Friday, 22 November 2013

I miss my Cinzia

I really miss riding my little Cinzia folding bike.

Following it's sad demise, I've been riding my wife's old bike - a modern 6-speed ladies-frame hybrid bike.

I miss the simplicity and ease of the Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub, which I've loved ever since I first used one more than 35 years ago.

I miss the short wheelbase, which I found handy when crossing those roads with a central pedestrian island placed between the two directions of traffic - the size of the islands varies, and with the shorter ones, I need to keep the bike at an angle to keep the ends of the wheels on the pedestrian island and out of the traffic.

I miss the low bottom bracket height, which, due to my creaky knees, was a major benefit. Most modern bikes have a bottom bracket about an inch higher than my Cinzia, which means that I have to bend my knees more.

And, of course, I miss the quirky little bike that I have owned for the best part of twenty years.
It still is the only bike I have ever bought new for myself.

To be honest, my wife's old hybrid is a "better" bike for almost everything I do:
- better load capacity
- less frame flex (the Cinzia has a simple hinge in it's U-frame)
- better brakes (the mediocre side-pull calipers just don't match up to modern V-brakes)

But on the other hand, my Cinzia was better for:
- riding at night (I had a hub dynamo and a lovely LED front light installed)
- putting in the back of our car (automobile)
- tyres (I had a Schwalbe Marathon on the back, while the hybrid has OEM "cheapies")

Like I said, fixing the Cinzia just isn't economic.
If I want a similar bike again, I really ought to get another one from eBay (after Christmas, when prices are lower).
On the other hand, the Cinzia has a plain steel frame - no fancy thin wall, high-strength alloys here!
And an arc welder isn't as expensive as it used to be ...

Where there is steel, there is hope ...
to be continued (hopefully!)

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