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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 12-24-08, 11:14 AM   #26
JoesInBoston
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It needs more pics of the blog owner to be worth coming back to.
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Old 12-26-08, 07:45 PM   #27
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Graywolf;

I could be mistaken but based on things I have read I believe that the tubing may well be lower grade than high tensile steel in many of the Chinese and Indian made bikes intended for domestic use. Certainly thicker walled than in many hi ten frames. That may be good for a third world utility bike that is loaded with hundreds of pounds at times. Not sure that it is necessary here, yet!

Just as not sure of the practicality of the Yuba Mundo which is listed as 27.5 Kg or 60.5 pounds for the 6 speed version. That is a lot of mass to pedal all of the time and the Mundo gearing is not low enough for true cargo use in hilly terrain IMO with a 35" low gear.

With the thick walled tubing both might last practically forever, even when attacked by rust. I personally prefer a frame built along the lines of, and with tubing choices used by, the Surly Big Dummy for a utility bike. The lighter weight makes it more of a practical all around bike IMO.
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Old 12-26-08, 08:40 PM   #28
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The Yuba Mundo is made in Germany. Its heavy but when it comes to hauling cargo, it looks like it can carry it effortlessly, if you've seen the company's videos. The guy hauling a big box to Fed Ex had no problems maneuvering in traffic. Normally, you'd need a pickup truck to take that stuff to the shipping office and he was able to do it on a bike! It opens one's mind to the possibilities of what you can carry on a longtail bike - almost anything within reason.
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Old 12-27-08, 06:00 PM   #29
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Flying Pigeon 3-speed and 8-speed

Graywolf, my shop (Joe Bike) in Portland carries Sturmey-Archer 3-speed Flying Pigeons. I think we're the only ones in the US that have them. We're also coming out with our own 8-speed version along with 27" alloy wheels. None of our Pigeons have rod brakes, which wouldn't work too well here in Puddletown; on that note I'm pretty sure we're also unique. We retrofit all our Pigeons extensively, from the bottom bracket on up. We also have the 18-speed Yuba Mundo.
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Old 12-27-08, 11:56 PM   #30
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You mean alloy 28" wheels? Only the Pashley Guvnor has them and they're OEM. I presume the 8 speed version would be equipped with Shimano Nexus or Sturmey Archer? A roadster would need drum brakes to be effective in mountainous or hilly terrain. Much better than rod brakes. I'm sure its painstaking work to bring them up to Raleigh DL 1 standards. Not every one bothers since roadsters are already heavy to begin with but making them lighter would defeat their intended purpose as heavy duty utility bikes. The Yuba Mundo would be better with an internal gear hub. At this time there's only the one speed version around.
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Old 12-28-08, 07:06 PM   #31
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Graywolf, my shop (Joe Bike) in Portland carries Sturmey-Archer 3-speed Flying Pigeons. I think we're the only ones in the US that have them. We're also coming out with our own 8-speed version along with 27" alloy wheels. None of our Pigeons have rod brakes, which wouldn't work too well here in Puddletown; on that note I'm pretty sure we're also unique. We retrofit all our Pigeons extensively, from the bottom bracket on up. We also have the 18-speed Yuba Mundo.
Do you do some upgrading to the Yuba Mundo? Their web site only shows 1 and 6 speed versions as available. Of ourse it would not be the first web site I have seen that is not kept up to date.
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Old 12-28-08, 07:58 PM   #32
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I think Joe-Bike meant that particular model is not listed on the site but they can let you know if they have it in the store and if not they can order it for a customer. Most bike shops simply do not have the space to list all the items they carry. Its just too much work for a webmaster to keep all the inventory up to date. So a customer needs to contact the store and ask what they have on hand. Besides a customer's needs may differ from the stock brand shown on the site. Full disclosure: I don't work for or in any way represent Joe Bike. I'm just pointing out the obvious about the LBS business.
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Old 12-29-08, 03:33 AM   #33
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I think Joe-Bike meant that particular model is not listed on the site but they can let you know if they have it in the store and if not they can order it for a customer. Most bike shops simply do not have the space to list all the items they carry. Its just too much work for a webmaster to keep all the inventory up to date. So a customer needs to contact the store and ask what they have on hand. Besides a customer's needs may differ from the stock brand shown on the site. Full disclosure: I don't work for or in any way represent Joe Bike. I'm just pointing out the obvious about the LBS business.
I meant that the Yuba Mundo web site does not list an 18 speed model, not Joe Bike. A manufacturer's site that does not list all models is IMO poory run or not kept up to date.
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Old 12-30-08, 11:29 AM   #34
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Not every one bothers since roadsters are already heavy to begin with but making them lighter would defeat their intended purpose as heavy duty utility bikes.
Mostly. But as much as I love my 45lb flying pigeon, it certainly could be made lighter without being less strong. For example, for any desired strength you can make a lighter double butted tube than a straight one. It would just be too expensive to make the whole bike like this, and loosing ten pounds off a 45lb bike isn't as big a deal as if you're starting at 25lbs.
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Old 12-30-08, 11:31 AM   #35
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Separately: I've just noticed the FP NYC site is down. Perhaps they forgot to renew their domain?
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Old 12-30-08, 02:21 PM   #36
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one thing for sure about the flying pigeon is that the quality is abysmal. you might be getting a "new" and shiny bike, but it will not last nearly as long as a genuine english roadster in good condition. i've seen the components first hand, and even from a distance, they quality is just not there. you're much better off buying a used english roadster (if you can find one), even at a premium price, because with basic care it will outlast you. i see the FPs as disposable fashion statements.
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Old 12-30-08, 02:30 PM   #37
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one thing for sure about the flying pigeon is that the quality is abysmal. you might be getting a "new" and shiny bike, but it will not last nearly as long as a genuine english roadster in good condition. i've seen the components first hand, and even from a distance, they quality is just not there.
What have you seen that convinces you that they will not last?
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Old 12-30-08, 04:20 PM   #38
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Separately: I've just noticed the FP NYC site is down. Perhaps they forgot to renew their domain?
The blog is .org, I understand they own the .com but have not put up their website yet. I presume that will be a "you can buy it here" type of site.
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Old 12-30-08, 04:40 PM   #39
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one thing for sure about the flying pigeon is that the quality is abysmal. you might be getting a "new" and shiny bike, but it will not last nearly as long as a genuine english roadster in good condition. i've seen the components first hand, and even from a distance, they quality is just not there. you're much better off buying a used english roadster (if you can find one), even at a premium price, because with basic care it will outlast you. i see the FPs as disposable fashion statements.
If you can find one, in good condition, and you can afford it is the problem, especially one with a full chaincase.

Never having seen one in person I have no idea what the quality of the Flying Pigeon actually is. It is the top of the line of chinese roadsters, but I do not know what that means in the real world. As far as the India made ones go, the BSA/Hucules are made by TI India and have a good reputation. The Avon also has a good reputation. The others are cheaper and not as good. No roadster has the fit and finish you expect on a fine road bicycle. The Pashley and the Dutch made bicycles do have a good finish at a price many of us can not afford. None of the ones intended for knockabout service are going to be that well finished.

Roadsters are the Model-T of bicycles; at one time just about every bicycle manufacture in the world made a roadster. They are not sporting equipment. They never were sporting equipment. They were, and in someplaces still are, cheap reliable transportation for the masses.

However, I would like to point out that apparently there are a lot of Flying Pigeons built in the 1950's that are still in service in China. That does not seem to agree with your statement.
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Old 12-30-08, 05:08 PM   #40
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What have you seen that convinces you that they will not last?
for one, i noticed from even a couple of feet away that the chrome plating is of poor quality (rims, handlebar, stem, etc) and the plated parts will probably start rusting very quickly.

second, the paint quality is equally poor.

third, i once replaced a raleigh roadster fork and headset with indian-made clone parts (eastman parts, from yellow-jersey.com), and the welds were shoddy and the headset was poorly machined (the races were actually rough ). the headset felt notchy even with brand new ball bearings. i can't say for certain that the chinese-made clones are as bad as the eastmans, but from the first two indicators i mentioned, i'd estimate that the chinese and indian roadster clones are probably about on par with each other.

btw-- hey, you're in medford! i'm in somerville, and the two or three flying pigeons i've seen were in cambridge.
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Old 12-30-08, 05:40 PM   #41
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What have you seen that convinces you that they will not last?
Don't the English bikes have braze-ons for bottle generators?

The generators on the Flying Pigeons in the photos are attached via a craptastic attachment bracket that speaks low quality through the Internet.
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Old 12-31-08, 12:12 AM   #42
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Don't the English bikes have braze-ons for bottle generators?

The generators on the Flying Pigeons in the photos are attached via a craptastic attachment bracket that speaks low quality through the Internet.
no, the raleigh roadsters did not come with a bottle generator braze-on. raleigh equipped many of its roadsters with dynohubs, obviating the need for a bottle generator. but i've seen a lot of non-dynohub equipped raleighs fitted with similar craptastic generator brackets... that is not unique to the FP.
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Old 12-31-08, 05:28 AM   #43
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I`we seen them with braze-on`s for the front wheel (fork), the rear (seatstay) and the "clamp on" type on european / scandinavian bikes. Why is "clamp on" cheap? Gives you the option. A braze-on that is not in use is extra weight, easy to hook into chlotes and stuff and does not give the frame a clean look when not in use. Also finding a replacement dyno could be a problem since there are all different types of brackets.
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Old 12-31-08, 03:28 PM   #44
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... Why is "clamp on" cheap? Gives you the option. A braze-on that is not in use is extra weight ... .
This particular clamp doen't work properly. You tighten it around a seat stay and are given a sharp pointy metal screw to puntcture the seat stay tube to prevent the clamp from rotating. Even with the screw pretty deep into a seat stay the clamp has a tendency to rotate.

Braze ons make sure the connection to the dynamo is secure.

For my dynamos I use brake boss brackets. These work really well and give you the option to take the dynamos and brackets completelly off. A much better solution then the dynamo clamp on the FPs.

EDIT: used the word dynohub instead of dynamo.

Last edited by jakub.ner; 12-31-08 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 12-31-08, 04:59 PM   #45
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This particular clamp doen't work properly. You tighten it around a seat stay and are given a sharp pointy metal screw to puntcture the seat stay tube to prevent the clamp from rotating. Even with the screw pretty deep into a seat stay the clamp has a tendency to rotate.
The sharp pointy screw is for electrical contact with the frame, not to keep the bracket from rotating. If it rotates you have not tightened it enough.

A comment on good chrome. High quality chrome plating requires and immense amount of hand labor. Therefore it is pretty much a thing of the past. Where it is used they no longer highly polish the metal first which means you get an ugly lusterless looking part.
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Old 12-31-08, 06:33 PM   #46
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You can clean rust off steel but requires a lot scrubbing and elbow grease. Then it really shines!
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Old 01-01-09, 07:56 PM   #47
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The sharp pointy screw is for electrical contact with the frame, not to keep the bracket from rotating. If it rotates you have not tightened it enough. ...
Gray, your statements are false. To quote Peter White regarding the Dynamohalter bracket (same idea as discussed):
Note the little set screw on the right side. That digs into the seat stay just a bit to prevent the bracket from rotating on the round frame tube. If you're not willing to have your frame's paint damaged a bit where the screw digs in, don't use this bracket. The bracket will not work properly without the set screw. Also, don't use this on a carbon fiber frame. (http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/dymotec.asp)
Although cheap bottle dynamos come with a single wire and the manual instructs the end user to complete the electrical circuit via the bike frame, there is no need to use the bike frame to complete this circuit. It's better to run a second "ground" wire as you're less prone to having rust interfere. Good quality dynamos and lights do have a second wire tab.
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Old 01-01-09, 10:21 PM   #48
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Gray, your statements are false. To quote Peter White regarding the Dynamohalter bracket (same idea as discussed):
Note the little set screw on the right side. That digs into the seat stay just a bit to prevent the bracket from rotating on the round frame tube. If you're not willing to have your frame's paint damaged a bit where the screw digs in, don't use this bracket. The bracket will not work properly without the set screw. Also, don't use this on a carbon fiber frame. (http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/dymotec.asp)
Although cheap bottle dynamos come with a single wire and the manual instructs the end user to complete the electrical circuit via the bike frame, there is no need to use the bike frame to complete this circuit. It's better to run a second "ground" wire as you're less prone to having rust interfere. Good quality dynamos and lights do have a second wire tab.
Graywolf was correct, Peter White and you are incorrect about the primary purpose of the little screw. If the bracket doesn't make contact with bare metal of the frame the circuit will not be complete, hence the screw to assure electrical continuity.

BTW, how many Flying Pigeon type bikes do you think come equipped with "Good quality dynamos and lights". Also, I have never seen any bottle friction dynamo that came with a second wire
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Old 01-01-09, 10:58 PM   #49
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... I have never seen any bottle friction dynamo that came with a second wire
Busch & Muller dynamos do.
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Old 01-01-09, 11:02 PM   #50
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The more expensive solution is to build the dynamo into the hub. It eliminates tire sidewall wear. You do have to run it with the lights on in the day but that can be a safety feature. Roadsters are workhorse bicycles. That's why they are overbuilt and where durability is concern, weight isn't going to be an issue.
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