Thursday, March 3, 2011

montana-izing my road bike

Daily bicycle commuting in Montana has some serious perks, and also its challenges. Gone are the days of my 24 round trip, traffic filled trek. Replaced with a much more scenic jaunt (with only two traffic lights).

While the length of the commute has changed, so have my needs for my road bike. It seems as winter begins to wane up here, there are periods where the roads are bone dry for more than several weeks at a time. During this time, I can give my winter rig a much needed break, but more importantly not ride the studded tires on dry road. Considering they were the most expensive tires I've ever purchased (though worth it), I want to get my money's worth out of them.

So that means I get to ride my road bike. I made some slight changes to it and wanted to show it off a little.


I got rid of the 700x25 continental gator skins, and upgraded to the 700x30 schwalbe cyclocross tires. The schwalbe's offer me a little more cushion, and also flexibility for biking home in an unexpected snow storm and or in the great sand dunes bike lanes on my commute home.  I got rid of my beloved honjo fenders, and opted for some very charming "fluted" fenders from Velo Orange on sale. 

My winter bike is utilizing my rear rack and panniers, (it's nice to have extra storage space in the winter for gear substitutions), so I still needed a little something to tote my lunch and belongings to / from work.  After a little searching on the internets and via recommendation from Russ Roca - I settled on the Little Dear by Swift Industries.  It is a very handsome bag, holds all my belongings splendidly, and is slightly larger than all the other saddle bags I found in its class.  Definitely recommend.

I had a basket on nitto m-12 rack earlier... but it failed so now I'm reticent to try that again.  I think I'd like to use it as a front bag support and ultimately... one day... the support for a dual-dynamo front light arrangement. That would be so awesome.

I'd love to hear about any winter/spring adjustments you've made to your bikes... or problems that you are currently wrestling with on how to make your bike fit your commuting transportation needs.

3 comments:

Mindful Mule said...

The bike is looking sweet! Thanks for showing it off.

I’m liking the fatter tire philosophy and look more and more (as I get older?). I want to go fatter on my road bike but I’m not sure how wide I can go and still fit. Did you do any measuring or just go for it with the X30’s?

If you could find one off those old-fashioned black metal lunch boxes that every man used to have back in (like) the 1940’s that would look pretty awesome strapped onto the front rack. It might fit just perfectly.

Have a nice ride.

david said...

Thanks Rob!

I didn't do any measuring, my naivety paid off greatly! It is an older touring model, so I just assumed the tires would fit. Besides, I think deep down I knew they would. I was previously using 25's and I had plenty of room on each side. The fenders allegedly can cover up to 40's... but they did get a little pinched at the chainstay bridge.

oh man - that is a really good idea about the metal lunch box! I think I'm going to look for one of those. great idea!

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