Saturday, May 10, 2008

Why a crank forward?

I live in downtown Calgary and have quite a few friends that aren't serious cyclists. Maybe that's incorrect - they aren't performance cyclists. They love their bikes and they love riding, but our typical rides are very social, fairly slow and all about smelling the waffles not crushing your opponents in an aero tuck! My bike choices of late have been heading in the direction of more practical rides [Bike Friday Tikit & Surly Big Dummy] and they have worked very well for diminishing my need to drive and ramping up my enjoyment of practical cycling.

I get asked to help a lot of people find the right bike for them. I enjoy the process as I get to research bikes, test ride them and help someone find a ride that puts a smile on their faces - all without actually having to buy another bike...=-) Since most of the people I help are not looking to win the Tour de France or break the HPV land speed record they don't need a racing machine. What they do need is a comfortable, practical bike that is easy to ride, attractive [to them] and versatile for the typical urban cycling missions. Naturally crank forward bikes have become one of the obvious options I recommend to people.

The shape and concept of the crank forward appeals to mainstream cyclists who aren't ready to embrace the recumbent form factor no matter how comfortable and efficient. In an urban environment the upright seating and ease of stopping and starting are appreciated. The [almost] one size fits all adjustment range means more than one family member can ride a crank forward ensuring it sees lots of use. Best of all the relaxed handling of most crank forwards inspires confidence in new cyclists and those who ride infrequently.

Most people don't break down their enthusiasm for CF bikes to this level of detail, but they do know they feel relaxed on one and it puts a smile on their face. For a bicycle I'd call that mission accomplished....=-)

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