Four years to the day tomorrow, I blogged about Joe's road bike after building it for you. Four years ago, Joe was 76. After 4 years and thousands of miles and a joint replacement or two, Joe couldn't swing his leg over his bike to ride. He came in looking for a new bike with a step-thru frame. While there are plenty of step-thru bikes on the market, they are all pretty much heavy, non-inspiring comfort or hybrid bikes. Nothing that could easily converted to a bike that offers a spirited ride. Well, there was one that I knew of that could fit the bill. Soma Fabrications make a pretty nifty mixte framed bike called the Buena Vista that would be an easy convert to drop bars like Joe likes.
Buena Vista ordered, arrived, built, call to Joe - "that looks fabulous!" Take it for a spin, Joe, let me know what you think. And that's where Joe's limited flexibility showed itself. Even with the lowered top tube of the mixte design, it was still too high for Joe to lift his leg over. Back to the drawing board.
"What would you think about cutting the top tube out of your road bike and welding in a new "top tube" as low as possible, Joe?" Joe liked that idea as it used everything he already had and didn't generate excess. Now I just had to figure out how to get it done. A call to Cameron Falconer, fresh off my recent MUSA disc cross frame production to discuss the possibility of converting Joe's frame and because Joe's 80 and still rides a bike and loves riding bike, Cameron agreed. We talked about cable routing, how low the tube could get, and to work Cameron went.
The result? According to Joe, it's fabulous. I did have to move the seat tube bottle cage to a place high up on the new tube with a Two Fish cage adapter. As I was riding to work one morning last week, I saw Joe pedaling towards me. As we passed, I asked how was the bike. "Fabulous!" And away Joe pedaled.
Yes, the bike is a bit flexy, but for Joe and his riding style, it's perfect. Ride on, Joe!
Post script - this was the first and last step-thru conversion from Black Mountain Cycles and Cameron Falconer.
(What's playing: The Jayhawks Baby, Baby, Baby)