Thread: Winter Bicycles
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:55 PM
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EricEstlund EricEstlund is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Nittany Valley, PA
Posts: 1,333
Thanks- I'll take another swipe at it. It sounds like you are asking about how I juggle the variables in my head, and how that translates to a bike for a given rider.

I always start with the rider. What are their uses? How are they shaped? What are they used to (past bikes)? What has and has not worked for them in the past?

Many of the seemingly esoteric variables get worked out during the interview/ design phase. If someone wants a "stiffer" or "more compliant" bike, knowing what their fame of riding reference is helps. I work on defining these soft terms specifically to the user’s application- a unique lexicon to the particular build, as it were. I go through a fairly heavy interview process with most of my clients and tease out how I can build what it is they need. While some of the visual elements happen sculpturally- that is, during the making, the general heart of the bike is well decided on from those conversations.

The ability to do this comes from experience; experience in the saddle, teaching cycling, and working with adaptive programs and in the shop working with riders of all sorts of body types, physical and functional needs. It's less a black art then it is a cumulative intuition based on years of experience and problem solving.

To your point about "right" or "proper" ride quality and behavior-I don't buy into it. There are certain tried and true methods and geometries, and they absolutely have their place. What I am trying to do is tweak it one step further to fit the specific need, wants and anticipations of the rider. This will vary based not only on the type of bike, but on how they use it.

I am not interested in building a bike to customer provided geometry numbers, but I am interested in building to their needs.
Eric Estlund
See the bikes at Winter Bicycles

Last edited by EricEstlund; 11-10-2012 at 06:06 PM.
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