Le Volksrad est arrivée
I’m slowly digesting my annoyance with the guys at Rücktritt for sitting on my order for so long. That was pretty bad service, but on the positive side they did track down this bike for me and get it, something no other shop even offered to attempt. So, it’s a draw. Besides, I’m so happy with the bike that all might have been forgiven anyway.
For the bike-inclined, you can see it’s a pretty basic machine, made more basic within hours of its purchase. I stripped off the kickstand (gack), the rear V-brake, and the chain guard. The brake was redundant since it has a coaster brake back there, and the chain guard, while a pretty slick free-floating thingamabob, was just too noisy banging around on these cobblestone streets. I put a lot of value on a silent ride, so it just had to go. Better to wear a band on my pants and clean or replace the chain from time to time. It’s a pretty basic aluminum frame. Clearly it was intended to be a frame for all purposes, because it has every braze-on known to humankind, and screw holes for just about any accessory (except a bottle cage, which I really don’t get). Once the frame’s been dinged up a bit, I might get busy with a hacksaw and make some of that junk disappear.
It’s a light bike despite some of the cheap componentry (hey, it was 299 Euro, I knew there’d be a lot of upgrade potential in that department). I added only little plastic mounts for front and rear LED lights, and will be adding fenders next week. I’m not super keen on those, I have to confess, for the aforementioned noise issues, but I have no desire to get filthy when it rains nor avoid riding in the rain. The gear ratio may be a tad bit too weenie for me. I find it easy to spin out on even slight uphills, so I may be cracking apart the rear hub before long to slap on a smaller sprocket. Oh, last but not least, I’m now on the lookout for some of those funky bars one sees on single speeds. This straight bar is elegant, but I want some schawang in my ride.
Best of all? As it was delivered to me by the shop, the bike was not street legal, and it had a sticker on its top tube making this very clear. My friend Sven would find this so fitting. Now when I ride, I shall glance down at this sticker, laugh my evil American laugh, and ride on.