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Le Volksrad est arrivée

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Volksrad Single Speed

Volksrad Single Speed

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.

Written by Dale

April 22, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Posted in cycling, Leipzig

3 Responses

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  1. why is it not street legal? why would they deliver a bike that isn’t? sooo confusing!


    April 22, 2009 at 1:22 pm

  2. Not street legal because it lacked generator-powered front and rear lights. Evidently all bikes sold like this get this sticker, which means most mountain bikes here. Technically, a bike has to be under 11 kg to use the battery powered lights. That is perhaps one of the ten silliest laws on the planet. This bike might be close to that weight now that I’ve stripped it down, but in practice no cop is going to give me crap about it. There are so many people here riding with no lights, they’ll be happy if I have any sort of light.


    April 22, 2009 at 1:28 pm

  3. Oh, das fährt sich bestimmt schön leicht! Humpert macht hübsche geschwungene Lenker. Habe unter anderem einen sog. “Moon Cruiser”, 600mm, die machen aber auch “normal lange”; allerdings bezweifle ich, dass der Moon Cruiser sonderlich gut zu diesem eher sportlichen Stadtrad passen würde…

    Ein cooler Laden hier ist übrigens der Rotor auf dem schönen Spinnerei-Gelände in LE-Plagwitz:
    Etwas schwer zu erreichen, aber wirklich sehr freundliche, kompetente Jungs dort.

    Ich mache gerade mein uraaaaltes Stadtrad neu. Das hat auch keine Schaltung (braucht’s in Leipzig ja eigentlich nicht), aber braucht unbedingt eine neue Kurbel, unter anderem… und das braucht wiederum Zeit und Geld. So, jetzt aber wieder an die Arbeit… Schöne Woche noch!

    …Das ist herrlich: Mal wieder jemandem mehr als 140 Zeichen geschrieben! 🙂

    Katrin Kropf

    May 5, 2009 at 5:51 am

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