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  1. #1
    jur
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    Reach Offroad review etc

    t minus 3h ....
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  2. #2
    jur
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    Yep, N+1 again. This time Connie is the happy recipient, after complaining the Yeah (Dahon Helios-like) doesn't handle all that great on steep gravelly slopes. So I convinced her it's time for N+1, the bike I had in mind was a Reach Offroad that I had been corresponding a Canberra dealer about. Quick peek at specs and a photo and she was sold.

    It arrived tonight in a whacking big box.



    I love unpacking presents...



    With Ian pressed into impromptu service as my trusty sidekick...



    Jur fondly gazing at the new blingy bits, Ian trying desperately to take it off him...



    ...and the proud new owner trying it out in the rumpus room. The dorky spoke reflector came off in the next minute.

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  3. #3
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Your wife is way too cute for you Jur Nice bike!

  4. #4
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    Nice looking bike!

    Anyone know who might carry one in Western Washington besides Black Dog Cycle? Lopez Island is a bit hard to get to (a 4-ferry trip gets kinda pricey)
    Last edited by Pine Cone; 02-29-08 at 11:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Yep, N+1 again. This time Connie is the happy recipient, after complaining the Yeah (Dahon Helios-like) doesn't handle all that great on steep gravelly slopes. So I convinced her it's time for N+1, the bike I had in mind was a Reach Offroad that I had been corresponding a Canberra dealer about. Quick peek at specs and a photo and she was sold.
    Don't forget to let the lovely Connie say a few words about the Reach also...

  6. #6
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Next time you post some pics with you in it, Jur..........please wear a hat or something......the glare off the top of you head nearly blinded me


    Connie, enjoy the bike and ride the legs off 'ol Jur from all of us.

  7. #7
    Life in Mono
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    Wow JUR you are fast off the mark !! .. it seemed only yesterday you posted about group testing. Enjoy some great rides together (and the bike)

    +1 about hearing Mrs.J's feedback on the new Reach

  8. #8
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevegor View Post
    Next time you post some pics with you in it, Jur..........please wear a hat or something......the glare off the top of you head nearly blinded me
    Heh heh, I didn't realize I'm that shiny... still losing hair apparently. Good thing it doesn't bother me.

    Going for the 1st ride now!
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  9. #9
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Where is the fly?

  10. #10
    jur
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    Well we're back from our first ride. We rode our fav the Warby rail trail, for a coupla hours.

    Connie couldn't stop smiling! She said this bike has put the FUN back into it for her. It glides over rough patches, is stable on deep gravelly bits, has just the range of gearing she needs. AND she's 10% faster! Apparently it's a slam-dunk!

    Here is her impression - Connie speaking:

    Well, I had my inaugural ride on the Reach today... and wasn't it GOOD! I didn't realise riding could be even more fun than it usually was- it was MegaFun.

    I found it very easy to adjust to the larger frame and actually immediately felt more secure on the Reach than on the Yeah. I thought the bike was easier to handle when stopping: nice and stable, the higher frame being a benefit when standing still, and it gave a comfortable, smooth ride. Jur replaced the seat with my worn-in Brookes saddle- an essential for riding comfort!

    One of the things I was having trouble with on my Yeah, was the gravelly uphill we have to negotiate to get to the Mt Evelyn entrance of the Warby Trail. I felt insecure on the gravel, I didn't have the right gear for the steep parts and I'd feel the front wheel lift when standing, which meant I'd stay seated and have to work harder with my knees.

    With the Reach all of those problems disappeared like mist before the sun. Since this hill is at the start of the ride, it put me in good spirits for the rest of the ride, though to be true, every aspect of the ride was easier than on my Yeah. The steady inclines were fun, the flats were fun and the downhills were superfun. I think the range of gears and the smoothness of the ride (suspension!!!) contributed mostly to this feeling of bliss.

    I definitely like the look of the Reach - possibly the big bike look is what appeals to me as well as everything looking so well in balance . My apologies to all you small wheel lovers (sorry Jur, it hasn't rubbed off), but I like the look of the larger wheels while the handling remains nippy.

    - MrsJ
    Last edited by jur; 03-01-08 at 05:03 AM.
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  11. #11
    jur
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    More details on some of the details to follow. My critical eye has already spotted a number of little things I will probably try to improve over time... but none detract from the ride quality.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  12. #12
    jur
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    Some further comments regarding the Reach Offroad:

    SWMBO went for another ride with me today, this time mostly on bitumen roads, accompanying me partly on my commute to work.

    Again on the flats and downhills I was struck by how much faster she seemed! On one uphill where my legs were burning just a bit and I slacked off, she said 'I'm breathing in your neck here!' On downhills she had to use the brakes because I was too slow on my Mini. On the flats I had to work pretty hard just to keep up! She comments that the bike rolls so superbly easy, compared to what she was used to on the Yeah. This despite having buzzy knobblies!

    I also took it for a short ride over a wooden bridge with accross slats, a very harsh bumpy ride. It would be lying to say the bumps disappeared, but they completely lost their harshness. I also rode the Mini over the same stuff and the difference is marked. The Reach suspension just soaks it all up, making you forget how bad the roads can be.

    Some items that meets with some criticism:

    1. Cable routing while folded:

    The Reach is an older model, older than what is shown on the Reach site. The cables are run externally. With the one on the website, they run internally. When we took delivery, the cables came out the side of the frame, you can probably see it in some of the photos. They were cable-tied in position. I thought that sucked so I did 3 different cable runs to see if I could improve matters: under the BB shell, over the hinge, and in between (the hinge is above the BB shell, see photo below).



    In the first case it looked very neat, and all was cable-tied together, but when I folded it, the 3 cables experience a small radius bend as the rear triangle swivelled forwards. That made me uncomfortable although I couldn't see that the bend was too small and permanently affected the cables.

    So I undid everything again and routed the cables above the hinge, thinking that the bend could stay nice and easy. That seems to be the way of the photos on the Reach site for the later models (see above photo). But when I folded it up, it turned out there wasn't enough cable to make the distance around the hinge while folded. Scratch that one, too.

    The 3rd trial was below the hinge but still above the BB shell. Looks all right, but the cables tend to get the same small radius bend in them while folded, so that does not seem any better than #1. I purposely didn't tie the 3 cable together but now the 2 cables tend to pop out from under the hinge and sit next to it, with the gear cable rubbing against the chain, so it still needs a cable tie, and them I may be back to square 1 which is a neater option. That's how it is at the moment, when I get home tonight I'll add a cable tie and check folding again.

    Perhaps I must try option 2 again with a bit more cable available so that it can wrap around the hinge better, after all that is what the above photo shows.

    2. Rear Brake cable routing:

    The noodle for the rear brake is extremely close to the chain wheels and chain. It needs to be cable-tied somewhat unnaturally to keep it away from the chain. The geometry suggests that it would have been perfect to have a v-brake with swapped parts such that the noodle came in on the other arm. There is heaps of room for that option but brake arms are fixed. Additionally, because of the position, it is very difficult to unhook the back brake. You have to work through the chain and you get chain grease over your hands from the chain wheel. It is actaully less hassle to stand the bike upside down so you can see it all.

    It seems that in the official photo above there is a cable tie to keep the brake noodle out of harm's way and the next photo from the other side, it seems the brake noodle is stretched quite hard. (Both photos from Pacific Cycles site.)



    So that is less than ideal.

    3. Suspension play:

    Just a small item that does not affect riding: Both front and rear suspension has some knock/play in it if the bike is picked up. Not in the hinges, but where the suspension engages from the wheel hanging in the air to taking load. On very rough riding when the suspension momentarily is completely relaxed, this may lead to a knocking noise. Just something that is a splinter in the mind. But I haven't noticed anything at all while riding.

    4. Front suspension linkage play:

    The top parallelogram arm of the front suspension (see image below), the short machined ally link, has some side-side play in it. When I test for torsional stiffness in the bike, I grab the handlebars and with the front wheel firmly pressed down, I wrench it from side to side. This very quickly shows what will happen when climbing steep slopes. There is more side-side movement that what I would have liked to see, and a knocking sensation which is due to the play in that link. I tired to tighten the link bolts but that didn't produce any difference - they were already as tight as they can be.



    Having said that, I didn't notice any detrimental effects while riding, but also I haven't ridden it to push the limits, so I can't say if that would come out in riding or not.

    These items detract in no way from the sheer riding quality of the bike as a whole. They are small in the scale of things, and I'm not sure who routed the cables as they were at delivery, if that was the LBS owner or if it is delivered from the factory like that.

    5. Rear suspension lubrication: The rear suspension is an inner sleeve sliding in an outer sleeve, with an elastomer in between the ends. There is an O-ring for a seal to keep dust and moisture out. On delivery, the O-ring was dry and after a very short ride, squeaked like a lost duckling. I had to dismantle the suspension to lubricate it with some silicone grease. Problem solved. But on putting it back together, I noticed it said, 'WARNING: WARRANTY VOID WHEN OPENED'

    Overall, a fantastic riding bike. I strongly recommend it. The items or similar issues described above I would expect to find on any bike fresh out of the LBS - I am a perfectionist.
    Last edited by jur; 03-04-08 at 07:51 PM.
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  13. #13
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    I can see that the pivot hinges are hugely improved over the Birdy. It's kind of funny that Pacific doesn't use the same design on all of their bikes.

  14. #14
    jur
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    I understand the Birdy is a R&M design, with Pacific only building them. The Reach is their design though, so hinge details are up to them. Just a guess.
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  15. #15
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    2. Rear Brake cable routing:

    The noodle for the rear brake is extremely close to the chain wheels and chain. It needs to be cable-tied somewhat unnaturally to keep it away from the chain.
    Is there room to install a side-pull brake like the Reach Road uses? Looking at the Bruce Metras' review photo (shown below) it looks like a cleaner cable option. I assume you might have to drill the hole for the brake bolt, but that isn't a big deal. If you are like me you probably have a box or two of spare bike parts lying around somewhere.


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    3. Suspension play:

    Just a small item that does not affect riding: Both front and rear suspension has some knock/play in it if the bike is picked up. Not in the hinges, but where the suspension engages from the wheel hanging in the air to taking load. On very rough riding when the suspension momentarily is completely relaxed, this may lead to a knocking noise. Just something that is a splinter in the mind. But I haven't noticed anything at all while riding.

    4. Front suspension linkage play:

    The top parallelogram arm of the front suspension (see image below), the short machined ally link, has some side-side play in it. When I test for torsional stiffness in the bike, I grab the handlebars and with the front wheel firmly pressed down, I wrench it from side to side. This very quickly shows what will happen when climbing steep slopes. There is more side-side movement that what I would have liked to see, and a knocking sensation which is due to the play in that link. I tired to tighten the link bolts but that didn't produce any difference - they were already as tight as they can be.
    Sorry to hear about the play. Nothing detracts from a nice stiff frame like a little bit of play....especially if that play gets worse over time.

  17. #17
    jur
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    The play doesn't seem to have an impact on riding, only coming out on special testing. #3 would be excatly the same for a Birdy, if you pick it up, the back triangle swivels away, but in riding it doesn't happen due to loading.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    The play doesn't seem to have an impact on riding, only coming out on special testing. #3 would be excatly the same for a Birdy, if you pick it up, the back triangle swivels away, but in riding it doesn't happen due to loading.
    The Birdy has a catch so that you can lift the bike without the rear suspension swiveling under. Its nice but certainly not essential.

    David

  19. #19
    Senior Member psykoocycle's Avatar
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    JUR: congrats on the bike... err... wife's bike...

    I've got to stop going to this forum... damn that bike looks nice! 24lbs is impressive indeed...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by psykoocycle View Post
    JUR: congrats on the bike... err... wife's bike...

    I've got to stop going to this forum... damn that bike looks nice! 24lbs is impressive indeed...
    Tell me about it. I must be too weak willed... Here is what my new Reach looks like!



    It looks like the same frame that Jur bought. Initial impressions are that it is a pretty awesome bike, folder or not. Only one ride for about 1.5 hours, so this is very preliminary.

    It is pretty much stock for now, all I have done is use some Shimano SPD pedals in place of the stock pedals. I also added some reflective tape, something I do on all my bikes. I am waiting on fenders, pump, water bottle and cage, etc. which I hoped would arrive today, so maybe Monday they will get here. I don't see the need for any more equipment changes in the near future, but I got a pair of Schwalbe Stelvios in case I want to swap out the Kenda knobbies.

    Bought from Black Dog Bicycles on Lopez Island here in Washington. A great transaction, good prices and I would recommend you check them out. I plan on doing business with then again.

    The bike does not feel like a folder, it's just a very nice bike. Feels much more solid than folders with stemposts. Nice low gearing which I need since I am winter-weak right now. It actually fits me with seatpost room to spare, and at a bit over 6 feet tall. I got the green Birdy elastomer for the rear shock, but I am using the stock one for now. I am about 230 pounds at the moment, and the shock doesn't seem to bottom-out like the Downtube Mini shock. Like I said earlier, these are first impressions, and I will follow up after more miles and varied road conditions.

    I don't think there is any doubt this one is a keeper.

  21. #21
    jur
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    It has nice paint job!

    I see the cable routing is what Connie's was like. Can you snap some pics of how it runs under there, and how they run when folded?
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  22. #22
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    Another day, another nice ride. This bike handles great at speed. Totally stable at a bit over 30mph! Mounted a pump, water bottle cage, bike computer, lights and seatbag today. I will at least try fenders for a while since it does rain sometimes in the Pacific Northwest.

    FYI the Reach shipping box is 12x24x27.5 inches or 305x610x700mm. Bike fits in the box with both wheels, handlebars, seat/seatpost, pedals, and rear deraileur removed.

    That's 63.5 airline luggage inches, or just barely bigger that the magic 62" max. Haven't tried to fit it in a Samsonite F'Lite, but it may need the full 24" which is slightly

    Here are pictures of the default cable routing. First two pix are the bike in unfolded (riding) condition.



    This next one is with the bike folded.



    One possible way of folding it, with the front wheel removed and fork turned around... Would have been smaller if I took the handlebars off too. The rear cogs scratched the front fork where it rubbed.

  23. #23
    jur
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    Thanks for the pics!

    I too looked at the turning of the forks backwards when folding; I noticed that when not turning backwards, the back wheel tyre lines up with the forks front-most part, so I concluded it is not bigger when the forks are turned right way.

    Also, I found if I put it in the big ring and about #3 in the back, the derailer stretches forwards such that the cage clears the fork when folded. The back wheel tyre rests against the fork crown. No scratching involved.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Got my first ride on single-track today. Better than I expected. Not a full suspension mountain bike, but it does OK on groomed single-track and doesn't choke on a few roots.

    For the price and size it is a great value for a bike. I would not take it down a 24" drop-off and the rear shock started to squeek a bit on the rougher parts, but I rode it on stuff that I wouldn't take a road bike and it has better gearing for dirt than most folders i am aware of.

    The standard bike is pretty awesome out of the box! If you have a chance, see if you can try one! A quick plug for Black Dog Bicycles as well. Good prices, great service and a nice transaction. Right now I think they may have the best prices on the 451 Stelvio's anywhere. This is my first contact and transaction with them and I would do it all over again. I really like this bike

  25. #25
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pine Cone View Post
    ... the rear shock started to squeek a bit on the rougher parts, but I rode it on stuff that I wouldn't take a road bike ...
    Mine squeaked too after a while, I found the shock has a seal O-ring that is unlubricated. I applied some silicone grease. Occasionally I wipe down the bit that gets pushed up when the shock gets compressed by a big bump.
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