Sunday, November 15

Buddy Goes All Soft on Me

Buddy sports a new bag and fenders
Reflector will be replaced with an amber SAE unit
once I can get to an RV store to buy one.

This coming week, the temperatures are forecast to be a LOT lower in North Texas than they were the first two weeks of November. We're talking down into the upper 30's which is a good 20 degrees colder than anything previously seen this fall. Maybe it'll snow for Thanksgiving?

I've been considering carefully the problem of getting to work comfortably when the ride home might be 40 degrees higher than the ride in to work. Last winter, with a shorter commute, it was still pretty unpleasant when it got down near freezing - and that reduced ride frequency. I still prefer to travel light, because the ride both ways isn't short, and lugging around extra stuff is not something to be done without due consideration, but long pants, cycling jacket, and other items needed in the morning get me overheated on the way home.

Anyway, after nearly a year of resistance, I've determined to get a rack and bag for Buddy for the upcoming cold months. In a fit of spending overenthusiasm, I also got a set of fenders, but more on those later. Let's stick to essentials for the time being.

For the rack and bag, I considered a lot of options, but selected a Topeak rack and bag. While I don't leave Buddy unattended, I really like the notion that the bag can be slid on and off, "clicking" into place. The "mini" panniers, stowed away in the photos, give the bag added utility without an undue weight penalty. The rack and bag went on with no problems. I painted the bracket stays black to match the rack instead of leaving them silver. I don't know why Topeak didn't do this themselves - it gives the installation a much more finished look.

I think I've still got a bit of work to do in order to get the lighting setup right. The light mounted on the rack stay is a bit unstable due to a little too much rubber in the mount, the reflector is borrowed from my wife's bike and I plan to replace it with an amber SAE reflector which is FAR superior to a CPSC reflector (they don't sell SAE reflectors at bike shops - you have to go to an auto or RV parts place). I am also not happy with how the oval light droops when clipped to the back of the bag.

Buddy's bag snapped into place. I'm not sure about these fenders, though!

7 comments:

dickdavid said...

Nice new rack. I can't wait to hear about the fenders.

Rantwick said...

Nice looking setup. It is very nice to be able to shed or add some layers thanks to having some storage. Does Topeak make a big plastic tub? I love those.

Steve A said...

Topeak makes a tub that Is compatible. They call it the "Trolley Tote."

Lizzylou said...

The crummy thing is... clothing weighs more in the bag than on the body :(

ChipSeal said...

It seems just the oppisite with ice cream though!

tracywilkins said...

Hmmm...I just passed on that Topeak rack because I didn't like the shiny aluminum struts. Wonder what would have been more cost effective...a can of black spray paint or the Tubus rack I bought?

Never mind...I was really looking for an excuse to buy the Tubus!

Steve A said...

Tubus makes a very good rack. Unlike Topeak, unfortunately, there's no plastIc tub designed for it. Actually, the tub is more like a cross between an airline wheeled bag and a folding milk crate.

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