Trisha and I are now both faced with the necessity of buying new bikes. Well, “necessity” is relative, but we need them. I have not test ridden any bikes since my Jamis was stolen a month and a half ago, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the type of bike I would like to replace it. I learned from Jamis what I like (light and fast) and don’t like (aluminum, chain falling off a lot, brakes compromised by rain). I want a bike that can be a solid quick commuter (but not my primary commuter since that’s Oma’s job) and good for traveling and longer rides. Something quality that will last a really long time. I have $1200 from selling my Prius and would prefer to stay in that price range.
At first I thought the perfect solution would be the newly released Raleigh Superbe Roadster. Steel with internal hub gears and brakes but with lightness and frame geometry similar to the Jamis. But I called Raleigh and found out that it is made in China. I try not to buy anything made in China for vague political reasons, so that disqualified this lovely bike.
In a quest to find something that I liked made in the U.S., I fell in love with the absolutely gorgeous A.N.T. Light Roadster. I decided I need a bike less similar to my current bike, though. I’m afraid if I bought this, I would end up riding it instead of my Oma, not in conjunction with my Oma. Plus it would take me a year to save up enough money (and I just paid a huge amount in federal taxes). That’s a later in life, student loans paid off, type of bike. I weep at its beauty, though.
Tonight I stopped by a bike shop to look at the Surly Long Haul Trucker, but couldn’t test ride because it was already dark and then started pouring down rain. This bike has gotten very positive reviews as a great touring and commuting bike. Looked very nice in real life. They have the 2008 model (in my preferred color) with Brooks saddle, fenders, rack, and generator front light for 20% off. I’m going to stop by on the weekend and take a long test ride.
A big turn off, though, is that my frame size comes with 26 wheels instead of 700c. That might be a deal breaker. Wouldn’t that be so much less efficient? Also, I’ve never ridden a bike with drop bars and they intimidate me. Thoughts on drop bars for the city?
The sales guy kept steering me in the direction of the Specialized Tricross, but I think that’s way too sporty for me. Not at all what I’m interested in. He said the Surly is heavy, but when we weighed it, it was only 30 lbs. That’s not heavy to me!
I’ve also had my eye on the new Rivendell Betty Foy – steel mixte!! This one makes my heart go pitter-patter. That should count for something, right? However, here I come against the money problem again. Not too, too expensive, but definitely more than the Surly.
Adding the Swobo Dixon. Hub gears and disc brakes are great. Aluminum is a turn off.
And last night I had a dream that I found a cool vintage bike for cheap. But that was just a dream. Haven’t seem much good on ebay or Craigslist (Trisha’s been finding some nice pink bikes, though!). Chicago has two bike co-ops that teach kids and teens how to fix up used bikes and then sell them, Working Bikes and Blackstone Bicycle Works. I should probably check those places out and see if I can find a diamond in the rough.
I hate shopping and planning! I always hate the process of big decisions (condo shopping, cat adopting, grad school applying) and just want to get on with it (I ended up loving my condo, cat, and law school). Suggestions?
Also, before anyone makes a smart comment about a new bike getting stolen, I have that covered with my new security contraptions.