Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Folder in the House!

New steed deserves a new post. Particularly since this is not a recumbent. I have gone to the dark old upright side for this ride - something I would not have believed I would do a handful of years ago.

Less than $150 (good old Craigslist) netted me a used Downtube 9FS. After adding a few upgrades and swapping out a few parts from the 'ol bin, this is one sweet upright ride. And as a bonus it folds down to something I can toss in the back of a small trunk.

So far so good - getting used to riding a small wedgie seat has taken a while, and there is no way this ride will be replacing the comfort of a recumbent for any type of distance ride. But this is a nice bike to pop in and out of town, weave around the 'hood, and... well for the price it is hard to resist.

Front and rear suspension = smooth ride (for an upright folder) and disc brakes = STOP NOW!
The drivetrain of this bike needed a full upgrade - and luckily the parts bin had enough stuff in it to make (nearly) the entire swap - SRAM X9 read DR, X9 trigger shifter, BB7 disc brakes, and a new bar/tape, etc. Upped the chainring to an FSA 50T with a Driveline chain bashguard (bling!) and this baby pedals smooth.

Nothing beats some chainring and pedal bling. When they make the ride smoother thats a bonus! :)
One change that I found necessary was removing the flimsy folding pedals. They were just too slippery. I thought of adding some good old eggbeaters, but decided on nice sticky platforms to retain the "hop on and GO" utility. The package is still compact enough when folded even with these pedals so all is good.

SRAM X9 is crisp and Duranos keep the rubber side down.
Going with Duranos was also an out of character choice here, as I really prefer the cush of wider tires like Big Apples. Short time will tell if the Duranos work, and I plan on a handful of same-route rides with these and then with a swap to Big Apples. Given it has the front and rear suspension, maybe that will be enough.

Origin 8 Pro Uno saddle looks cool and rides nice.
Now, being a recumbent rider I am the last person who should be commenting on the ride qualities of an upright bike, but this thing if pretty comfortable for short to medium distances. I am not quite used to the wedgie seat but the Origin 8 I slapped on seems to do the trick while looking pretty cool.

All folded and ready to go!
So my first foray back into an upright goes well so far. Not as svelte and teeny as a folding Brompton, but for the price of something like that I could have had 7 of these bikes. Not bad at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment