Friday May 22, 2009

Fixie!!!

Today was my first ride to work on my Sun's new bike. This year my bike to work bike I have chosen a single speed fixed wheel bike. Fixed wheel bikes are supposed to improve your pedaling action and that is my excuse.

I've not ridden a fixed wheel bike since I was a teenager when a boy at school had one and I rode it a bit. However that was all before clipless pedals. I don't even recall if it had toe clips but I suspect not as I was considered a bit odd for having them.

I was expecting hills to be a problem having no gears going up, but in reality the problem is when going down where I've not managed to just relax my legs and let them spin or effectively use them to slow the bike without it all being a bit scary. Once I had got my self scared as my legs were whirling round it was not instinctive to use the brakes to slow the thing down. All very odd.

Traffic was less of a problem than I expected and I managed to get into the habit of slowing before junctions so I could just roll upto them. Since there is no freewheel you can't just lift the pedal to the top of the stroke to start again so you end up planning where you want to stop. It came as quite a suprise how far you move forward on a single pedal stroke.

The real surprised was how long the journey home took. I have no computer on the bike so I was only able to time myself approximately using my watch but it was 1 hour 10 minutes which was quite pleasing. I'm pondering whether a slightly larger gear might be a good idea.

Friday May 09, 2008

What is better than not owning a Brompton?

...not owning two Bromptons!


As I mentioned previously there is a rule in the house that you can only own three bikes which thankfully since the Brompton is leased not owned meant I was o.k. However the lease runs out after a year at which point the bike goes back or I can buy it. If I buy it I break the three bikes rule. Hence the problem. Simon suggested that I claim that the Brompton is not a bike, which I thought was an interesting defence but since it clearly has 2 wheels (bi) and can be cycled it would be a bicycle. Although I may yet try that defence in the future, I mean for goodness sake look at the picture. You can't ride them like that!

The other problem is that is just seems wrong not to take advantage of the bike scheme. A Tax free bike to ride, where is the downside?

So I signed on for a second year and ordered an identical model\* having found a suitable home for the first one (my sister needs a brommy). When the lease runs out I'll buy the first Brompton and on the same day sell it to her so at close of business I still don't own one.

I think I may never need to have a Brompton that is more than a year old......


\* It is not completely identical as the new model now has a clip that will stop the rear wheel dropping if you lift the saddle. Useful if you are man handling a bike down station steps. I can confirm it is both useful and easy to use.

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This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com

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