Ottawa bike politics.
Here’s my current equipment dilemma: I’m switching from my comfortable summer bike to my somewhat cheaper winter bike (sort of like this, but with a different Marin frame as the first one cracked. Oh, so did the second, so this one has a welded aluminum frame). Like most people out, I’m biking around on a $100 frame with $150 of studded tires. I count on everything rusting out.
Here’s a typical conversation:
Me: “For my winter bike, I don’t want to have to bike on studs all season, as they slow me down 25% on my 23km commute. I want replacement wheel I can just swap out depending on the weather.
Other bike geek: “Yeah? I have a spare 7-speed wheel you can have.”
Me: “Yeah, but the OD doesn’t match, and the indexing is off by 0.2mm then”
Other bike geek: “Why not just buy a wheel with an 8-speed hub?”
Me: “I can’t find anything online under $120, and it’ll just get salted out anyway.”
Other bike geek: “Plus, the index alignment won’t match so you’ll need new friction shifters, and there’s the brake pads might need realignment so you’ll have no rear brakes. You could get an identical rear wheel…”
I know maybe one person who would have a similiar conversation about a car. This is not the kind of thing that popularizes cycling. Here’s an ad of the bike I would sell if I could:
Finally, a bike that’ll work year-round, easier to service than a car, and cheaper than driving or transit. No more worries about biking; just grab your helmet and enjoy the segregated lanes that cover our city.
And for everyone wondering about how we’ll bike on snowy paths; more on the White Route in another entry.