Getting bent......

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Frobnitz, Feb 9, 2004.

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  1. Frobnitz

    Frobnitz Guest

    Well, I've got it, a nice, shiny, dark blue Streetmachine GT. And I _/love/_ it.

    I took delivery on Saturday afternoon, a very cold and blustery day, and got my first surprise. In
    my Rover (an old, old, 216) with the rear seats folded, the bike fits quite neatly - I'd even be
    able to take a passenger. Which was nice. I had visions of having to remove bits from my car.

    Minor advert. I cannot praise Kinetics, or to be precise Ben Cooper who is Kinetics, enough. He set
    up the bike methodically and precisely, fitted it for me, adjusted the chain to length, gave me
    tips on how to do things for myself, with great politeness and cheer (and given that Kinetics was
    shut in the morning due to bereavement, this was service over and above the call of duty). I
    thought that the front tyres (20" high pressure) might be a bit hard to source so I thought I'd
    better buy one before I left - Glasgow being a bit far away - Ben got one out, and when I proffered
    payment, he just grinned and said "Don't be silly" and stuffed the tyre and a gaggle of spare tubes
    in a bag for me.

    I drove back towards Edinburgh, and on the outskirts I stopped on a quiet lane I know, to practice.
    Getting the hang of a recumbent is weird. I read a review in a mag, and the tester said "This is
    wrong, I /know/ how to ride a bike" - and I know what he means. The initial 10 minutes are
    unnerving. Thoughts like "I've just dropped a huge sum of money on this, and I won't be able to ride
    it..." float through your head. A few minutes later you realise you're still worrying away, but the
    bike is gliding underneath you like you've been riding it all your life.

    Well, nearly. The hardest thing to do, I found, was to relax my arms and shoulders enough. If you
    don't, and you move your torso, the bike shimmies quite alarmingly, which led to another revelation
    - the bike is amazingly stable. I shimmied on some ice - Friday night/Saturday being very cold and
    snowy - and was bracing myself for a painful exit from the bike, but it just gathered itself
    together and carried on - I presume this must be the low center of gravity. Starting on a hill is an
    exercise in faith at the moment, and hills in general are definitely more of a challenge, but
    practice and miles will sort that. The weather closed in at this point, so I called it a day.

    Sunday dawned bright and clear, and so I fitted my spare SPDs - the brief trial I had had on
    Saturday had convinced me that it wouldn't be too much of a risk, and set off for my first ride of
    any significant length - about 12 miles to and from Cramond on the Waverly path, for any locals. I
    won't bore you any more than I already have, but it was enormous fun - I was on off-road path
    mainly, but afterwards, I risked Princes' Street. The bike attracts some considerable attention, and
    I had a crisis of confidence after a ned tried to jump on my luggage rack, and so I pushed the bike
    to quieter streets, but this morning, I cycled into work - admittedly I waited till after 9 to set
    off to allow the traffic to get quieter. No problems, just some puzzled glances. I'm going to have
    to exercise some new muscles - my neck is possibly a little stiff today, and I've got some
    tenderness on the left hand area of my lumbar region - I need to adjust my cleats and sitting
    position to dial this out, but it's not a major issue.

    I'm not pensioning off my faithful Hardrock - we've done 13,000+ miles together over the last 3
    years, and there are a lot of things that I can do with it which I can't do with the Streetmachine -
    cycle the tracks over the local hills for example - particularly marvellous on summer evenings, but
    I'm really looking forward to cruising round the countryside in the armchair comfort that the
    Streetmachine provides.

    All the best,

    Eddie Dubourg
     
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  2. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    "Frobnitz" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Well, I've got it, a nice, shiny, dark blue Streetmachine GT. And I _/love/_ it.

    Well done, Eddie - may you have many happy miles together. Lucky sod. I would like a Streetmachine
    for longer rides :)

    --
    Guy
    ===

    WARNING: may contain traces of irony. Contents may settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
     
  3. Roos Eisma

    Roos Eisma Guest

    "Frobnitz" <[email protected]> writes:

    >Well, nearly. The hardest thing to do, I found, was to relax my arms and shoulders enough. If you
    >don't, and you move your torso, the bike shimmies quite alarmingly, which led to another revelation
    >- the bike is amazingly stable. I shimmied on some ice - Friday night/Saturday being very cold and
    >snowy - and was bracing myself for a painful exit from the bike, but it just gathered itself
    >together and carried on - I presume this must be the low center of gravity. Starting on a hill is
    >an exercise in faith at the moment, and hills in general are definitely more of a challenge, but
    >practice and miles will sort that. The weather closed in at this point, so I called it a day.

    The most useful tip I got int he beginning sort of combines the things in this paragraph: when going
    uphill, try to gently *push* the handlebars. My intuition is to use a deadgrip on the handlebars,
    but that doesn't actually help.... it just makes the bike zigzag, and lifts your back from the seat.
    if you gently push (or consciously _not_ pull) you will lean into the seat, which gives support for
    pushing harder with your legs and steering is much easier.

    Roos (who still forgets this every now and then)
     
  4. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:

    > Well done, Eddie - may you have many happy miles together. Lucky sod. I would like a Streetmachine
    > for longer rides :)

    'tis a thing of beauty indeed, and very relaxing on a longer ride with superb luggage handling if
    you're touring loaded. But I'll be interested to try out the Grasshopper when it appears (supposedly
    next month), which is a 20/20 and somewhere between Street' and Speed' in terms of
    trundliness/sportiness, so quite a bit lighter and better aero which don't exactly hurt.

    Roos has booked a Nazca Fiero and an Optima Doplhin for a long weekend in the NL for a more extended
    try and it'll be my first time on an "in the middle" machine like that since my Orbit was destroyed.
    That was a rather more spartan machine than the Dutch ones, though: leaner but also meaner!

    <heavy_breathing> another has seen the true Power of the Dark Side! </heavy_breathing>. Red
    lightsabre's probably in the post, Eddie... ;-)

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  5. Frobnitz

    Frobnitz Guest

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:c07nt7$988$1

    > Well done, Eddie - may you have many happy miles together. Lucky sod. I would like a Streetmachine
    > for longer rides :)
    >
    Thank you - and thanks again for the advice on the hydraulic brakes - it really makes a vast
    difference for me.

    E
     
  6. Frobnitz

    Frobnitz Guest

    "Roos Eisma" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > The most useful tip I got int he beginning sort of combines the things in this paragraph: when
    > going uphill, try to gently *push* the handlebars. My intuition is to use a deadgrip on the
    > handlebars, but that doesn't actually help.... it just makes the bike zigzag, and lifts your back
    > from the seat. if you gently push (or consciously _not_ pull) you will lean into the seat, which
    > gives support for pushing harder with your legs and steering is much easier.

    Thanks for this tip -I've found the zigzag - and I need to practice - my route to work was a mile
    longer than usual as I avoided any serious slopes.

    E
     
  7. Frobnitz

    Frobnitz Guest

    "Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > <heavy_breathing> another has seen the true Power of the Dark Side! </heavy_breathing>. Red
    > lightsabre's probably in the post, Eddie... ;-)
    >
    Cheers....

    .....I'm sure knights on the dark side aren't meant to have such a permanent grin though.....

    E
     
  8. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    "Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:

    > Roos has booked a Nazca Fiero and an Optima Doplhin for a long weekend in the NL for a more
    > extended try and it'll be my first time on an "in the middle" machine like that since my Orbit
    > was destroyed. That was a rather more spartan machine than the Dutch ones, though: leaner but
    > also meaner!

    I don't know what it is about Dutch bikes and weight. I think it's the extra I in "aluminum"...

    --
    Guy
    ===

    WARNING: may contain traces of irony. Contents may settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
     
  9. Seamus

    Seamus New Member

    Joined:
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    Congrats on your shiny new, Eddie.


    It's 'cos they're not jerry-built.....


    you can groan now.
     
  10. The Grasshopper looks like a nice piece of kit - my mate Pete has one on order though it may be
    intended for Mrs. Pete as he already has a Streetmachine. I sat on one at Eurobike but was unable to
    liberate it from the stand, chiz.

    --

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  11. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Dave Larrington wrote:
    > The Grasshopper looks like a nice piece of kit - my mate Pete has one on order though it may be
    > intended for Mrs. Pete as he already has a Streetmachine. I sat on one at Eurobike but was unable
    > to liberate it from the stand, chiz.

    You should feel honoured. Darth Ben said they needed some convincing to let him sit on it, and he's
    one of their dealers! He also reports they're selling well, despite not even existing in production
    form as yet!

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  12. Peter Clinch wrote:

    > You should feel honoured. Darth Ben said they needed some convincing to let him sit on it, and
    > he's one of their dealers! He also reports they're selling well, despite not even existing in
    > production form as yet!

    Well, I was accompanied by Darth Stuart, I promised not to put my newly-acquired Optima "My Other
    Bike Is 2 Fast 4 U" sticker on the Speedmachine's tailbox and I'd just bought a T-shaped shirt
    from them...

    --

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  13. Roos Eisma

    Roos Eisma Guest

  14. On 2004-02-09 15:34 +0000, Roos Eisma wrote:
    > "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    > After learning to cycle on 22 kg of steel like this:
    > http://www.batavus.nl/2002/collectie/bike.asp?bikeid=726 we're not bothered by a few kgs of 'bent
    > aluminium :)

    You could just about get one of those onto the front of one of these:
    <URL:http://www.pashley.co.uk/products/work/delibike/splash.html>. "Ideally suited to mobile
    advertising and display". Sigh. Though they also do a range of sensible freight-carriers. OTOH, I've
    seen one of these things rumbling around the near Covered Market in the city where I live. How
    serious a delivery vehicle it is, I can't say. Probably not very.

    --
    Andrew Chadwick You never hear a Cricket crowd chanting "who's the bastard in the hat?"
     
  15. Pyromancer

    Pyromancer Guest

    Upon the miasma of midnight, a darkling spirit identified as Frobnitz
    <[email protected]> gently breathed:
    >"Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    >> <heavy_breathing> another has seen the true Power of the Dark Side! </heavy_breathing>. Red
    >> lightsabre's probably in the post, Eddie... ;-)

    >Cheers.... .....I'm sure knights on the dark side aren't meant to have such a permanent grin
    >though.....

    OT, but in Fivye Castle in Aberdeenshire stands the most terrifying suit of armour I've ever laid
    eyes on. It's a huge, full suit of plate armour, but that's not the scary thing. No, the scary thing
    is the manic fixed grin on the thing's visor. That's enough to give anyone nightmares!

    --
    - Pyromancer Stormshadow http://www.inkubus-sukkubus.co.uk <-- Pagan Gothic Rock!
    http://www.littlematchgirl.co.uk <-- Electronic Metal! http://www.revival.stormshadow.com <-- The
    Gothic Revival.
     
  16. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    > Well done, Eddie - may you have many happy miles together. Lucky sod. I would like a Streetmachine
    > for longer rides :)

    I wouldn't mind a Stinger for commuting. But, only having one recumbent, I wouldn't swap the Street
    Machine for something that couldn't tow a trailer.

    --
    Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
    http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  17. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Mon, 9 Feb 2004 22:02:46 -0000, "Danny Colyer"
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <[email protected]>:

    >I wouldn't mind a Stinger for commuting. But, only having one recumbent, I wouldn't swap the Street
    >Machine for something that couldn't tow a trailer.

    It can - a BoB

    Guy
    ===
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk
     
  18. Peter Grange

    Peter Grange Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Frobnitz <[email protected] eyonder.co.uk> writes
    >Well, I've got it, a nice, shiny, dark blue Streetmachine GT. And I _/love/_ it.
    >
    >I took delivery on Saturday afternoon, a very cold and blustery day, and got my first surprise. In
    >my Rover (an old, old, 216) with the rear seats folded, the bike fits quite neatly - I'd even be
    >able to take a passenger. Which was nice. I had visions of having to remove bits from my car.
    >

    Well done. I got mine last October & I'm still getting used to it, but it gets better every time I
    take it out. Interesting comment about the car, I've never tried to get it in ours, I guess I just
    assumed it wouldn't fit. Must try it some time, just in case of emergencies.

    Pete
    --
    Peter Grange
     
  19. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    I wrote:
    > > I wouldn't mind a Stinger for commuting. But, only having one recumbent, I wouldn't swap the
    > > Street Machine for something that couldn't tow a trailer.

    and Guy responded:
    > It can - a BoB

    What about a munchkin trailer?

    The manual for the Street Machine (which didn't exist when I bought mine) specifies a maximum
    trailer weight of 30kg. I don't think I've ever had my BoB loaded up quite that much anyway.

    At the moment when I tow Jenny in her trailer the total weight will also be under 30kg, but by the
    time her little brother is old enough to go in there with her I suspect the total weight will go
    over that limit. I don't think it'll be a problem, though.

    --
    Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
    http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  20. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Danny Colyer wrote:

    > The manual for the Street Machine (which didn't exist when I bought mine) specifies a maximum
    > trailer weight of 30kg. I don't think I've ever had my BoB loaded up quite that much anyway.

    According to a pal with a BoB, wondering about what the 8 Freight would do, a BoB is only rated to
    30 Kg in any case. But the SMGT manual is *sooooooo* conservative I'd be inclined (with disclaimers,
    of course) to take what it says as being a major underestimate. Let's face it, it says you're doomed
    if you ride down kerbs...

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
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