Sunday, September 18, 2011

Back on Wheels

It's a "hybridGiant Seek 0 - Shimano Alfine 8 speed internal hub, hydraulic disk brakes, 700 x 32 tires, from the Bike Doctor.

My previous bike was a Cannondale F600 mountain bike - quite a different beast. But the fact is, I'm not riding off pavement these days so I decided I might as well get a bike that's more suited to the riding I'm actually doing - which is getting around town. I even put fenders on it - so much for my image!

Without the front shock and with skinnier tires, it's definitely a "harder" ride. You notice the bumps in the road a lot more (and avoid them more!) But it also feels fast and responsive. The internal gears shift smoothly and easily. (Although I'm still getting used to the shifting being "backwards") The range of gears seems ok. I think I would have preferred the range a little lower - I haven't found myself using the top few gears so far. But the lowest gear is still pretty low so it's ok.

I'm not sure how it'll be in the winter - that can be a lot more like "mountain" biking. I can still put studded tires on, albeit skinnier ones. And most of the time in the winter I ended up riding with my shock locked out because it had gone flat. And when it got really cold, shifting often didn't work reliably. From what I've heard the internal hub should still work ok when it's cold - we'll see.

I've been interested in the internal hubs for a while. The straight chain path and internal gears should (in theory) be nice low maintenance, especially in the slush and grit of spring and fall. Shimano has a new 11 speed version which sounds even better, but the Bike Doctor didn't have any yet. In fact, the Seek 0 was the only bike they had in stock with internal gears. Fall might be a good time for deals but not so good for selection. (and of course, this bike wasn't one of the ones on sale!) MEC has a bike with the 11 speed hub which looks pretty good, but I'd rather buy locally. Especially when you want to get good service. (And MEC was out of stock anyway, eliminating any temptation.)

It's a fairly nondescript gray which suits me. (Even the branding is subdued.) I figure it's less likely to get stolen if it doesn't look too flashy. Although the disk brakes are a bit of a give-away if you know to look for them.

I think Shelley is just going to get another mountain bike. Not because she's riding off pavement any more than I am, but more because that's what she's always ridden and is used to. (And I have to admit, the mountain biker "image" is more appealing than "commuter"!)  Although I've been riding mountain bikes for quite a while, before that I rode "ten speeds" for many years, so this style of bike isn't as alien to me.

I reinforced the door of the shed so it won't be quite as easy to break into. But it's still just a flimsy metal shed so it's never going to be that hard to get into. I'm locking my bike up inside the shed as well - I would really be pissed to have the new one stolen. And I wouldn't put it past the thieves to come back in hopes of finding new bikes.

I'm happy to have a bike again. I hate to drive, so without a bike I'm reduced to walking, which is ok, but nowhere near as quick to zip around or go longer distances.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome bike! The fenders don't look bad :o)