Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Beach Bike

So, my display bike is down da road (DDR), now in the hands of someone who will actually ride it. I'm sure it is happy.
Now comes the hard part. What bike to get next?

I sort of had an idea of what I wanted: cruiser/utility bike that I could run to store or to the beach. It had to have a rack or basket and it had to have 700c wheels. I thought I could get in and out of the bike store in an hour. It took me two and half.
Of course Evil Hoku was there to help me out. He managed to talk me out of my original decision.
I had actually narrowed my choices down to two bikes: the Globe Vienna and the Kona Smoke. Evil Hoku actually had an older Smoke that I almost bought so it was what I thought of first. The Vienna has been out for only a couple of years and I thought it looked pretty cool. I was leaning toward the Smoke though, mainly because it was steel, and I didn't want another aluminum frame.

It's a nice bike that comes equipped with plastic fenders, CityRide tires and an eight speed grip shift drive train. Very nice and cushy. The top tube is bit on the long side and it stretched me out some. The fork bothered me. Tubular steel and it flexed like bamboo. Yes, I know, probably part of the compliant ride, but it unnerved me still.
So I took the Vienna out again.
And I took the Smoke out again.

I cannot relate how important fit is. Now that I know better and know what to look for, I was able to adjust the bike to my liking. This was not like my first bike purchase which involved a ride around the block and an "okay I'll take it." Although I was spending half as much moolah, I wasn't going to compromise comfort.
The deal breaker was the position, the grip shift and the cup o'noodles fork.
So in the end, I bought this:

The Vienna has integrated shifters/brake levers and a massive low gear for them thar hills. It is an aluminum frame, but comes with a springer seatpost that kinda sorta works. I think it will do me well.
I have to mount the rear rack (Evil Hoku made me get the more expensive one!) and find a nice basket for the front. I'll change out the pedals for my old Easton Flatboys or try some toeclips, though I'm wondering if the clips will accommodate my multi-tool slippers. The bars will have to be cut down some; I'm changing out the grips and adding bar ends. No, they will not be pointed straight up. Oh, and I'll probably flip the stem. Evil eBay will supply the new brakes, probably Avid Single Digit Sevens. My old Specialized computer goes on as well. I'm still trying to figure out the size of the fattest tires I can squeeze into the fork.
Maybe I'll even find some time this weekend to ride it on over to Lanikai and hang out at the beach.

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