Carbon THYS 209

Carbon THYS 209

I'm very pleased and happy with the new THYS 209. The first production samples are riding around 1.5 years now and Richard Bruijn did almost 20,000 km on one of these Rowingbikes. A well tested model! At an early stage, the teething problems have already been taken care of, so we should be safe from any problems. I write that with some caution because I do not want to be trapped in Murphy's second law: if you think that everything goes well then you forgot something.

In recent years I have focused strongly on improving the product. Not trivial, because the steel 222 is a superb Rowingbike. The 209 model looks a lot like the 222: it is somewhat shorter, more compact and the seat is positioned a few centimeters lower. The weight has shifted a bit to the rear wheel. The Carbon THYS 209 is considerably lighter (11.0 to 11.5 kg, bag and water bottles not included) than the steel THYS 222 (15.5 to 16 kg). The carbon offers a different driving experience and has different suspension properties. It's is rigid, but does have some shock and vibration dampening.
On the flat, the speed difference is not really big, but it's there. The advantage of the 209 is really obvious if you go into the hills or mountains. During ascending the weight is shifted more to the rear wheel as the slope gets steeper. With a +18% slope, it may be possible to lift your front wheel from the tarmac. So, you have maximum grip at the rear wheel, minimizing the risk of slipping.
While descending, I have only one advice: don't push beyond safety limits.

The Avid BB7 disk brakes work superbly and the relative forward position of the front wheel and the low center of gravity enables you to brake really hard on both wheels. Sure, you shouldn't use the extreme braking power as an excuse to exceed safe speeds. Oncoming traffic or gravel in an obscure corner are thing you should always be prepared for. Nevertheless, it's sure nice to have a minimum stopping distance when needed.

The brakes are conveniently uncomplicated. Operated with a brake cable, so parts are available anywhere. The choice of brakes is another example in the way my vision on good Rowingbikes has shifted somewhat in the last ten years. At first I was looking for pure speed and nice details and a bit less to low-maintenance. These days I'm focusing mainly on trouble free riding your Rowingbike. So, I'm trying to get everything as Murphy-proof as possible and if anything should go wrong, it will be easy to fix. As an example: the spokes nipples are now accessible again, making tuning easier. In the 209 an inner tube with short valve can be applied.

Production engineering

Production engineering

The 209 frames are made in a factory in China with more than 30 years of experience with carbon products. These include tennis and badminton rackets, racing bikes and bike frames. The bowsprit is an extruded aluminum profile that slides simply on the carbon frame. The sprit has stainless and hardened steel rails on which the bearings of the foot slider run. The profile is extremely exact, which enables the foot slider to run along the bowsprit without any play. Furthermore, aluminum CNC parts and industrial bearings are used, including the steering head. The special THYS 209 hubs have the Shimano center Lock system (licensed by Shimano).

Durability

Durability

Expect a lot of riding pleasure on the 209 for years to come. The carbon frame does not rust, the material does not fatigue (however, the rider does), it just keep on going. All parts that are subject to wear and tear can be easily replaced. In terms of weight, the limits of minimal material use have not been explored. It's probably possible to make an 8 to 9 kg race version of the 209. However, with the current 11 to 11,5 kg it's well prepared to serve large and heavy rowers and on top of that the luggage for the holiday trip. The rear wheel bearings of the 209 are the same as on the 222, but are additionally sealed with greased protection caps, thus protecting even better against the penetration of (brine) water.

Price

Price

The investments in product development and (steel) molds were very high and, together with the high quality, these have an inevitable impact on the price of the THYS 209. I agree that 4500 Euro is a lot of money, but the small-scale assembly and dito sale require this to maintain the level of quality. To justify this, it may be nice to have a look sideways at the world of art, watches and jewelry. Another justification: it's a good investment in your health, because riding the rowingbike keeps you fit! Indeed, the acquisition is not cheap, but the actual use of the rowingbike is. The mileage costs is, due to the low maintenance and high resale value, not high.

And my last justification: Life is short, carpe diem!

So, make an appointment and visit Middelburg for a test ride on the 209. Definitely the best way to make your own judgment.

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