• Category Archives: Bike

BMC Alpenchallenge AC01 SORA review – riding bike fast (with Mert hand, and concession to comfort)

To keep up with the SO’s race bike riding and on her special request, I needed something to ride fast as well.

With somewhat uncomfortable iliosacral joint issues that many bikers around my age have, and with the issue of having to move the shifters and levers to the left side on the handlebar, the BMC Alpenchallenge with its conventional sitting position and a horizontal handle bar seemed like the obvious choice rather than a race or road bike setup. The shop sales person the advised me to get the Shimano SORA version, thus making my choice a BMC Alpenchallenge AC01 SORA, not the belt variation, which was definitely the right choice.

With a 50/11 gear ratio for the Shimano SORA (this bike comes with a 3550 50/34 chainwheels and a HG50 11-32 cassette) and a 50/19 as maximal gear ratio for the belt drive, the conventional and not very expensive SORA transmission clearly wins the speed question.

Now, BMC introduced the Alpenchallenger line specifically for road bicycle riders that wanted the conventional “Herrenvelo” format, and definitely a real bicycle (not some motorized gadget), and that wanted to ride that just as fast as we rode our good old Swiss Allegro “Herrenvelos” back in the days: fast as hell. In other words, the Alpenchallenger was introduced as a commuter bike that can serve to chase e-bikes.

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Mountain bike riding [why not, why, where]

As it appears, I do consider what they call modern prosthetic arms – and I do wonder: what do these manufacturers consider “a life”, what do they consider liveable, important, what are goals for them, how do they go about activities? Do they believe I, as the arm amputee they seem to see me as, am but a doll to them? Is becoming a doll what all research tries to achieve these days?

Hans Georg Näder, CEO of Otto Bock – one of the really big prosthetic component manufacturers and one of the biggest companies to technically (as well as in terms of customer service) discouraging people to wear body powered arms – himself is not into motored powered ships. He is not so much into electronic gadgets as in computerized solar powered vehicles or anything like that. He is not into remote controlled helicopters. He is not into new cell phones. Nothing similarly unnerving as the gadgets he tries to promote for us. No. Far from that. Get that: he is into yachts. The manual craft of sailing. That is probably also as close as body powered gets for a person like him, with a somewhat increased body mass index. Now, why would I regard things any differently? Why would Otto Bock not embrace that I see things just as their CEO?

Because one thing is for sure – no one with an osseointegrated or myoelectric bionic hand  is fit for that type of thing. Criss-crossing the country side. Full pull, full push, full vibration, full sweat, all temperatures, full bangs.

Note: you will not get the juicy bits on camera here. Either I hold the camera while riding. Or I really ride the bike also using brakes and all. But for fast riding and downhill rides, I cannot at the same time record the events.

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Modifying mountain bike for left handed riding [no extra part except Mert hand]

I just switched over the control parts of this mountain bike (Cube Limited 2011, a hard tail mountain bike with hydraulic Magura brakes) for left handed use.

Together with other works I did this over the course of the last few weeks, as it involved a bit of testing, finding the right position for the controls and trial and error. Also I used this to establish what I want for my road bike (currently work in progress, see future post). As I will have been getting quite a number of extra parts to set up the road bike (thumbies, cable stops, special brake levers, new brakes, etc), not using any particular extra parts for his one is a feature too.

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