Today was such a delightful day that when I was invited to a ride into town with a group of friends I naturally decided to go, and to ride the Bennett. The reason for this was to see how I would find it on a longer ride comfortwise. I ended up riding for close to two hours, though it was by no means a fast or a continuous, ride, and this allowed me to assess some of the components for comfort.
I had made a few adjustments to it, raising the saddle and moving it as far back as it would go so that the riding position would suit me better. I had also lowered the bars from their upturned position.
The handlebars are tiny, they are REALLY narrow, which is great for diving between cars and other traffic but that is not really the sort of riding I do, I do not need them to be so narrow, and would much prefer them to be wider. Of course, to change them would mean new brake levers as well.
The seating position was OK when I could hold the bars in the centre, but, in order to get effective braking, using the brake levers which are placed down low rather than the ones up near the top of the bars, I had to use the drops, and this meant that my position felt as though my spine was parallel to the top bar, though I am sure this was not quite the case. I am accustomed to using aerobars from my triathlon days so it was not due to my being unaccustomed to being in a low riding position, I just do not need to be that low to ride around town.
The gears changed smoothly, in fact everything was smooth and quiet and it is a fast ride, I noticed this especially coming up the hill that is at the end of my ride, it was much easier on my legs than the Giant or the Speedwell. I think I will have a use for such a bike if it is altered to make it more comfortable and practical I have a rack that fits it perfectly, though it is from an earlier era and that may make it look out of place. I have also ordered some mudguards for it, I guess the next order will have to be a new saddle and bars …