Sunday, January 04, 2009

New Goofy Bike!

It's been quite a while since I've been riding bikes. Max takes a big bite out of the day.

But last week, I saw a Reynolds Weld Lab Dual 700 Z-Bone on E-Bay, and I decided a new bike would be just the thing to get me back on the road. Especially a bike from the Reynolds Weld Lab, which is basically the garage of George Reynolds, mad genius of Derry, NH.. George is no longer making bikes. Recumbent bike riders are a sort of cult, and the few of us who have Reynolds bikes are a very special sub-cult, where zip-ties, hose clamps, and electrical tape are important bike components, and it's all about going really fast.

These bikes are really rare. I've only seen four other ones on the road in my life. One on the Seagull, and 3 on RAGBRAI. I saw a guy with a dual 20 Z-Bone at RAGBRAI and rode alongside him chatting for awhile. He said he has a dozen Reynolds bikes. He collects them. They guy I bought my Z-Bone from had 3. I'm glad I got this one and beat all the hoarders.

I already have Dual 26 T-Bone, which is all titanium and is quite the bomb. I rode it across the country, and am well over 20,000 miles on it total. But after the T-Bone, George started making the Z-Bone, which was half titanium and half aluminum, front wheel drive, and has a rear suspension. Then George stopped making bikes altogether. I have coveted one of these for a long time.

And now I have one:

Here's a close up of the front wheel drive setup.

If you look close you can see about 10 zip-ties, and you'll note there are hose clamps holding down the water bottle cages.

The guy I bought this from lives in Delaware by the beach where it is very flat. Hence the short cranks, dual compact chainrings, and 11/23 corncob cassette. That's not going to cut it around here. It was back to E-Bay and elsewhere for me. I have a Dura-Ace triple crankset coming, triple Q-Rings (52/40/30), and an 11/34 10 speed cassette which I got for the T-Bone so I could haul Max in the trailer at RAGBRAI. The shifters will be bar-ends mounted on Paul's Thumbies.

Here's the rear suspension setup.

And here's the cockpit.

I think those bottle cages are getting replaced with a fastback and a camelback bladder, and the Cateye trip computer is getting replaced with a mount for my Edge 705 GPS.

Here's a picture of the T-Bone in front of the Z-Bone for comparison.

This is really interesting, since it shows how the Z-Bone is a much more refined design.
* The wheelbase is a couple inches shorter on the Z-Bone.
* The seat is a couple inches lower, despite the bigger wheels.
* The bottom bracket is slightly higher.
* The seat is much closer to the front wheel.

Here's the front view of the two bikes side by side.

I have Eggbeaters coming to replace the platform pedals too.

I can't wait to get on the road with the Z-Bone. It should be ready to go by next weekend.


Jimboblay said...


That's extremely awesome! Looking forward to seeing the 'Z in action! How do you see it comparing to your Cobrabike (other than being taller!)

Hope you had a good holiday!

Drew Roth said...

I expect it will have much lower rolling resistance, and be much harder to get up steep hills.

Low gear is going to be 23 gear inches on the Z-Bone, vs. 17 on the Cobra.

If I get it all put together this week, I'll do a shakedown run on the BWI trail, and send out a note beforehand.

TomH said...

Hi, Do you still have the Z-bone? I've always liked George's bikes. Yes, there are some hoarders among us. I have two Wishbones but always wanted a Z-bone.