Monday, May 05, 2008

Toy shopping

I finally got to the bike shop to look at parts for repairing my bike. The parts only cost $45; the tools to do the repair cost another $50, so I'm going to cheat and have them do the repair in the shop, for about $20. Yeah, I know -- I'm passing up a chance to buy tools. But they're tools you can't use for anything other than removing the rear cassette on a pretty specific range of bicycles. Plus, funds are a bit tight, and anywhere I can save a few bucks is a good thing.

While I was there, I (of course) had to look at all of the cool new bikes. It seems like hybrid bikes have changed a lot in the last five years. While mine and Laura's are a few modifications away from mountain bikes, the new lines are much closer to road bikes. They're geared for speed, rather than hills; they've got road tires; they've got road brakes; the seats are road seats. I like my Navigator, but I also like some of the features on the newer bikes. I'd like a bike with a slightly larger frame. And I'd like a bike that could give me a bit more speed. Everything else I'd like to change is a modification I could make to my existing bike: fenders, lights, maybe a rack on the back. I bought my bike after years away from cycling, so I wasn't really aware of which features I'd like and which features I'd eventually find irritating. I haven't been particularly happy with the spring-mounted seat post, for one thing. It's comfortable, but it's also noisy, and no amount of lubrication and adjustment has solved the problem. I'm also not happy with my grip shifters. They seemed like a cool, clever idea, and one which I'd quickly get used to. Five years later, I still find myself shifting on accident occasionally, and it's always at inopportune times. But I really like my dual-axis brake levers. Shimano doesn't make them anymore, so I suspect I'll transfer them when I eventually get a new bike.

So, bikes I really want: the Cannondale Road Warrior 4; the Trek 1.2 road cycle; the Trek FX 7.5 (in candy apple red!) or 7.3; and the Giant FCR3. If I actually had money to spend on a new bike, I'd have to do some serious thinking about which of these I'd end up with. They've all got advantages. And, they've all got road tires and gears.

Also, while I was at the Bicycle Garage I ran into two people I know. One's an avid cyclist, the kind of guy you'd expect to see in a bike shop; the other was quite a surprise, someone I used to work out with and haven't seen for probably seven years. This happens to me on a regular basis. It might be one of the advantages of living in the same town (even one with a million people in it) for your entire life. It's nice, and makes me feel like less of an antisocial introvert than I sometimes suspect I am.

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