Friday, January 06, 2006

Unstealing bikes: Everyone wins?

I have what I think is good news about the "unstealing" bike project. I was expecting hundreds (or at least tens) of entries from people who had bikes stolen and needed transportation. But I got just four.

With so few entrants, my original "first finder is keeper" plan for releasing the bike is no good. I might pick the wrong part of town, where none of the four can reach it easily. I would likely stay with the bike for a long time, then finally have to leave it with its minimal lock, and then someone would steal it before one of the entrants got to it.

The good news is that I can probably get bikes to all four—but it will take some patience on their part. I'm going to release the completed bike to the person who it fits best, then continue building on the other frames and partial bikes I have, releasing them to the other three as I finish them.

The completed one is an entry-level mountain bike in a small frame size: 16 inches along the seat tube, 20 inches along the top tube, and a standover height of 28.5 inches. I'm sorry to say the bike has no fenders, lights, or reliable lock, so the winner may have to obtain those things fairly quickly. (In the future I hope to have a connection for such accessories.)

Here's how it shakes out:

David: Sorry man, but it would be painfully small for you, a six-footer. The good news is I have a frame that should fit you; I just have to round up some more parts for it.

Connie and Nellyda: This finished bike would sort of work for either of you, but not really. With your long leg length for your height (typical for women), it's likely you would forever be scooting way back on the saddle, trying to find a better position over the pedals that the bike just can't give you. The good news is that I have a frame (and some parts, but not all that are needed) that should work better for you, and I also need to follow through on another complete-ish bike that's been offered to me.

Jay: That leaves you. With your short leg length for your height (typical for men), you could make the best use of this small frame. You'll be riding very upright because the bike also has a short handlebar stem. You may want to change to a long one when you can, to stretch out your upper body more. Let me know what neighborhood you live in, and we can figure out a good place and time to meet.

I hope this is an uplifting outcome for everyone. I'll be in touch with the other entrants as I get the other bikes finished.

1 comment:

patrick said...

Congratulations on your first un-stolen bike, wobg!

I was at North Portland Bikeworks today and I noticed they had two pairs of used 26" MTB fenders (full fenders!) for about $18 each pair. Just FYI.