Saturday, September 1, 2007

A Preview of Liza's New Rig

Behold. Liza's tourer/commuter. This is the basic build. Still to come: fenders, racks, lights; all your basic bits to make a bike useful.

The non-dead observer will notice some rather puffy tires on this otherwise racy-looking steed. We 650B'd the old RB-1. 650B refers to an obscure wheel size that is the current trend among the retrogrouchy wankers with nothing else to spend money on. It's likely we'll not be able to find a reliable tire supply for this bike in a decade. All the same: what sense this tire size makes for this frame.
The RB-1 was a race bike: built with standard gauge/diameter tubing, a more "lively" geometry, and room (just barely) for 700 x 28 tires w/out fenders. Liza used to ride this bike as a go-fast speedy bike, and really loved it. But the fact that she couldn't ride it with a skirt and she couldn't ride it around town in the rain, and she couldn't take it out on dirt roads all piled up to make a bike that was fun, but not too practical.

Liza solved most of these issues with her city bike. The city bike is an ideal bike for getting around town. It loads up on the bus nicely, has a skirt guard, chain guard, internal hub gearing, etc, etc. However, there are still a couple issues: it's not a bike that's too much fun to ride more than 12 mph or so -- unless your coasting down hill. And it's not super comfy on longer (10+ miles) rides. Finally: the tires are pretty narrow and are not too forgiving on soft dirt or rough roads.

The 650b'ized RB-1 solves a lot of these issues. The primary purpose of this bike will be long day rides and credit card touring. My guess is that Liza will enjoy riding this bike so much, she'll end up riding it around town anytime she is not wearing a skirt/dress/flowy deal. But we'll see.

As mentioned, the next stage is to figure out how to carry a load. This bike has a geometry very similar to my RB-T, so I'm assuming loads will not be an easy and quick fix. I've never tried a low-rider on my RB-T and I'm thinking that will be the answer on this one. It will take some time and experimentation.


jim g said...

RB-1 + 650B = HOT! Please keep us posted on this project!!!

jim g said...

Oh, forgot to ask -- what rims+tires did Liza use on her bike? What fits best in the RB-1?