Re: [CR]Re: Nothing feels quite like my

(Example: Framebuilders:Alex Singer)

Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2006 11:15:59 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Thomas Adams" <thomasthomasa@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [CR]Re: Nothing feels quite like my
To: Mark Poore <rauler83@yahoo.com>, Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
In-Reply-To: <20060915161639.2439.qmail@web53114.mail.yahoo.com>


Mark Poore <rauler83@yahoo.com> wrote: (snipped)

These days I am very reluctant to buy a bike to keep unless I know the builder has a reputation for their ride quality and there are many. So maybe that is way I have purchased less bikes recently.

Let talk about the ride quality. So what is the best riding bike that you have ever been on?

Mark Poore Slatyfork, WV

Let's see, what are the best riding bikes I've been on? There's a pretty wide variety of prices and pedigree here for all the bikes that "had it", that mythical ride quality where the bike dissapears beneath you and doesn't intrude in any negative way as it does it's job. You just have to pedal, steer and think deep thoughts.

Honorable mention: These bikes all had "it", but weren't "perfect" to the nth degree so as to get top honors. '75 Gitane Tour D'France, early 70's MKM sport touring, '54 Algurn, late 70's Colnago Super.

Some of the bikes that are/were nice but weren't quite perfect: Peugeot PX10, Raleigh Pro, Major Taylor, Marinonni, Italvega, Benotto 2500, Simonato, Lygie, Torpado.

Bikes that probably had "it" but didn't quite fit me, so I could't tell for sure: '75 Paramount, late 70's Cirrus (by Tom Teesdale), '49(?) Ephgrave (I think Paul Raley, the new owner, is quite fond of this one's ride).

Still being evaluated: '54 Butler Allrounder, '91 Jack Taylor, '79 Nobilette. I have high hopes for the Taylor, prelimary reports are glowing.

And the winner is: we have a two way tie!

1. '78 Stan Pike 753(R) racer.

2. '04 kof Goodrich sport/day rider.

Both bikes float down the road with supreme comfort and stability while being snappy handlers when potholes need dodging. It probably isn't any coincidence that these are also my lightest bikes, the Pike at 20.5 pounds and the Goodrich at 19.75. Anytime I get on either of these bikes, I feel like I'm going 10% faster than on a "just ok" bike. The Goodrich is stiffer at the BB than the Pike, probably due to the oversize DT and TT, but the Pike feels like it climbs better (and let's not get into that debate about whether some BB flex helps a rider). No, I've never time trialed them over the same course to see which really is faster.

What does this prove? First, that I seem to like UK bikes best as 3-4 English machines are on my list while only one American, French and Italian machine gets in. Second, geometry doesn't seem to be an overwhelming factor in my preferences. The Gitane and Algurn are 41 inch plus wheel base bikes, while the Pike and Colnago are around 39 inches, with the Goodrich and MKM comfortably in the middle. You gotta ride it to find out. Third, your opinion/reaction will almost certainly be different from mine (unless you're my identical twin). Several of the bikes on my list of winners rated no more than also rans for other CR folks. And of course I only rode one of each. No way to tell if the frame you get from that maker is a real dog. But hey, that's the fun of collecting! The next one might be only ok, or the holy grail.

Tom Adams, Shrewsbury NJ

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