Unlike my personal website where I publish pages that are really in progress — with TODOs floating around, fragmentary thoughts, and much unpolish — any given in progress page on this ministry website is really only in progress insofar as I have not finished writing all the content that I expect to be eventually located on the page. That is to say, everything that is published on the page is already complete, edited, and checked-over for accuracy and correctness, but there is still more planned writing on the page to be completed.
I'm an outliner when I write, so how this plays out in practice is that I will fill in the outline skeleton (as displayed in the table of contents) with content over time, until the whole page is eventually complete.
Very rough initial thoughts
- See the advantages of stand-up bikes in general. While I’m being hand-wavy here at the moment (TODO: weighted metrics), the Cyclete seems to me to basically be the highest quality stand-up bike currently offered. Its main competitors, now that the Bionic Runner is no more, are the product lines from ElliptiGo, which vary from somewhat cheaper to much cheaper. But you get what you pay for. (Not that I think the ElliptiGo products are particularly bad or anything like that).
- The build quality of the Cyclete is quite excellent.
- The support of the Cyclete is quite excellent. I can say this both personally from my own experience (I asked lots of questions before my purchase, e.g., and requested assistance a couple times early on), and also based on my observation of the activity and actions of the company owner in regards to answering product questions (e.g., requests for comparison to the ElliptiGo products) and support questions on the Cyclete Facebook group.
- The patented teardrop motion of the Cyclete is fully weight-bearing, and while certainly not quite like running, it is definitely more like running than a normal elliptical motion (as used on the ElliptiGo 11R, e.g.) or plain circular pedal motion (as used on the ElliptiGo MSUB, e.g.). The teardrop shape more closely follows an actual running stride, and the acceleration dynamics too are much more like running. (Normal ellipticals feel quite ponderous by comparison, since they don’t vary in speed over the course of their movement). There are no impact forces, although the first little bit is going to test your quads like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.
- The forces on my knees and ankles seem to be low.
- So while it’s not exactly like all the benefits of running without the impact, it’s not far off either.
- Very long wheelbase = extremely stable.
- Big 29” (inner) diameter 3.0” width tires have an enormous amount of air, and just roll over things without batting an eyelash.
- Good disc brakes.
- Disc brakes are better than rim brakes in rain and dirtier conditions, among other areas.
- The disc brakes on the Cyclete are mechanical rather than hydraulic (it seems most luxury bikes favor hydraulic, like Magura brakes), but seem to be of superior quality. Based on what I’ve read, there’s really not all that much difference between top-spec mechanical disc brakes like the ones on the Cyclete and top-spec hydraulic disc brakes. Perhaps the hydraulic brakes have somewhat lower actuation forces. What’s really more important is consistent brake feel anyway (i.e., not how much force is required – as long as it’s “light enough” – but that it is easy to apply gradual pressure over time rather than grabbing a handful of brake and locking a wheel).
- Ergon GP5 bar-ends provide another grip option that is more comfortable when leaning forward when going up hills. (At least that’s what I use this other grip position for).
- Lauf TR Boost carbon spring suspension fork provides even more suspension with zero stiction, even though it doesn’t have damping, and can’t handle bigger hits nearly as well as a real air suspension fork could. It’s all about use case.
- 12-speed SRAM Eagle AXS drivetrain provides a 500% range with pretty even steps, and a 42t front chainring lets me keep a reasonable cadence even when really moving. The granny gear is still low enough for me to make it up anything near me and then some (but then again, I live in relatively-flat south Georgia, so YMMV).
- Shifting under load works, kinda (though not as well as some of the AXS marketing claimed, of course – to an extent that makes me wonder why they thought it was OK to market it as helping shift under under load in any respect). The electronic shifting means that you can’t ever mis-shift and end up between gears (its main benefit, IMO – the shifts are repeatably perfect every single time, and will never get compromised over time by cable tensioning getting incrementally off etc., since the shifting is electronic and wireless), but you still can’t really hammer the shifts under full-load. I’ve done it (i.e., shifted under heavy load, going both up and down), and while the derailleur didn’t drop the chain, it did thunk unhappily. Probably not good for the long-term health of the drivechain, although for what I paid for it, it sure better stay running much longer than average (assuming appropriate maintenance).
- Shimano’s Hyperglide+ system is supposedly much better in shifting under load (as compared with other cassette + chain setups; IGHs generally can’t reliably shift under much load at all, at least not in all gears), but Shimano doesn’t offer an electronic derailleur that ensures repeatedly perfect shifts, so what can ya do. Supposedly if you get the derailleur guide-pulley position right, you can hack together a franken-system with the Shimano cassette and AXS derailleur, since they are both 1x12 systems. If I were rich, I’d try this.
- The Cyclete is very expensive. I don’t think the Cyclete is particularly overpriced for what it is: a well-engineered machine hand-built by skilled American labor with top-spec components and backed by excellent support. But I do wish it were much less expensive.
- Switching to automated production methods instead of hand-produced and outsourcing labor to, e.g., China would be two ways to decrease costs, and of course things would get cheaper with greater production volumes too (economies of scale). But all these things do carry with them risks in terms of potential drops in quality and product support.
- That’s about it. But it’s a big con.