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					                                                                                                                                 [contents]       SEPTEMBER 2002

                                               Technical notes                         Velo Vision is published quarterly    4   News                                                 CYCLE SUMMER
Velo Vision Sample Article                                                             by Velo Vision Ltd.
                                                                                       Daily news and updates can be
                                                                                                                                 Burrows’ new load bike, the international Birdy
                                                                                                                                                                                      The world has changed – in publishing
                                                                                       found on             meeting, new Sturmey-Archer components and           terms at least. Before I’d even finished
                                               This Acrobat PDF file should
                                                                                                                                 much more                                            travelling home after CycleVision in
                                               display correctly on almost any         ISSN 1475-4312
                                                                                                                                                                                      Holland, at least three owners of
This PDF is a sample of the material in Velo   computer. If you encounter              Velo Vision, The Environmental        10 The band on bikes                                     digital cameras had posted pictures up
                                               problems the first thing to try is to   Community Centre, St Nicholas
                                                                                                                                 The marching band that doesn’t march – they cycle!   on the internet. Within a day of my
Vision Issue 7, Sept 2002. The contents page   download the latest version of
                                                                                       Fields, York, YO10 3EN, UK
                                                                                                                                                                                      return my own report was up on
is shown right.                                Acrobat reader from the Adobe           Tel +44 1904 438 224
                                                                                       (from UK, 01904 438 224)
                                                                                                                             14 Tears of Joy                                 In a similar way,
                                                                                                                                                                                      you could read online reports about
                                               website:                                                            Three wheels restore mobility.
                                                                                       Fax +44 1904 438 236                                                                           Cyclefest and Spokesfest within hours,
                                                                                       (from UK, 01904 438 236)
                                                                                                                                                                                      rather than the weeks or months you’d
                                                                                                                             16 Books
To get an idea of our current output, please   If that fails, please send me an        Email
                                                                                       Website              A Japanese folding bike compendium and more.
                                                                                                                                                                                      have to wait for a print magazine.
                                               email and I’ll try to sort it out.                                                                                                       Given this, why do we still cover
visit                                                                                  EDITOR AND PUBLISHER: Peter Eland                                                              events in the paper Velo Vision
                                                                                       DESIGN: Brian Holt                    18 Putting them on pedals                                magazine?
                                                                                       WEBMASTER: Simon Ward                     Discovering the world of specialised bikes for
                                               Small print                             PRINTER: Stephens & George
                                                                                                                                                                                        Partly, of course, for those who have                                                           Magazines Ltd, Merthyr Tidfil,
                                                                                                                                 families.                                            no inclination, or facilities, to root
                                                                                                                                                                                      around on the internet for their
                                                                                       Wales, UK. Tel 01685 388 888
                                               I don’t much like copy                  CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER:            24 Cycle Summer                                          information. But mainly because the
                                                                                       Jason Patient Photography
                                               protection and legalese, but a                                                    Scenes from Cyclefest and Spokesfest.                two media have different strengths.
where you will find, amongst much else, full                                           Tel 01890 883408
                                                                                       PROOFREADING: Richard Whittaker
                                                                                                                                                                                      The instant gratification of an online
                                               few things need saying:                                                       26 Airnimal in America                                   picture gallery or report is fine. But
subject/author indices, sample articles to                                             PUBLISHING SCHEDULE:                                                                           there’s also something to be said for the
                                                                                       Issue 8: 4 December 2002
                                                                                                                                 The fast folder tested in Yellowstone.
download and an online shop where you can      You are free to print the               Issue 9: 5 March 2003
                                                                                                                                                                                      discipline of compressing the best
                                                                                                                                                                                      information into just a few pages,
                                                                                       Issue 10: 4 June 2003                 30 The Valleys Viper
subscribe.                                     document out for your personal          Issue 11: 3 September 2003
                                                                                                                                 An affordable three-wheel recumbent put through
                                                                                                                                                                                      giving the reader the good stuff in a
                                                                                                                                                                                      nutshell – and usually with better
                                               use, but not for resale or for          VELO VISION AND VELO-VISION               its paces.                                           picture quality than can be achieved
                                               anyone else. Please do not              We weren’t first with the name.
If you have any problems or suggestions        make it available online
                                                                                       Velo-Vision (note the hyphen) is a
                                                                                       progressive HPV-friendly bike shop
                                                                                                                             34 Why the wheel is round                                  Websites don’t last, either. When you
                                                                                                                                 Tyneside’s awkward squad gets things done            want an instant-access reference, paper
about the magazine in general, or this PDF     without permission.
                                                                                       in Körten, near Bergisch-Gladbach,
                                                                                       Germany, who also make their own
                                                                                                                                 for cyclists.                                        still rules. Events are a magnet for new

article in particular, please email me at                                              recumbents. Velo Vision magazine is
                                                                                       working in friendly harmony with
                                                                                                                                                                                      ideas and technology, and interesting
                                                                                                                                                                                      people – so they deserve reporting in a
                                                                                       Velo-Vision in Germany. Contact       36 Building the Bonza Bike
                                               To protect the copyright of Velo        them on                                                                     less ephemeral form than on a website.
                                                                                                                                 Extreme Rohloff-fuelled minibike madness!
                                               Vision and of our contributors,                                                                                                          So we hope you enjoy reading about                                                                                                       38 Letters
                                                                                                                                                                                      some of the things that have been
                                               modification of this document,                                                                                                         happening around the world this
                                                                                                                                 Your feedback.
                                               and copying of the contents,                                                                                                           summer. We certainly enjoyed being
I hope you enjoy the read.                     have been disabled.                                                           40 CycleVision 2002                                        Looking forwards, Issue 8 will mark
                                                                                                                                 Full report from perhaps the world’s largest ever    the completion of our second year of
                                                                                                                                 HPV event.                                           publication. For next issue we’re
                                               Words and images remain
Peter Eland                                                                                                                                                                           planning a few changes – so look out
                                               copyright Velo Vision and the                                                 45 How to subscribe, and buy                             for a welcome surprise when it arrives
Editor and Publisher, Velo Vision              original contributors. Please                                                    back issues
                                                                                                                                                                                      in December, just in time for
                                                                                                                                                                                      Christmas. On that subject, perhaps I
                                               don’t reproduce anything                Cover photograph:                                                                              could issue a seasonal reminder that a
                                                                                       Ken Davison on his Trice,             45 Adver ts:                                             gift subscription to Velo Vision makes
                                               without express permission.             on the way to Cyclevision in
                                                                                                                                 The best, most interesting advertising around!
                                                                                       Holland. Photo: Peter Eland
                                                                                                                                                                                      an ideal present for any cycling friend.
                                                                                                                                 Please support these companies, who support this
                                                                                       Opposite: Steve Hall and
                                                                                       his son Jordan test the Valleys           magazine.                                             Peter Eland
                                                                                       Viper (see page 30) near the
                                                                                       Neath Canal, South Wales.
                                                                                       Photo: Steve Hall
PRODUCT REVIEW                                                                                                                                                            AIRNIMAL CHAMELEON


                                                                                                                                                                            LEFT AND ABOVE: The
                                                                                                                                                                           Airnimal Chameleon is
                                                                                                                                                                             designed to optimise
                                                                                                                                                                              performance rather
                                                                                                                                                                              than speed of fold.
                                                                                                                                                                           Nevertheless, it packs
                                                                                                                                                                            down into a compact
                                                                                                                                                                          hardshell suitcase when
                                                                                                                                                                              necessary (BELOW)

Chris Hamm, one of the founders of York’s Cyclone Couriers
(featured in Velo Vision 4) took an Airnimal Chameleon with him
when he went to visit his family back home in Salt Lake City...

BACKGROUND                                 vaguely followed its development. I      close. I am a lucky                                               At Manchester
To begin with, a bit of background         now and then achieve a great             man indeed.                                                    Airport I am again
and honest admission...                    triumph over reason and conclude           The trouble with                                          profoundly grateful
  I first laid my eyes (and my             that the Airnimal is the perfect         this sort of obsession is                                 for the rolling hardcase.
backside) on the Airnimal at the           messenger bike and that I should         that experience with the                             Lots of questions from
Encycleopedia Try-Out Show in May          therefore get two (why not three?) in    reality can often be a let-down. Was        security, mostly interested queries
of 2000. Darting through the crowds        the interest of furthering my            I about to have my dream shattered        regarding the bike. I guess folding
at the show, beautifully responsive. I     business. All of this after having       by achieving it?                          bikes are still a novelty. At the check-
swore I could hear my own ‘whoosh’         ridden it for a total of 20 minutes in                                             in counter I have a few misgivings
as I flew back and forth through the       a car park. Two years of pathetic        LEAVING YORK                              about handing over the bike, but the
car park. Is love at first sight an over   yearning.                                I finish packing at 02.00, sleep for      full-size case is just a bit beyond
used cliché? It was, and still is, a         So, I’m off to America for three       two hours and we catch a cab to the       carry-on size so I watch the Airnimal
stunning bike. I wanted it. I              weeks with my nine-year old boy          station; one backpack and one             disappear down the belt.
remember the long conversations            Jake. I want to take a bike with me.     orange suitcase with a small                We fly into Salt Lake City where we
with myself as I struggled to justify      I want to take a fast road bike with     Airnimal logo on it. It’s not too large   are greeted by my parents and an
the purchase. As a cycle courier and       me. I want to take a travel friendly,    at 61 x 61 x 28cm (24" x 24" x 11"),
a father of three in a family which        light, fast road bike with me. I want    and the four caster wheels on the
relies on bikes for all of our             to take...yes, that’s right. A quick     bottom and the long retractable
transport, I couldn’t really fit the       word with Velo Vision’s Peter Eland      handle make it easy for my young
Airnimal into my life as anything          and a few more words with Richard        son Jake to pull it through the
other than a trophy. But still, can’t a    Loke of Airnimal Designs and it is       station. Onto the train, and we are
man have a trophy or two? Please?          all arranged. A week later, while        told that we are on the wrong
  The Airnimal was folded up, packed       out delivering, I receive a phone        carriage so we have to move. I
up, and taken away. But not by me.         call. A box has arrived for me back      wouldn’t want to be doing this with a
  Over the last two years I have           at the office. Ecstatic isn’t even       full size bike bag.

26                                                                                                                                                                                                  27
PRODUCT REVIEW                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          AIRNIMAL CHAMELEON

assortment of cousins. They all                 which includes a pedal spanner.            The Airnimal handles beautifully        something about this bike that              combination of curve and climb. I           is basically some ski slopes
express their disappointment at the               The wheels would benefit from          in traffic. ‘Nimble’ is a good word, do   encourages me to ride ‘light’ in the        prefer standing in the pedals; there        surrounded by a highly exclusive
fact that my wife and daughters                 some more support inside the case,       you like it? I do. Nimble and quick,      saddle; out of the saddle                   is some give in the suspension when         shopping mall. I am approached by a
couldn’t come over. “Yeah, I wish               especially for air travel. The back      like a good messenger bike...             acceleration is comfortable and well        seated and pushing hard. I keep             woman, well actually the Airnimal is
they were here too, but look at the             wheel required some truing. If I am        My father has a go. He does a few       balanced.                                   coming back to wheel size, I am sure        approached by a woman, who says,
bike I’ve got with me...” They are not          going to do this again (with one of      miles on a Schwinn hybrid each day,         There is a group of cars parked at        that smaller 520c wheels almost ‘eat’       “Isn’t that a gorgeous bike? I see a lot
as impressed as I would like. Oh well.          my own!?) I will use the carry-on        and initially he is uncomfortable         the side of the road up ahead, lots of      into corners, and this is a huge            of those in Aspen.” Oh do you? Do
  We are going to spend a few days              option, with the soft shoulder bag       with the ‘over the front wheel’           people standing alongside, with             benefit on steep uphill corners.            you mean bikes in general or this
in Salt Lake and then head up to                and separate wheel bag. I make a         feeling. The height of the seat in        cameras clicking away. Now they are           I hit one of these switchbacks in         bike in particular? Anyway. I imagine
Jackson Hole, Wyoming. When we                  note to add some more packing            relation to the bars leads him to         all getting back into their cars, quite     too big a gear and my lungs are             that an ‘Aspen Airnimal Outlet’ would
arrive at my grandpa’s house I open             material for protection on the flight    believe that his back will be put off,    rapidly I must say. Hmmm. Ahhh,             screaming for air. Must stop. Nope,         do quite well. I’ll manage the shop.
up the case. Looks alright, a small             home. Besides that, everything is        but after a few spins around the          now I see why. There is a herd of           there’s a group of cyclists stopped
scratch on the main tube, maybe                 perfect.                                 block he is smiling and lively in his     bison moving across the road. I             just beyond the bend, can’t stop            GOING HOME
from contact with the cogs?                       I think it would be a very good idea   appraisal. He quickly becomes             really must get a picture of this. Get      now. I will not give in, I must try and     Time to pack it up again. It is much
Otherwise it positively glows. I will           indeed to ride off in search of a        accustomed to the position and            it? Airnimal with animals. I fantasize      look like I deserve this bike. I can        simpler to dismantle this time, and I
take it out in the morning.                     coffee.                                  handling. His back is happy.              a chase scene: angry bull buffalo           feel their eyes on the sleek lines of       lay my shoes in the bottom of the
                                                                                                                                   snorting and charging, Airnimal             the Airnimal as I try to sway easily        case to better support the back
FIRST IMPRESSIONS                               WHOOSH!                                  WYOMING AIRNIMALS                         accelerates easily in open mockery          past them. I am not making a                wheel. I also add a few judicious bits
(SECOND TIME AROUND)                            The bike is just as I remember, and I    First day out of the city. I am taking    of the furiously pounding hooves            whooshing sound any more. One of            of soft packing around the fork, the                    Chris finds the Airnimal a      the suspension rules out awkward
                                                still swear that I can hear a whoosh     it slow while my sea-level system         falling quickly behind...                   the riders says something but I can’t       cog and the handlebars.                                   lively descender on the       handling.
It’s early, I think. It is also 95°F (35° C).   sound as I ride through light            acclimatises to the elevation here                                                    hear him over the artillery pounding          Any complaints? Nothing that                          way back down (ABOVE)             Competition? Some of the Bike
   Richard Loke sent me through                 morning traffic. I have to               (around 2000 metres) at Jackson           THE CLIMB I’VE BEEN                         of my own heart. The Harley bikers          amounts to much. I am retentive                         after suffering somewhat        Friday range aim at the same sort of
some assembly instructions before I             concentrate on remembering               Hole, Wyoming. Some old French            WAITING FOR                                 are parked up around the next bend.         about rattling – the retention clip                      on the way up (BELOW)          performance. In the UK at least it
left York; I think I’ll get started right       American traffic laws.                   trapper named this mountain range         Big Cottonwood Canyon winds its                                                                                                                                                 looks like the Airnimal can compete
away. Technically the Airnimal is a               Now, it is self evident that           teton: breast. The Tetons rise to         way into the west slope of the                                                                                                                                                  well on price and features – you
folding bike, but assembly from its             pressure applied to the pedals in a      nearly 4500 metres; glaciers shine        Wasatch Mountains until its                                                                                                                                                     need a high end Bike Friday to get
fully packed state is a bit awkward.            rotational manner translates into        brilliant on the steep rock face as I     terminus at Solitude Ski Area. On the                                                                                                                                           you suspension, and I like the
This comes as no surprise really: the           forward motion. There is no need         ride out across the sagebrush plains.     opposite slope of the mountains is                                                                                                                                              Airnimal’s 24" wheels over the
Airnimal website is straightforward             to say this in a bike test is there?       The bike is sweet at a good, steady     Park City Ski Resort, where many of                                                                                                                                             Friday’s 20 inchers.
in stating its design philosophy.               That being the case...oh, I don’t        pace. Once I find my rhythm it is         the 2002 Winter Olympic events                                                                                                                                                    Can I justify it as a courier bike?
Performance over portability. The               know. Perhaps there is some              easy for me to forget that I am not       were held. Between these two resorts                                                                                                                                            Performance wise, definitely.
idea is that once you let go of the             exquisite relationship between the       on a 700c road bike. It positively        is Guardsman Pass, a tightly winding                                                                                                                                            Practically speaking? Maybe not. Too
notion that the wheels have to stay             Airnimal’s smallish wheels, short        prefers speed, maybe not a bike for       narrow road which peaks at 3500                                                                                                                                                 pricey, too flashy. A single speed
on, you can make the wheels a                   wheel base and light overall weight      people who like a slower touring          metres. I want to see how the                                                                                                                                                   Airnimal... yea, that will do it.
decent size (24", 520) and the frame,           which gives me the palpable              pace but it suits me fine. The            Airnimal feels on a sustained climb,                                                                                                                                            Foldable? I think perhaps portable is
less wheels, fold down really small.            impression of serious acceleration       elastomer suspension eases the ruts       and this seems as good a place as                                                                                                                                               a more apt description. For my
   As well as the suitcase fold (which          with a single intense rotation of        and bumps on this old county road         any to find out. I am not by any                                                                                                                                                purposes it was perfect.
requires pedals, stem etc to be                 the pedals. Maybe someone with           without making itself obvious. The        means a highly experienced hill                                                                                                                                                   So, for me it would still be a trophy,
removed), the design does permit a              more physics savvy could explain         carbon fibre fork creates a good          climber (York is flat), but I feel that I                                                                                                                                       if a lovely, functional one. I’d only so
quick fold: Seat off, seat post down,           it all with a brief equation.            balance of stiffness along with a bit     owe it to Velo Vision and to Airnimal       When I stop, one of them says, “I           that holds the rear triangle in place        whatever level of component quality        rarely actually need its ability to fold.
front wheel off and back wheel                                                           of jolt-friendly compliance. The          Designs to suffer a little bit. Very        thought you’d a stopped a while ago,        rattles. I tried to adjust it to no avail.   your budget will stand. The bike we        But if I was travelling for my cycling,
under. With a strap to hold it all                                                       Airnimal feels like a tight spring, not   noble, very committed.                      but then I figured you’d have to at         Yeah, I know, but I can’t help it. I         tested would cost around £1250. The        and not just riding around York
together, this makes the Airnimal               Riding with the Harleys:                 a bike to relax on when riding an           There are a couple of Harley              least pass those guys down there.           would have liked a stiffer elastomer         hardcase suitcase is an extra £95, all     delivering packets – I’d be ordering
easy to carry along on the train, put           guess who made it up                     uneven road surface. There is             Davidsons parked at the bottom and          How’s it goin’? Looks like the altitude     for the climb, but this is easily dealt      prices including VAT.                      one tomorrow.
it in the boot of a car or stow away in         the mountain first?                                                                somehow I think it is appropriate to        is getting’ to ya.” Is it all really this   with. The Airnimal I had was fitted                                                       The Airnimal is a sexy bike to look
your bedroom. I figure that’s where it                                                                                             have some photos taken with them. I         obvious?                                    with flat bars/bar ends – I like drops.      SUMMARY                                    at and an exhilarating bike to ride. At
really should be kept.                                                                                                             kindly approach the two guys who              The descent into Park City is a           So what? You can order it with the           I was kind of hoping that I would          a glance its lines are sweet and fluid,
   To avoid the baggage handlers you                                                                                               look most likely to be the owners of        challenge of a distinctly different         bars you want.                               come home having accepted that             upon closer inspection the
can even pack the frame down into a                                                                                                the polished machines. They are             sort, and I can almost out run the            High-speed descents? Like I said, I        the Airnimal is not right for me. The      workmanship is impeccable. It gets a
56 x 36 x 20cm hand-luggage packet                                                                                                 very taken with the Airnimal, it            Harleys now. I do feel slightly             don’t know if it was the bike or me          final test was whether or not it could     lot of attention from cyclists and
– the wheels are bagged separately,                                                                                                appeals to their aesthetic sense no         unnerved at high speed, is it the           but I definitely felt a little bit           pull a Burley child trailer. It can and    non-cyclists alike. I like attention,
but you’ve got the valuable stuff with                                                                                             doubt. They offer to ride with me           short wheelbase or just a healthy           reluctant to sustain my highest              it does a good job of it as well. I have   blame my mother. I also like making
you. But this fold requires you                                                                                                    over Guardsman’s Pass. Great, let’s         respect for life and death? Corners,        speed. Also, I ran out of gears on the       pulled the Burley with a Brompton          whooshing sounds.
remove the forks, too.                                                                                                             race. Any wagers?                           corners, corners. This bike loves           way down but that’s not an issue             and it leaves my little ones leaning
   Full assembly from the suitcase,                                                                                                  The Airnimal again impresses me           corners. Lean in, weight forward,           with the bike, is it?                        forward, thanks to the 16" wheels.         AVAILABILITY
using the bike rack on the back of a                                                                                               with its design. While not a pure           and again I sense that the Airnimal is        Airnimal Designs offer several             Also, the Brompton suspension              Contact Airnimal Designs,
Jeep, takes me about 30 minutes.                                                                                                   climber (then again, neither am I) it       consuming the road. I swear this            models tailoring the design to               design makes it difficult to lift the      Cambridge, UK: Tel 1223 523973
Without the use of a stand this could                                                                                              is clearly of a climb friendly              thing is alive.                             particular purposes: touring, audax,         front of the attached trailer and turn     email or see
take a bit longer, but it is all very well                                                                                         geometry. It really excels at the tight       Park City is an old mining town           time trialling, even off-roading. The        it around. The Airnimal’s 24" wheels       their website at
explained in the instructions. The                                                                                                 uphill switchbacks, especially on the       which struck it very, very rich with        basic Chameleon Sora starts at               provide just the right height for the      Airnimal are happy to ship bikes
only tool I need is a Topeak Alien –                                                                                               inside corners which involve a lovely       the establishment of the ski resort. It     around £1030, and you can choose             trailer hitch, and that rattling clip on   worldwide.

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