Sunday, August 29, 2010

Right Choice of Bike

I quickly learned my Bike Friday Pocket Rocket equiped with Velocity rims and the skinniest tires I could find was OK for speed but not OK in three conditions. First, where huge cracks in the pavement run parrellel to my direction of travel, second where the road shoulder is gravel, and third where there is no shoulder at all. Bottle retrieval often requires not only a quick stop, I must also deftly avoid traffic by bunny hopping off the driving surface and onto whatever is available for travel. In addition to the BF I own a Downtube 9FS. The 9 designates the number of speeds in the drivetrain and the FS stands for full suspension. I had used the Downtube before when I knew I was going to scout a dirt road. The FS does a good job of manageing a washboard gravel and dirt surface. As a full time foreging bike the cramped gear range didn't work. Modifications for full time duty include; ergon grips for comfort, a seat post rack for panniers, holes drilled in the swing arm/wheel stay to mount the BF trailer hitch and a kickstand, Cane Creek system 3 brakes and finally a SRAM 3x9 drive laced into the rear wheel. A set of maximus hookworm tires rounded out my rig and for anything but the smoothest surface with nicely paved shoulders it has become my "go to" collection machine. By the way, both bikes have a low step over hight with is absolutely neccessary for my 63 year old legs. so far this summer I have dismounted and mounted over 3000 times- not a pretty sight with a standard top tube!

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