Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Testing, Testing

As I mentioned yesterday, I've got a new testcycle, and I've just returned from Day 2 of intensive backwoods testing in the wilds of Westchester county where I duly put the bicycle through its paces on the forbidding Trails Behind The Mall:


I'm still waiting for the go-ahead to reveal the make and model of the bicycle, but so far I'm enjoying it greatly.

In the meantime, while we're on the subject of testcycles, I should probably apprise you of the status of the other bikes I'm currently evaluating.  By the way, this is as much for my own benefit as yours, since I've got a lot of bikes on loan and it's getting increasingly difficult to keep them all straight.  Anyway, in addition to the Mystery Bike I've also got the Islabikes Luath 24:


Naturally this bike required a test pilot more diminutive of stature, and so I've engaged my 8 year-old in that capacity.  (Child labor is both free and legal when you're the parent.)  The bike was an immediate hit, and he's taken to it like a Fred to Lycra--although I'm sparing him the indignity of Lycra:


Drop bars certainly aren't for every child but this one seems to have inherited the cursed gene that causes some of us to gravitate to them.  They're very natural to him, and it's heartening to watch him master the various hand positions and learn how to remove and replace his water bottle while riding.  Also, if you're grooming a juvenile Fred or Frederica, here's one bit of advice: keep a safe distance.  As a parent I prefer to ride behind my child so I can keep an eye on the situation at all times, but they're completely incapable of taking your presence into account when braking.  (Or at least this one is.)

Anyway, $800 is certainly a lot to spend on a kid's bike--unless you're sure they've inherited the gene, in which case you'll find a way to justify it, and I don't see how you'd find a much better 24" bike than this one.  Single ring, integrated shifter, cantis...basically it's the all-around bike you'd want for yourself, only smaller.

Moving on, I have of course also been testing the Renovo Aerowood since last November:


As I explained recently, I've come to love this bike.  As I've also mentioned on many, many occasions, the bike needs a damn water bottle on the downtube.  In fact, just this past weekend I partook in a race in Central Park.  In something like 20 years of park racing I've never dropped a water bottle, but guess what I managed to do on the second lap of this particular race?  Not only that, but the bottle kind of danced around between the seat- and chainstays while the spokes batted at it, and now the rear wheel has a blip in it.  Nevertheless, I did manage to finish the race, albeit parched and with my mouth nearly glued shut as I had nothing to wash down my energy gel.

Other than that, it rides like an absolute dream.

Then of course there's the 1950 (or 1957 according to one commenter) Drysdale from Classic Cycle:


I have been dying to get fully wooled up and take this thing out for a proper ride, but as of yet I have not made the time to do so.  The period between the end of school and the start of camp is a busy one for a parent, but now that camp has started this ride will happen very soon.  (I'm thinking a little jaunt to Stone Barns for an artisanal lunch would be perfect.)  I also plan to ride it to the site of the old Drysdale workshop, which I believe was in Hell's Kitchen or something.

Of course what I'd really like to do is try to race on the thing, but frankly I don't know if I've got big enough testcycles to try it.

So for now I think that about covers it.  (Note I'm not including bikes like Ol' Piney, which started life as a testcycle and then got absorbed into my permanent collection, or the Brompton, which they'll get back over my dead body.)  As someone who loves bikes I probably have no business testing them since unless the bike's a true piece of shit (like the Base Urban, what a piece of crap) I basically just enjoy the hell out of all of them, but I'm not gonna let that stop me.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

A steady stream of new bikes to ride and maybe keep? You are one lucky Fred. Podium maybe?

Adam Titley said...

Surely not second step??

Anonymous said...

Absolutely take that Drysdale out and race it. Looking at it it appears no different then my first race bike (1968 Gitane TDF R.I.P) and if that bike was 2% slower than a contemporary bike you'd have to prove it to me w telemetry.

Besides, there is no better excuse for where you placed. If someone finishes ahead of you, well of course, your\'re riding a dinosaur. On the other hand, everyone you're ahead of......

Pete

sj said...

enough w/ the waterbottle bitching already -- I have a drill we can fix it

dancesonpedals said...

So, the identity of the new testcycle will be revealed on national television ext Monday at 9 PM eastern?

Good on you , Sir! said...

The adorable child on the adorable bike - reminds me of me years and decades ago on my yellow Schwinn Varsity (yep, "racing handlebars," as my Dad said when I got it).

I then upgraded late in high school to a white Peugout - rode that thing all the time - everywhere and man was it fast.

Bikeboy said...

It's gotta be TOUGH on your other 53 kids, toiling long hours in the smart-phone factory, while the one lucky fella gets to do a bicycle evaluation!

Skidmark said...

I believe the pre-race procedure for a testcycle race on the 68 year-old Drysdale you would involve some elaborate preparations, like air-up the tires to #whatpressreyourunning.

Anonymous said...

I also plan to ride it to the site of the old Drysdale workshop, which I believe was in Hell's Kitchen or something. "

The internet told me the workshop moved several time over the decades; to lazy to look that up now.

Also on the kid's bike, the seat is too low.

Pist Off said...

Bikes are cool, I definitely enjoy most of the ones i get to try. Somehow in looking for an all-around road/light trail bike that could be “the one,” it’s led to more and more old bikes in the garage. Not gonna complain. Also, Jones bars are just as nice for all-arounding as I was led to believe.

Hee Haw the barista said...

I had free tickets to the Base Urban concert, but I said fuck it.

Comment deleted said...

You sure have a lot of testcycles, Snob. Good thing this wasn't the year you took a "one-bike pledge" or something silly like that.

The Renevo gives me wood, though.

JLRB said...

Racing the Drysdale might be painful - how is the fit?

JEAL OUSY

HDEB said...

So it is a cursed gene that makes cyclists use drop bars -- thank goodness I lack that gene. Camp in NYC is darn expen$ive, each of my kid$ only gets two or three week$ of camp each $ummer.

Today my eldest boy and I went on a bike ride, he's having a blast on my 20ish year old Powerlite BMX : )

Yes! Race the Drysdale!

Captcha wouldn't recognize a bicycle as a vehicle : /

Unknown said...

Thoughts and prayers ahead of your inevitable dual testcycle removal

pbateman hopes its a girl said...


Snob, those are some pretty "tight" vans you had back in 2011. Not a bad look at all actually. I like how they are sooooo "drillium" with all the holes.

Pretty excited about this bike reveal. Will this be like a baby reveal where you do something fun with like colored balloons? I hope there are balloons full of like either Campy or ShimaNO.

This water bottle thing does seem easily rectumfied by simply acquiring a horse and making a batch of glue. Tutorial here: https://goo.gl/images/xMUuFf

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Always fun going wayback to read some vintage Snob ...


vsk

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you intern is still around somewhere to take any of your extra test bikes off your hands.

James Hill said...

Use zip ties to attach the bottle cage to the down tube. Use bar tape as a cushion. They'll never know.

O'4fuxake said...

I was wondering from the start how you were going to work in the testcycle/testicle bit...
nicely done.

Anonymous said...

When is the Renovo due for it’s 650b conversion?

Anonymous said...

Not a comment (delete me) but grist for the mill: another shaft drive for bicycles is announced
https://www.velonews.com/2018/07/bikes-and-tech/ceramicspeed-shows-off-revolutionary-driven-drivetrain-eurobike_471747

Dooth said...

Race the Drysdale wearing the spare tire!

Steely Danzig said...

Use hose clamps with rubber underneath to attach a water bottle cage. Very simple.

paulb said...

Remember Stone Barns closed on.... M? T? Now I don't remember. One of those weekdays.

Anonymous said...

I am always a bit reluctant to click on the "links" lest I be sucked down the Bikesnob rabbit hole. - Mas

toubab said...

Is no one else astonished that the term for these bikes isn't "testycle"?