When the Clementine box arrived in mid August, I was at work. My son texted me the photo above, assuring me that the box was in top shape.
|I was pleased that the Clementine arrived with every piece padded and well packed. This image is |
more representative of the actual frame color.
The frame color is much darker than I expected. I was picturing a lighter, Celeste-type aqua color, but in reality it is a rich teal. There are some sweet touches, like the uniquely colored spoke nipples, each a different color, and "Clem" written on the hubs. Rivendell also included a bell and black handle bar grips, and while not top-notch quality, they are welcome items.
|Trying to decided which rack from out parts stash would fit the best - both would require a retrofit |
because of the Clementine's longer wheel base.
I also had to figure out the rack problem. I'm very tired of black in general, especially because my commuter bike is all black, so this was my opportunity to decorate with chrome or aluminum. And while steel racks look nice, I'm not sold on their weight or hefty price. Blackburn racks have been our household standard for thirty years. Sadly the company no longer makes silver lightweight racks. I'd also like to use a lowrider front rack again, but with much internet searching, I cannot locate the simple style, low cost alternative. The front rack solution will have to come in time.
|I used pieces of pipe insulation to protect the frame.|
Back to the Clementine. I installed an aluminum rear rack, but needed to add on an extra metal bracket to lengthen the rack over the rear wheel. Fortunately, the Clementine has braze-ons up the wazoo (one of the truly nice features that sold me on this model) and I had attachment options, depending upon rack size. With a way to carry items, I now considered the bicycle ride worthy, so I took the Clementine out for it's second spin, this time for 6 miles over the same terrain as the cargo bike.
And dang, it was really amazing to me that the Clementine rolled and floated and felt similar to the Boda Boda! I wondered how that could be until I lined up both bikes side by side. Both the Boda Boda and the 52cm Clementine are 72" long, exactly. One is aluminum frame, one is steel. One has a larger cockpit, one is smaller. Wheel size is different. So I presume the wheel base length is somewhat responsible for the floaty effect.
The Clementine is done for now. I can't say I love the feel of the bosco bars and I've lowered the bar as far as it will go. They are not as intuitive and comfortable as the Boda Bodas, which was a nice and worthwhile experiment. I also had to remind myself that the stock bar was the one thing about the Clementine that I visually disliked, even when I had ordered the bike, Handlebars can always be replaced. For now, I just need to get to know my Clementine. I am confident she has potential.