Literally, in the mail. But also in other ways. For the few of you who aren’t regular members of Bike Forums, this will be news. Those of you who are… well, here it is again.
I’m getting a new bike, and in the process, I’m selling an old one. Ever since I got The Raleigh a new saddle and rolled-up bars, enabling me to sit up a bit more and get more leg extension, I’ve been a very happy camper. Riding that bike is literally painless, and this from someone who finds most things painful. But that leaves… The Panasonic. I keep looking at it and thinking: I should ride that one.
But I haven’t. Not in weeks. Because when I get on The Panasonic, my neck hurts… my hands hurt… my shoulders hurt… Finally, I decided that reality had to rule. The Panasonic should go to someone who loved it and rode it, and I should get a new bike. And then a local Bike Forums member emailed me, noting that should I ever want to sell The Panasonic, he would be interested. We will hopefully make that deal happen in a couple weeks, but if he doesn’t want it, I suspect there are plenty of other folks who will. It is one beautiful bike!
But I am not, as you might imagine, a one-bike kinda gal. The Raleigh is pure awesomeness, but it doesn’t handle hills well. Even with the lowered gears and lighter wheels, it’s not ever going to be a bike for riding up steep inclines. And frankly, it’s just nice to have two different bikes, I think, for different moods. I decided I wanted a mixte. Something faster than The Raleigh, with more gears, but upright. I googled “new porteurs” or something like that, and saw this:
I was taken with the beautiful clean steel lines, the lugs, the chainguard, the rack, the light, the EVERYTHING. I was smitten. It’s the Creme Caferacer Doppio 7 speed.
For two weeks, I’ve been mulling over this bike. I’ve looked at vintage mixtes on Craigslist. I’ve picked the brains of the folks on Bike Forums. I’ve consulted The Beloved (who said: “buy it right now,” as anyone Beloved should). At long last, I decided to just do it. Though it costs more than a vintage mixte would, it’s a screaming deal for a new bike. It will be shipped to my door from the UK for a mere $800.
Here is the info: It’s cro-moly, fully lugged (except for the fork, which is lugged hi-ten) steel. It has a Brooks B17 saddle, standard. Shimano Nexus 7-speed hub. The crankset is proprietary, but I think it’s pretty. The wheels are 700c, running Schwalbe Roadcruisers in cream at 35mm. It has matching fenders and chainguard. The lights are battery-operated, but if I can, I’m going to get a bottle dyno, I think, for the front one. The front rack is standard, and there are braze-ons for a rear rack.
The downside to the bike, assuming it rides nicely, which reviews from the UK and Europe indicate it does, is that the colors are very limited per model. This one only comes in pink. The next level up, with a dyno hub, only comes in dark purple. The single speed and 3-speed models, which are made of hi-ten entirely, come in more colors. The men’s model comes in a couple more. They also make a fixed gear bike and a “Dutch” bike. Of course it also stinks that they have no US distributors so I can’t test ride it, but I bought The Raleigh without a test ride, so I’m willing to try this too. Assumedly, if I hate it and end up selling it, given its rarity and the quality of the components, I can recoup most of my cost.
I’m very excited, though I have no idea how long it will take to get the bike to me. I should know that in a few days.
I think I’d like it to have a pretty rear rack, as well, and that bottle dyno, as I said. Otherwise, it’s exactly what I was looking for. I may skip the rear rack, if the Carradice Barley looks good on it. We’ll see.
I can’t wait!!!
Here’s the link to Creme’s main site, where you can find more about their various models.