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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.


  1. I have a sneaking suspicion that you really have to test this bike. The interaction between the steering and the pedals is probably very strong. You may not be bothered by this, but I can imagine I would be.

  2. I once could ride a Flevobike. This one should be a whole lot easier to ride. I've seen/read plenty of material not to worry about riding a well designed, production, mbb.

    Counteracting the pedal forces with your arms seems to be part of the concept. Good for my thin arms :-)

  3. If you come to Copenhagen, you can try my Cruzbike Freerider.

  4. If you do make it to Canada, in particular the west coast, (in the greater Vancouver area) feel free to look me up. I'd love to get together with you along with a couple of other recumbent riders for a local ride. I'm sure there would be others across Canada who read you blog and would also like to meet up and ride with you.

  5. Yes, the arms part I was wondering about. Doesn't seem nice to me at all, but if you think that your arms need a workout, then I guess this is your bike.