Monday morning. We got up and walked into the shopping district in town to find some breakfast. I walked my bike and after breakfast Mila and Jette did some window shopping while I took my bike to Fahrrad XXL Franz a great bike shop with a branch in Koblenz. It’s a big multi-story shop with lots of bikes and accessories and a service area that promises repairs within 24 hours!
I was in luck. They had a replacement bellcrank in stock and even did the installation for me while I had a tea. Nice. I didn’t snap a photo, but it is the new style that looks like this:
We spent the rest of a rainy afternoon window shopping and sampling the best gelato/ice cream we’ve found so far on this trip. If you are ever in Koblenz, check out eGeLoSIa.
I had bitter chocolate gelato and strawberry chocolate chip frozen yoghurt. Mila had hazelnut and stracciatella, and Jette had chocolate and rocher. They were all delicious.
It was a good “rest day”!
Wow! What a great bike shop. I have never seen anything like that anywhere in the US (of course I have not seen them all). And what a Fancy-Schmancy Bell Crank. Looks really SOLID and durable. I forgot to ask: What is the brand and model of your bike, Waco? And Mila’s bike. I know Jette’s is a FrankenFrog! Or a Frogenstein, I can’t remember.
I know Jette is an experienced ice cream and gelato tester. I could tell by her smile that it was YUMMY…… That made my mouth water just viewing it.
We’ll see if the new bellcrank is durable! I didn’t install it, so I didn’t see it disassembled and it’s hard to know if the thread issue on the set screw has been resolved. Since they have obviously re-engineered the thing, I hope so.
As for the bikes, Jette’s is a Frog brand, which is a UK manufacturer that specializes in kids bikes. They make kids bikes with frame geometries designed for kids. So many “kids” bikes have really bad design proportions. We’ve modified hers with fenders, lights, a different seat and city style handlebars for a more upright ride. Because of the modifications we call it the Franken-Frog.
Mila’s bike and my bike are old shop/rental bikes from Workcycles in Amsterdam. They are not Workcycles bikes per se, they are bikes that were owned or used by the shop for errands and for rentals. Both frames are lugged steel frames, and I think both frames were made by Azor. I don’t know the age of the frames, but I think mine is pretty old. The wheels are Workcycles heavy-duty city bike wheels with very robust rims and heavy gauge spokes – 12 gauge, 2.5mm I think. Strong wheels are essential for the loads these bikes are suffering under!
As you know I have broken one spoke, and in hindsight, I think I may have damaged it by pushing the bike off the center stand when the rear wheel was still locked. It was loaded, and that’s a lot of weight. One of the spokes would have hit the ring of the wheel lock and probably bent slightly. I’m guessing that it may have been the one that broke and the reason it was weak.
Jette’s bike is an 8-speed with a derailleur. Mila and I have three speeds with coaster brakes (Shimano Nexus hubs). Our front wheels are built with Shimano generator hubs, which means that when the wheel turns, the hub generates electricity for the headlights and taillights on our bikes. Mila’s also has a drum brake on the front. Mine has no front brake, which is why I have to be careful on the big hills. The coaster brakes get so hot on big descents that the lubricating grease can burn and the steel of the brake shoes and the body can seize and fail. Coasters are great for the city and the plains, but not so good in the mountains!
Having put more than a thousand kilometers on this bike over the past couple months, I can say that it is really comfortable. One of the most comfortable I have ever ridden. I an ride it all day with no physical discomfort or complaints.
None of the bikes are touring bikes by design, but we’ve certainly made them work and for me that was part of the challenge and the fun of this trip.
thank you for taking the time to discuss the technical/design aspects of your bikes. I really appreciate the detail and specifics of the discussion, and I hope other readers will too.
I clearly understand your philosophy and intent in choosing these bikes for this adventure — the “Why” of your choices, and I believe that you have demonstrated that one need not invest Tens of Thousands of dollars on gear in order to challenge and conqueror the Swiss Alps, and EuroVelo 15, for the purpose of personal pleasure an touring …… racing, of course, would be another matter altogether.
As you know, my back and knee problems are a concern when I wish to ride, especially long distances. And, thanks to your guidance, I have been able to ‘fit’ both my Townie and Amsterdam to my needs to the point that I can ride all day long … into the night with total comfort. And I am REALLY looking forward to experiencing the joy of the new WorkCycle Fr8 that you have coming my way.
Grams will soon be riding with us too, so we can all ride together ….. what a treat that will be.
Thanks again for the discussion