Monday, February 13, 2012

First Look: Sogreni Young Shatterhand

Sogreni Young Shatterhand
After a serendipitous chain of events last week, I picked up a Sogreni bicycle on the cheap from a local bike shop that wanted to get rid of it. At some point they used to import Sogreni, but no longer do, and this particular bicycle is a left-over demo model that was also used as a shop loaner. It is a men's "Young Shatterhand" model and happens to be my size. The bike is about 4 years old and was ridden hard over that time. I got it solely for the purpose of test riding and reviewing a Sogreni, but first it needs some refurbishment.

Sogreni Young Shatterhand, Fork Crown
Sogreni is a small Danish bicycle manufacturer founded by Søren Sögreni in the 1980s. They currently offer a collection of 6 diamond and step-through frame models that are distinguished by a look I would describe as "minimalist steampunk." Lugged frames in shades of gray and silver, innovative copper accessories, and a sparse aesthetic with subtle visual quirks give Sogreni bikes somewhat of an otherworldly appearance. While the specimen I have is missing some of the components and accessories it originally came with, its essential Sogreniness has remained intact. The colour is a perfect match for an industrial chain link fence. I do not know for sure where the frames are made (according to word of mouth, Eastern Europe), so I've asked the manufacturer and will post their response when I receive it.

Sogreni Young Shatterhand
When I took possession of the bicycle, it had no seat post or saddle, the wheels were untrue, and the rear hub was not entirely functional. I have since installed a seatpost and a light brown Selle Anatomica saddle. The Co-Habitant trued the wheels and adjusted the hub enough to make the bicycle ridable.

Sogreni Young Shatterhand, Handlebars
We've also replaced the super-tall original stem with a more standard one, as I could not manage the handlebars being that high. Other than that, everything shown is as-is.

Sogreni Leather Grips
I am particularly glad that the leather grips, while scuffed, have survived and remained with the bicycle.

Sogreni Young Shatterhand, Head Lugs
The fully lugged frame has a 52cm seat tube, a subtly sloping 54cm top tube, and 26" wheels with fat knobby tires.

Sogreni Young Shatterhand, Fork
The geometry is roadish, with steep angles and a moderate wheelbase. Sogreni describes it as a road frame with upright handlebars and mountain bike wheels. There is no toe overlap on the 52cm size bike.

Sogreni Young Shatterhand, Fender
One quirk that is immediately noticeable when looking at this bicycle, is the gap between the tire and the fender. This seems to be an intentional design element, because even the models with larger wheels have this gap.

Sogreni Young Shatterhand, Fender
My first thought upon seeing this was "Great, looks like there is room here for Shwalbe Fat Franks!" But on closer inspection I don't think the fork is wide enough.

Sogreni Young Shatterhand, Fork
The flat fenders, while visually interesting, also present a challenge for mounting a front brake caliper, which the bicycle currently lacks. After some research we've figured out that a 1990s style BMX brake will probably work and I'll be getting one soon to try it.

Sogreni Young Shatterhand, Coaster Brake
Until then, the bicycle is coaster-brake only, and I will write about the experience of that in Boston traffic in a separate post. The rear hub (a single speed Shimano) has problems and is visibly beat up. We are not sure what happened to it or of the extent of the damage yet, but the gist of it is that the hub displays "fixed" characteristics and the cranks rotate forward even while coasting. This comes and goes spontaneously and to different degrees. The coaster brake function seems to work fine, but I am cautious riding it nonetheless.

Sogreni Young Shatterhand
Well, that is all I have about this bicycle so far. I would like to get a front brake on it and take it on a couple of longer, faster rides before commenting on the ride quality. For now we will keep working on the hub and see how that goes. A Sogreni in the US is a pretty lucky find and I look forward to getting to know it.

83 comments:

  1. Very attractive bike overall. It screams IKEA. I expect some quick fold out racks to magically appear with blue plasticy bags and iconic IKEA woven tape. :)

    There are lots of bikes with only a coaster brake being used in the city here. It does take some getting used to and a little planning in stop and go traffic. Every time I stop I have to plan where the pedals will be so I can start again quickly. Do you experience that too?

    Hopefully you'll get that gear working well soon. I think Sturmey Archer has a rebuild kit available, but I have no idea about Shimano. It might just be easier to put in a whole new hub! Good luck with it! It looks like a worthy project!

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    1. IKEA folding shelves : ))

      I am used to coaster brakes and don't have trouble getting the pedal in the right place; it's more the actual stopping at "vehicular cycling" speed that is problematic, especially downhill. In Vienna I would have no problem riding this bike as-is on the cycle path network, but it is not safe in Boston. I will write about this later in the week.

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  2. You know, my hub has always done that-sometimes the pedals spin when wheeling, and sometimes not- I've wondered if it's a chainline issue, or ????
    If you figure it out, let me know, because while it's only mildly annoying, I've wondered if it is a symptom of an inefficiency that is slowing me down all the time.

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    1. On which bike? you don't mean the new hub on the Lady Sports?

      I know very little about this as I've never had a bike with this problem before, but as I understand it the cranks rotating while coasting is a sign of a bad hub. I've been told that potentially it can be dangerous, because the same issue that causes it can also make the pedals freeze up entirely. That is all I know so far.

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    2. In my experience with the older (50's-70's) SA and coaster brake hubs, the most common reason that the pedals would turn when coasting is that the chain is too tight.

      Technically, yes, it is an inefficiency that is slowing you down and wearing the parts faster, but I doubt it is slowing you more than city traffic, especially if it is not constant. You might try loosening the chain tension slightly.

      You may also get this if the hub has bent dust caps (or perhaps if the bearings are not adjusted correctly). I'd certainly adjust the cones correctly, but I'm reluctant to discard the hubs I've seen with a minor dent in the dust cap since the ones I've seen were only binding intermittently and I haven't seen the pedals freeze up.

      Obviously, I haven't seen your hubs - a seriously bad hub could cause these problems, it's just not the most likely cause in my experience.

      Angelo

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  3. I think you should have tried it for a while with the high-altitude stem. If that's part of the design, you might as well figure out how it was intended to feel.

    Of course, all the bikes I see on the Sogreni site have the saddle nose tilted up in a way that seems likely to be uncomfortable to (male) me.

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    1. Notice that the saddle to handlebars height ratio on the bikes shown on the Sogreni website is actually similar to the way I have mine now; my saddle is just lower. I may re-install the original stem and try it high again once I get used to the bike; it is fairly easy to switch between them. On first impression, I found the handling unmanageable with the high stem.

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  4. The large gap between the fenders and tires could be intentional. Since the bike is Danish, they ride those year-round. This gap may serve as extra clearance in heavy snow.

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    1. Heavy snow in Denmark? You are joking, right?? ;?)
      badmother

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    2. It most definitely looks like the fender gap is intentional, but I doubt snow clearance is the reason.

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    3. @Anonymous 01:08
      I am not saying this is regular but:
      http://www.google.com/search?q=bornholm+snow+2010&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=Noo5T9CfB4K40QGGgJHFAg&sqi=2&ved=0CEsQsAQ&biw=1055&bih=667

      http://english.sina.com/world/p/2010/1229/354000.html

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    4. And how often do you think it looks like this?? Most of the pictures are from Bornholm by the way, quite different from the mainland. Been there- a lot!

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    5. This picture is from the site you linked to Showing 138cm on Bornholm on 29th December 2010. The rest of the country is from 2cm to 32 cm. One place is 45cm. The big amounts in the picture is just becouse they have problems getting rid of it so it ends up "stacked".
      badmother

      http://www.google.com/imgres?q=bornholm+snow+2010&hl=en&sa=X&biw=1093&bih=538&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=vh91F7vdoOfRMM:&imgrefurl=http://www.tranby365.net/2010_tranby_-_lier_-_buskerud_-_norge.html&docid=-t6I9-Zq9D1hfM&imgurl=http://www.tranby365.net/images/denmark_bornholm_lots_of_snow_winter_2010.png&w=447&h=344&ei=-rQ6T7KPJM724QSG77WUCw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=475&vpy=140&dur=325&hovh=197&hovw=256&tx=151&ty=86&sig=110156585618944740785&page=2&tbnh=166&tbnw=216&start=8&ndsp=13&ved=1t:429,r:6,s:8

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  5. I've never had any luck with coaster-brakes long term and the maintenance schedule seems to go up geometrically the further one goes from day 1.

    Fixed gear scorcher if the cranks are short enough?

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    1. I've probably ridden a dozen or so coaster brake bikes at this point, old and new, and they've been fine. The problem with this hub is not coaster-brake-specific, it could happen to any hub.

      Not sure this bike would make a good fixed gear candidate; the bottom bracket is not very high.

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  6. The fenders look so cool I would never recommend changing them.

    But no wrap around whatsoever! A lot of muck will find its way on a rider going through anything more than a light spring rain.

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  7. I like getting a closer look at this bike. I agree with the comment above; even if it's not to you're liking, a test with the original stem might be more revealing as to the bike's character, rather than to the rider's preferences.

    All-in-all, a good review. One caveat: I've found SS coaster hubs to be a good thing in general, but they are very difficult to rebuild. They kind of terrify me, actually. Bad experiences in bike shops a while back. Seems that the cheaper modern shimano and KT clones are resistant to ever going back together perfectly. Folks have built and rebuilt old coaster brakes for decades without issues, and apparently Velosteels are possible to service and rebuild without incident, so maybe y'all will have better luck with this shimano one than I've had.

    One question: THOSE are "fat knobby tires? Really?
    regards,
    -rob

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    1. What is your definition of fat knobby tires? : )

      I will ride the bike with both stems before posting a review (this isn't a review).

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    2. Please don't be terrified of your bicycle. I first rebuilt a coaster hub at age 9. I still have the hub fifty years later, it still works, I'm pretty sure I got it right the first time.

      I have seen a Shimano coaster hub with nothing in it but a trace of packing oil. Enough to keep it from rusting between Shimano factory and bicycle assembly but no more. Coaster hubs need grease and a lot of it. If the washer stack runs dry and the bike owner ignores it there will be a mess when someone does open the hub. Once upon a time there were spares for coaster hubs, for a cooked hub now it's not worth it.

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    3. Those tires would pretty universally be called a "semi-slick", and in this context 'fat' would start around 50mm, not 35.

      On a road bike, fat starts around 29mm (actual, not liar size). For a cyclocross bike that'd be something over the current 33mm limit legal for racing, though true 'monstercross' starts around 38 or 42.

      For mountain bikes it depends entirely on what kind of racing or riding the person you ask does, they might say >45mm, >2.3in, 3.7in, or 4.5in!

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    4. I see. The tires on this bike are 26" x 1.75" (44.5mm). And they are not slicks as far as I can see. How would you classify those, considering that they are on a city bike with road geometry and not on a mountain bike?

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    5. Just because they say '1.75"' on the side does not make them actually measure 44.5mm — almost everybody lies, and really they have to in order to be consistent with everyone else's lies. I bet if you take a caliper to them they'll actually measure somewhere between 35-40mm. To have hope of getting a city bike tire that measures 45mm, you have to buy one labeled '2"'

      They are simply normal city bike tires. To be 'fat' they'd need to come way closer to filling up that fender line (at least a cm wider).

       
      They are slicks in the center, where it actually matters, with the knobs at the corners where they could actually help traction in muck (but really to help sooth the customer's fears). The entire industry calls that a "semi-slick" in english and they are extremely common on bikes sold for city use even if they are shaped like a MTB or a cross racing bike.

      Beyond that there are 'file treads' with small corner knobs meant for actual CX and XC MTB racing on grass or hardpack, but these wear quickly so they are very rarely stock equipment given how few of the bikes they go with are ever raced or even taken off pavement.

      To be a 'knobby' it needs to have knobs in the center tread for basic drive and braking traction in loose dirt and mud, especially climbing and descending.

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    6. "Just because they say '1.75"' on the side does not make them actually measure 44.5mm"

      Sure, and that can go both ways. On one of my bike I have tires labeled 28mm that measure closer to 31mm; on another I have tires labeled 40mm but measure 42mm.

      Regardless of their actual width, I plan to replace the tires on the Sogreni as they aren't in great shape, and am trying to determine the fattest size that will fit. Disappointing that it won't take Fat Franks, that would be one nice ride.

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    7. Would a 50mm Big Apple squeeze in there??

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    8. Possibly. But the Fat Franks are available in cream...

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    9. Veloria,
      To me, tires don't get fat til they're marketed as 2.125", at minimum. "Knobby", to me, means the tread will have actual knobs on it, rather than just the fairly deep treads on your Sogreni's rubber.

      Re: ppl saying that SS coaster hubs are easily rebuilt: From what I gather, this was once very true. I watched "Klunkerz", and they said they called their famous downhill "Repack" b/c you'd have to repack your coaster hub after basically each run, due to the constant braking at speed on the steep downhill. Clearly, they did it all of the time. My experience with KT Hi-stops and the *NEW* shimano hubs, which I'm told are the same internals as the KT, is that you take it apart, lube it up, and put it back together, but you'll never find the proper adjustment again. I can't explain this scientifically, but it seems that they go from too loose to too tight without that "sweet spot" where the hub actually functions as it should. (This does not necessarily apply to the old, made-in-Japan Shimano cb hubs.)

      This may be why your local shop recommended a new hub entirely. While I respect the fact that alot of old-timers commenting here have rebuilt a bunch of old CB hubs with great success, things have changed between Bendix/Sachs/Morrow/New Departure of yesteryear and the KTs of today.
      -rob

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    10. Big apples are available in brown, black, cream, and grey this year: http://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/road_tires/big_apple The cream 26" version is a nominally 55mm tire, though. Not a 50mm.
      -rob

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    11. Screech at 7:46

      So this is a $2000 bike with a KT hub?

      Greasing a coaster hub is analogous to replacing the pads on a caliper brake. If a coaster brake is used for promenade duty on flat terrain, or for juvenile bikes, it can run years without service. As soon as the brake gets hot it gets closer to needing fresh lube. The job is easy because it has to be. If greasing a coaster hub was hard people wouldn't do it and they would soon be without brakes.

      Greasing a Bendix or New Departure takes a child less than an hour on first try and most get it right first try. The job can be done in ten minutes. The only thing that improves with practice is getting it done without spreading dirty grease everywhere.

      If you are correct and the problem is a POS hub, all the more reason to lace a new(old) hub. A properly functioning coaster brake has all the power a rear wheel brake can have. A cooked coaster is trouble.

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    12. Gah the Big Apples are available in cream in 2012! Will have to measure very carefully and see if the bike will fit 55mm, fingers crossed.

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    13. Given that a nominally "60mm" Big Apple actually measures 53mm on a 24mm wide rim, there's no way the new model measures more than 50mm.

      Schwalbe very consistently rounds up to the next nominal size — just among tires I have mounted and within reach, 35 is 32mm, 50 is 45mm, and 57 is 53mm.

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  8. This bicycle is beautiful!! I've emailed you claiming dibs for when you are done with it ;) Cate

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  9. Open up the hub and get some grease in it. Get a lot of grease in it. Other than that and adjusting the cones there's not much to a coaster hub. If it's shot lace in a new hub. Or rather a new old hub. Used coaster hubs are always as cheap as the deal you got on the bike. Don't ride around wondering what will happen next.

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  10. The stem thing: depends on where you want the bars. Different, but the same, as a long ht w/a shorter stem. Varies to torso length the more upright you are, natch.

    Theory: women's design of same model has shorter tt, longer ht, shorter stem. It's a length created by frame aesthetics.

    This statement is not polite, nor is it impolite. Possible hot button topics related to this when not read carefully: men's vs. women's bodies, individual aesthetic tastes, "pigeonholing". I'm sure someone will let me know if I'm missing something.

    Oh, the tires are known as semi-knobby with a raised center tread for less rolling resistance with some blocks on the side in case the rider wants to shred. These are faster than narrow race tires because they are wider.

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  11. "the tires are known as semi-knobby with a raised center tread for less rolling resistance"

    Ah yes, that's what they are. The tires are 26" x 1.75" so definitely wider than race tires!

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    1. It's really just relativistic nomenclature: "inverted-tread town & country" works too.

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  12. Haven't read all the comments so forgive if this is redundant, but Shimano and Bendix coaster brake hubs are extremely easy to overhaul and one should have no problems replacing anything needed or simply greasing up the parts properly......Good luck. Looks beautiful and simple!

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  13. Re the ease of overhauling coaster brake hubs: You know, I was in a local bike shop buying a seatpost (this bike needed a 26.0), and for the heck of it asked them how much that would cost - thinking that maybe I could just pay for this and spare the Co-Habitant. They looked at the hub and said I ought to buy a new wheel instead; that this kind of hub was impossible to work on. This is a very respectable small local bike shop.

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    1. Surprising and sad at the same time! I should have said they USED to be extremely easy to overhaul....I must have done hundreds while working in a bike shop and while Bendix was a much more beautiful design Shimano also had simple and available parts. Sometimes it's far cheaper for a shop to sell a replacement part than charge the labor necessary for an overhaul.....but I guess you need to trust your LBS and their wisdom and insight. ( Oh yes, IMHO overhauling a single speed coaster brake is WAY easier than truing a wheel. )

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  14. that is a great looking bike. i sort of love it.

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  15. Are the rims steel or aluminum?

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  16. If it is not possible to work on the hub you want it off the bike. It needs to be fed grease. A coaster hub that can't be lubed is pretty useless. The 'fixed' feel you describe is just what you get from a dry coaster hub.

    It's possible you have torn washers or a cracked driver or something not worth messing with inside the shell. Again, if this is the case you want the hub off the bike. The only way you will know is to open it up and look at it. If it doesn't open up easily and close again easily it is a useless hub.

    I have a very reputable bike shop a few blocks away that recently put a 45-year collection of Sturmey parts in the dumpster. They do not have a mechanic who knows how to work on Sturmey. They do not have a mechanic interested in learning Sturmey. They authoritatively tell customers Sturmey hubs are irreparable unless you seek out eighty year old gnomes with Cockney accents.

    Yes bike shops would rather sell wheels.

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  17. I understand your desire for a front brake but had to smile while thinking about the old days ( 60's) as a child when everyone had bikes with only the rear coaster brake -- this includes kids and adults -- and we'd pedal all over town, up and down hills, and on the street w/o helmets etc., etc.... Times are different!

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    1. Rolling my eyes at all the comments (from men again!) subtly shaming the author for not wanting to ride without a front brake. If you are so nostalgic for it, nothing stopping you from removing the front brake on your current bike. Let us know how that works out.

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    2. I was not yet born in the 60s, but my understanding is that not many people cycled for transportation in the US during this period, with front brake or without. I think we are talking about slightly different things here.

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    3. Anna, you missed the comments subtly shaming the author for not wanting to ride same bike without a saddle for 4 miles through downtown Boston. :)

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    4. Well at least if any manufacturers are reading this, they know there is demand for bikes without saddles and front brakes. Could saddle-less be the next fixed gear?

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    5. I had a no-name bike in the 60's that had a roadish style frame similar to the Sogreni and a coaster brake. I rode that bike everywhere for about 5 or 6 years. To school, to the store. All over town. It was my ticket to freedom.

      All of the kids in my town had bikes & we had a great time riding everywhere.

      I have no idea where my parents got it - it wasn't new, but it was in pretty good shape. No decals or head tube badge that I can remember. I cried when it got stolen from the school bike rack when I was in junior high.

      Boy, I haven't thought about it in a very long time. I loved that bike.

      Maryk
      Philly, PA

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    6. Um Anna and V, we weren't pedaling just for fun, we were pedaling for transportation. And the we, here, are men and women.

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    7. Where did you live? This is interesting.

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    8. V @ 7:09 -- Oregon

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    9. Never been, though would like to.

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    10. Never been to Europe, though would like to :)

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    11. Could saddle-less be the next fixed gear?

      Not in Massachusetts! There is a law here requiring that any bike ridden on the road have a seat.

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  18. Everyone has commented on the gap between the tire and the fender, but no one has suggested the obvious answer: the majority of Sögreni
    frames for the 26" wheel bikes were originally designed for 700c wheels and narrower tires.

    This would explain what you're seeing.

    The wide clearances and narrow fork crown: imagine what that space would look like with a 622x32mm tire in place.
    The low bottom bracket: it would be higher, but just slightly with a larger wheel/skinnier tire.

    And then there's the wildly varying seat tube angles and tire clearances in the company website shots.

    A full review of Sögreni's website makes it clear what's actually going on at their shop. It's quite a business model and good on him
    for finding people who identify with his product and advertising copy. Soren has a bunch of old frames that he bought from some defunct
    bicycle company. He sends them out to be painted, applies fenders and a nice Brooks saddle, makes some wheels for them, and then sells the whole kit and caboodle for the better part of 2,100 U.S. dollars.

    The wheels being so out of true that the bike wasn't rideable is a bit surprising. A low-dish, hand-built 26" wheel with moderately fat tires, if ridden in the city, shouldn't need truing. The bike must have suffered a lot of abuse.

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    1. The wheels were/are not hugely out of true.

      I noticed that Sogreni web site and random photos show varying amount of tire/fender clearance and other bike-to-bike variations. I imagine this is not unusual with a small manufacturer. We discussed putting 700c in there and decided there is not enough space. But enough for a 650b with Grand Bois (if we were replacing the wheels).

      The front wheel is actually fairly (surprisingly?) light, and the rim + front hub are not terrible. I am not sure what brand they are, however.

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    2. There does seem to be a great deal of variation, indicating that the bikes are made either in small batches or individually. When we discovered that the frame would not take a standard seatpost, I called Sogreni and asked what was the seatpost diameter they used. They told me that it was impossible to say without measuring my specific bike, as these varied depending on the batch.

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    3. This is directly from Sögrenibikes.com -

      "When you’ve chosen your size, model and colour, we start by taking one of the frames, which are either hanging in the store in our storage room located a little north of the city. The frames are all ‘new-old’ stock, frames that Søren has been collecting all his life, only purchasing those he could see were of good steel quality and professionally welded."
      at http://sogrenibikes.com/index.php?main_page=the_shop

      Hence, it follows that Sögreni has little to no control over the actual geometry or materials of the frames.

      Both R. and I were a little skeptical of the frequently asked questions page also.

      M.

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    4. Yeah... that does not make a great deal of sense to me, especially given that they offer distinct models designed inhouse and not just random frames. Collecting them all his life? Surely something is lost in translation.

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    5. Totally agree with mr. Kitty on the comment about the business model.
      As a copenhagener and bike-fetichist I notice Sogreni bikes from time to time, and I always wonder what makes people pay through the nose for them.
      Apart from the special paint job and signature Sogreni accessories (bell, chainguard, fenders) the bikes seem like every other low end bike and they cost 3-4 times as much (they are really, really expensive bikes here).
      I guess it's all about personal branding and sending the right signals and that kind of thang - and as far as I know, the customers are mostly from "north of Copenhagen".

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    6. Are Sogreni bikes priced higher than Velorbis in DK, or are they roughly the same? And what about Viva?

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    7. Now for the 64 DK (Danish Kroner) question: excepting the saddle and seatpost, how much was spent "on the cheap?" (and before you respond with, "a gentleman never asks and a lady never tells," that applies to something else)

      Also, a quick web search turns up the Velorbis Arrow for DK 5500. That's about 745 Euro, or half the price of the Sogreni. Both have similar equipment.
      Even the more decked out gent's classic cycle is only about DK 7500 (500 Euro less than the Sogrenis).

      M.

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    8. Oh the Arrow is a weird one, I am trying to find the DK/Eur value of the classic gents, but my googling skills are failing me for some reason.

      On the cheap was very cheap; I do not want to diminish the resale value of these bikes by saying, as it really was an anomalous purchase. Email me if you really want to know.

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    9. Obviously it's variable, but the Krone currently trades at .1345 Euro. DKK7,500*.135 Euro/DK = 1,012.5 Euro.

      The current U.S.Dollar/Euro exchange is listed at 1.31.

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  19. As someone that has worked on many coaster brake hubs, it sounds like the hub should be disassembled, cleaned and degreased, and reassembled with fresh grease. Any brake dissipates energy as heat, and a coaster brake can turn any grease into sticky molasses. This can cause the problem you are describing - sticky grease inside the hub keeping the internal parts from separating properly. Another common problem with coaster brake hubs is the brake shoes need replacing, just like the shoes on " normal " caliper brakes or disc brakes. If replacement parts are no longer available, the glaze on a worn coaster brake shoe can be removed with a bit of sandpaper. Remember to thoroughly clean the sand off before greasing the shoe and reassembly. You may experience a greater amount of backward crank travel before brake engagement.

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  20. Some of you might find this of interest: Here is a post circa August 2010 about how much I like coaster brakes. Many if not most of the comments seemed to be against, and I also received a couple of emails from readers dismayed that I am encouraging vulnerable newbies to use this dangerous braking system.

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  21. Not sure I get it...Coaster brakes are pretty solid. They will lock up the rear wheel fairly quickly but that's much better than locking up the front wheel quickly. All and all it's a safe and reliable system.

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  22. Sögreni bicycles are seen on the roads here in Denmark, but they are not that common - are expensive - too expensive to be left on the streets on manys opinion. They are good riding and if the backwheel was rebuild with a Torpedo or SRAM coaster hub it would be ok togother with the BMX frontbrake you mentioned.

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    1. I've seen a couple in Vienna, including one locked up outside a coffee shop. Maybe it's how paired down my particular bicycle is (no fancy copper accents), but I would not hesitate leaving it locked up outside. It's a single speed with no headbadge and a frame painted the colour of a chainlink fence. It does handle well, no complaints so far.

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    2. The bike looks wonderfull and gives the kind of atmosphere Sögreni have in his shop - go see it when visiting Copenhagen.

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  23. http://bikehugger.com/post/view/a-bicycle-without-seat Tried to hit the "reply" button earlier in the thread and it wouldn't work for me in chrome. Dunno why...

    but in response to a saddle-less bike.... check out the link from Bike Hugger. He's got a photo of a bike purposely without a seat. :/ I don't find it so comfy looking!

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  24. Nice fenders but probably rather inefficient due to the flat profile. And even more with fatter tires.

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  25. I dig the industrialness of it,loving your find,my friend!

    The Disabled Cyclist

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  26. What's interesting is that the frame color makes the bike look like unpainted aluminum and that in turn crates the impression that it is lightweight. Any idea on the weight?

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    1. We haven't weighed it yet, but it feels like 30-35lb to me. Will update with the actual figure.

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  27. I think the Old Shatterhand women's model would really suit you, you should ask them to review it!

    http://sogrenibikes.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=18

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    Replies
    1. Or what about a review of Thorn Raven Tour with the wonderfull twinplate fork and the 14 gear Rohloff hub. Is in a lot of sizes.

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  28. L.B.: "I do not know for sure where the frames are made [...]"

    Søgreni: "All Sögreni bicycles are built in the heart of Copenhagen by hand. They are danish design at its best and most simplistic form."

    source: http://sogrenibikes.com/7reasons/#built-by-hand

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    Replies
    1. This kind of description usually means that the bike was assembled there, but the frame built elsewhere. The person at Sogreni I am in contact with in fact does not know where the frames are built, and has told me that they will get back to me with this information.

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    2. Velouria, ok...thank you for information! I'm a fiew times a year in KPH and every time again in the Søgreni.
      That surprises me in an bad way, because they do not offer this fact when visitors arrive.
      But it's good to read it here :)
      Congrats to your blog, again ;)

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  29. I think you will find the bmx front brake underwhelming and hideous to boot. Why not lace in a S-A drum front hub. Easy peasy and the look will complement aesthetically. Good to hear about the colored Big Apples.

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  30. I'm not loving this bike. It looks cheap, heavy and slow. Eastern Europe indeed. The only good thing I can see here is the saddle. Primer grey rattle-can finish, unless your camera is lying to me.

    Those wacky Danes are clearly having us on, eh?

    How do you mess up a coaster brake hub, again?

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