v3 Mundo: Preliminary Comments
The first is purely superficial in that I love the flat black color with white logo. I'm not sure why but I've always liked my bikes black. Now that I've sold the v1 and the trike my (shrinking) fleet is once again black.
One thing about the new bike that pleasantly surprised me was the extra long heavy duty kickstand (this is a lot of bike to hold up with a single kickstand). While I plan on purchasing a stand alone double kickstand when it becomes available, I am surprised how well this one works. But the problem I have with it is that it leans the bike like a normal kickstand and would not be suitable for loading heavy loads. Nonetheless, it works surprisingly well and will be fine until the stand alone kickstand is available.
This brings me to a couple things that I miss, or at least are not too keen on the new bike. One is that I miss the full chain-guard that was on the v1. While my pants will not get caught in the chain they did rub against it as I pedaled. This will necessitate wearing something around my ankle if wearing dress pants or anything other than jeans. Also, when the chain is on the two lower gears of the front sprocket it sags because of its length, causing it to occasionally bounce annoyingly against the frame. The last thing is that there are no eyelets on the front fork, making it difficult to mount a front rack. I overcame this with the aid of a couple copper pipe clamps. These really are the only few things I have to say in a negative context about the bike...more good stuff below.
Speaking of threaded eyelets...there are tons of them all over the rest of the bike, making it ready for personal customization (why none on the fork I wonder?). One of the best, and smartest I think, that were included on this bike are the eyelets for mounting a water bottle cage...prior I had to bungee a bottle onto the back rack.
I haven't used the bike for any really big hauls yet, but when I do I'll be looking forward to using the strap-slots that are located around the upper and lower rear carriers...no more slipped straps and shifting loads.
The real crown piece of this bike still remains, only more refined: the rear carrier. Measuring a full thirty-two inches long this thing can carry stuff. It's refined in that the framework seems to be slightly thinner and it comes with a plastic top deck, which screws down tight with corresponding eyelets.
You are correct that the front rack is large enough, in fact as you know the entire bike is over-kill...rarely do I use the bike to its full capabilities. The front rack as mostly ascetics...I simply like how it looks and I have them on a few of my bikes. But they are handy when you have smaller items, such as a dvd for example, that you can slip on the front rack and keep an eye on it as you pedal.
I enjoy your blog, by the way. Interestingly I've heard heard comparisons between Manchester and Buffalo...sister cities from a bygone industrial era I suppose.
Anyhow thanks for reading and commenting.
It can be quite fun riding with 6 pannier bags on your rear rack, plus they can be used on more conventional bikes when needed.
Anyway, thanks for the reply, and for taking a peek at my blog too, if you look at the pics you might notice a (much cruder) version of the top deck you described how to make on this very blog. Thanks for that.