(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Electric bicycles are the unwanted stepchildren of the bicycle world. Recumbents are the disowned children in case you were ready to make an argument. While I don’t share these views, that’s the vibe you get in the majority of the local bike shops. Especially from the mechanics. We’ll get into my philosophy of bicycles later on.
For the record though, I am not a fan of electric bicycles.
Call me romantic, but bicycles were the epitome of human powered revolution. What you put into the bicycle came out as freedom to take you places. Food and drink where the only fuels you needed. No ties to a gasoline station, or care of an animal to take you around. The bicycle was independence. Electric bikes, they seem to take away some of that independence. Granted, there are some places where an electric bike is beneficial, especially when it comes to prolonging one’s ability to ride a bicycle. Think hills. Think San Francisco. Yet I still stand by the fact that the electric bike kills some of the romantic notions of cycling.
But I’ll make an exception, after the break.
English: Gov. Schwarzenegger visits Old Town Eureka to survey earthquake damage. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I think of Austria, I think of two things: Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Julie Andrews helping a family escape the Nazi occupation. Now I can add KTM bicycles to that short list. Honestly, I wasn’t looking for the KTM booth. My knowledge of KTM is mostly of the motorcycle variety, with a vague idea of the mountain bikes. As I was wandering around Interbike, I happened across their booth, a sea of black and orange. Oh baby.
First some history, KTM has been manufacturing bicycles since 1964. News to me. According to the sales rep, KTM has been in the United States for about five years. Only in the last two years has the company begun to make inroads into the US bicycle market. Again, news to me. Happy news once I started looking at the bikes. Needless to say, I was impressed. Very impressed, not just by the paint jobs, but by the specs, quality of workmanship, and overall package.
After the break, I’ll showcase two of the bikes I couldn’t tear myself away from.
Speedplay X pedal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Speedplay road pedals have a love/hate relationship with road riders. Some riders love them, some ridershate them. My affiliation falls into the love them category. More specifically, my knees love them. It’s not because of the tons of float, it’s because the float has no resistance. This allows my foot to rotate naturally as I pedal without stressing my knee. I’ll get into pedaling dynamics in a later post. This is about what I saw at Interbike. For myself and other riders that love Speedplay pedals, it’s something new and exciting. For those who hate Speedplays, there are other things on the internet to take up your time. Insert break here and read on.