Which was better (or worse) the El Camino or the Brat? Then there is the Wrangler which to be honest is another useless car (truck) that is designed to hold both passengers and cargo. Most things designed to do more than one task tends to fall short in one area or even worse all the areas it was designed for. The El Camino is a terrible truck as is the Brat. The Wrangler is a horrible vehicle for the 3rd and 4th passenger and if you were fortunate enough to fit all 4 people then the cargo better be real slim because you have enough space for maybe 1 sleeping bag and a 2 man tent. Where am I going with this??
I am currently building Jake a bicycle that is hopefully going to achieve the impossible (according to my statement above). A bicycle that will function off road (not as a full on mtb), race a cross race or two, get fenders and hold some stuff for a light tour and finally function as an everyday bicycle. That is a tall order. Jake said to me that he was scared of getting the El Camino of the bicycle industry. I thought that was funny. Even funnier since he is way too young to really remember the El Camino.
We made some compromises and I think came up with his perfect (key word is his) bicycle. It will be sturdy and allow for rough riding. It will have fender mounts and rack mounts (rear) but no provisions for the lower mount of the rear fender. It will require tire changes to change the feel of the bike. Small slicks to lower the BB for touring and regular cross tires to raise the BB for pedal clearance. Probably another tire change to get the fenders in. This all adds up to a functional bike that will hopefully make Jake happy. A hybrid of sorts but definitely not an El Camino. Here it is waiting for me to clean up the tubes and stick them together.
On the other end of the spectrum is a race bike. Here is Steve's cross bike (no water bottle cages and all) waiting for a saddle and some dirt. There is all kinds of fuss over the disc brakes and if they are better or worse. I think lots of people would actually ride and race a bicycle better if they took a race car or motorcycle racing course. There is some merit to straight braking before a turn and then pushing through the apex of a turn. Disc brakes WILL allow a rider to stop faster BEFORE the turn and allow them to pedal FASTER out of the turn. This is fact not an opinion. Once the companies make lighter and hydraulic drop bar brakes it will be on all the top racers bikes. For now in the amateur ranks the BB7 road will do fine and honestly help most folks. That is my opinion and I am sticking with it. I am all about the sport and purity but this is a better product. Most haters have never tried it and are just plain stubborn. Here it is at dusk right after the wheels got assembled (oh yea the wheels are tubeless which is another topic of discussion).
Now for my go Phillies! Ryan Howard sure does know how to swing and miss but he also knows how to smack a ball to the second deck. Way to go last night against the Mets and lets hope for a sweep tonight.