As a way to kick off this new bike blogging adventure, I’d like to introduce you to my new wheels. Meet BB!
She’s a beauty, right? If you’re interested in the more technical details, BB is a Diamant 247 model with a 50cm frame. The awesome thing about Diamant bikes is that they’re manually assembled in the East German town of Chemnitz. The whole story of Diamant is fascinating: manufacturing bikes since 1895, the company went through two world wars, a communist regime, and managed to come out shining afterwards. Not many companies formerly owned by the German Democratic Republic met that fate, so they’re kind of an exception. Nowadays, they’re owned by the Trek Bicycle Corporation, but they still produce at their headquarters rather than outsourcing everything, and have managed to create a reputation for excellent quality bikes. In short, I could go with their philosophy, not just the bike. If you want more Diamant history, you can read up on it here (in German).
The special thing about the 247 model is the fact that it doesn’t have a chain but a carbon drive system. Check it out:
I’ve only used her for two days so far, and so far I’m loving it – except for one annoying detail: the gears still need to be adjusted a bit. In fifth and seventh gear, they keep getting the hiccups. I’ll be pedalling happily along and suddenly something funny goes on with the carbon drive, making it “jump”. No idea why or what exactly is happening, so I’ll have it looked at. I’m curious to see how the carbon drive system performs in the long run. At the moment, I like the way it “pulls” (when it’s not having the hiccups, that is), it’s a difficult feeling to describe but it somehow feels softer than a normal chain drive. Has anyone out there got any experience with carbon drive systems on bikes?
Other than that, she has 8 gears and roller brakes, and she’s super light (which is an advantage when you have to carry your bike up and down a long flight of stairs every day). Together with the carbon drive, the roller brakes are supposed to make it a very low maintenance bike, so I’ll keep you posted on how this plays out.
If you’re wondering about the name, it stands for Black Banana. The black part is quite obvious, the banana part comes from her East German history. In the GDR, bananas were a scarce good, so when the borders opened in 1989, bananas sold out in West German supermarkets for weeks. There are copious amounts of stupid jokes about it. But “BB” kind of sounds cool as a name, so I went with it.