Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A New Family Member

I've ranted about bicycles.  I've ranted about shifters.  I've professed my attachment to my beloved bicycle, Roy.  But I'm not completely detached from reality, either.  Last week I got Roy back from the bicycle shop with a brand new wheel and we went for a ride.  I was glad they called me when they did because if Roy had been ready a day later, I would have had to bring him home in Luigi:

Katie and I popping our heads out of Luigi.

Luigi is a Fiat 500C.  The 'C' stands for "Cabrio", which is Italian for "Bike no fit here".

An aside: In a previous post, I mentioned that I was a fan of Fraser Bicycle.  After going back for service, I'm less than thrilled with them.  I asked a mechanic and a saleswoman some questions and was treated like I was an idiot.  Admittedly, my questions were very noob-ish, but you would think that they would treat the guy with a 15 year old mountain bike like a king because he's most likely to buy a new bicycle.  Anyway, Fraser Bicycle is a good shop if you're a bicycle expert, but if you're an average person, steer clear.

The first ride with Roy was bittersweet.  The good was that it felt wonderful to ride my trusty bicycle after a few months' hiatus.  The bad was that his new wheel exacerbated all of his other problems (including a nasty clunking noise in the bottom bracket).  When I got home, I summed up the costs of all the parts and labor to get Roy into a trustworthy condition, and that total was north of $400.  For a bike worth about $40.

I needed to get out of the house on Sunday, so I searched for the nearest open bike store and found in Shelby Township.  Upon entering, the place was a madhouse, and after discovering why, I reminded myself of one of the fundamental laws of the universe:

There's no resisting a good deal.

Yup, there was a sale, and I caved.

Meet my new bicycle.  Its given name is Trek 1.5C.  I'm not sure how to make a nickname from that; Rek? 0.5?  Cee apostrophe D?  But I'll work on that one later.

The super sale meant 20% off bicycles and accessories, so the final total for the bicycle, a new pump, a water bottle cage (why don't bikes come with water bottle cages anymore????), and the state of Michigan's share came in at less than the original list price for the bicycle.  Furthermore, I got all of it for much less than the Specialized I was considering at Fraser Bicycle (which was a lower level bicycle than the Trek).  So, I got a great deal on a seemingly good bicycle.  Here are the details of what I got:
  • Trek 1.5C: The 'C' means 'Cabrio' like in the Fiat.
  • It has the "better" gearing system.  I didn't quite understand this until the salesman started talking about material properties.  Shimano Whatever makes no sense to me, but bending moments and tensile strength do.
  • It has the awful shifters.  Yes, they suck.
  • It has clipless pedals.  I can't figure out how to remove the plastic cages, so when I take the bike in on Thursday I'll have them take them off.
  • It's made of aluminum with a carbon fiber fork and seat post.  This means that this bicycle weighs about a tenth of what portly Roy weighs.
  • It has thick handlebars, which prevents me from attaching my headlight.
  • It has indicators on the gear shifters.  From what I can gather, the orange pointers move in the opposite direction that the chain moves, further complicating the shifting.
  • It has a fancy new type of inflation valve.  It's so fancy that it requires 15 minutes, Google, and Wikihow to inflate the tires.

Those are the important specs.  I'll post some riding impressions in another post, but until then I'm getting used to riding a very, very different bike.  I'm hoping to take it up to Stony Creek on Saturday and ride someplace more interesting than Clinton Township.


Captain Mike said...

Fraser Bike: Yeah I got my Electra Townie there. It's a competent place, but there is a certain "snobbery" about it that rubs me the wrong way. Geography being what it is, I go there anyway, but I hear you brother.

crossn81 said...

Nice ride!! Both the bike and car. You are going to like your Trek, once you get the shifting thing figured out!!

Matt said...

For the record, the Fiat isn't mine. It's a company car that I borrowed for the weekend. But, yes, Luigi was wonderful.

Ahshanul Hoque said...

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