Because of the icy weather, I have not been riding Coco, my Velorbis Studine Balloon, as much as I desperately want to, choosing instead my studded-tire bike. I can count the substantial rides I’ve taken with her on one hand – not enough for a real review, but enough to talk a bit here and there as I get to know her better.
After my first work commute with Coco a couple of weeks ago, I talked about her ride. In that post, I mentioned how Coco’s geometry is different from Oma’s, even though the two look like similar style bikes. The photos below demonstrate how Coco’s distinctive geometry affects my riding position.
As you can see, my hips and legs are aligned almost straight down, while my torso is slightly leaned forward. My posture is straight, but not totally upright. You can compare to my positioning on Oma here.
I thought this geometry difference would cause my legs to work more, but thus far I have not noticed a difference in the amount of energy required for pedaling. If anything, Coco may be a bit swifter, although I’m still trying to determine if that’s all in my head.
The geometry does make slight differences to the details of my ride. For example, starting from a stoplight is easier. My foot on the raised pedal simply goes straight down to propel the bike forward; I don’t have to simultaneously push down and forward on the pedal while my other foot pushes off the ground. Another detail is that I can stand up on the pedals for a boost of energy, which I cannot do on Oma. Also, good posture is easy to maintain; I don’t have to keep telling myself to sit up straight and roll my shoulders back as I do when riding Oma.
These subtle differences are hard to describe, but they make riding the two bikes not as similar as some may assume.
I do realize I’m firmly in the “splitting hairs” territory that EcoVelo recently wrote about. To me, at least, Coco and Oma are like apples and oranges. :)