Torker Graduate: set playlist to smooth

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A full triangle indicates high and an empty one indicates low. We had to pedal hard, but 5 speeds were just enough to get us up the steepest Seattle hills and that’s how this bike is built. It’s got just enough of what you need for a commuter with little maintenance.

torker_graduate.jpg

Drum brakes, internal Sturmey Archer hub, chain guard, fenders and you could retire with this bike or hand it down to the next generation. All you’ll need to replace is the chain and tires.

The comfortable steel frame and big tires rolled over the roughest road and we had fun riding it. If this bike shipped with a playlist it’d shuffle between Los Amigos Invisibles, Morphine, and Big Pun. A strong backbeat, thick bass, meaninful lyrics, and purpose. Don’t get this bike if you’re in a hurry. Just enjoy the ride and know it’ll get you where you’re going.

The Torker Graduate is available from youir local bike ship and MRSP is $499.00. We suggest you add lights and mud flaps. Maybe next year they’ll udpate it with colors that range beyond “battleship.”

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Note: Torker is a Bike Hugger advertiser.



7 Comments

Man, you totally *get* the Graduate. I’ve been loving mine. With a slightly more aggressive handlebar (less back sweep) I find the bike can be pushed fairly hard.
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs334.snc3/29332_1451316050075_1448462445_31220734_2785668_n.jpg

Thanks and I do dig this bike. It helps I know [Val](http://bikehugger.com/2009/11/party-for-val-people.html), who obviously inspired the design and spec. I’d do the same with the bar and swap the grips out quick. I found myself grabbing the bars near the stem to make the bike go. Couple dislikes are the drum brakes for the steep hills. You’ve got to really pull them to ensure a good stop and not thrilled with the chain guard and would likely remove it. After the tires wore out would get a pair that rolled better too.

The drum brakes can work quite well on the steep hills; I’ve had them on my cargo machine for years.  It is worth being aware that they need to break in to reach maximum effectiveness - out of the box, they’re not bad, but they get better with use.  It is also worth playing around with the adjustment on the “Speed Dial” levers.  If they are set up to pull maximum cable, braking will take more effort.  If you adjust them so that the cable carrier rides closer to the lever pivot, they will use more lever stroke, and less effort.  You may find that varying adjustments for front and rear help to balance the braking effect, as well.  Val

Good to know Val—thanks for the tips. I hope dealers get that as a technote, cause you can’t expect [this consumer](http://www.flickr.com/photos/huggerindustries/4839345595/) to tweak her brakes.

Why not?  It’s just that little red knob on the lever, and playing around with it is easy and educational.  Twist a bit, try it out, repeat.  Adjustability is fun!

Also, in reference to the rider pictured in your link, she looks quite competent and confident - fine tuning things to her own preference should be no problem.

The point is that drum and Shimano’s roller brake don’t feel like regular brakes and shops should adjust them going out the door. You can be certain that if I noted it, it’s an issue and if you’re not from ‘round here we’re talking 17 - 19% grades. Not something you want to test with a bag of groceries for the first time and also something that isn’t wrong with the bike. It’s a spec choice and I think a good one, considering the hassles of disc brakes for the same consumer. By noting something it doesn’t mean I’ve taken an anti-drum brake stance. I save those opinions for the stupidity of flat bars, triples, and how ridiculously loud SRAM Red is.

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