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30 Jan 2011

Cruiser Yoska for sale

As I wrote in a previous post, I'm very seriously considering a new bike. A suitcase transportable machine that I can use on far away journeys. An important factor in buying things is money. Another factor is space and practicality. I'd decided that I'd sell my Cruiser. It has overlap in it's purposes with my Fuego and Pioneer. My money and space could be spend in a more efficient way.

The new bike will be a Cruzbike Quest 451. Something completely different, and yes, mine will be even more different. I've came up with a small modification that, from my point of view, will make the Q451 significantly better for me. More on that when the orange fwd mbb 'bent is in my house. That 'orange' is a bit of a downside. It's a colour that dangles somewhere on the lower end of my list of favourite colours. Red and white are my colours! But providing one colour keeps the costs down, which is an understandable business philosophy.

I'll buy my Q451 from Spincylz, the Nazca dealer in California. Nanda spotted my interest and pointed me in the direction of the Quest. That does mean that I'll join the club of Quest owners. In the Dutch 'bent world however, that has a complete different meaning. My Q451 is small enough to fit in a Radical Design trailer behind my Mango ;-)

Back to Yoska. Her story has been tolled on this blog and there are plenty of photos in my picasa album. I'll sell her without lights and dynamo. You can use this blog's search function on the top of this page to find all I've written about this 1999 Nazca. The original rack is also included. That does need quite some sanding/grinding and painting. I was thinking about a €525,- price tag. Overseas shipping is possible, but be aware that the cost of that easily exceed €350,-!

The bike will probably fit people from 1.6 up to 1.8 metre tall. The tiller is a bit on the short side, but it fits me. It's meant for rides from early spring to the 'Indian summer'. Not for year round commuting. Kept simple and ready for thousands of fun kilometres. Possibly the ideal bike beside your velomobile. Riding on a 2 wheeled open bike just is more fun. I have my Fuego Yivalté for the close to perfect riding experience.

15 Jan 2011

DRC Apeldoorn, back on my Fuego

Finally, a chance to ride my precious Yivalté again. My last ride was in September. Since then, the roads have always been wet, dirty or a combination of that. I customized the route of the return chain the day before the race. A chain tube is practical, an extra idler is more efficient. It should be good for a few tenths of a kilometre at 45kph.

A 4km TT means 16 laps on this oval. I had a careful start, beginning with 44kph or so. But when the 2 other riders came close, (we started close after each other) gear 7 was traded for gear 8 and I took a leap forward. It went rather well with a time of 5:19, just over 45kph average. That was a time that put me in the slower half of the strong field. I'd be taking part in the runners-up criterium.

And in that group where a few riders I'm very familiar with on the track. Jos, Thomas and Emmy. We quickly formed a group in which also Walter and Marcel had a place. The speeds varied from 44 to 54. Luckily I'm able to cope which such a race nowadays. Of course, training helps, but a fast bike helps too. One of my favourite special modifications to my Fuego is reclining the seat beyond the original specifications. That, combined with narrow handlebars, strong legs and a nice 'no pogo' chainline make for a fast combination on most tracks.

And until the final lap, everything went according to plan. Than I made the mistake to look at the timing a bit to long. That's how I missed the quick getaway of Marcel on his loaner RazzFazz. He won, and I finished just behind Jos. You can view all results here, on Mylaps.

Besides the racing, there's more. I also like to just, be there. Watching, chatting, listening, being in the middle of it. In the middle of world class recumbent racing. There is good camaraderie between the riders. It more than just 'bents we talk about.You can see some of that atmosphere on the photos I've made.

Like always, I brought my Drift X170 camera. I filmed my own and David's race. Unfortunately he dropped back after half an hour. But the camera kept recording. Lot's of close racing. I also like the short scenes about what happened right after the finish.

David was riding his trusty M5 CLR, he was in the fast group.

4 Jan 2011

Thoughts, suitcase, Q451

I've been thinking. I write this post to organize my thoughts.

My stable of 'bents is pretty complete. It could be better though. The Cruiser has 'overlap' with the Pioneer and the Fuego. Lobbes the Pioneer used to be 'not so fast', but that has changed. A different rear hub and Kojak tyres gave him a 10% speed increase. Yivalté always has been fabulous. It is as if she, better said the Fuego in general, was designed for me. I know it isn't, although I did once test ride the first prototype, in early 2005. So within my six steeds, there is the possibility to sell one and buy something else that has a more unique function. A bike that is high speed train and, especially, plane travel friendly. 

I'd like to see more of the world. Canada is a country far away, but settled deep within me. Getting there is expensive, but not too difficult. There's public transit, but I'm a cyclist. The bike that might replace my 1999 Cruiser should be the bike to take across the big pond. It should fit in a suitcase, wheels included! Not many bikes meet those demands. Most of them are very expensive. I reckon that all suitcase 'bents are good for climbing.

A beautiful and supreme Nazca Gaucho can be fitted in to a suitcase, except for the wheels. However, I might look at it closely and see what is possible. I don't know much about 'suit casing' it. Neither am I a bike builder or a real developer. I'm just the Friday guy, the technician.

There are only a few bikes that really appeal to me. On most bikes, the finishing and attention to detail is far from the level I'm used to have. German 'bents are often way to complicated. I also don't understand most American designs. Mostly not so aero, often a silly long wheelbase, (although it works for a slow bike like my Oké-ja) poor detailing and so on.

One American design does intrigue me. From the moment Cruzbike introduced their Silvio, this company had a new follower. A short chain, a different philosophy and clever details make it stand out. It's not so pretty, and the seat position fairly up-right. That seems the part of the idea behind this concept. Now a Silvio is a racer in my point of view. And before I continue, I've never seen a Cruzbike in real life. I already have a racer and fast tourer, Yivalté. Nothing corners and rides better than this beauty. A Silvio also won't fit in a suitcase, 451 Quest does.

The 451 Q is very affordable, climbs well, has disc brakes and is fast enough for touring in far away places. Again, it's far from laid back. But that could be a good thing when I don't have the luxury of Dutch cycle paths. I don't like the colour, I do have sympathy for this bike. Actually, it's the bike that comes really close to my demands. It even has dual suspension. I can work a bit on some details I don't like. Fiddle with some cables, tyres, give it the Pjotr320 treatment.

To wrap it up:
I could try and find a new owner for my special Cruiser.
I'll sell my Dahon anyway. (to limit my total number of bikes.)
I'll have a close look at what a can do with a Gaucho. Heck, I'd still like to have a 28"Gaucho. But than I'll end up with 7 bikes.
If the Gaucho doesn't fit the suitcase, A 451Q from Spin Cylz is very likely to come my way.

And yes, the Vendetta also scores points. Possibly the coolest 'bent from the USA. But it won't fit in a suitcase, costs a lot and I'd rather have a special Gaucho 28.