Wednesday, July 15

Meet "Buddy" - Transport Vehicle

Buddy's transport. A Specialized Tricross Expert, it's admittedly luxury transport, but transport all the same. That was the main purchase motivator. There is a secondary motivator that I'll test out when the season comes - Cyclocross. Just as in the case of sports cars, a bike ought to have a practical use and a "fun" one.

Buddy's name was adopted by the family when I concluded that locks were only needed if you were leaving the bike outside the store. I don't. Buddy accompanies me inside any stores I visit with it. At work, it parks behind my office door. I keep my heavy duty lock at work, just in case.

The tires were picked for their combination of comfort, low weight, puncture resistance, and low rolling resistance. Continental GP 4 Seasons in the 28c width. They're the widest folding road tires I know of, and they're holding up well. This may be the first time I wind up rotating tires on a bike. Typically, I carry two pumps (one a CO2), a spare tube, and a patch kit for commute duty. That stuff all fits in the fairly small seat bag.

It's got mounting for racks and fenders, should that be necessary. Right now, the commuting mode makes that unneeded weight. Our new joke at home is we need a spare tire cover for the Land Rover that has "Laundry Recovery Vehicle" printed on it.

Buddy gives up two minutes for the 20 mile run to work compared to the road bike. It's a joy to ride, and that, my friends, is the real major factor in making bicycle commuting work. Each of my bikes is a joy to ride, they're just joyful in different ways. Buddy IS a fast, long range commute bike.

At the time of this post, Buddy has about 1900 miles, accumulated since the beginning of February. I'm currently riding my road bike most of the time, since the days are long and I don't want to have to overhaul Buddy until after cross season. However, the days of the road bike commute are numbered. I had to fit my "be seen" lights on it this morning and, before you know it, it'll be dark enough at departure time that the skinny tire road bike will be relegated to recreational use until next June.

We've started down that long slow slide into Winter and ice storms. Enjoy the heat while you can. This is, after all, Texas.


RANTWICK said...

Very very nice. I'm still pondering how to proceed with my light loaded tourer build, and a cross frame will be the starting point... hmmm, I say.

Steve A said...

There are many fine choices for a cross frame. A guy at work got a new Fuji (the entire bike), complete with Shimano 105 components for US$800 from a LBS. Surly's also a good choice. Ask Keri Caffrey about them. But I've not had a single regret over the Specialized (other than the carbon seatpost), which weighs 20.5lb including pumps, lights, spares & such. One feature you may not be completely aware of is that many of these cross bikes have shallow drop bars, which is nice for a LR commuter.

I highly recommend the SRAM Rival on the Tricross. Now I'm trying to figure out an affordable way to convert the road bike which has 8-speed Shimano 105. I will have to shop VERY frugally.

As one of the regulars at Starbucks said the first time Buddy rolled in with me (in a Texas twang) - "I hope you only paid half price for that bike. It's only got half a seat!"

Unknown said...

Really Good info about auto transport.

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