So here it is: my girlfriend’s Kappa. It started out as a retro-style BMX frame with modern geometry and tubing diameters, and then with Jeremy Sycip’s help I devolved the bike back into BMX’s genesis, the Schwinn Stingray. Everyone who sees knows it’s something cool, but they don’t know what it is exactly.
We’ve posted previously on the Hotspur – a handbuilt, oversized, Titanium-tube frame with a carbon seatstay – and I raced it this weekend on a rolling course in Ravensdale Washington. The bike performed as expected with a solid ride that was very similar to the Modal, but weighing less, and riding like a straight-up racing bike. Bill Davidson and Mark’s design achieved a lighter, stiffer Ti bike with that distinctive “springy-road” feel that Ti aficionados love. The bike climbed, accelerated, and descended, like I’d expect and excelled at rolling.
Most remarkable about racing the Hotspur was it reminded me of my old 853 frame – a ride that set a benchmark for my future reviews. I could subtly feel the road and the frame reacting to it. By all accounts (including our own) the new Madones, Tarmacs, et al, are all excellent racing bikes, and the intent of the Hotspur was to demonstrate that Ti can compete with carbon.
I wasn’t having that much stem stub and requested an urgent removal. Later, an informal study at the race on Sunday found many varying degrees of stem stubs. How much stem stub do you tolerate? Mark noted that there were anti-anxiety medications for worrying about stem stubs.
Also, green bar tape, while the subject of ridicule from your racing bros, does work well on St. Pat’s day.
We just got my gf’s Kappa BMX frame(seen above before work was done) back from Sycip Designs. Jeremy Sycip fixed the headtube problem, added some braze-ons to steady the sissy bar, and then powdercoated the bike. Soon after opening the shipping box, I had the bike reassembled, but this time with all the best parts from my previous BMX bike. She rode the bike to work today, and I’ll post the pix tomorrow. The bike was cool before, but now it’s awe-inspiring!
I’m taking the Modal with me to Shanghai in single-speed mode and looking forward to some very interesting riding. We’ve heard from the Shanghai Crash Test Dummy and Labici Bike Shop about riding with us. Googling Shanghai, I found
- Chongming Island Race
- A Guide for Bike Riders in Shanghai
- An article defending the bicycle in Shanghai
- The battle of the bike in Shanghai
- Fueled by Rice
Photo uploaded by lemonade
Dahon is supplying us with Mu XLs during our stay in Shanghai – so the Modal in single mode is staying home for this trip.