INTO THE RIDE #56
Folders vs. Knock-Down Bikes
and Other Goodies
by Randy Schlitter
At the 2007 Oshkosh airshow we got the usual rounds of requests for a bike that fit into a plane, and particularly a plane the size we build. Our firm, as you may know, builds small two-place sport planes in both kit and ready-to-fly form. Our latest model just released at the 07’ Airventure is the S-19, which was designed with enough baggage space for either two folding or knock-down bikes.
When it comes to folding bikes, and we felt the market was adequately covered. However, after riding folding bikes of various types, I can now relate to why some pilots want someone to make another attempt. (I might also note what a relief it is to run into so many pilots who love cycling and who are riding our products).
For me folding bikes lack frame rigidity, comfortable seats (few to none are CF! or bent!). Most are based off 20” or smaller wheels for compactness, which can work to some extent, but almost always means a trade off in speed and road feel. The folder has a knock down bike beat for when a pilot wants to ride into town for lunch, but in 25 years of flying about the country, transportation to points off the airport has always been available in one form or another*. Instead I think the better tact to take is making a bike that is fun to ride, a small package, can be assembled in 10 minutes or less, and rides as well as a fixed frame.
Knock-down bikes can be made by using S&S couplings, and we currently offer such, but none specific to package including a case and pack method. This is what we are proposing, but without the S&S coupling. Instead we have designed a new coupling we hope will be lower in cost to make, install, and about as easy to use. The new coupling features a design based around gas pipe clamps, but is made to be repeatedly taken apart. Below is a solid works rendition of the coupling. If successful in load testing we will make them in several sizes and get busy splicing them into CF’s and bents.
Headset Adjustor Clamp
In answer to those wanting something better than the simple clamp method used on our thread less fork assemblies on several models, we have created a headset adjustor in combination with the fork clamp. The new clamp is robust in design and simple to install and adjust. It mimics what would be in place if a threaded fork was used. The clamp has a step machined in the lower rim to allow a threaded section of tubing to be inserted. Two jam nuts are threaded on the section. The clamps fit 1.125” forks and are available on ShopRANS. 2008 models will feature this clamp standard. The clamp is only 44 grams heavier than the previous clamp.
1. Slip the threaded tube section with jam nuts screwed on even with or past the end of the tube. Threaded tube section must be installed with slot facing up.
2. Slide the clamp on with the step for the threaded tube facing down, and with the slot lined up with the slot in the clamp.
3. Tighten clamp when the assembly is against the headset with no gap.
4. Use two 36mm headset wrenches to tighten the jam nuts against the headset until proper tension against the headset is obtained. Hint, for added security use blue Loc-tite on jam nuts.
SPECIAL NOTE: On 1” forks a 1.125” Diameter by .058” wall by 1.125” length shim is required. Shims available on ShopRANS. Bikes needing a shim: F-5, hot-rod Rocket and V-Rex.
Logo-ized chain guards are now available for both bents and CF’s. Protect your frame in style. The shorter guard is for recumbents, and the longer is for CF’s. Both are available on ShopRANS.
These little bits of plastic come 6 to a bag in three different colors and are handy to organize cables as they come off the handlebars. Available on ShopRANS.
October is fast approaching and it will be soon time to head to InterBike. RANS will be there in full force showing off the changes and additions for 2008. As many may know this year has been good for CF’s. This line of very comfy and speedy bikes is gaining lots of faithful riders. The recumbent line has also been hot, keeping us super busy, even late into the season. What can you expect us to show at InterBike? Expect some classics to get facelifts, one to become extremely lighter, others to be even a better value, and maybe a new place to sit on hot wheels. Expect evolution, expect more quality and more value in 2008. Until next time ride safe, and stay into the ride.
*Someday someone needs to write about the infamous “airport cars” and the adventures pilots have encountering these beasts.