Bike Polo Bicycle built for traveling.

February 15, 2011

Just saw an old buddy who is a bike polo pro and it made me think of his bike. He has the best bike made for what he does, Bike Polo. It would make a great commuter bike too if not for the high price. Its a Fleetvelo Joust. Check out this review of it. Every year, the Interbike show in Las Vegas brings new and updated products from the big bike-makers. It also has lots of weird niche bikes, which are probably a lot more interesting. And you can’t get much more niche than polo bike designed for travel. This is the Joust, from Fleetvelo. It was designed by a fellow named Tucker Schwinn, who is both part of the famous bike-making Schwinn family and also a bike polo player. It is this last part that has lead to a bike that looks almost perfect for the sport. First, the Joust is tough. It has fat steel tubes which have extra reinforcement where they join. I have snapped two frames this summer, both where the bottom bracket meets the seat-tube, so this is important. Second, the fork and frame are wide enough to take fat-tires (the front in this case is made for a 26-inch wheel). Fat tires are more comfortable but more importantly give better grip when braking hard into a turn, where a front-wheel skid can cause disaster. The Joust is also made to take v-brakes front and back. The most popular polo bike so far is the Cutter, from BMX-maker Volume. It has no drilling for a front brake. The same 135mm axle-length is also used front and back, so you only need carry a spare rear-wheel and you can also use it up front. But the last, most impressive piece of design is the S and S coupling. This is a super-light yet strong pair off joints that let you split the bike in two for travel. S and S makes travel-cases that are barely larger than the diameter of a wheel, and not very deep, either. Using these makes air-travel a breeze, and you can avoid the crazy charges some airlines levy on bikes. All this design does’t come cheap, though. The frame alone is $650 ($620 unpainted). That’s a lot for a bike that you’re just going to thrash into the ground, but then again, it’s a lot cheaper than buying a new beater road-bike every couple months, which is what I’m doing now. The Joust is built-to-order, and currently takes around three weeks to ship.