INTO THE RIDE #109
2012 RANS Rally & 2013 Preview
by Randy Schlitter
Dealer Night Thursday September 27th:
This year we held our first Dealer’s Night where we introduced the new line of bikes, presented assembly tips, and test rode the new models. The results were outstanding. The dealers really loved the one-on-one time, and we got meaningful feedback on all levels. The weather was also on our side, with mild temps for the morning rides, and moderate winds.
Tour of Hays:
Friday at 3:00PM a group of 30 took off to tour the town. The first stop was the shop where RANS was located when production of Sail trikes began. This 30’x30’ shop was the birthplace of many man-powered machines and many other inventions. The next stop was the local Soda Shoppe for traditional malts, sundaes, and other ice cream treats. We then launched off towards an extended tour of Hays, showing off the town’s sites, such as Ft. Hays State College, Boothill, the local park, and peaceful bike-friendly residential areas.
Original RANS Shop
Downtown Hays Soda Shoppe
Saturday Cathedral Ride:
With great weather, 36 of us launched for the town of Victoria. This year’s route avoided the old Highway 40. This backtracking added a few miles, but kept us on good roads with either an empty lane or very light traffic. A few of us took the dirt road “short cut,” finding the soft sandy road and roller-type hills a fun challenge. If you held a good 15 MPH, this three-miles-shorter course would put you in front.
Everyone was back in time for a company-sponsored cookout, followed by a new bike presentation. The dirt track timed trials were moved to 7:00PM to beat the heat. We had some pretty good times – Jerrell Nichols, our dealer from Montezuma, Kansas, won first place with a 2:50.7 time.
RANS MTB Time Trials
First Place: Jerrell Nichols……………..2:50.7
Dylan Nichols…………….4.29.7 (junior class at age 9…..)
Here is a quick breakdown of what you missed at the presentation:
The Rifle weighs in at 23.6 lbs. with pedals, when set up with American Classic Sprint 350 wheels, Shimano 105 crank, X9 rear DR, and bar end shifting. It can possibly go lighter, but the goal was a frame at or below 4 pounds. We make that on the small frame and the large bumps to 4.3 pounds. This is a very sturdy frame; the oval is big, and as close to round as possible to keep the torsion. The oval tube added to the beam stiffness to allow the use of a non-track seat clamp. We saved .25 pounds on the seat clamp modification alone! The boom is short and stiff, and the ride is smooth due to the really large joint where the chain stays meet the main tube.
Oval Tube Xstream
The new Xstream now comes with an oval tube and comes in lighter than the 2” round tube version, mostly because of the lighter seat clamp design. The BB is 1.5” higher and is a big improvement (in my book) because it’s easier to clear whatever brake you install, and also makes the bike more aero. This bike came in at 24.7 pounds. It will be sold both as a frameset and as a complete bike with two wheel choices, either the Jalco or American Classic. No carbon bikes for now — those will only come if we can justify them. Since we are able to get the aluminum frames nearly as light in weight, it is not as pressing.
Alterra 700 and 700ST
The Alterra 700, formerly the 700X, is now with canti brakes and offered in a step-through. These are light and spirited bikes that can cruise fast and handle all kinds of crappy roads with the 32mm stock tires.
Alterra 700 ST
We have pulled these bikes: the V-Rex, Stratus AL XP, Formula, Alterra 26, Alterra Road, Mini, Enduro 26, F-5, F-5 PRO, HammerTruck, and Citi. However, for the remaining stock we will still offer some as complete bikes, and all others in frame sets. A dealer access Retro Page will be set up to feature these frames.
Sunday Wilson Ride
The Wilson ride will bring out the true grit in any rider – 30+ miles dotted with some respectable hill challenges. Add increasing winds and rising temperatures to this, and the stage was set to bring out the best or worst in a rider. Most finished before it was too windy and hot, but still claiming it to be a respectable challenge to be looked forward to next year! The ride features views of Lake Wilson, which, if you ever get a chance to visit Kansas, lives up to the name “jewel of the plains”.
The Rally ended with a great lunch at the Midland Hotel. It is a historical landmark and a place of interesting background. Carpetbaggers, along with the usual cast of brave souls taming the West, made this hotel an overnight stop. It was simple in the late 1800’s: you jumped off the train and walked 300 feet to the Midland Hotel, bought drink, dinner, and room, and not once passing through security, all the while packing your own six-shooter!
After an exceptional lunch we said our goodbyes and headed our separate ways, hoping to meet again on a ride somewhere, or at next year’s RANS Rally.