Sunday, March 27, 2005

One sick puppy...

Every now and then, I get an urge to buy another bike. Sometimes it’s a track bike, though I realize at my age the harsh ride probably wouldn’t be good for me. It’s like having an Italian mistress. It would be a lot of fun in the short term, though in the long run it wouldn’t be good for my health. She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed is a good shot!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about a folding bike, a fixed gear folding bike, because I’m one sick puppy. Sheldon Brown built a lovely fixie on a Raleigh Twenty folder ( and I find it inspiring. But the chances of finding a frame like his in Oklahoma aren’t very good. I hesitate to look for one on-line. These bikes are old and corrosion would be a big factor.

Then I came across the Kent International Transit 20” folding bike on the Wal-Mart catalog site. Let’s face it. This bike is cheap! It’s less than $100, but it covers two important criteria: The rider’s maximum height is 6’2”, and his maximum weight is listed at 250 lbs! This is within parameters for the Wagner Vertical Crush Test. And it’s cheap! Did I mention that?

Someone on Usenet said that bicycles can be cheap, light, and strong – but you only get to choose two of those characteristics. Perhaps it’s not surprising that there’s no weight listed for this bike.

I met a guy commuting to work on an old Huffy. He’d had the thing nearly 10 years and it showed. The bike clicked and creaked going down the road. When he finally retired it, the back wheel was almost square. The bike had seen long, hard use, but the rider had clearly gotten good service from it.

So I’m wondering if I could expect similar results from a cheap bike, especially if it were as mechanically simple as a fixed gear. It would mean putting another bike in the garage, though, and as I said before, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed is a good shot!


Blogger George said...

I saw one of those Kent folding bikes at our local Wal-Mart. You are right in your's a fairly cheaply made and appearing bike.

Nice blog by the way-I'd like to add you to my "links" section if that's okay............

2:40 AM  

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