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I finally ordered //at 05:13 //by abe

from the who-needs-fitness-centers dept.

After a three and a half week test drive during my last year’s summer holidays and much consideration about the configuration, I finally ordered a Brompton folding bike at Velofix.

Since the apple green was much nicer in the catalogue than in real life, I decided that I need a bike in colours that clearly mark it as my bike: Orange frame and black front and rear swinging fork. ;-)

It will have 6 gears (a 3-gear internal hub and a 2-gear dérailleur, both at the rear axle), a lowered transmission ratio for hilly Zurich and sprints in the city, a SON axle dynamo, Kevlar reinforced, reflecting tyres, and a bicycle luggage rack which also serves as kick stand when (partially) folded.

Options I thought about but then dismissed for miscellaneous reasons: Schlumpf MountainDrive (can’t say if will be really worthwile) and Rohloff Speedhub (not available although I already saw a Brompton with a red Speedhub — funnily just in front of the place I live, and probably also more expensive than I remembered).

First two weeks with the Brompton //at 05:12 //by abe

from the new-habits dept.

It’s here! In contrary to the estimated delivery time of about ten weeks, my Brompton arrived at Velofix at Saturday the 16th of February after only three weeks. The orange color is much nicer than the apple green I initially favourited from what I saw in the catalouge and the axle dynamo also proved to be a good idea, so I’m really happy about my choice.

I used the Brompton to go to work everyday the last two weeks, even when it’s snowing like today:

Snowy Brompton Snowy Brompton Folded Snowy Brompton

Although I’m starting slowly and taking the bus (hey, it’s a folding bike! :-) for the steepest parts (either from Am Börtli to Waidbadstrasse or Gsteigstrasse)… I even managed to fold the bike although I saw the bus already coming around the corner when I still was in the saddle. That was the day I was at work in less then 10 minutes — Perfect timing. :-)

Since the local Höngg bus (route 38) only makes it’s round every 30 minutes, with the bike I’m now much more flexible and don’t have to hurry in the morning to catch the bus. (OTOH I had to notice that “being more flexible” doesn’t mean “having more time”… :-)

I also use it on the campus for visits in other buildings. Although there are mostly stairs between the different levels of the campus, it’s no problem with the Brompton since it’s easy to carry, even if not folded. It’s much more comfortable than daduke’s little kickboard scooter whose hard wheels don’t feel healthy for bones and especially knees on ETH Hönggerberg’s paths made out of washed-out concrete. Air tyres and rear suspension are much better… :-)

Regarding the choice of gears: The MountainDrive would surely be helpful in hilly Zürich, especially since my fitness isn’t the best one at the moment, but 6 gears are ok, too, and will be even more ok as soon as my fitness gets better. The slower transmission wasn’t a bad choice either, although a wider transmission range would have been better.


Spezi vs VCFe //at 14:34 //by abe

from the Mift dept.

After a phone call from Urs Kellermann, I noticed that this year’s Special Bikes Show (German: Spezialradmesse or short “Spezi”) is in parallel to the Vintage Computer Festival Europe 7.0: Spezi is from 29th to 30th of April while VCFe is from 29th of April to 1st of May. So I can’t visit Spezi this year since I’m usually helping the VCFe organisators here and there. Fsck!

But dino has even less luck: He told me, he knows five events he would like to visit that weekend. :-) He has chosen to visit the Anime Marathon and VCFe with switching events on Sunday.

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