During a recent visit to Seattle Bike Supply for a product line review – Batavus, Lapierre, Redline, and more – we got to talking about the bike industry, history, stories, and Chuck Hooper, SBS President, told Tim Rutledge and me about the strangest prototype he ever approved.
Orbea doesn’t really advertise that they do full custom aluminium frames, but they do. I’m not talking about custom spec’ed kits; I’m talking frame geometry. And not just top tube length: full custom geometry!. They also make a track version of their sexy Lobular aluminium road frame. Put the two together and you get HOT HOT HOT.
Last Friday in Taipei, I went for a second ride with Dahon to test ride some prototypes and hang out. On the way, Josh Hon and I riffed about how we ride in the U.S. all decked out in Spandex, cleats, and helmets, whereas in lots of other places in the world, bikes are just normal part of life, no fuss required.
Apropos that conversation, in Taipei I saw people moving themselves on bikes, but I also saw a ton of people using bikes for work–such as this ancient woman grunting a load of who-knows-what to who-knows-where. These three wheelers were everywhere–some heavily modified with gas-powered motors and low gearing. But only this one was moving slowly enough for me to get a photo–whatever she was hauling must have weighed a ton.