Wednesday, November 09, 2011

In praise of the (almost) modern bicycle

The Subaru is in the shop, so I get an extra day of bike commuting this week. Most weeks I'm allowed one day of bike commuting leisure, but this week I have two. It's a blessing.

During today's commute though, the shifting was rough. I adjusted the cable, but it didn't help. Finally, i took it down to my workshop.

Wow. I'm amazed that Shimano Deore XT derailleur could shift at all. It was coated with sedimentary rock forming from strata of clay and oil and leaf and the odd bug. After a bit of excavating and polishing thought it shifts like new.

That's incredible. I paid $600 for that bike over 14 years ago ...

Commuting/Touring Bike

... I ended up buying the 1996 T400, primarily because I already owned the wheels and components found on the T2000 (I did spend $5.00 or so to upgrade the crummy front derailleur to a Deore LX, my existing front derailleur is not compatible with this bike's tubing.). I like the old-fashioned stone simple mounting of the shifters on the down tube and the older 7 speed Hyperglide cassette (freewheel)...

This touring/commuting bike just keeps going. Yes, I did have cyclocross wheels put on and I recycled some nice components, but the basic bike was pretty fine.

It gets pathetically little maintenance, but it still runs.

I don't know what bikes are like today, but I assume they're equally fine. I can't justify a new one; I have three great bikes, including my 1976 Raleigh International,

a (hard fork!) 1988 Trek mountain bike and the Cannondale.

Bikes are good stuff. Spend a bit of money and get payback for fifty years.

AT&T and Google may give me hearburn, but a good bike is a joy forever.

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