Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tired but some thoughts on bikes

I am tired today, I have been slammed at work and kept chained to my desk by trying to support remote people via IM. My Mango is currently down while I deal with repairs and so I have been thinking about secondary bikes and fair weather bikes.

When I hurt my Mango (still a painful thought) I cleaned up and got both my Corsa and Raptobike road worthy again. The Raptobike process was basically filling the tires and adjusting the seat pad. The Corsa had been loaned to Doncl for testing and so I had to adjust the seat, change both tires and tubes. Then I had to get lights, seat bag, and all the accoutrements necessary for riding (water, snacks, keys, tools, pump) all set up.

The raptobike is still my favorite bike ever. It is just an amazing machine and now that I have the mango I am considering modifying my setup to be less commuter/tourer and more light and fast. I was thinking of changing the gearing from Rohloff to 65t big ring, and 9 speed cassette with 11-28. That is 42-108 gear inches, a bit high end but doable for a fast bike. Switch everything back to v-brakes and go as light and strong as I can with the wheels. I would put dacron wheel covers (home made) on the rear wheel too. I would strip off all accessories except the fastback bags. I would leave my tail lights on too (two on rear fork, one on headrest). I could remove the lights for racing. I could use this for sunny organized rides and group rides in the puget sound once I get my fitness back.

I am also considering the raptobike midracer.
RaptoBike Mid Racer

Big wheels, fast bike, and it is a travel bike. Wow hard to resist.

Then Arnold at Raptobike also shows us his new prototype, the Raptotrike:

It blows me away that a tiny manufacturer based in the Netherlands has such a variety of amazing products. The raptobike lowracer is awesome and a great price point. I don't even see competition for the raptobike midracer, which is pretty amazing, and then the raptotrike tilting delta, wow. And Arnold wants to do a streamliner kit for the trike too.

Very impressive and I am a very happy customer of Raptobike.


David Hembrow said...

I tried the tilting Raptotrike a few weeks back at the opstapdag in Assen. Quite fun. It doesn't ride like a trike at all - but exactly like a two wheel low-racer.

In theory you can pull on a brake which freezes the back end, but they're still working on this so I didn't get to see what happens if you do that. This is more for stopping at traffic lights or parking than for anything else. The bike (or perhaps trike) is very narrow and won't corner well if fixed upright.

M5 have a competitor for the mid-racer.

Sorry to hear your Mango is off the road at present. What did you do ? I think I missed it.

Duncan Watson said...

Regarding the Mango. I didn't post about it since I am mad at myself. On my commute at a trail entrance guarded with bollards I chose to go through a narrower spot to avoid a big puddle. It was too narrow and though I was going very slowly I squeezed the wheels and damaged the rods that go to the left wheel assembly.

I also pulled out ball from the center tie-rod. I am getting a new tie-rod and looking at replacements for the 2 bent threaded rods. I am worried about how to get them off.

It is very cool that you got to ride the tilting raptotrike. Your report matches the reports of other tilting deltas that I have heard about. I saw one at PIR last year but it was in the process of being worked on so never got a chance to take it for a spin.

The thing that puts the Rapto midracer in its own class is the take apart frame. But like many bikes it may be too big for me. Almost all M5's won't work for my size and I cut my raptobike boom down to fit me. The midracer's design precludes boom cutting and I may have trouble getting the seat close enough to the bottom bracket.

Brad Niemeyer said...

Wow bummer about your bruised mango. But your raptobike definitely deserves some road miles this season.

If you need a ride partner some sunny sunday I'm around. I did 33 miles yesterday after adding a layer of foam to the zox seat. East lake Sammamish is a nice smooth roll all the way to issaquah and back. The centennial trail in snohomish is also a really nice low traffic ride.