Optima High Baron sneak preview

It’s not ready for prime-time yet, but things have been busy at the Laid Back Bikes showroom as we build the fifth distinct dual-700c bike of recent months… an Optima High Baron!

Taking the bestselling Baron lowracer and lifting the front end with a larger wheel, this is similar in conception to my dual 700c RaptoBike lowracer.

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Usually the expert mechanics at the Bicycle Works put the finishing touches on Laid-Back stock, but this one is being built by the ‘front of house staff’ (so to speak!)

Here you can see David shaking down what proved to be a tricky cabling job.

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Right now it’s a straight fight between this and the MetaBike for the coveted “Dave’s PBP2015 bike” position… it will be nice to settle on something over a year after I moved on from the Raptobike lowracer:

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Critically, the seat is between the tops of the wheels (although at ~57cm the height is closer to that of a highracer than the ~40cm of the converted Rapto).

We had a lot of trouble getting brakes onto this bike, and while the front is understandable, the wild angle of the rear brake bridge seems to be a pointless obstacle:

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However, I’m very happy with the excellent cockpit arrangement – no cable next between eyes and road in this configuration (although unfortunately, the diameter of the bars is oddly both too large to fit controls (on the stem part) and too narrow (the bars – currently shimmed with tape to give the brakes purchase!)

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Watch this space…

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