I have ridden my NWT with drop bars many thousands of miles, including long
tours around Michigan and through various mountain ranges in the east, both
loaded with panniers (and several times with a large SaddleSack--my favorite)
and towing the trailer.
I agree with D. Patrick that it's twitchy. It rides nothing like my creamy
smooth Rambouillet EXCEPT it's the right size because I had them build it that
way. It's my second most-comfortable bike. I think it's fun to ride. It's so
comfortable, I prefer touring on it, even though I have a nice 1984 Trek 620.
It's true that the long stem and seat mast are odd and bendy. But for me,
that's part of the lively fun. The summer that my Ram's chain stay broke, I
rode the BF as my exclusive road bike for months while my Ram was getting
repaired. I was overjoyed to have my Ram back the next summer, but I had plenty
of fun on the BF.
PITA to pack in the suitcase? Sure. I don't do it that often, but it's nice to
have it when I arrive. Is the suitcase/trailer a PITA to tow? Yes, especially
off-pavement, but I have done it for several multi-day tours. I carried it in
its bag on Amtrak to and from my eastern tour. Very convenient.
So it's not even close to a Rivendell, ride-wise. But I find it to be a fun
backup bike. I look forward to taking it with me on retirement trips.
Okemos and Glen Arbor MI
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