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How I Will Be Rolling

Huge Steel Geometries

I mentioned a while back that I was looking to buy a bike and thinking about a single-speed/fixed-gear thing so I asked an old friend of mine who happens to have owned a bike store for twenty years or so what he thought of the idea. That conversation went something like this:

“Fixie, eh? Got any knee problems?”

“Yeah, some. Why?”

“Well, that’ll make ‘em worse in a hurry.”

“Ah. Well, the bike I’m looking at has one of those flip-flop hubs on the back. So it’s not just a fixie.”

“Well, that’s a single-speed, that’s different. You’re not planning on carrying anything, are you?”

“I was thinking of towing my daughter around, in one of those chariot things.”

“On a single-speed? Are you living on the prairies these days?”

“Not exactly. The trails I’ll be on will mostly be around the Don Valley in Toronto.”

“Yeah, no.”

Okay, then.

So now I’m getting one of these, which seems like a very good fit. It’s got some things I like very, very much about modern bikes, the foremost being Shimano’s “megarange” cog on the back, so if you want it you’ve got enough mechanical advantage to pedal it up a ladder without breathing too hard. It’s got a narrowish drop bar, which is nice, a much sturdier body than the usual racing frame will give you and some very interesting disc brakes, which are the kind of thing you don’t need until you try, and then can’t ever do without. All told it seems like it makes a lot of sensible weight/durability tradeoffs, and once I get some decent pedals for it (and I can’t recommend those clipless-on-one-side-only pedals enough, they’re great) it should be a pretty good bike. I’ll need to replace all the quick-release stuff with security bolts, because that’s how this city works, but I’m OK with that.

3 Comments | Skip to comment form

  1. neil

    Just a word of caution – if you get a bike with disc brakes, most of the bike seats out there won’t work. I’ve got a Kona as well (love it) and ended up buying one of these:

    http://www.topeak.com/products/Child-Carrier/tpk_babyseat

    Here’s the bike with the seat installed:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilio/3623738866/

    The seat is really nice, and it’s dead simple to remove the seat from the mount rack if you want to go riding without it. I got ours from Sweet Pete’s (http://www.sweetpetes.com/), who will do the install for you for free.

    You’ll want them to do the install. It’s harrowing otherwise.

  2. Mike Kozlowski

    Technology FTW!

  3. jeremylukehill

    Mike,

    Having dragged two kids and a few bags of groceries around in a bike buggy on more than one occasion, I can assure you that mechanical advantage is a good thing.