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7 Feb 2014

An upright...

I recently bought a diamond frame bicycle. It's duty is to do what df's do best, blend in and transport me to the shopping centre. It's also easier to talk with friends when you're at the same level. So it has a social function too. I'm quite sure that's the main reason I bought it.

Uprights generally come with 2 problems. Discomfort and lack of speed. For in and around town, this bike is quick enough. As long as I'm not in a hurry that is. And the discomfort was solved with the same 'trick' that I use on my Brompton, a Rido saddle. (old saddle shown on the photo) Those are like magic. Sure it is by far not as good as a Nazca seat, but for up to an hour, I felt no discomfort at all. On any other saddle, pain is there within a few minutes!

What I bought, for very little money, is a brown 1977 Gazelle Cheetah. It has drum brakes, a Sturmey Archer AB3 and a metal chaincase. And those parts come with serious benefits.


The brakes need almost zero maintenance, just as the chain and the gears. Literally a drop of oil every 100km is enough. And the drivetrain is very direct. Almost just as good as my Evo K. That where you really notice that many recumbents need improvement. This simplicity is actually what makes it quite fun to ride.

There's an Axa bottle dynamo to power the lights. My lights have a normal appearance. Though what's inside are high power l.e.d.'s. Aside from being really bright, these have an important advantage over bulbs with 1977 technology, they last.

In 5 weeks time I rode about 180km on my oldest bike. Top speed thus far is 48kph. I'll take care of the small bits of rust this spring and make sure that rust won't cause any further damage. All bearings have no play at all and the wheels are true. Not bad for something almost 37 years old!

Better and more photo's are soon to come.

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