Since the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011, NASA has been unable to send any of its astronauts into space using one of its own vehicles. The Russians have helped maintain an American presence beyond the Earth’s atmosphere by offering places on their Soyuz rockets. That’s rather nice of them, no? I dare say, however, that NASA receives a hefty invoice for each American that arrives at the International Space Station.
‘This is all very fascinating, but what has it got to do with cycling?‘ I hear you cry. Good question. Fortunately, there’s also a good answer. For the past couple of years, I have been a bit like NASA; I have been a touring cyclist without a functioning touring bicycle. Unlike NASA, however, I know of no friendly Russians who might help me out.
So, as you will no doubt be aware if you have been reading posts to CyclingEurope.org in the past year or so, I have been investigating the options of investing in a new, potentially bespoke, touring bicycle…
- 1/7/2018: Bespoke Touring Bicycles: The Search Begins (Perhaps)
- 11/7/2018: Bespoke Touring Bicycles: Woodrup Cycles
- 30/7/2018: Bespoke Bicycles: Self-Building?
- 19/1/2019: Question: Is There A Touring Bike That Has Butterfly Bars Fitted As Standard?
- 20/1/2019: The Butterfly Effect: The Dawes Karakum, The Koga World Traveller And The Koga Grand Tourer
- 8/2/2019: Tadcaster: Home Of Good Beer… And Even Better Bicycles
- 30/3/2019: Meeting A World Traveller… In Tadcaster
- 7/4/2019: Investing In A New Bicycle
…and today I took the plunge and placed an order for a new touring bicycle. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the KOGA Signature WorldTraveller-S 2.0 Rohloff Discbrake bicycle.
Well, that’s what it will hopefully look like when I pick it up at the end of June. Here are the details:
I had been toying with the idea of sticking with a chain but in the end, despite the price, I decided to future-proof the bike by opting for the belt drive. It only gets a fleeting mention above but this is what it looks like up close and personal:
“This belt is a further development of the original (CDC) belt. The CDX belt is 4 mm wider than the old CDC belt and therefore has a higher tensile strength. With the CDX, mud and snow is pressed aside the sprockets of the gear wheels in two directions. The raised middle edge prevents the accumulation of dirt. As the belt is led over the raised edge, the belt cannot jump off and also it is easier to mount on the road. Since the CDX gear blades are symmetrical, they can be rotated, prolonging the system’s lifespan.”
And it’s a sexy so and so, no?
The other big decision that I had to make was regarding the handlebars. Butterfly bars are not an option as they are incompatible with the disc brake option so I had been considering these, err… ‘beauties’. The Koga Atalanta bars:
But they are quite ugly. Aesthetics are important when it comes to buying, sorry, investing in a touring bicycle so in the end, I went for the Koga Denham bars:
I have high hopes of growing to love them as I have loved Reggie Ridgeback’s butterfly bars since I first had them fitted in 2010.
The ‘USB Device’ entry above is blank. There is an option for the front hub dynamo to have a USB device linked to it and fitted in the stem. All well and good but… it comes at a hefty price and fitting a USB device directly to the dynamo is not an ideal solution as it isn’t possible to plug directly into a device – an iPhone for example – as the current varies. The solution is for the hub to charge a battery from which a steady current can be generated. So with this bit of physics in mind, I have, instead, opted for the (brace yourself) Busch & Muller Lumotec IQ2 Luxos U. A name worthy of an award, no? It incorporates a USB plug that can be connected directly to the device being charged and all is well with the world…
There remains just one question: what will he (or indeed she) be called?