Retotec bike handling
I have seen and drooled over the photos of these Retrotec bikes for some time now. They really are quite gorgeous.
What I am wondering is, how do they ride? Is this just a styling exercise? Are you in as efficient a pedaling position as on a regular hardtail? Or do you have to stand to climb? Do they alter the geometry depending upon the nature of the frame - whether it will be used for road, mountain, or just beach cruising and commuting? What is the standard geometry best for? What are the limitations of the standard geo?
As a satisfied retrotec customer since '06, I may be able to answer your questions. Curtis is a custom builder and as such can build the bike to do whatever you'd like it to do; the curved tubes don't impart any design restraints as far as geometry/handling are concerned.
My mountain bike (a retrotec "half" hardtail built to fit my 5'7" frame) has curtis's stock geometry. I live in the same town where he builds and rides, so I thought he'd know better than I how to set the dimensions. The bike is quick, light, nimble, and predictable in its handling. it's been ridden and raced hard since '06 and it's still kicking; it's my favorite bike. I'm on the second drivetrain, second set of wheels, and third fork, but the frame is still going despite my numerous attempts to wad it up over the years on local trails, race courses, on road trips, and even overseas. and that's despite it being built as a light "race bike". I don't have any plans to replace it anytime soon. if I ever do kill it, I'll replace it with another identical one.
So, yeah, retrotecs ride like "regular" bikes, but they look better while doing it. enjoy!