You heard it here first!

The assless bike is on the way!

From the start of this thing, the notion of not being allowed to ride a bike has been the biggest problem for me. I’d like to stress that it isn’t a pride issue. It’s purely practical. Once you’ve gotten used to getting around the city on a bike, other methods just seem ponderous. I’ll be headed to the upper east side on a nearly daily basis for MONTHS now, and those of you who live in NYC know that the UES is a real you-can’t-get-there-from-here zone.

In that first appointment with Alberto I had already thought of a solution, though I didn’t ask him for permission until our next meeting.

An Assless bike! He doesn’t want want me sitting on a saddle, because the tumor is SO close to the *erm* surface that it’s likely to get pressed on and beaten at and become generally unhappy and more prone to spread. So, just dispense of the saddle! If it’s not even there, I won’t be tempted to sit on it. I’ll just ride BMX style.. pedal pedal pedal coooooaaaaaaast.

I hadn’t really acted yet for a number of reasons. The biggest, I guess, was that I was holding out that one of these docs would tell me that was nonsense, and that I should ride to my heart’s content. Well.. that didn’t happen. It also struck me, though, that dumping a lot of money into a bike that I would almost certainly never ride again once I didn’t need to, was a little foolish (especially at a time when my insurance costs are going up from around $5K a year to what’s more likely to be around $22-25K a year).

In the end, I’ve decided that my mental health needs to be addressed as well, and if I have to walk to too many more appointments, or make too many more trips to the grocery store on foot, I WILL loose my feeble mind.

So it’s ON.

I spoke with the good folks at Phil Wood yesterday, and they are going to donate hubs and a BB to the project! EDIT!! 7:44 pm.. Chris King just got in touch, and they’re going to supply the headset. Sweet. EDIT2!! 6:49 pm on the 8th.. I just got off the phone with Lynette at White Industries, and they’re donating a set of Eno Cranks and a freewheel (The very best made.. period).

I’m going to try to build a prototype frame over the next couple of days.. To do it the way I’d really like to, I’ll need a rather pricey tubing bender, but I’d like to test the geometry first anyway.

24 Replies to “You heard it here first!”

  1. Yay for the generosity of the Phil Wood people.

    You’re breaking ground, Ez. I bet tons of people will stop you and ask about the bike. Who knows just how many others there are out there in need/want of an assless bike.

  2. ez- that is totally excellent. The standing bicycle that Joy posted is an intriguing idea as well, and one I hadn’t thought of. I look forward to seeing whatever you come up with. What about knee-rests, in case you get tired of standing there? cheers — patrick

  3. Megan,

    I like that bike. The propultion mechanism is great. You stand more upright and move your legs more like a climbing motion than a circular pedaling motion. If you stay vertical you will not want to try and sit

  4. Hmm…I wonder if extending the seat tube up high, angling it back slightly, and placing a back pad on it to cover from the lumber region to between the shoulder blades might offer some “lean-back” comfort while you coast (sort of like a recumbent seat but higher up, narrower, and without the “saddle” piece)?

    Just an idea.

    Good luck with the build.

  5. As someone who had ‘rhoid surgery a couple of years ago (search “hemorrhoids PPH” to see what I mean), I sympathize with your tumor-location problem WRT bike riding, and I’m very intrigued to see your Assless bike! Happily, I’m 100% now (better than stock, in fact) and I’m rooting that you will be too! When you’re done with it, donate the Assless bike to the Lance Armstrong Foundation or something!

  6. You should put a pad on the top tube so you can sit on the frame with the bottom of your thighs as you coast. Good luck with it man!

  7. Glad you’re finding a way to get back on a bike. Inspirational that you’re building it yourself.

    Like some have mentioned above, trials bikes might be something to take inspiration from. Koxx, a french cycling company, makes a host of frames without seat posts, though nothing like a proper SS frame.

    Ill be checking back for updates!