RANS enthusiast Paul Krieg takes us on a photo tour of RANS Bikes in Montezuma, Kansas, showing the workshop, assembly area, and some of the individual bike parts under construction.
Hello to all bicycle riders and RANS enthusiasts! This year marks the 3rd anniversary for Jerrell and me with RANS here in Montezuma, KS.
We’d like to thank you for supporting us and the RANS products! There has been much to learn, and we appreciate your understanding with the errors we have made in this business! I enjoy talking and meeting the customers on the phone, and even better yet, those who stop by!
This winter has played out a lot differently than we had planned! Our problems started when our painter moved from the building he was in. As a result, we decided to create a paint facility in our RANS factory. To make this happen, some extensive remodeling was required, which included a major rewiring of the building. The project is moving ahead and we hope to be back in production soon.
Thank-you for your consideration and patience with RANS as we work through this project.
Getting the new paint room ready
A look inside the paint oven
Exterior of paint oven
There are a couple of new paint choices we’ve added to our “favorite” list. Dunbar Teal, Heavy Silver and Daffodil Yellow. The Daffodil Yellow will replace the RAL 1018 Yellow. Another popular option is the Dazzling Red over Super Chrome. All the paint choices are found at www.prismaticpowders.com. You may also view our painters website at www.koehncustoms.com. Karsten has some very nice photos of the RANS bike frames he has painted for us. He will continue to do our painting for us in our facility. I might make mention here, Karsten is a top-notch powder coat painter! As always, RANS is happy to work with our customers on the choice of paint.
Again, I want to say thank you for your support to RANS these last 3 years!
With the changing times and the coming of the electric assist, RANS decided to install a unit and try it ourselves. Let me tell you, it is a blast! Every person who rides on the E-assist bike for the first time, wears a big smile! We were initially inspired to do this when designing and building the Phoenix, when considering E-assist adaptability.
Many of our customers have made inquiries if E-assist can be installed on a crank forward. Inasmuch as some have done this already, the answer is yes. Here at the factory, we wanted to try one ourselves. Jerrell and I decided the crank forward Citi would be a good test bed. This bike is constructed with no front derailleur, so, as a direct installation, this bike was a good option. The fit up was so straightforward it can be installed on any RANS crank forward or recumbent.
The Bafang battery was installed to the bike frame by attaching a machined plate (fabricated here at RANS) to the water bottle mounts.
The bafang unit is a so-called “mid-drive” with a 750 Watt battery. Mid-drive meaning it is intended to be installed in the drive line somewhere between the crank and the rear wheel. This unit gives you ample assist when needed!
One breezy, cold November morning, I chose the E-Citi to ride with my two friends. With ease, I was able to catch up or pull ahead of them using the assist. This was especially necessary when vehicles were passing and we needed to go single file. To keep up with my friends with E-assist, I used level one and shifted up or down as needed. It is also a big advantage in the 10-11 mph winds, which are prevalent in Kansas!!
This weekend get-away took us to the majestic Pikes Peak Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado. RANS Alterra 29, crank forward was the bike of choice to ride the road down Pikes Peak. The Alterra 29 held its own very well!
Even with speeds near the 45 mph mark, tight switchbacks and the occasional need for hard braking, the Alterra 29’s delivered stable worry-free performance.
It took them around 51 minutes to ride to the bottom. This was with breaks in between at the different look-outs.
We picked a perfect day for the top of the peak. The temperature was in the low 40’s with no wind, absolutely beautiful!
I will never tire of the awesome view from the top or on the way down!
Spring is officially here! It is time to dust off your bike and start riding, if you haven’t already! I took my bike out for an early morning ride recently and the feel of the saddle came back to me right quick even after the bike had been sitting all winter. I love it!
The Alterra 700 X ST seems to be the bike for me, because I clearly remember the first time I rode one. Our family was at Hays attending the RANS Rally where Randy had one on display that he let me take for a test ride. I thought it felt great! After dinner that night, Jerrell surprised me when he rolled this pink and white Alterra out on the floor right up to my table! Needless to say, I was a very happy person!
Last spring, Jerrell built me a new Alterra 700 X ST. We spec’ed it out with a carbon crank, a carbon fork and American Classic wheels. The total bike weight is 21.8 pounds without pedals.
I hope to put many happy miles on the bike this summer!
Jerrell and I made the trip to Cincinnati, OH for this event.
It is amazing to see all the different makes and models in production and to meet all the great people!
Recumbent models represented in the RANS booth were the Rifle, Rocket, and the ever popular Stratus XP. Also on display were three of our crank-forward models, the Alterra 29, Alterra 700X ST, and the Fusion ST. Many test rides were taken, lots of positive feedback received, good times!
We would also like to thank our friends, Bill and Kathy Brock, who brought their Seavo tandem for us to demo. The Brock’s recently brought their Seavo to the RANS factory for upgrades including S&S couplers, new paint, seats, etc.
A high point of the show for us was the appearance of Randy and Shelly Schlitter! It was a pleasure to have them there!
Jerrell & Kara Nichols
This post takes you along with one of our customers, Mark Hinnen, as he takes his new RANS Dynamik on the Kettle River Valley Trail in British Columbia. Here’s Mark’s journal:
I bought my Dynamik specifically for this ride. I wanted my own bike instead of renting. Right up front, I will say the bike is a great trail bike. The seat was incredibly comfortable through the whole ride. Vibration is minimal without having suspension. My wrists did not get sore, due to to the geometry of the bike. There is a nice angle which prevents tiredness to the wrists. And the bike holds all sorts of gear quite adequately.
This bike took me on an adventure trail ride that is truly unforgettable and performed great. The Kettle Valley trail is an unimproved (Dirt/Gravel)Canadian rails to trails. We chose to do the section from Midway to Osoyoos. Most riders stop their trip in Penticton, but we rode a full loop minus the highway segment back to Midway.
We booked our trip through Kettle Valley Railtrails Tours because we wanted a roof over our heads every night and our private trip planners were concerned that we may not line up all the necessities at each stop. Paula Sheridan, the owner did all the legwork, food arrangements and transported our luggage to each stop along the way.
The ride is dynamic from beginning to end. It starts out level, but goes through really tall grass. At some point I decided to take pictures of my bike at various locations along the trail.
The first day was a half day ride to Rock Creek , a tiny burg with the cabins we stayed in, a renovated tavern, diner and gas station. A beautiful spot.
From here we headed about 32 miles to Beaverdell to stay at The Last Resort, but before we got there we started to hit the wild country as we finished up the flat,grassy and gated part of the trail. We started to climb up the 2 % grade trail along the river and I really started to get excited, realizing that we were out in the wild, on our bikes, seeing a beautiful part of Canada.
We rolled into the Last Resort. With prepared meals waiting for us.
There was an overnight rain and then on to our next stop, Idabel Lake Resort. This section is mostly hard pack dirt and gravel which took us to a beautiful, remote lake and resort.
Here’s my bike in all its glory before tackling the “ponds”
And big ones!
I did ride through a couple of the big ones until I took a spill. Sadly, no one has pictures of me bravely riding the water.The bike handles great in water and unseen obstacles. One of the traits I found out just before this ride is how well it handles ballast and responds to quick maneuvering.
Along with the ponds we also had blue skies
The same day we hit Myra Canyon. In 2003 there was a huge fire in the canyon which burned most of the the trestles, but have now been rebuilt. We had 18 trestles to cross. Up until this point we had seen only five people on the trail and then there were many people as the canyon is close to Kelowna the major city for the area.
On our way out of the canyon we had a view of the valley.
After a wonderful and comfortable night at a B and B outside of Kelowna we were truly on the downside of the trail dropping down to Naramata. Along the way we had to stop at Chute Lake Lodge, home of good pie. This is a definite step back in time. That’s me in the forefront.
We started passing vineyards into Naramata and had some great views
We had a beautiful night with a night sky that started with an intense rainbow and then turned into this
From Naramata we worked our way toward Penticton and Okanogan Falls passing through vineyards and tasting some Canadian wine.
The last day of the ride took us on highway for a good part of the day and one last portrait of the bike on our way to Osoyoos.
This event is held in Wichita, KS every year. This year being RANS second year attending with a booth.
Friday morning started out early, with a trailer full of some wonderfully designed bikes! The drive takes us 3 hours or so-not a bad drive! We leave the flat plains of western Kansas and travel into the clusters of trees that is home to central Kansas!
Our booth was in the air conditioned Century ll building. We shared a booth with Mike Bailey – Fancy Foam R.C. planes, Full Throttle Hobbies (R.C. shop), and this year the EAA was there as well. The EAA set up a small demo plane. One that actually has taken a flight or two.
On show, in our booth was the best loved Fusion ST, crank forward bike. We also had a Zenetik, (road bike), the Alterra 700ST, and the Alterra 29. The Alterra 29 was the polished Aluminum demo model that Jerrell built for himself.
For the recumbents, RANS’ faithful Stratus XP, the Rifle, and a Rocket was on the floor. Last but not least was the well loved Screamer-tandem recumbent.
A side benefit of being in the Century ll, is watching the Radio Control planes flying in the arena. Mike Bailey invites the R.C. club to come out and fly their foamy planes. It is fun to watch and cheer them on! It is another amazing hobby! Maybe not as much fun as the hobby of riding bike!!!!
If you are in the Wichita area, this is a great time to come out and sit on, and try riding the RANS bikes! There is a host of fun family things to do also! Oh yes, and food to eat!
Kara Nichols – 06/14/2016