Saturday, June 21, 2008

Back to the basics

Yesterday I picked up a new ride for commuting. I've always been slightly nervous parking my road bike in a public accessible albeit relatively secure Manhattan city street. So, yesterday I got a Redline 925. I searched nearly every company out there to find the 'ideal' bike for what I needed. Single speed, cheap, solid, versatile. The 925 trumped every other company. It came stock with fenders, fixed/free wheel, and had good parts all geared towards being sturdy and strong for commuting. It weighs roughly 25 pounds.

I was surprised when I went to pick it up. The paint job was nicer than I had expected as were the welds. The guys at the bike shop were drooling over it after they learned the cost. They thought it looked far better than the offerings they had in stock by Specialized and Bianchi to name a few.

I rode it home yesterday and hammered the entire way. It was perfect from the start. No funky noises, everything simply worked. I even felt like my speed was very similar to the geared bike. Once home, I removed all the extraneous garb like reflectors and chain guards. Now the 925 is ready to roll. What better way to break it in than a nice century ride the next day?

Saturday am, I roll out of bed and the wife wants to get stuff in the city. We ride all around NYC, roughly 25 miles, then head home. I dropped all the crap off then headed back out the door. To bear mountain I pedal!

This bike is fast. I still don't know what the gearing is, but it's perfectly fine as is. I was able to climb everything without struggling too much, but could easily hang with geared bikes on the flats. In fact, I passed most roadies like I do on the geared bike. Hmm..

Bear mountain comes around, 44.5 miles later, and I check the timer on my watch. Five minutes LESS than my fastest time on the geared bike. This, I must admit, was stunning. I definitely did not expect this. I love riding single speed bikes, so what the hell do I need all those gears for? Immediately the mind starts spinning thinking of how I can quickly ditch the gears and make the road bike a single speed as well. Easy. Game, set, match.

Predictable? If you know me, yes, if not, well now you know. I'm a single speeder at heart. Always will be. 12 pound single speed road bike, the Titus is, yes, and it shall be. fast, climbing machine, long, long hours with grueling grinds up the mountains. bliss.

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