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Old 10-07-07, 04:18 PM   #1
BruceMetras
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Pacific Reach Road after 600 miles

For a variety of circumstances, I prolonged reporting on my new Pacific Reach for the road.... rather than a first impression 'test ride' report after 10 or 20 miles, I wanted to put it through it's paces over a reasonable distance and a sampling of different road conditions.... it's become my favorite folder for road rides due mainly because of it's speed, stability at speed, and comfort.... my best times over my normal courses are with the Reach... the bike can easily be ridden 'hands off' due to it's superb tracking.. the full suspension is a blessing over rough patches at speeds, especially over 20 or 25mph.. for a professional review which I mostly agree with, you should go HERE...my USA spec red and black Reach Road pictured is box stock except for an SDG seat/seatpost, shorter steering stem, Stelvio tires, Crank Bros pedals and a firmer elastomer for the rear shock... the 53/39 9/26 Capreo gearing is excellent for use with 451mm wheels... I pretty much like everything about this bike... shifts are crisp, handling is superb, it just loves to go fast... one downside though to 451mm wheels/tires is that there are not a lot of choices .. but what there are work great, so I'm happy.





This is taken close to my shop in San Rafael



A close up of the quick release rear shock which allows the rear triangle to pivot foward for folding. This shock uses replaceable elastomers to fine tune the suspension... happily, Birdy elastomers work great and I am using the firmer 'green' elastomer due to my 190lb weight.





This is a very effective front suspension, much like used on the Moulton, it doesn't seem like it does much until you hit the stuff that rattles your teeth, then the beauty becomes apparent. I like it better than the Pantour because you are not locked into any specific front hub.





I think Pacific Cycles has a winner for their road going Reach series..

Last edited by BruceMetras; 10-08-07 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 10-07-07, 07:55 PM   #2
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Is this the newer ultralight frame folks have been talking about? It's not only a Moulton for the rest of us, but also a lot lighter.
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Old 10-07-07, 08:49 PM   #3
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Sharp-looking bike. I am gravitating to one of these. (Says he whose DT Mini hasn't even arrived yet.)

I don't think this is the latest frame, that one had a curved downtube.
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Old 10-08-07, 03:20 AM   #4
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Very Nice !!!!

Thanks for the report
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Old 10-08-07, 07:31 AM   #5
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Is this the newer ultralight frame folks have been talking about? It's not only a Moulton for the rest of us, but also a lot lighter.
This is an '07 frame... the newest isn't available in the US yet... from the Pacific Cycles site: "The frame is now in testing phase, we keep improving it and will have the final version out in 2008 Taipei Cycle Show at March."

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Old 10-08-07, 09:15 AM   #6
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Wow! They spec 451s even on their trekking model. That seems to be an oversight.
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Old 10-08-07, 09:16 AM   #7
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Thanks for the review.

What's the price range of this bike?
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Old 10-08-07, 09:25 AM   #8
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Thanks for the review.

What's the price range of this bike?
They list for about $1500 in the US on either coast...
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Old 10-08-07, 05:21 PM   #9
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BruceMetras,

How does the Capreo 9t cog/ 53t ring compare to a full size roadie using 53/12 or 11?
I've noticed Bike Friday will use bigger chainrings to match a roadie's gear inches when using Ultegra/Durace, but by using the Capreo groupset does this eliminate the need for a 60/50?
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Old 10-08-07, 05:48 PM   #10
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BruceMetras,

How does the Capreo 9t cog/ 53t ring compare to a full size roadie using 53/12 or 11?
I've noticed Bike Friday will use bigger chainrings to match a roadie's gear inches when using Ultegra/Durace, but by using the Capreo groupset does this eliminate the need for a 60/50?
Yes, pretty much eliminates the need... me thinks the Capreo/451 combo works out to be somewhere in between the 12 and 11 of the 700c using a 53t chainring... at least with a quick input to Gearcalc..
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Old 10-09-07, 06:04 AM   #11
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What's the handling like if the roadsurface is rough? I imagine that such small wheels with skinny tyres must 'tramline' if you hit cracks in the surface.

This is the only folder I've seen that I think would survive my commute. <checks bank balance>
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Old 10-09-07, 08:12 AM   #12
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What's the handling like if the roadsurface is rough? I imagine that such small wheels with skinny tyres must 'tramline' if you hit cracks in the surface.

This is the only folder I've seen that I think would survive my commute. <checks bank balance>
What kind of commute do you have or anticipate?

Generally, commuters would opt for much wider/more durable tires to contend with city streets... if your commute is on rural back roads where you have to cover a lot of distance (like 20 miles or more) the Reach Road would shine in the handling/comfort department.. normal road irregularities get soaked up very well.. the stiff frame, long steering frame tube, short steerer, excellent gearing, 451mm wheels, active suspension, and general stability all add up to a great, confidence inspiring ride... that said, it wouldn't be my first choice for multi-mode city commuting on buses, trains and the like... I'd look at a Birdy or Downtube Mini, or some of the other sub-20" offerings..

Last edited by BruceMetras; 10-09-07 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 10-09-07, 08:56 AM   #13
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What kind of commute do you have or anticipate?

Generally, commuters would opt for much wider/more durable tires to contend with city streets... if your commute is on rural back roads where you have to cover a lot of distance (like 20 miles or more) the Reach Road would shine in the handling/comfort department.. normal road irregularities get soaked up very well.. the stiff frame, long steering frame tube, short steerer, excellent gearing, 451mm wheels, active suspension, and general stability all add up to a great, confidence inspiring ride... that said, it wouldn't be my first choice for multi-mode city commuting on buses, trains and the like... I'd look at a Birdy or Downtube Mini, or some of the other sub-20" offerings..
I don't do multi-mode much, usually just cycle straight to work. It's 25miles of rough rural roads, fast main roads + inner city roads. The lot (no Alpine climbs, tho').

My current ride is a 653 steel bike with 26" x 1.5" tyres, drop bars and saddlebag. It's great, but I don't want to leave it outside in the weather, and can't put it undercover at the new office.
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Old 10-09-07, 02:42 PM   #14
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I don't do multi-mode much, usually just cycle straight to work. It's 25miles of rough rural roads, fast main roads + inner city roads. The lot (no Alpine climbs, tho').

My current ride is a 653 steel bike with 26" x 1.5" tyres, drop bars and saddlebag. It's great, but I don't want to leave it outside in the weather, and can't put it undercover at the new office.
Shame on your employer for not supplying a safe and dry coverage for a good employee's healthy choice of transport , they should realize a healthy worker is a good worker and do anything to keep you!!!
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Old 10-09-07, 04:39 PM   #15
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I don't do multi-mode much, usually just cycle straight to work. It's 25miles of rough rural roads, fast main roads + inner city roads. The lot (no Alpine climbs, tho').

My current ride is a 653 steel bike with 26" x 1.5" tyres, drop bars and saddlebag. It's great, but I don't want to leave it outside in the weather, and can't put it undercover at the new office.
Well, we're talking quite the difference in machinery... I've still got an older steel Specialized hardtail/Rock-Shox clad with 26x1.5 road tires that never gets ridden anymore, although it rides well, is comfortable, albeit a bit heavy and cumbersome, much like a Lincoln Towncar ..... by comparison my Reach Road/Racing is light (under 22lbs) and I like to think of it more like an Alfa Romeo... more performance oriented with taut suspension, agile handling and the ability to put a grin on my face.. the widest tire available in 451 is the Primo Comet Kevlar in a 451mm x 1 3/8" .. there are optional front and rear racks available ... I've put a couple of 40+ mile days and a 60+ mile day on the Reach on rural roads and I felt great afterwards.. but I haven't ridden any really broken up road, cobblestone, gravel or dirt trails, not on 1 1/8 Stelvios.. .. you might also check out the Airnimal Joey with 520mm wheels or even the 26" Dahon folders... I've got a Zero-G for the mountain trails around here, I could see it with drops and slicks.. there's a Manitou Fork up front, sturdy aluminum frame and disc brakes... yikes!!! I need to banish those thoughts ... haha

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Old 10-10-07, 02:02 AM   #16
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I spoke to a UK dealer about the Reach. Surprisingly, they expressed doubts about the suspension lasting if used for my sort of mileage!
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Old 11-06-07, 12:23 PM   #17
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What are the fold-up dimensions of a Pacific Reach? Would it fit in a Samsonite F'lite?

The road bike cassette goes down to 9 teeth, that seems a pretty low tooth count. Don't you get to the point of a lot of friction in the drivetrain at that point?
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Old 11-09-07, 08:10 AM   #18
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Thanx's for the review. After reading your review and some from the folding society in England, and reviewing the Pacific WEB site, the Reach Trail sure looks like a great bike. I really like the front/rear suspension, and I like a suspension that uses the elastomer (like the Thudbuster on my Dahon Speed TR). I also like the standard components, unlike my Dahon, which will make swapping in different stems or other components easy. Now I have all winter to think about this, and save up the dollars or sell some other bikes,Brian
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Old 11-18-07, 06:57 PM   #19
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Looks like there are now quite a few shops selling the Reach in the US:
http://www.edinabike.com/
http://blackdogbicycles.com/
http://www.electricvehiclesnw.com/
http://www.nycewheels.com
http://www.brandscycle.com

Brands and Edina are even selling the Carryme!

Now when is the Reach Swivelhead going to be released? I'm considering either the Reach Swivelhead or the Tikit for a fast urban bike to take with me into shops, bars, etc without having to carry it.

Last edited by makeinu; 11-19-07 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 11-19-07, 04:23 AM   #20
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Thats very interesting.
Its good to see portability when folded taken seriously .. This seems to get closer to the ideal of long distance performance, as well as being train (and platform) friendly. Apart from this, Carry-me, Tickit and Strida most folders seem to be of the 'lug it and bashed shin variety' with only crude attempts to make them portable.
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Old 11-26-07, 12:59 PM   #21
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Bruce,

I think you said in the Downtube thread that you are 5'2". Is that accurate? The reviewer on Pacific's website is 5'10" and says that the Reach Road is even a little big for him.

It's hard to believe that men of such widely varying heights can both give such glowing reviews for a single size bike that costs as much as a custom fit Bike Friday.

Last edited by makeinu; 11-26-07 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 11-26-07, 03:28 PM   #22
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Bruce,

I think you said in the Downtube thread that you are 5'2". Is that accurate? The reviewer on Pacific's website is 5'10" and says that the Reach Road is even a little big for him.

It's hard to believe that men of such widely varying heights can both give such glowing reviews for a single size bike that costs as much as a custom fit Bike Friday.
Nope, wasn't my post about my height in the Downtube thread.. or any other thread for that matter... five eight, one ninety, 30 inch inseam and fairly fit... so, I'm generally comfortable on most folders .. in my little review, you'll read I changed to a shorter stem..

As to your BF comparison, the only model that would be comparable in comfort, weight and specifications would be the Air Friday, 451, Capreo, Tiagra, STI, 18spd, ... and it runs roughly $1000 more.. and you wouldn't get the trailing link front suspension, nor the shorter steering post, but you could get it custom made for individual fit and of course Bike Friday's customer care, before and after sale... for me, my Reach Racer is the fastest, best handling, most comfortable folder I have owned or ridden, including my Airnimal Chameleon (time for a little fine tuning there I think)... of course, if you're even thinking that direction, you should ride one first, that way you're sure you'll be happy with your purchase...

Last edited by BruceMetras; 11-26-07 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 11-26-07, 05:59 PM   #23
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Nope, wasn't my post about my height in the Downtube thread.. or any other thread for that matter... five eight, one ninety, 30 inch inseam and fairly fit... so, I'm generally comfortable on most folders .. in my little review, you'll read I changed to a shorter stem..

As to your BF comparison, the only model that would be comparable in comfort, weight and specifications would be the Air Friday, 451, Capreo, Tiagra, STI, 18spd, ... and it runs roughly $1000 more.. and you wouldn't get the trailing link front suspension, nor the shorter steering post, but you could get it custom made for individual fit and of course Bike Friday's customer care, before and after sale... for me, my Reach Racer is the fastest, best handling, most comfortable folder I have owned or ridden, including my Airnimal Chameleon (time for a little fine tuning there I think)...
My mistake.

In any case, I couldn't help but notice that you qualified your praise within the context of folding bikes. Despite looking similar to a Moulton on paper, I guess you don't think the Reach deserves Moultonesque "best bike period" boasting, huh?

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of course, if you're even thinking that direction, you should ride one first, that way you're sure you'll be happy with your purchase...
Well of course.
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Old 11-26-07, 07:30 PM   #24
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Bruce, would you know if they use the same frame for all 3 models - specifically the road and trekking (city) models? Looks the same to me except for the components.
Yes, I was told the basic frame is the same... next year the Racer should be different, don't know if the swivelhead technology will be added to the other models in their lineup..
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Old 12-29-07, 02:22 PM   #25
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Here's a pic of the Pacific Reach Swivelhead from Mas Design:

Quite different from the current frame design. Hopefully the ride is not compromised.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Reach SH in TW.jpg (83.4 KB, 362 views)

Last edited by makeinu; 12-29-07 at 03:28 PM.
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