Thursday, September 3, 2009

Todays Tall bike cummute and a new Quest begins!

Yep, rode the tall bike to work today. As if commuting wasn't nerve racking enough at times! Though most of my trepidations lie in the fact that I hadn't ridden it since I loaned it out to Morgan during his stay here. I half expected it to turn to dust like in the cartoons, hehe. He put something like a 150 miles on it I think. Today's journey shouldn't be more than 25 or so..

Lyle put it best that when he said that riding a tall bike is like a parade of one. So true. You get a lot more attention than you're comfortable with along with the more commonly heard questions like: "How's the weather up there?" and "How do you get up/down from that thing?" Although today I got: "You ever get nose bleeds?" Not to mention people honking at as they drive past you. Certainly the only time I've ever had a huge fire truck sound his horn for any other reason than wanting me to get fuck out of his way.

What I really noticed most about my first tall build is how clanky-janky it is compared to the Mutandem. It's friction shifting lacks the smooth and precise clicks that the Shimano XT/XTR/Ultegra mix the Mutandem is outfitted with. Not to mention having 18 speeds to choose from as opposed to a measly 6. Though the one major drawback to the Mutandem is it's scale toppling 47.8lb weight. Going down hills is amazing but even the slightest of inclines presents a challenge..

Which begs the question: Can a tall bike have a modern group for speed and climbing, look bad ass and be light, AAANNND most importantly: Still be predominantly constructed of other bikes?

Lyle's tall bike is all those things to a certain degree but that doesn't mean the envelope can't be pushed farther. I'm pretty sure his weighed in at just under 28lbs and had an 8 speed DT friction shifter. He's comfortable going hella fast on it but admitted that having to depend on only one large ring up front made climbing tough on steeper hills..

So begins a new Quest in tall bike innovation!

Though the closest I'll get to pulling a sword from a stone would be placing the good oooollld thinking cap utop my brow as begin this new journey.. Wish me luck!



kale said...

Internally geared hubs are heavy (and xpensive) but that weight might be offset by running the chain from the top crank to the rear wheel, that is if the chainline matches up...

Also figuring out how to tie some carbon fiber frames together might help.

CyclingWMD said...

Kale - Yeah, I've thought of that but the expensiveness, weight and my unfamiliarity of their inner workings makes me think it would be more of a hassle if anything. As for the CF, I'm def looking into that as an option, hehe..

Brandon - Not sure what happened to your comment "I like the no front derailleur and released front brake quick-release" but I wanted to answer: This was a first time build and I only had a small amount of parts to work with at the time. Hence no Front Der. As for the brake release. They're both like that! Now, I know I wouldn't do something like that so it leaves me to believe there was a little tinker on the part of a certain couple of Canadians..

SeveM said...

Well I like riding my tall bike fixed, so that I never have to dismount. I never go at incredible speeds but I can take decents hills and decent lengts (I like riding to the dam). The ratio is something like 40/17, easy.
Now what you could do to make the gears is to take the lower bottom bracket out and replace it by vertical dropouts. that way you can put a rear disc hub there. on the right of it your cassette connected to your chainring, on the left a bolt-on cog. Put the same cog on a disc brake rear wheel and it should work marvels !!
It doesn't change the weight problem though.

morgman said...

Front brake release? What're you talking about? I just woke up dammit. I do remember one of the brakes rubbing a tire, and me trying my best not to use it.

In the ProjB/WMD world, each project builds upon the next. You take the design cues you want from previous projects and build something worthwhile from it. I anticipate a cross-continental brain storming.

CyclingWMD said...

hehe, yeah, those brakes def are on the funky side of things. They worked for me during my ride yesterday tho!

As for newer projects you said it brother! Def need to do some brainstorming soon for the next tall project. Mostly about which of the three I have in mind I should start on next!

Bike Cycling Reviews said...

Its a great bike. But too long haa! It would be pleasure to take it to work tough.

Center of attraction :)