Jean-François d’Or

Last weekend we’ve visited the Moodboards exhibition by the Belgian designer of the year 2013 Jean-François d’Or at Grand Hornu. What catched the eye was a bike parking system. The design and the little text that compagned  the design illustrated that Jean-François is a biker himself or understands bikers quite well…

I quote: ‘Bike lovers hate to drop their bike within a wheel-stuck bike-range jaw. Urban observations show that cyclists entrust their bike to a tree for security, stability and sensitive wood contact that won’t scratch their polished jewel frame’.

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Details on the design: ARBRE A CYCLE, Bike range – Urban furniture, Wood- Galvanised steel, Edition Woodex (BE) 1998.

A Jaegher Phantom test – My review – The sequel

Because the post ‘A Jaegher Phantom test – My review‘ is currently the most looked at page on my blog and because I received some questions from John, I would like to add some things to the earlier review.

There is a curious thing going on with the paint. After a while I noticed a spot on the back of the frame. Cleaning wouldn’t help, it always returned after a few days. This unexplainable spot and the fact of the unleveled top tube let the people at Jaegher to the decision to make a new frame for me. On my part I’ve decided to pay the extra 200 EUR for the upgrade from a Phantom to a Interceptor. Currently I’m waiting for the delivery of the new frame… It also means a lot of work waiting for me: deconstructing the frame, the drive to the Jaegher shop and rebuilding the bike!

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In the first test I’ve made the point that the Jaegher frames aren’t as light as indicated. This let to an interesting story. My neighbor is currently building some fixed gears based on old steel frames originating from his family. The other day I helped him with deconstruction a 1980’s Colnago frame. According to him this was an entry to mid level frame in the day. I couldn’t resist measuring this frame, of course with the same measuring technique as the other frames. Guess what, this 30 year old frame weights exact the same as my current Phantom! And this without expansive steel names like Niobium…

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John was wondering what my feelings were on the bike, apart from the issues explained above. Well, the bike is (slightly) more comfortable and stiffer under hard acceleration and cornering then my Koga racer. But, I do have some marginal comments. A lot depends on the riding position (steer, shifter, saddle, shoe – paddle). At first the bike was a dream to ride, then due to some problems small changes were done. And this has it’s effect on efficiency, comfort, ride quality,… I do feel it when something is wrong, unfortunately I don’t know what and how to change. I’ve also noticed the choice of wheels and tires (mainly the pressure) have a great influence. E.g., my 4,5 year old Fulcrum Racing 3 and Racing 7 wheel sets make the ride over cobble stones really comfy, this is not the case with the new Fulcrum Racing 1 set.

To reply on Juan’s remark that steel frames can only be light by using ultra light components. The base line of the Jaegher frames is ‘airlight steel’. The only thing I’m saying that this baseline isn’t the real story.

Another important issue is that the Jaegher bike is a bike (and maybe the only one) with a soul. The other day I was thinking of it as the bike equivalent of a Morgan. Exclusive, fast, beautiful, classic techniques and sometimes with some problems.

A thing of beauty, (hopefully) a joy forever…

Jaegher