The Definitive Bicycle Thread
Chris just posted an article I wrote, entitled A Quiet Revolution in Bicycles: Recapturing a Role as Utilitarian People-Movers (Part I). This thread was created to provide a place for responses and ongoing discussion on this topic.
A follow up article, Part II, will be forthcoming. If you would like to comment on either of these articles, or on this topic in general, please do so here. Thanks!
The text of the original article can be found here: A Quiet Revolution in Bicycles: Recapturing a Role as Utilitarian People-Movers (Part I),
The follow-up article can be found here: A Quiet Revolution in Bicycles: Recapturing a Role as Utilitarian People-Movers (Part II).
I hope you will find them helpful.
Awesome work, Chris! I can’t wait to do some more research on this topic. Great stuff. I really like your "solutions-oriented" approach to the problems at hand.
Great post, Chris. in retrospect, wonder why we didn’t address it before. I have several bikes and it is my usual mode of transport for spring/summer. Fall and winter are, IMHO, often unpleasant and somewhat unsafe times to ride in NE. Cape Cod is completing a Cape-long bike trail that will eventually let one bike the entire length. If they only had public transportation to get you here with your bike…
I would find it helpful if people would post their personal experiences with specific bikes, electric add-ons, accessories, etc., with links. I own a 14 y.o. Giant hybrid, a 14 y.o. Trek mountain, and a 2006 Dahon P6 folding bike, a great way to throw a bike in your trunk and travel around your destination if you have to drive to get there. You can also carry it in a backpack holder on public transportation. http://WWW.dahon.com. They don’t make this model anymore but they have numerous others. They are expensive new but there is always Ebay. There are other brands though they are the premier folder and others are heavier.
My impression is that it may be worth buying a newer bike that is lighter, has shocks, etc. but that is just speculation. My bikes are old, clunky, but sturdy.
Hold on – please THANK MORGAN for the great post.
I am quite pleased to have this excellent content to begin moving towards part II of this great journey which centers on the specific actions we can take.
My own bike situation is certainly in need of an upgrade.
Oh Yeah -Biking is a great way to get around – we did it one summer on 80mpg 2-wheel bikes and put arould 300 miles on over the summer. . . . and my butt still hurts. Yet – it was wonderful being out in all weather and feeling so free to be in control of our energy costs.
So, with the welder in 1 hand and a new design in the other – I would definately go with a 3 or 4 wheel bike for distances and use it in all weather (even winter if it had an 80 mpg motor on it) and hybrid it with electric (which charges batteries when the gas is running). So far, we’ve re-built 12 + bikes from bikes found at public police auctions into everything from trailors for the back of bikes to 3 and 4 wheel bikes and the two main motor bikes.
When the farm demands get slow – I think this is the year to build the best dream machine ever – a 3 wheeler, with electric wheel & gas motor with regenerative charging and a trailor. We put a video on youtube showing the first 2 wheeler built: search youtube for "80mpg bike" and we install motors for people on our MyBackAchers.com site (local usually).
That’s our endgame for transportation.
Another great folding bike that I’ve used for biking all over the world with is the Downtube. When I was looking for folding bikes, none of the local bike stores had any to try. Since I was going to have to order over the internet, I selected one that had a great reputation at a great price, and I have not been disappointed. Now that I co-own a bike shop, it is the main folding bike we carry. We are also thinking about carrying the Bike Friday folding bikes in the future, at least some of which are made in the USA, but it is a more pricey (and nice) option.
The electric/motor hybrid sounds great. I’ve thought of setting up something like that, though I haven’t had the time.
For rear-end/backaches, there are a number of solutions. One of the most popular are the Day 6 bikes, which are a semi-recumbent design with an incredibly comfortable seat plus back support. There are also crank-forward designs like the Rans.
Excellent stuff, Morgan! My wife & I just recently bought bikes as part of our preparedness thang. Our work life doesn’t allow us to commute via bike, but we’re taking steps (just relocated one of our 2 biz locations to our house — so the commute is 0 miles ) to address that. In the meantime, we’re digging on recreational bicycling!
Viva — Sager
Thanks for your great thread and posts. I ended up with an Ebay Dahon (after many bidding tries) because I ran across someone local riding one and was astounded (what can say, it’s a small town), having never seen a folding bike. Yes, that is due to no local dealers stocking folders though, West Marine, a national marine parts store, carries a cheaper and, I think, heavier one they would have ordered to let me inspect. People apparently put them on their boats and then pedal ashore.
I don’t find the Dahon to be as easy to ride as a non-folder and don’t routinely ride it. I always ride the Giant, my son’s old bike, clunky but solid. I don’t ride trails, got the Trek for $10. at yard sale, couldn’t resist. Pretty hard ride on cement, tho.
I have wondered how the ride is on newer models with shocks.