I have come to understand in the last few weeks that I am an oddity in the bicycle community; among other areas of society. Do I like commuting on my bike? Yes. Do I want to go 20 to 25 miles an hour? You better believe it. Am I willing to ride 100+ miles in a weekend or possibly day? Hell yeah. So where is the bike for me?
I have been looking for a nice road bike for the past few weeks. I have come to understand a few things:
- Most road bikes are built for people who want the lightest bike possible. So braze-ons (mounts) for fenders, racks, and disc brakes are not really a priority.
- The bikes I want to ride (carbon) are not for my kind of riding.
- Choosing a bike over the internet is like buying a house that you can’t see the inside of. Without a test ride I am not buying a bicycle.
- Must have 700c wheels. This is not very hard to find so that’s not too bad.
- Must have braze-ons (mounts) for everything from fenders to racks.
- Preferably light and strong at the same time. Although I know that this is a pipe dream I’d like to find a balance between the two.
- Must be bent enough (H2 ?) to cut through the wind, but not too bent that I can’t ride it due to back fatigue.
The reason I am posting this here is that I think there are a lot of people out there like me, and we are not really well represented. If you want a bike that goes fast and far there is a bike for you. If you want one that can carry a lot of weight they have them. If you want a commuter that will get you where you need to go they sell them. If you want a bike for all three you are up a creek. In fact I am going to go as far as to categorize myself and all of the people like me. We will now be known as Super Commuters. People for whom just getting around is not enough, Rack Warriors.
So if you have any ideas for us Kings of Commuting leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you guys think.
I was talking to Chris Gillham, one of the smartest people I know when it comes t bikes, last night at the bike rescue about my situation, and I came to the conclusion that I have four options:
- Get two bikes, one for commuting and one for speed. This does not really solve my problem because I still want to commute 40+ miles at a time. So septate bikes would just separate out my problems. I could use a backpack on a road bike. That way I get speed and at least some carrying capacity.
- Retrofit my current bike. I may be able to put drop handlebars on my current bike. That way at least I will be able to cut through the wind a little easier. The geometry for this though is still not optimal for that riding position.
- Get a nice frame and then outfit it with the parts I want to make it lighter. I figure I can buy the Surly LHT frame and outfit it with the right parts to make it “lighter.”
- Keep searching for the Shangri-La of bikes. It has to be out there somewhere.