The ideal commuting bicycle

It is time for me to get back to more mundane blog posts.  Like bicycles and cycling.  Which I spend way too much of my attention on.

Nine years ago I bought a really nice carbon fiber road bike to use for commuting, and I’ve put a lot of miles on it.  I’ve replaced the rear wheel twice, the front once, numerous tires and brake pads, brake and derailleur cables, rear cassette, saddle, several chains, multiple lights, brake hoods.  It has been a workhorse and I always enjoyed riding it.

Except last winter.  We had a long, cold, wet/snowy winter.  Roads had lots of debris and sand on them.  It put extra wear and tear on the bike.  And I didn’t feel particularly secure and safe with the narrow tires and braking on wet rims.  And changing a flat tire in the cold, dark, and/or wet is the pits.

So for some months I’ve been exploring and shopping for a real commuter bike.  And this is the one I settled on:

It is a lot heavier and slower than my road bike, but these are the compelling features:

wider tires  (fewer flats, more grip on road surface)
upright posture
real fenders (better splash protection)
disk brakes (better stopping power, especially when wet)
carbon drive belt (less vulnerable to grit and wet)
continuous transmission
dynamo hub, which drives front and rear lights (this was a bonus, which I really like)
reflective tires and bike logos

Here is the bike pre and post assembly:

So I have the bike just in time for the upcoming winter commute season.  I’ve been riding it to work the past two weeks and it is great.  Here it is with a few additions:

I changed pedals and front light (blog post coming).  I added a saddle bag with tools, spare tube, etc.  I added a bell on the bars.  And swapped in some nicer handlebar grips.  



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