This B1 came equipped with the ICE U shaped bars, but I also have the hamster bars to try out at some point. The feel of the U bar on the B1 is great and has awesome slow speed stability. Climbing on the B1 is simple and relaxing with this setup. I have never tried a true hamster bar setup, but plan to try it on the B1 after some time. The U bars however are quite confidence inspiring with calm manners at higher speed as well. With the flip stem, getting on and off the bike is a simple affair, and the arm position is relaxed and natural without any unnecessary extension. While it may not be super aero, it is not “trucker wide” either. Since the B1 is not a race bike, it is refreshing that the folks at ICE have created a setup does not pretend to be something it isn’t. I do have to say though, with a reclined hardshell and hamster bar setup this could be like a sporty "mini-highracer" of sorts.
The mesh seat on the B1 is very comfortable, and is the same seat used for the ICE trikes. Indeed, it can be swapped to an ICE trike if desired. On the B1, the mesh seat is like a perfect cradle to pilot hard leaning corners without worry. Even at full recline, getting the feet on the ground at a stop is easy and there is no real leg interference while pedaling.
The tires seen in the pictures are not the stock Marathon Racers. I have equipped this ride with my favorite - 406 Big Apple Lites. After many hundred miles with the BA Lites on the QNT I can say they provide a very compliant ride and have great road manners. On the B1 they feel just as good, and it has a quasi "crater-hopper" look that I have grown to like. Carving hard angles on the BA’s is no problem as they have great grip. On my hard-n-skinny highracers of old, rough chipseal meant wondering if my fillings were coming out. Lesser-packed gravel roads meant a squirrelly nerve-wreaking ride. With these wide meats on the B1 and the rear elastomer this plush ride flies over the tops of softer road surfaces without worry and the occasional drain grate and constant road imperfections with ease. The 406’s accelerate very quickly, and from what I can tell, the bike holds speed just fine. With the ICE Capreo hub and cassette, there are plenty of gears for climbing and for decent top end.
The ICE rear rack is also a great feature. I had thought about taking it off in favor of a seat bag of some kind, but it is just too darned cool looking to do that. Plus I had a few handy trunk bags around, so there you go. ICE does have additional side bars that can be mounted to the rack if needed for using panniers.
Only one odd omission exists, however: water bottle access. Sadly, there is none. I was shocked to not find a single location to mount a bottle cage. There are mounts on the front of the DR mast, but that cannot be reached while riding - at least not safely. The trunk bag I am using can easily carry one bottle, but really a stock cage mount within reach of the seat while riding is needed. My 2006 QNT has sweet raised mounts on the front of the boom - perfect for a cage. I would propose this feature be added to the B1. I am remedying the situation by adding a "Cat Cage" and some Elite VIP Bottle Cage Clamps to the front of the boom - similar to the same location as the cage mounts on my QNT.
I received an email from ICE - they do have a clamp on bottle cage that fits to the back of the mesh seat rail. That should be an ideal placement for a bottle - easy to reach while riding. I will be getting one from ICE here soon. Below is a picture of this bottle cage solution from ICE:
I am very impressed with this little SWB. I was looking for a sporty, comfortable, “hop on and go” bike of artwork quality and the B1 is definitely it. Anyone looking for a compact bike that can still get up and move - while collapsing down to a manageable size for transport or storage - really should take a hard look and give this baby a test ride. The fine folks at ICE have ALWAYS been prompt and thorough in answering any questions I may have and offer excellent customer support - it is hard to find a company better out there!