Sunday, April 05, 2009

Kim test rides Betty

Yesterday, at last, Kim, the girls, and I went to Harris Cyclery where they've got a Betty Foy frame on hold for us. I'd been corresponding with sales guy Elton, who said they were building one up as a floor model, and she could test ride that.

Elton wasn't there, but we had a good time talking with Jim. He set her off on a test ride - not too long, though, since rain was threatening. Plus, this was her first experience with non-hub-gears for ages and she was still getting the feel for it.

For the sake of comparison, she also tried a couple hybridy bikes - a Jamis and Giant, I think. She said they were a bit nippier, but didn't shift as crisply. And of course, they're completely lacking in the personality of Betty.

So Betty Foy it is. We talked through some of the details with Jim, but we'll finalize everything with Elton via email this week. With any luck, we'll have it by Easter!

Here's the spec we're looking at for now:
  • Nitto Technomic stem
  • Pyramid Northroad bars
  • Cork grips
  • Deore front & rear derailleurs
  • Sugino triple (26, 36, 46) chainset
  • Ultegra 8 speed bar-end shifters attached with Paul Thumbies
  • 8-speed Deore cassette
  • Tektro 73mm brake calipers with Shimano levers
  • 650b Synergy-Deore wheelset
  • Panaracer Col de la Vie tires
  • SKS fenders
  • Pletscher kickstand
  • Nice red cabling (to match the little apples) and a red Blackburn bottle cage
Still undecided: Saddle & pedals. Maybe bars too.

The thing about saddles is that Brooks certainly look the part, but they're also vulnerable to rain. And Kim prefers an upright riding position, so she'll be putting more weight on the saddle than I put on my B17. Does that mean she should have a saddle with springs? I'm a little nervous about that because Elsie will be a passenger at times, and I'd hate to have her little fingers get pinched. Also, it might take her a while to break it in... so I'd rather spare her the rigmarole if possible.

What alternatives are there, I wonder?

As for pedals, it's going to be platforms. There are various quill-sorts by MKS and others, but they aren't too sneaker friendly with the narrow contact points. I do like the Grip Kings, but they're a little odd, and a little dear. The pedals we've got on our German commuter bikes have good surfaces and built-in reflectors, and I think something like that would be just fine. Just gotta find them now. I think they're something like these bargain Wellgos. Or maybe something like these red Easterns?

As for bars, the Pyramid North Roads are similar to Nitto's Albatross bars, but not quite as wide. But they are definitely more swept back than the bars Kim's used to. I may send Elton a photo of her current pedals & bars and see if there's something similar he can find for Betty.

So, it's all very exciting! I did a lovely ride out to heretofore undiscovered corners of Carlisle today and all I could think about was how Kim will enjoy getting out there too! (She assures me that this will indeed happen.)

Will post pics & further developments as they come.

In the meantime, comments welcome!

(BTW: We're grateful to Dottie and her Let's Go Rid a Bike blog for her comprehensive entry about her own ambition to own a Betty Foy!)


Anonymous said...

Rubber pedals. Cheap, effective, and appropriate. Friendly to all types of shoes, including dress shoes. Plus, effectively reverse-snobbish.

Dottie said...

Must be very exciting for her!! I look forward to reading about the process. I got my Betty Foy today, pictures soon.