Friday, July 25, 2008

bike stuff

I still would like a fixed wheel bike, but there are a lot of considerations that make me think it won't happen anytime soon. 1) Monetary investment - the several hundred needed for a new bike (or parts for an older bike) can be spent on other things like vehicle maintenance, loan payments, food, college tuition, that are more important by comparison. 2) Functionality - while I like the uniqueness of a fixed wheel bike, it may not be suitable to the terrain, the slope of my driveway and other hills is very steep. 3) Time Investment - Learning how to convert an older bike from free wheel to fixed wheel would be fun, but could take many hours and days, time that could be spent reaping a larger rewards by doing other things. So I think I will put this to the side and use my low bottom bracket recumbents (with geometries like the BikeE, Tour Easy, the list goes on and on) to get around and out of the house, they have consistently been able to meet my needs for comfort and speed like nothing else. The BikeE is the best I have since its BB is lower than the EZ-3 trike. Of course, standard diamond frame bikes have the lowest BBs, but comfort is lost as soon as one leans their body forward and rests their weight on the handlebars instead of the seat and/or backrest. I am open to trying the RANS crank forward bikes, they fill out the spectrum of BB to seat height ratios, bridging the gap between diamond frames and recumbents (the BB is low enough that you can still stand on the pedals while riding).

There are many considerations important for bicycle comfort, among those I rank highest include: 1) sitting ergonomics/ pressure location (partially influenced by the degree to which legs straddle bike saddle/seat) 2) relative height of seat to bottom bracket and 3) angles formed by body and thigh across the pedaling motion. Randy Schlitter with RANS, more than any other person, has really created an ideal bike. I see a lot of people riding mountain bikes or cruisers with high rise handlebars, trying to get the same comfortable riding position of a recumbent without actually going 'bent. I tried that setup, and it was okay, but it wasn't reclined enough for me. As I need to remove things from my to do list rather than add to it, I'll be content with the bikes I have right now - if I ever get out and ride them!

Yesterday I made the first cuts for the grindbygg, partially finishing a stav and bete (post and beam). I realized I need another saw. It will take a lot of spare evenings and weekends to finish. I plan to finish the lawn work this weekend and determine which college classes could fit my schedule, but that is... another story.

No comments: