'bent on ebay: Challenge Mistral SWB OSS

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Simon Brooke, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    Once again, not mine. Looks competent.


    If anyone objects to me posting these, let me know and
    I'll stop.

    [email protected] (Simon Brooke)

    Tony Blair's epitaph, #1: Here lies Tony Blair. Tony
    Blair's epitaph, #2: Trust me.

  2. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Simon Brooke wrote:
    > Once again, not mine. Looks competent.

    Looks very nice, and that's what I thought of the one I took
    out to test =

    from Amsterdam earlier in the year. Unfortunately a few
    hours later the =

    only really positive thing the test told me was that Magura
    hydraulic=20 rim brakes were Really Very Good and I was a
    bit underwhlemed otherwise := -(

    Part of the problem was undoubtedly that the seat just
    wasn't quite=20 right for me. Other people will feel the
    same niggles about the=20 Optima/HPVel seats I personally
    like as we're all slightly different=20 shapes, so this
    isn't really a dig at the Mistral except in a personal=20
    context. However, beyond the shape of it there's the fact
    that=20 Challenge have the seat as effectively an integral
    part of the frame,=20 and though that's quite neat as an
    engineering solution it does mean=20 there's not very much
    decoupling you from road shock from the front=20 wheel (no
    suspension and it's only a 20" wheel so doesn't eat holes
    and=20 bumps that well). If you're only riding on good roads
    that's not a=20 problem, but I ride on some pretty poor ones
    and on the block paved=20 roads[1] that seem common around
    the Amsterdam area induced so much=20 vibration that the
    bike was less comfortable than the hired vanilla=20 Batavus
    roadsters we'd been using earlier in the day, and IMHO
    that=20 isn't really good enough for a bike that's likely to
    be bought (and for=20 a lot of money too!) because it's
    meant to be very comfortable :-( You could probably work
    around this by adding a Pantour hub or 20" sus=20 forks, but
    either option is Real Money you'll have to spend on top
    of=20 the purchase price.

    The spiel says more versatile than the Hurricane from which
    it is=20 derived. Well... maybe, but since it's higher it'll
    be slower so not=20 much use if you want to tear up tarmac
    low to the ground, and for=20 touring the comfort
    limitations on poorer surfaces alluded to above=20 strikes
    me as a definite problem. To cut a long story short, I
    wouldn't =

    give Challenge =A3600 (the eBay start price here) for a
    brand new one, an= d=20 paying more than twice that for a
    Grasshopper or Fiero strikes me as=20 better value for money
    to be honest.

    But some people seem to like them: 'bentrideronline seemed
    rather more=20 complimentary than I've been, but as always
    with these my advice is try=20 before you buy if you can. I
    think Bikefix have a Mistral in, and=20 Norman Fay in South
    Shields is a Challenge dealer IIRC.


    [1] think of those brick driveways, not cobblestones. These
    provide no=20 problems at all on typical Dutch roadster,
    and they didn't trouble the=20 Rainbow Lyner also out on
    the trip. A subsequent NL trip saw worse=20 roads not
    being a problem on a Nazca Fiero or Optima Lynx both
    with=20 rigid front forks so it isn't just 'bents, rigid
    front forks or 20/20=20 SWB configuration --=20 Peter
    Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer Tel 44 1382 660111
    ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital Fax 44
    1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net
    [email protected]