After many years of learning more, hesitating, narrowing options, I have put in an order for a new bike.
It will be a Velotraum XXL Pinion C12. Phew!
Now all I can do is hope that the bike is all I dreamed off when I sit on it for the first time.
What finally drove this decision?
- Large frame appropriate to my height/physiognomy
- Gates drive
- Pinion gears
In the end, there were no alternatives to the Velotraum.
Duh! I’m tall, so I need a bike that works with my size. This was in fact what initially led to my searching for a new bike to replace my trusty Rocky.
But, this has been surprisingly challenging. The main problem has been that a) bike companies don’t seem to want to cater to tall riders, and b) bike stores really don’t want to cater to tall riders (by ordering large frames).
I have never liked derailleurs, etc. Chains need frequent replacement, are grimy, etc. Blech! Belt drive has been available for some years now, I don’t see any reason not to want it.
Like I said, I hate derailleurs. They never quite work right, need frequent adjustment and the range isn’t that great. Consequently I removed two front sprockets on my Rocky and switched to the largest front/smallest back sprocket/cassette possible. From the beginning, I’ve been looking at hub gears, either Shimano or Rohloff. Rohloff has the huge advantage of giant range and my sympathy for German engineering.
But then I discovered Pinion. Nice engineering, great range (after half an hour with a Pinion rep, I’ve decided for 12 gears), AND a central centre of gravity given the placement in the middle not on the hub. If you have a chance, try it out. No weight on the wheels is what it feels like.
Once I arrived at these criteria, a year-long stay in Germany was the obvious time to look for a bike as more tall options seem to be available. And so, I ended up at Velophil (partly on recommendation of the Pinion rep) and now I am eagerly awaiting delivery.