So, I get a new bike soon. No, not a motorcycle, though I am an accomplished rider and someone offered to swap me one for my Bronco (take all of that with a huge grain of salt).
It couldn't come quick enough. I say that because my current ride is just about dead. Dead, you say? I said mostly dead. There's a difference. Mostly dead I can work with. My goal was to keep the bike ridable without spending any money on it. I was doing good until Saturday.
Anyway, you may not be interested, but I thought I would chronicle the demise and deterioration of my bike. To begin with, I've begun to realize that the bike wasn't all that nice to begin with. I got it from a bike shop, which is much better than, say, walmart. But, I basically got the bottom of the line; the components are from the bottom of the Shimano offering and the wheels aren't that spiffy either. So it didn't have that many things going for it in the first place.
Then I abused it. I left it outside on a porch for like 4 years, not riding it. I started riding it to work, 22 miles each time I rode. Apparently that's hard on it. And I carried a bunch of gear, plus my own weight (which started at 265 and is now around 235). Again, not easy on the bike.
So, on to the stuff that broke:
- The rear rim developed a crack. I don't know how, though I suspect I went over too big of a bump. The sidewall is bulged out, which makes the back brake broken, but it didn't lose air, so I kept riding it.
- The large chainring broke. That's the ring up front. This is where my rant about lousy components starts. Most good cranks are bolted to the chainrings, so if one breaks, you can just get a new one and bolt it on. Not my piece of crud bike. The cranks are riveted to the chainrings, so I have to replace the whole thing. So, I opted to ride using only the middle chainring. I can't go as fast, but...
- I broke a spoke in the rear. I could work around everything up until this, but this is a deal breaker. While a spoke is fairly easy to fix, nobody is going to fix it to the previously mentioned cracked rim. So, then I'd need to basically get a new rear wheel, which costs money.
I am now primarily a commuter and road rider, so I needed a whole different type of bike.
- For comfort and better speed (especially into a headwind), I'm getting road geometry. Think drop handlebars, no suspension.
- For durability and strength, I'm getting a steel frame. It's not nearly as heavy as you think.
- For simplicity and low maintenance, I'm getting a single speed.
- For carrying all my stuff, it's got a rack.
- For the rain, it'll have fenders.