Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I snagged this at a garage sale this morning. I bought it because the full 600 brifter group and Columbus tubing sticker made it worth risking $55. The people I bought it from told me that it had been sitting unused outside for about a year. Probably not the best bike storage strategy in Wisconsin—the chain and some of the fasteners were a little rusty—but the frame looked nice and clean. Even the tires are pretty good.
Two odd details. First, it has no decals—not a one—but for the Columbus tubing sticker, which is where things get really odd:
It's Metax. Yeah, I didn't know what it was at first either. I thought this was some low-end tube set and that the bike was maybe something banged out by the thousands in Taiwan. Maybe something from the Performance Bike mail-order catalog (it had Performance-badged bottle cages and a Forté stem). But Metax, as our pal Google tells it, is a stainless tube set.
Stainless really isn't a very popular frame material, so this narrows things down a lot. I know that one local builder was using stainless around the time this bike was probably built, but this bike doesn't seem flamboyant enough to be one of Lawrence's, and I have no idea whether he ever used Metax.
Two things might help a little. First, it has unusual rear dropouts, including a fender boss on the seatstay:
Second, it has a distinctive serial number:
PS—Sorry folks, but for reasons beyond my control, the Ute review is just going to have to wait.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
My LBS has one in stock, so here they are side by side. I haven't ridden it yet, but I will soon. I might write something afterward. Is anyone else curious?
Update 8-12: Still haven't gotten to ride the Ute yet. I should mention that this particular example is a 2008, and that the 2009 appears to have a better bag setup.
Here is a Big Dummy belonging to some folks out in Denver who have set the bar just a little higher for all the utility bike geeks out there. Check out the really cool kid seating underneath the cover (click on the picture above to go to their Photostream), and oh, here's their blog.
Speaking of utility bikes, my neighbor told me that Trek was shooting some video of a prototype Gary Fisher utility bike this afternoon at the neighborhood market just down the street from us. She described it as being about the same size as the Big Dummy, but with some kind of integrated passenger seat in the stoker position, a short steel platform, and some "really cool" side bags with zippered flaps. Fat tires, disk brakes and wide upright bars. Hmmmm... isn't Interbike coming up?
PS—Did I mention that the GF had a centerstand?