Antisociology

Wheels

Posted in Uncategorized by antisociology on December 18, 2008

Raleigh One-Way

After yesterday’s sad-sack post, it’s time for something a little more uplifting. A few weeks ago I put a deposit down on a Raleigh One-Way to commute on. It has almost everything I want in a commuter bike:

  • A full set of braze-ons for racks and fenders.
  • Cantilever brakes.
  • Clearance for fat cushy tires.
  • A steel frame and sweet lugged fork.
  • Brooks leather saddle.
  • My favorite brake levers (the Tektros, modeled after my real favorite, the last generation Campagnolo Ergopower brake/shift levers).
  • It even includes a bell and a (very) nice minipump.

 

It’s a singlespeed/fixed gear which means that there are no gears; you just have to muscle up any hills you come across. On the plus side, there’s hardly anything to keep clean and barely anything to break. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have cablestops or a derailleur hanger, so if I eventually want to run multiple gears on it, I’ll have to build up a wheel with an internally geared hub. The really bad news, though, is that the bike won’t be here until the first or second week of February. Boo.

 

Paul Components Flatbed

Of course, the best part of getting a bike is accessories! I’ve been trolling around for front and rear racks. I’m pretty sure that I want to run with a front basket and a rear rack with panniers. The front basket is good for going to and from work. A rear rack with panniers is handy if you have more cargo. My favorite rack is the Paul Components Flatbed. It’s the beautiful chrome and wood rack you see above. At a similar pricepoint are the more robust CETMA racks — but they don’t look quite as nice as the Flatbed. Oh, the decisions we make.

 

Speaking of bikes, I think bike companies are finally coming out with some totally bitchin’ product. Masi has some really cool things going with their Soulville and Speciale lines (I almost got a Speciale Commuter). Both Schwinn (!!!) and Raleigh (!!) have introduced cool steel roadbikes (check out the Raleigh Clubman and the 70th Anniversary Schwinn Paramount). Gary Fisher has a really cool bike in the form of the Simple City series. I took a look at the Simple City while talking with the salesman about the Raleigh I ordered. They are neat bikes, and I could see having one as a third bike of sorts. I’m just not comfy in the super upright position they put you in (and I’m not a huge fan of the aluminum frame). 

 

I really think that bike commuting will help me get up earlier in the morning. I’d rather get up to pedal to work than stuff myself in a train and wait on subway platforms. There is, of course, also the savings from not having to buy an $81 Metrocard every 30 days. If you’re interested in alternative transportation, you should definitely watch this interview with Janette Sadik-Khan, the NYC DOT commissioner.

 

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