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Bicycle designers have set their minds on speed, off-road handling, folding, utility, style, integration (of lights, locking) and perhaps a few other things that don't come to mind at the moment. What about cleaning? Whatever weight penalty I had to pay, to be rid of half the rear triangle, and half the fork, of a bike I did not want to go fast on, would be doubly rewarded by the ease of cleaning afforded, oh, and let's not forget, the ease of changing a tire without removing the wheel.
I know all you major bike makers are avid readers, so here is your mission: look at these non-production designer bikes—Christophe Robillard's Victor Bike and Inoda Sveje's Bike 2.0— and spare a thought for "the help", you know, those little folk to whom we pass our bikes to be cleaned after each ride, so they stay looking like the bikes in your ads.
If you know of any more easy-clean bikes, drop me a note. I might make a list. Belt-drive. Rod drive. Lefty forks. Righty frames. Full high clearance mud guards. Oh, and nothing stays cleaner than raw titanium.  


Oct. 16th, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC)
With full fenders you can forget about cleaning the bike, except for the occasional wipe-down with a cloth every few months. Even for a man of leisure that's not too much to ask.

But it's my own body, and more importantly, my clothes, that I want to stay clean, so I reckon the belt drive is the thing here. No oily chain. No need for a chain case. Pant legs don't get sucked into the beltwheel. And the drivetrain is completely silent, so budding cycle chic photographers can stalk high-heeled women cyclists without detection.

Belt drive + hub gears + full fenders = practical utility bike. As for changing tyres without removing the rear wheel - how often do you change tyres? If it's fixing flats you can do as the Dutch and the Japanese do - repair the tube while it's still on the bike.
Oct. 16th, 2011 11:51 pm (UTC)
Fully agree, though I end up having to pull tubes out completely once in a while, once a year maybe, and rooting around with light wires, Nexus gear hub cables, and every other mod-con Velorbis thought to bung on a 100 year old drop-out design, is truly a pain.

The other problem with this lauded Japanese/Dutch method of tube repair, is it can cause a person to be late for work, or miss an appointment. Leaving a whole side of a fork, or a frame open, gives you the option of changing a tube in 2 minutes, and be riding again.

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