Just in time for the 4th, an email from a Chinese distributor of the QQ bike that says, “Forward and Back by hand. Control direction by feet. To inspire kid’s intelligence and build the bodies from funny exercise.” Well that was fun just posting about it and watching the animation. Also check the video.
Checked in with Surly Bikes yesterday on the Big Dummy and learned from Dave Gray, the Product Design and Development dude, that new factory samples are en route. Those samples should address much of our concerns with Bettie
- Stand-over height
- Disc brake compatibility
In my long-term Bettie notes, I’d complained about the stand-over height and whippiness as the two biggest issues. Cargo bikes should drop the top-tube right to the bottom bracket so you can easily step into and out of the bike, especially with a load or kids or both: the latest Big Dummy uses the Instigator’s top-tube design. The whippiness is an obvious problem and inherent to trailers whether attached or not. Any longtail should make that better, and Surly is making it stiff.
Rohloff is a good option, to simplify the drive train. Nuvinci is another.
The disc brake problem came up for us because we’re using Magura’s Gustav for the stopping power on really hilly routes, fully loaded. The Gustav’s need exact tolerances and the Xtracycle just didn’t have them, even after using Magura’s planing tool.
It was great talking to Dave and hearing about the Big Dummy.
Now that it’s sunny and dry without a drop on the 10-day forecast …it’s time to start thinking about the rain bike. Some people dread the thought of getting back on the winter bike, but right now is probably the best time to get started with improvements and maintenance. I know that Brian Marcroft is already starting to get requests for Custom Rain bikes, and I’m about to order some new Velocity DeepV rims for my disc brake wheels. The best way to ensure a trouble-free winter of riding is good prep work!