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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Smile On A Face

B. Z. came into Fe700c Bicycles two weeks ago, all 6 feet 4 inches of him. He asked all the questions the Bicycle Industry had programmed his brain to ask: questions about light weight aluminum frames, front shocks, disc brakes, full suspension, and "normal size" 26 inch wheels.

Like most of the people who hear me stand on my soap box and explain the virtues of the Redline D-440, he listened politely, asked a few more half hearted questions, and walked out of the shop. I had given my best sermon: $649, steel frame, front and rear rack attachments, big 29er wheels, utility as a commuter bike with fenders and thin tires, the ability to roll over bumps without the need for suspension, and the stopping power of v-brakes (and the negative side of disc brakes, but that is another post, wwwwhhhhhaaaaaa, wwwwwhhhhhaaaa, wwwhhhaaaa).

What I talked about most was bike fit. "Yes, B. Z., you are a big guy. You are going to have a much lower center of gravity relative to the bike on a 29er. Your OTB ratio is going to go down! I'm sure you have never had a bike that fit you. The top tube on a 21 inch frame on this bike is nearly 25 inches. The stand over height is 33 inches. You would really like the ride. You don't need shocks and disc brakes, really." On and on I went. Out the door he went.

Then, last week, he came back. Perhaps something had sunk in, or perhaps he had done some research. He said he wanted to try the D-440. So, I ordered the big 21 inch bike and assembled it yesterday. Yes, it was big, bars and saddle at my rib cage. B. Z. came in, hopped on, and went for a ride, perfect fit, perfect shifting, and perfect brakes. He came back with a big smile on his face.

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