04 December, 2009
I've been riding one of the final prototypes of the Polyvolant since August. I don't own a car and the Polyvalent is my main ride, so it sees anywhere from 30-50 miles per week of commuting, grocery shopping, and general riding around Annapolis. In terms of functionality, versatility, and reliability, the Polyvalent beats out any bike I've owned. With the Porteur rack and some good bungees you can pretty much carry anything you need with relative ease. I've put upwards of 25 pounds on my Porteur rack and never had any problems. The Polyvolant is capable of carrying these kinds of loads because of its geometry - this bike wants to be a front loader.
Probably my favorite part about this bike are the 650b wheels. I grew up in Colorado riding mountain bikes and switched to road bikes in my teens, but I've always pined for the forgiving ride, less flat-prone, and general confidence you get on wide tires. 650b gives you all of this without sacrificing much in the way of speed or rolling resistance. No, you're not going to ride crits on a 650b bike, nor are you going to roll over logs and boulders at your local single track, but the 38mm Col De Vie tires can handle any amount of potholes, broken glass, gravel, or rain that I've managed to subject them to. And I have never gotten a flat since I started riding the bike.
The Polyvalent is really a Swiss Army knife of bikes. The geometry can accommodate anything you want it to be - city ride and commuter, light touring, even a cheap Rando bike. The steel tubing is comfortable and forgiving, and it handles precisely as it should - meaning you don't even think about the handling. For me, the Polyvolant is a bike that makes it possible to forget that you're riding a bike, allowing you to contemplate more important things when you're out riding.
Posted by Velo Orange at 1:31:00 PM