Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Random notes and thoughts

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. I came down with some unpleasant cough and it has been making me quite unhappy. Hopefully the various medications I am taking will help. On the bright side, when I went to the doctor, I see that my blood pressure has gone down nicely and my doctor is happy with my diet and exercise. Overall the visit motivated me even more to get down to a nice fighting trim. My return to cycling is great and I want to get fast and fit.

Late last week I was planning on posting some notes about bikes. I noticed that my Bike Envy post has the most views in this blog. So I thought I would make a new updated version. Unfortunately I have become overtaken with the desire for a particular bike. The raptobike lowracer pictured above. A Dutch company is the manufacturer of this bike and it comes at a very nice price point of 950 euros (~$1335 USD today). This is a pretty nice price point for a lowracer, given that the closest comparison is an Optima Baron which goes for $2450 USD; more typically the Challenge Fujin SL goes for about $3000 USD, and carbon fiber lowracers are typically $5000-6000 USD. Additionally the bike is FWD (Front wheel drive) and doesn't have to deal with the turning radius issues that crops up on lowracer rwd designs. Fards over at BROL wrote up an excellent review of this bike as well.

The end result is that I can't get this bike out of my mind. It is low, it is fast, it isn't too heavy, it is inexpensive, it is easy to transport. Stability on the bike is supposed to be excellent. It has also been designed as a bike for the masses, easy to ride, durable, low maintenance. The price point also means it is greatly suited to experimenting on. I think a tailbox would be easy to make and even potentially a full fairing. So though I wanted to put up a list of bikes showing all of my potential desires and reasons why I like each one, the list is now just one bike: the raptobike, it has captured my imagination. I keep thinking that I want one with a rohloff hub, fenders (mudguards), and a lighting system. It would be a great commuter, brevet machine and all around fun bike. The wider tires on it (compared to the Corsa) would make it more stable on gravel or rough terrain. It is also lower which means less distance to fall.

I need to fix up the trike and the vivo. Both are going to go up for sale, the combined value of those two will get me a raptobike in 2009.

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