mODERN hIGH rACER
I think I have landed on something I'll be riding for a while... the Pelso Brevet. 700c with HUGE tire capacity (running a tapered headset Whisky No. 7 full carbon with hydraulic disc front brake, mechanical disc in rear). The ride is very compliant, smooth, power-efficient. I get about the same exact boom flex as the Bacchetta CA2.0. The components are SRAM mechanical 10 speed, triple up front with 11-40 in rear. I can climb anything. The J-bar setup is very ergonomic, though a bit more flexible that I would like. Also, mounting a computer is tough if you didn't get one of the custom mounts before they stopped being made at CCFineCut (https://www.ccfinecut.com/garmin). I have a setup on my commuter (also have J-bars on it), for the computer, but it's not quite as elegant or adjustable.
My only gripes about the Pelso: 1. chain line and fork... it slaps the top of the fork if you hit heavy bumps (had to put some gorilla tape where it was hitting), 2. the light mount is total crap (why couldn't they make something that actually fits with existing light mounts and actually mounts fully rigid? The adapter they sell wobbles if you put any legit light out on it), and since the derailleur hanger is custom; there's no way to mount a light out front (like the one-arm bandit)., 3. the headset cups should have been made of aluminum.
Everything else... is what I would ask of the Bacchetta or Schlitter models to become... I can handle 2" tires on this rig if I wanted. It has rack mounts! YES!. It has recessed cable routing (SO CLEAN). It's light, fast, nimble, and rides on my local rural chip-seal roads... like butter. I'll update in 10K miles.
Recumbent's are under valued.
It started in 1998... when I road a friends bike while doing a tour. He had a Rans Rocket...
Well, 11 years later I got mine. It is the ultimate beginner high-racer. Easy to mount. Durable. But; as I wanted to ride longer/faster... it opened a door to which I didn't know it would lead.
Next came a 2004 cromoly Corsa SS from the company Bacchetta. (I've owned 4 Bacchetti now). At this point, I was on recumbents because they were fun. Not because I couldn't ride my upright (which I still did a lot).
As of 2015, I have been diagnosed with three damaged discs in my lower back, and I simply cannot ride my upright any longer. I have invested in a commuter, was running a Ti-Aero... and now have my Carbon 2.0.
I still have seller's remorse on this one (The Titanium Aero below)... but I couldn't afford to keep it and purchase the CA 2.0.
As of 2017, this is where we have landed. I'm riding recumbent full time, and luckily... I had the experience from before. It came naturally. They are fast, smooth and fun...
So; I don't BLOG much; but I wanted to write this here so I can reference it easily. There is a misconception as to what is REALLY at stake in the current political-economic climate both here in the US and abroad. There is a misconception that a "free-market" is one that is "deregulated." Here's some data and a brief look at things.
So; here’s the income trajectories of the lower four deciles of the US income distribution (I just pulled this off the BLS website and converted it into a graph in excel.)
Consider the top 0.1% in wealth versus bottom 90%: CLICK HERE
The top don’t spend their money. Instead, it’s all put into financial markets where it’s tax insulated, and never even enters the real world again. It just sits and grows as corporate profits increase (at an increasing rate). All the while, the wealthy lobby to get more deregulation to guarantee that their now completely synthetic fortunes continue to grow, while earned wages stagnate or fall (in real terms after accounting for inflation)…
The top .1% doesn’t have to do anything to “earn". They just enjoy the current laws and what they guarantee; more to come. 1981 was a turning point with massive tax reforms and corporate legislation that gave corporations more rights than individuals. Deregulation has continued since.
Bill Clinton was the worst; signing into law the Gramm-Leach-Bliley act. It effectively opened the floodgates for financial institutions to both aggregate in size and scope, but to also pass all risk onto the unknowing (fraud is still rampant among the rating agencies and companies… there is simply too much vested interest.)
Here’s a speech by Sen. Dorgan of North Dakota BEFORE the signing of GLB in 1999: CLICK HERE.
Deregulation is NOT good for “free markets.”
Free-markets are by definition: a market where ALL costs and benefits of goods and services are fully accounted for in the market price. Free-markets was a term that was aimed at the CONSUMER’s freedom to choose… NOT a corporations freedom to do WHATEVER is necessary to increase profits (through tax-loopholes, lobbying and re-writing of corporate law etc). If Jefferson were to step into today’s world; he’d abhor what he saw.
Here’s the top 0.1% versus the bottom 90%:
You can see clearly: it’s financial reform after the OPEC oil crisis in the late 70s where things make a dramatic change from the post-war time of 1945 through 1980.
1981 started things; and it’s only continued. We’re the blind fools (household's earning $250K or lower. We’re the ones paying a HUGE percentage of our earned incomes in taxes; which has a HUGE impact on our daily lives… while both the mega-wealthy and corporate entities enjoy a tax-free life. They live without any real economic tradeoffs. Their personal economic well being cannot ever be put into jeopardy again… they're completely insulated. Corporations can go bankrupt while their personal fortunes remain insulated. They are also insulated through structured finance to eliminate their effective taxes to nearly 0%. (I'll edit for clarity/spelling/punctuation later... this is informal; and for discussion purposes).
To bike; that's not the question.
Often, I find myself overwhelmed by life's rapid changes and onslaught of things to be done. Time on the saddle can both be a primer to action, as well as a welcomed moment of reflection or simple clean quietness.
There are so many reasons that this hobby has become life centering for me; predominately in that it takes on many forms: commuting, exercise, endurance, competition, camaraderie. Each can be a one time thing, or taken on a sole purpose.
Developing the ultimate commuter bicycle is a long process; taking years of trial and error and possibly costing thousands (10s of thousands) of dollars. The same can be said for each of the others... but binding them all together is the camaraderie you feel with those you spend your time with.
Enjoy those moments out on the road; they are fleeting! Help others find the joy too!
Justin Hicks is an applied microeconomist; writing on innovation and related themes...