This is sort of a funny looking bike. But I like funny looking bikes. I like the way the small wheels look on this bike. The huge head tube does not agree with Liza's sense of bike proportion.
I'm building this bike up as a long-term project that may or may not work for my buddy Jon. He rides year round, every day. He rides hard and fast. He's not a bike nerd in the "sit around and fuss with the bike and make it perfect" way. He just wants to get on his bike and go. And it needs to work always. With zero-to-minimal maintenance.
His 4-year old, mid-range hybrid-urban bike has held up admirably, but it's giving up the ghost. He's been replacing bits for a while and he's interested in a new bike that better suits his commuter-that-needs-to-look-nice needs, which is still fast and tough.
So, that's why the careful observer will note that there are some odd-for-me components on this bike: straight bars, weird saddle, v-brakes. Some day, this bike will run an internally-geared hub, a front rack, lights, kick stand, chain guard, devil tires. I'm hoping it will hold up to the daily beating that Jon hands out.
I'm going to take a couple months to build it up, loaning it to Jon for a few days at a time to get his feedback. He's coming by today to pick it up for some weekend riding. He'll hate the gears. They're friction and he loves his indexing and he's slightly hard-of-hearing, so he's going to get ghost shifting if he doesn't hear the derailleur asking to be trimmed.
But I didn't have any 8-speed indexed thumb shifters. This is all built up with stuff I had laying around (except the bars and brakes -- I bought those from Pedals2People.)
This is the second frame I've built up in the last year or so that was designed with fenders in mind. What huge difference this tiny design difference makes.
My only complaint with this frame so far is the dropout orientation relative to the chain stay bridge and design -- which narrows quickly and forces you to deflate the tire to mount it.