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Friday Film Fun: Tall Bikes, Tall Bikes, Tall Bikes!

Posted Jan 14 2011 9:20am

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I was having coffee/beer with my bud, Keith Byrd, the leader of Social Cycling Austin . He was telling me he’s thinking about having a tall bike built for him and the arms race that has broken out in the tall bike crowd. If you go on many social rides in town, eventually you’ll see a tall bike.Usually, they are two regular bike frames welded together to yield … well, a tall bike.

The arms race that is going down is the move to get taller. (I prefer to “ Get Small “.) Keith says more and more of the tall bike enthusiasts are going for three bike frames as the standard. This means you have to get the bike going a nice clip so you can climb the ladder to the top.

I personally don’t understand the appeal of riding the tall bike but am glad they add to the diverse fabric of the cycling community. Today’s film fun are two shorts on tall bikes. The first is a truly great tall bike called the Skywalker, designed and ridden by Brad (RadBrad) McGowan of Atomic Zombie . At 12 feet tall, this bike is not a cobbling together of some down and out production bikes but a bike designed and hand built from the ground up to be a tall bike. It is a awesome sight to behold and RadBrad even includes a detailed article on how he built it in case you are feeling enterprising yourself.

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Our second film combines the tall bike with another hallmark of bike culture: the stereo bike. Paul Freedman of Rock the Bike (maker of such great products as the Down Low Glow and Bike Blender ) created this synthisis of biking goodness called El Arbol as part of his FossilFool project . This video of El Arbol shows an outrigger system that can deploy as a rolling kickstand when slowing the bike to a stop. Cyclelicious reports that Paul had to put this on because he had been ticketed has been ticketed under a California law prohibiting bicycles “of a size that prevents the operator from safely stopping the bicycle, supporting it in an upright position with at least one foot on the ground, and restarting it in a safe manner.” I did a quick check of Texas law and did not find such a law here, but when going tall, this seems like a pretty good idea.

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