I ride a Cannondale Quick4 Hybrid. It is aluminum with a carbon fork and has 26 inch wheels. I am short and thus my bike choices are limited. A friend's wife is also short. She just bought a Surly LHT and has an old Terry for sale. It has a 24 inch front wheel and a standard 700 on the back. I am borrowing it for a couple of days to try out. She has made a number of modifications. Bar end shifters. New fancy brakes. A different gearing set up from standard.
I stood on the scale and weighed both bikes. The Terry weighs about 24 pounds and the Cannondale close to 30 (It has at least a pound, maybe two, of crap on it though).
I have now ridden the Terry all of three miles. Here is the bike:
Here is the bike sitting by my bike, for comparison purposes:
The bad as compared to the Cannondale:
--It looks like the Terry is probably too big for me. I roughly set the seat height by measuring from the top of my seat on my Cannondale to the middle of the crank and then set the Terry seat a bit lower. It could probably go up a half inch to an inch. But, the top tube is really too high. Technically I can stand over it but it is right there, probably an eighth of an inch from my public bone. It made stops a bit unnerving. (She also has clip-ons which were a bit awkward).
--It felt a little twitchy when steering. I don't know if that has to do with the small front wheel.
--The bar end shifters were awkward but that likely is do to inexperience with both the bike and the shifters. The front derraileur is friction shifted and the rear index.
The good as compared to the Cannondale:
--Quiet! My Cannondale is a noisy bike and the pedals and drivetrain and always made something of a racket. This bike is dead quiet and smooth.
--Easy on the bumps. My short ride was a quarter mile down the dirt road, over the railroad tracks, a quarter mile down the highway which has compression joints, down a smooth road with a small hill. The compression joints were far easier to take on this skinny wheel bike. Why is that? Is the pressure in my hybrid tires too high? Or is it steel vs. aluminum? Also, the dirt road and railroad tracks were much easier on me. This was a big surprise. I thought it would be worse, not better, on the bumps.
--Really nice hand positions. I could ride "on the hoods" and easily operate the brakes. I could ride with my hands on top of the bar. I could ride in the drops. This is handy as I have a bad shoulder and need to move around. I did not mess with the handlebar height, but they are adjustable and could come down.
These are my initial impressions. I want to try it on a hill to see how it is going up the tough hills. This bike has a super low granny gear and the gearing is kind of odd on the rear:
This gearing made it feel like there was almost no distance between the gears and then a big jump down to the low gear. I am not sure that I like that but two miles is too soon to tell.