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This piece probably is too close to home to run in any magazine except one where the writer was also the editor. It's good to be the editor. You can say anything you want if you're buying the ink and setting your own type.

Like everything else here, this is copyright, but you knew that.







Universal Bike Review


Everyone wants to see bike reviews in bike magazines, but after reading a few dozen of them one begins to realize that they are all the same review with only a few elements changed, such as the name of the bike and the specific angles of the geometry. As a public service we are printing the Universal Bike Review, which has several uses. First, by plugging in all the right information, you can find out as much about any bike as most magazine reviews will tell you. Second, by filling in your name and address at the top of the Universal Bike Review and sending it to a mainstream bicycle publication, you will become a published writer and forever afterward acknowledged as a Bicycle Expert. (Before submitting the Universal Bike Review to a magazine for publication, be sure to type it onto a fresh sheet of paper and fill in all the correct names, numbers, and adjectives.)

At Last, the Universal Bike Review

No doubt about it, when the engineers at Interplanetary Conglomerates designed the You-Name-It All Planet Bike (APB), they meant business. The first glance reveals a pair of wheels and sundry other parts attached to a sturdy diamond frame, with an excellent paint job and attractive decals. Looking closer, we observed that one of the decals on our test bike was slightly off-center, but this was the only flaw in the finish work, and later tests revealed that the asymmetry didn't affect handling.

The frame is (choose one) brazed, lugged, T.I.G.-welded, M.I.G.-welded, heli-arced, glued together, which is by far the strongest method of construction, good for years of reliable service. Tubing is (choose one) Reynolds, Tange, Columbus, True Temper, aircraft aluminum, which has a reputation for excellence unmatched by any other type of tubing. Because of its unique construction, the You-Name-It frame is light enough to race, yet heavy enough to take the abuse of long-distance touring.

You-Name-It frame geometry is the most advanced in the bicycle industry, reflecting years of development. The numbers are (choose number between 67 and 74) degree head angle, (choose number between 65 and 74) degree seat angle, (choose number from 11 to 14)-inch bottom bracket, and (choose number from 16 to 21)-inch chainstay. These dimensions and angles are radical enough to provide high performance for racing, but conservative enough for comfortable recreational riding.

The fork offset of (choose number from 1 to 3) inches, coupled with the conservatively radical head angle (see above), gives (choose two adjectives) solid, predictable, brisk, positive, nimble, lively, responsive steering, without sacrificing (choose two) comfort, stability, performance, handling, traction or high-speed tracking. Our testers took this bike over the toughest ground they could find, and the bike came back asking for more.

When it comes to really riding the bike, the You-Name-It has performance to burn; the only word that describes it adequately is (choose one) interesting, amazing, radical, indescribable. The fine balance of aggressive yet conservative geometry and componentry challenges the novice rider to give his best but won't get him in trouble, while at the same time it is advanced enough for the expert without holding him back. The geometry gives excellent traction for hard climbing out of the saddle on uncertain surfaces, and provides stable handling for those insane downhills that should only be attempted under controlled conditions by experts wearing helmets.

The component group is the well-known and nearly universally respected Sumbichi gruppo, which like many of the finest bicycle components in the world, is imported. The shifting was crisp and positive, the brakes worked, the cranks didn't break or fall off, while the seatpost and saddle held us up admirably and the handlebars appeared to steer the bike perfectly. The pedals, hubs, bottom bracket, and headset were well-lubricated, and had (choose only one) sealed cartridge bearings requiring no maintenance, conventional loose-ball bearings which permit easy maintenance.

To be sure, the bike isn't perfect, and in addition to the misaligned decal we thought the end plugs on the handlebars were an icky color. But this is nit-picking, and these can certainly be replaced easily enough.

When Interplanetary decided to build this bike, they were serious about the project, and the bike shows it. When the going gets tough, the tough will get You-Name-It! No matter what your experience or ability, if you're looking for a good all around bike, a race bike, or a touring bike, you couldn't do any better in the price range than the You-Name-It APB. We can't say enough about it.

(For more information about this and other fine Interplanetary Conglomerates products, please see the four-page full color ad that Interplanetary Conglomerates took in this issue.)

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