I met a lady at last Friday's Critical Mass ride and she was riding a new Schwinn Folder... I can't remember the exact model (Tango ?) but it was equipped with derailer gears, alloy wheels, a band brake in the rear and a steel cantilever up front.
It was a pretty little bike and I just read a bunch of fairly positive reviews of them... the selling price is around $200.00
I asked how she liked the bike and she said it was fine save for it's really poor braking so after the ride we all gathered at the bike co-op and over some cold ones I looked over her bike thinking that things just needed to be dialled in and set up.
I was wrong.
The front brake was actually the wrong size for the bike (too long) and the pads were hitting the bottom edge of the rim... and there was no room to adjust the brake pads upwards.
I ended up pulling a decent alloy brake from the parts bin that was the right size and installed it and new pads and after that the bike was stopping much much better... I also suggested that she pick up some Kool Stops (we were out of stock) to really maximize the bike's braking ability.
Other than that, the bike was okay for what it was but could have used a larger chain ring as the gearing is ridiculously low.
I'll add this as another reason why people should buy bicycles at decent bike shops or if they do buy at x-mart they need a professional to inspect and set up the bike and the adverts I have seen recommend that bikes be professionally assembled.
.....Other than that, the bike was okay for what it was but could have used a larger chain ring as the gearing is ridiculously low.
I'll add this as another reason why people should buy bicycles at decent bike shops or if they do buy at x-mart they need a professional to inspect and set up the bike and the adverts I have seen recommend that bikes be professionally assembled.......
That lady was very lucky indeed to meet you. Most new cyclists are not that lucky. They buy a bike just like they do most purchases now-at the local huge big box you-buy-it-and-it is-your-problem-now-after purchase stores. They simply don't understand that a bike is a finely tuned machine like their cars. They are bargain driven to save money and/or time over all else. If they have a chance to ride (just ride) a decently fitted to the rider, tuned bike with good components I am sure they would begin to understand. As for gearing, I do want to add that a ridiculously low gearing is intended for a cyclist that will probably abandon his/her "bargain" bike after a single ride as the money already changed hands in the right direction.
And a well made, tuned bike lasts for generations. Here is a photo of 2 bikes side by side. The Schwinn Manta-Ray was made in 1970 and the Brompton is a bit more recent, but will probably outlast me!
Last edited by folder fanatic; 04-28-09 at 12:28 PM.
FF- I read somewhere that only bullies and fat kids rode Manta Rays! My older brother was a bully and he had a silver one. I do love that seat though.
I have read about that too somewhere too. I really don't know about the that particular association between bullies/fat kids and Manta-Rays. In those days the kid that owned this bike originally that I photographed was very tall and skinny during the early 1970s. But he did grow up to be a not very nice person so I guess that explains why he is now my ex!
The bike itself has most, if not all, it's original parts. It still is in his family although some other member now uses it.
Last edited by folder fanatic; 04-28-09 at 06:45 PM.
I always seem to be on duty and could not let this lady ride out on a bike that I did not consider safe.
I met a refugee girl yesterday. I gave her a bike when she arrived two yrs ago. Now it was time to take her seat up approx 12 cm, almost 5". Always carry tools. Do not know why her father / brothers did not do it.
After fixing her bike we did her homework crossword in English. Most of it too difficult for her.