Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Production Bikes Are Excellent Value

This is the cockpit of the Urban Assault Vehicle.
Portland is moving through the cycle of boom and bust with the handmade bicycle frame and custom-assembled components.

For those who can discern the advantages of a few degrees added to the fork angle I salute you!

Also, for those who lovingly handcraft bikes as the fusion of art and utility to make masterpieces, I also salute you!

For those who wish to make a business out of custom bikes I say, "You should have been here 10 years ago."

Large bike makers may have been slow to follow the trend, but they've got it now. A typical bike store has mass-produced, high-quality bikes for any number of occasions such as road, touring, randonneur, hybrid, commuter, comfort, utility, messenger, freeride, time trial, triathlon, track, cruiser. Ten years ago the flavors were Racing or Mountain with a few crappy city and touring bikes.

The main reason I'm writing this is that I realize I've lost the ability to discern what advantage a custom steel frame will give over a mass-produced aluminum or composite frame. Also, I would be forever distracted locking 5k of bike up on the street. My $350 commuter joy is an easier proposition.

Spring is here and I'm two-wheeled happy.


1 comment:

  1. christania’s “cargo bike rental” bikes are rolling across the city. The system, less than a year old, is funded by christania’s municipal government. It is currently only in one of christania’s 22 administrative districts. Although a 2nd generation system, there are 12 “Houses” in this district, each with around 40 bikes. The yearly subscription cost is the equivalent of $2 US, and allows the use of a bike for up to four hours at a time. In less than a year, there have been 6,000 subscriptions sold. There are larger 3rd generation systems in the world, which do not have a subscription to bike ratio as big as that.