Friday, May 05, 2006

Tall Bikes

On a recent trip to visit some friends in Colorado, I had the chance to try out a tall bike. My good friend Jon had fabricated this machine out of two old electro-forged Schwinn frames. The lower frame was a ladies frame aka a step-through and the upper frame looks like a Speedster three-speed frame.

To mount this steed from the left side, one must place their right foot on top of the step-through and get the bike moving by pushing off with the left leg. Once the bike is moving, stand up on the bike with your right foot still in place and move your left foot onto the pedal into the six o-clock position. Next, swing your right leg behind the saddle, place your foot onto the right pedal, and you are on your way. It's even easier than it sounds.

The ride was surprisingly nice. The only imbalance I could see was that the front end was very light. I mean, this thing wheelies with the greatest of ease and looped even easier, as I found out. Even so, when looped, it was easy to control and step right off of the back. Jon rode a 25 yard long wheelie on it right after my demo ride. Cornering doesn't require much lean, but it can be leaned and track stands are surprisingly easy, though can be somewhat dangerous.

Reactions from observers seem to run the full gamut. Everyone seems to have to take a look, or at least a double-take. In riding it around Jon's neighborhood, verbal reactions from "Cool!" to "WTF?!?!" were heard. The positive reactions were definitely more prevalent and came from people from all walks, including hippy dippy tattoo parlor dudes to redneck high schoolers in their giant American pickup trucks.

Jon offered to give me his tall bike to bring back to Orange County, but I declined for a few reasons. The first reason is that I would never take a friend's bike that I know they really enjoy riding. Second is that I don't think Orange County is ready for the tall bike revolution...yet. Lastly, I want to build up my own version of a tall bike made up from Schwinn frames that I have acquired on my own. I'll ask Jon to do the fabrication and it will give me another reason to visit Colorado soon.

It fits.



Anonymous thebat said...

I rode a bitch-bike just like that under-frame in Ridgecrest - Dij'you steal my bike, dude?

16 May, 2006 08:11  

Post a Comment

<< Home