicely as an all around bike. I could see this frame being set up with front and rear derailleurs, even drop bars, and used as an all around, go anywhere machine.
The production MP frame will be painted dark gray instead of deep blue; I'll reveal why in my upcoming post about the Rando frame. We are making a couple of minor changes to get the fender lines just right. And we are trying to get the fork bent in a smoother curve. But overall the prototype frame looks pretty good.
Here are a few notes I made in response to various questions and comments I've received:
- The frame is a low trail (39mm), French inspired design, much like our Gentleman semi-custom frame.
- The wheels are 650b. That's really the best choice for riding on bumpy city streets.
- Maximum tire size with fenders is around 44mm.
- Those rear dropouts look funny in photos, as several of you pointed out. In real life they are not so bad. We used them because they are the only readily available short horizontal dropouts with the geometry suited to this frame.
- The reason we used short horizontal dropouts is to allow internal hubs and single speed wheels to be used without the need for a chain tensioner. Longer dropouts would make wheel removal difficult on a fendered bike
- There is a kickstand plate.
- A spring between the kickstand plate and the front of the rear fender allows the fender to flex forward for wheel removal, while maintaining proper fender line.
- Instead of shifter bosses on the down tube, we'll have two cable housing stops under it. I don't think many folks will want to use down tube shifters on this frame and the stops look much cleaner, especially if the frame is set up with internal gearing or as a single speed.
- The tubing is all double butted CR-MO in traditional, not modern oversize, diameters. This makes for a supple and comfortable ride (not to mention the whole planing issue).
- The first production run will be three or four sizes, probably 51, 54, 57, 60. More sizes may be added later.
- The rear brake cable housing is uninterrupted. I think this is the best arrangement on a city bike, I mean MP. You can sit on the top tube at the cafe without fear of bare cable marring the paint, or your work pants. The cable is not run under the top tube so as not to dig into your shoulder when carrying the bike up the steps to your apartment.
UPDATE, New photos, now with fenders! And new, but still high, bars, like a Dutch bike ;<)