Tuesday, 13 November 2012

New commuting bike

As you may be aware, I went to a bike sale over the weekend in search of a singlespeed/fixie for my commute. In the end I opted for a nice looking hub geared commuter bike.

It's a Scott SUB 35, where SUB stands for (Speed Utility Bike - I like it!) and the spec of said bike can be found as a note in my biking Springpad notebook.


Low maintenance commuting, here I come!
Initially, the plan was to get a singlespeed cheap. That wasn't an option in the sale, so after some discussion with a nice staff member who advised a great deal on the frame of this bike, I decided to snap up a bargain. It has 8 gears in the rear hub, which is quite heavy actually. All I need to do to convert to singlespeed is get a new wheel and hub, ensure it's correctly spaced for chain alignment and tension it all up. Seems pretty straight forward. There are also mounts for a mech hanger, should I want to go down this route in future. There are also disc brake mounts too, should I decide to upgrade from the bog standard V-brakes. This is a bike that has a lot of potential for a lot of guises!

Eccentric bottom bracket for chain tension
Option for mech hanger
Option for disc brake


First Impressions

I had my first commute yesterday and it went really well I thought. The 700c wheels and no fork are the biggest and most noticeable difference on each surface type. Tarmac roads are silent and the bike glides along but the hard pack disused railway section (65% of the commute, one way) is a bit of a bone-shaker in some sections. I might have to consider bigger tyres. A couple of other niggles are I wear 5Ten Impact 2 Low shoes, which are really wide. This means the pedals feel tiny under my feet and my heels occasionally rub against the chain stays. Not too much of a hassle, but this is more due to the fact I've ridden the same bike for two years now and the new bicycle feels unusual. This reminds me, I've never written a post about my Revolution Triad itself, just the rides. I must do that at some point!
The shifting is pretty amazing! Instant changes as soon as the grip shift is twisted means acceleration is fantastic. The ratios seem pretty sweet too, with one being a perfect granny ring if I ever encounter a particular hefty gradient. Being able to shift into gear when stationary is a real boon too.


Next Steps

  • Full length mudguards will be so handy as the commute is a muddy one and getting home dirty after a day of working is a bit of a chore. Plus the bicycle needs to come into the house at the minute so the less dirty it is, the easier this task will become.
  • I need a new mounting bracket for my D-lock. The old one has become distorted from prising it off my other frame due to a woeful design, so I've sourced another one of a different design (I suppose Kryptonite have realised the error of their ways and changed the design). At the minute, the lock is in my backpack, which is very heavy.
  • Decide whether to switch to singlespeed. The gears are so smooth and being enclosed in a hub, should be low maintenance.
  • Upgrade the brakes to disc? Only the rear is possible.
  • Get a rack and panniers for cargo.
As you can see, I have a lot of things to get excited about with this bike!

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