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Kickbike:Model try out

Bruce Cook from Kickbike Australia came around to my house yesterday afternoon. Up pulled the kickbike van with a full range of models for me to try.

His warehouse is n
ear where I live here in Brisbane so I guess I live in kickbike country..

So onto the City Cruiser(pictured) I hop and my 'hood has not seen me go so fast.

These 'machines' are so darn light especially compared to
my dogscooter which is built like a tank.

Weight: 10.5kg

Dimensions: 165cm L x 110cm H x 42mm W

Frame: KB-4 Hi-Ten steel

Footboard: Friction Textured aluminium alloy 100mm x 340mm

Forks: Unicorn Hi-Ten steel 40mm trail

Brakes: Front & Rear Alhonga dual pivot sidepull

Hubs: Quick release, KengMin, Front 60mm Rear 50mm

Rims: Alexrims, matt black

Tyres: Front Heng Shin 700x32C (65psi), Rear Maxxis Birdy 40x355 (65psi)

Unfortunately I failed to also take the opportunity to try the Sports model but the X-Country I had a go on is awesome in a true grit sort of way with front wheel suspension. Ideal for the mountain biker-- but not so good for road kicking as you lose energy when the suspension forks take
up some of the momentum in your kick cadence. But when you are off road it's hills and dales and dirt and shrubbery -- not the asphalt that makes up your kickbiking route.

Like all scooters, the Kickbike is not a mule -- no good for carrying loads like shopping as aside from the small front end basket (on the Cruiser) the gear you travel with, in the main, has to be backpac
ked. That's because overhang will only get in the way of your kick follow through.

In contrast I carry shopping on my dogscooter by wheeling it homeward like a sideways shopping trolley. I can't ride it because of weight issues when I'm loaded up with groceries -- but it is an easy push. So I gu
ess that's my major issue with the kickbike --compared to my scooter use habits.

But, you see, the kickbike is so much easier to push such that from a standing start and one kick I can get so much farther because so many more factors are on my side ergonomically. Physics is working for me, you see, a la Newton's core laws.
  • Lightness: the Cruiser weighs in at 10 kgm
  • Wheel base: the front wheel has a rotation base on par with standard bicycles.
  • Shortness: the kickbike's length is about 25% shorter than my dogscooter so it has a better packaged momentum. The dogscooter in contrast has 'drag' -- a factor you notice on cornering as it feels like piloting a truck or bus
My major hesitancy, nonetheless, with the kickbike was the footboard as my dogscooter easily accommodate both feet and I even have a seat to sit on. So it's roomy. The Kickbike has a much shorter footbo
ard -- only long enough for one shoe length. This means that to push a kickbike I had to change my kicking habits.

Since I'm not up to the "jump change" so oft
en --where you jump one foot and bring in the other to replace it on the footboard -- Bruce showed me the slide in change which I mastered in a few minutes. Easy: just sneak the kicking leg in behind the one on the footboard and displace the weight that way.You can also ride with on foot on the other's "lap". Very cozy.

This is important as in scootering the main leg is the one that stays on the bike as that carries the weight and will be the first to tire. That's the irony as you'd expect the one doing the work on the ground is the most prone to fatigue. Not so.

So I'm hooked: I yankering for my share of kick fatigue


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