Friday, July 30

The Future of Cycling in My Life

The events of last week have caused me to re-examine things a bit.

I'm back to having the Cannonball as my primary mode of transportation. Of course this is not the first time that has been the case. When I lived in Slade over ten years ago I rode the Cannonball everywhere and shunned my undependable car.

I had believed the rear derailleur was bent and had not been riding the bike until I slaughtered two road bikes in short succession. Then I was sort of forced back onto the bike, I've joked that the Cannonball had hexed either myself or the two road bikes to gain my undivided favor once again.

So I rode it to work a couple of days with the "bent" derailleur, grumpy all the way because it wouldn't shift right. I the night before last to try and switch out derailleurs for the nice Shimano from my recently deceased Giant.

I pulled both derailleurs (grave robber I know!) and the Shimno bolted right up to the Cannonball, but the cable was too short. I tried finagling it on but realized it just wasn't going to work.

I slapped the SRAM that i believed was bent back onto the frame and realized what I was seeing as "bent" was actually the swing of the hanger arm. It pivots and does not glide. [Smacked forehead!]

Ok, I could string it all back up...except I had pulled the housing off of the frayed end shifter cable. Grrr!!! There was no way I could get it back through without trimming it with a cable cutter. I did not have a cable cutter. I do now.

A trip to REI yesterday afternoon yielded a new Park cable cutter and a strengthened resolve that gear store people are not to be trusted/relied upon. I was specifically looking for the Park over the Pedro because a) the Park has a crimper and b) it's five dollars cheaper.

The guy tried to talk me into the Pedro even though I specifically wanted the Park.

Once I got the shiny new tool home I had the cable trimmed and the derailleur hitched back up in less than 10 minutes. A quick tightening of the cable and I was cruising up the street, shifting through the gears with no trouble.Yee-HAH!

I realized what had happened to the bike in the first place. The derailleur was not bent. The cable had slipped and there was slack in it. Once I realized what had happened the symptoms were obvious. Should have re-adjusted everything FIRST, before seeking more radical repairs.

I rode in to work today and the bike performed beautifully.

Since the Cannonball does not read my blog I believe I can confide this here. I am researching my next bike.

There are three potential touring/commuter bikes I'm looking at. But first...the criteria.

1) Must be a good, solid and comfortable commuter bike. That is the main goal of my next bike purchase. It will be our secondary vehicle. It must accept panniers and a trailer hitch with ease. It must carry loads, have fenders and go in any weather. So I may even go with disc brakes...

2) I want to be able to ride it on any long trek. If Mandy and I ride cross country in a couple of years I want it to be on my next bike. It must be sturdy and longsuffering on the road.

3) Can't be too expensive. Something around $1,000, no more than say $1,800 (eek! even that seems high). The reason is this: I don't want to fret over leaving it locked up somewhere. I know that even a thousand dollar bike would be a significant loss, but a $2500 bike even moreso. I want to be able to ride the stinking thing.

Here are the bikes I'm looking into:

1) Raleigh Sojourn

2) Raleigh Clubman

3) Novara Safari

The Sojourn has a more pleasing geometry but also has disc brakes. It seems sturdy and the reviews are generally good. The issue of my toes hitting the fenders in a turn would bother me, IF I intended to use SPD pedal or the toe straps. I do not need either.

I saw a stripped down Clubman at REI last night and began lusting immediately, and then as I walked toward the tools saw one that had everything...DROOL!

The Novara...I typically shun store brands when it comes to outdoor gear and this holds true for the Novara bikes (I've got some Novara clithing and am not terribly happy with it). But the Safari gets good reviews and has some nice features. For some strange reason I actually like the weird handlebar configuration.

I need to do some more research, especially into a variety of bikes. And I think I actually want to start test-riding some. Much test riding needs to be done...


I've been torturing myself by reading from this website while sitting in my cube.

I should have taken advantage of all of those years I was single and childless...but I squandered it all on climbing...

No comments:

Post a Comment