Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Old Field Cycles Test Drive

I ran into Justin tonight at Bread and Roses and he was on his "dirt road commuter."  He mentioned that it's up for sale for $2,000.  I admitted that I don't have the money or need for an extra bike, but asked to test drive it.

The paint is beautiful and the lines on the tubing are so clean.  It's got some innovative features.  The cable for the front drum brake is routed through the fork.  Drum brake in the back too.  The tires give great traction and the cotton wrap on the handlebars make them feel SOLID.  Speaking of solid, Justin build the wheels by hand with heavy duty spokes and a 29er rim.  I've never ridden a Campy shifter/Shimao derailer setup before, but it was pretty neat to downshift AND upshift 3 gears at a time.

The generator light isn't as bright as my DiNotte XML-3, but it's always on if you're riding and there's no worry about batteries.  It will stay for a while even if you're stopped.  Speaking of stopping, the drum brakes are a whole 'nother world.  They don't quite have the stopping power of my hydraulic disc brakes, but they do a damn good job.  They're also silent and are not exposed to the elements, so they should perform the same in wet conditions.  The tools clanking around in the bag in the front were not so quiet.  However, the front storage is huge and secured very well.  The saddle bag was not attached when I rode it.

My only complaints: 1. Brooks saddle...I would convert to ISM if I bought it, but some people love the Brooks.  2. I wasn't clipped in so I couldn't test drive it really hard.

Overall, this would be a great multi-purpose bike.  I think if I were forced to have only one bike, this might be the one.  You can commute on it, you could race it if you don't mind being a bit slow due to weight and knobby tires (and no aerobars), you can ride off-road, you can go shopping, and just about whatever else you want.
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