Saturday, October 13, 2007

Eastman of India - Classic Roadster

While browsing, I came upon a bike that sort of touches me. The Eastman's single speed roadster. I remember these bikes vividly back in India, where folks would haul 100 lb sacks of rice on the rear racks.. or climb on it for a quick ride to the grocery stall, even kids as small as 10 or 15 would stand and hammer on it through some of the hilly internal dirt roads, inspite of the standover height (ouch). Almost all older generations in India, including my dad and his family have ridden these bikes in their young years. The 29" wheels would make for a faster speed with low cadence. The springs under the seat were awesome shock absorbers. Geez, I remember how the gear ratios were so high on these bikes, that when you approach a hill, you'd better mount off or you'd breathe so hard, mashing the pedal like a clown.. if you're having problems with your knee and lungs, you BETTER not climb.

And some of them would be custom fitted with dynamos that would light the headlamp as you pedal, colorful frame thongs, fenders and racks... as you can very well see, these bikes are built for rugged environments, but being bombproof doesn't mean being ugly. This bike is marvellous, and I feel like owning this piece of history. Click here to read more. I agree with the commentary on the site that the bikes are slow handling and can be of poor quality, but you can very well neglect those things, because they were made for a certain environment, and were pretty economical for people who used them. I'm still not sure why its sold for 399 dollars though?!

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