October 10, 2002
Interbike makes the New York Times
I guess I'm glad to see New York Times technology reporter John Markoff covering bicycles, but I can't really agree with his thesis: That the the sensible commuter/comfort bike represents a brand-new trend in bicycling.
The bicycle industry has been trying to make commuter bikes the 3rd standard (after mountain bikes and road-racing bikes) for several years.
Klein, which built my mountain bike, sold the Karma Pavé for 1 year, the Bianchi Milano has been available since Shimano introduced the Nexus hub (3 years?), and the Specialized Globe Markoff mentioned has already been a production bike with a near-clone from Giant.
It almost feels like Markoff talked his way to Interbike, then had to come up with something new, and germane enough to Times readers to actually make the paper. Hmmm, these would be terrific bikes for riding around New York City; I'll write about them....
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It's a weird notion that skill or the lack thereof has anything to do with people getting on a bike. The fundamentals of balancing on two wheels hasn't changed, has it?
Markoff mentions comfort and someone else mentions it more detail, ie back pain, getting a leg over the bar, etc., and I think that's more important. Consider the saddle: why is it called that and what is its shape drawn from? The thing that horses wear, and which has little or nothing to do with the design issues of a bike and its rider.
You've talked a bit about frame geometry and how it affects the ride, both in efficiency and comfort: it would be interesting to see if manufacturers and designers could integrate some ideas drawn from actual experience into their designs.
Posted by: paul at Oct 10, 2002 2:49:36 PM