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Odd looking bike in Afghanistan(6 posts)

Odd looking bike in AfghanistanBrian C.
Nov 19, 2001 12:22 PM
Anyone read the Sunday New York Times?
On page 3 of the Week in Review section, there's a photo of an Afghani looking at the carnage of war. He's standing with his bicycle, which has a double top tube. What kind of bike is that?
It got me wondering if the U.S. or British commandos are using mountain bikes in this conflict, considering the terrain.
They are using horses!STEELYeyed
Nov 19, 2001 1:20 PM
I figured it would be an ideal place to use the military ATB bikes,but it seems they might likley spook the N.Alliances horses,Rumsfeld showed a photo of US troops on horseback at a press conference last week.
Military bikescory
Nov 20, 2001 10:29 AM
Bicycling (I think it was) did a story on this some time back. I haven't read the magazine for four or five years, so it must have been about that long ago.
Bikes have been used a lot, but as a Vietnam vet, I see some problems. They wouldn't have worked where I was (great singletrack, but it would have taken too much concentration to ride it). They'd make a lot more noise than you generally want, and bailing off the things in an ambush and getting in position to return fire would take time. You carry a lot of gear--often 40-60 pounds, though I was in rapid-response units that used less--and in the part of Vietnam where I was, the terrain was often unrideably steep, so you'd be pushing the bike, trying to hold your rifle, then getting untangled when somebody shot at you. And military bikes of the past have been quite heavy, 40 lbs-plus, though modern ones probably could be lighter. There were times when they would have been helpful, but by and large not in actual combat.
re: Odd looking bike in Afghanistanguido
Nov 19, 2001 2:07 PM
Those double top tubed bikes are ubiquitous over there, aren't they? Where are they built, India?
Bikes are used for many purposes in developing countries . . .DCW
Nov 20, 2001 5:50 AM
Are the two top tubes side-by-side or over-under? If the former, it may be to improve function for carrying a rider or supporting boxes, sacks, baggage, etc. I've seen bikes in India, Morocco and China used like small trucks. In many cases, the bike was just pushed, not ridden. I haven't noticed the top-tube configuration, but in any case, doubling it probably increases the carrying capacity of the bike. An extra top tube probably increases the cost of manufacture, so it likely serves a function beyond that of single riding.
re: Odd looking bike in AfghanistanTurtleherder
Nov 20, 2001 8:10 AM
I saw lots of the double top tube (over/under) designed bikes in Cozumel, Mexico this summer. They sported spanish names that I had never heard of before. I also happened to be there when they had a juniors crit race. Lots of very small Trek and Specialized bikes.