Part 2 – Opening My Presents Early
Read Part 1 here.
My new bike is supposed to be a birthday present, which isn’t until the end of next month. The problem with this is that I’ve already started riding Rolly and have no intention of stopping. From the moment I took it out for a test ride, I was hooked. As I said previously it reminds me of my first proper “adult” bike and I love it.
Being an old school Raleigh 10 speed I feel a lot more upright on it. I hadn’t realised how much modern bikes make you lean forward. Rolly may have a higher frame than my old bike but is actually shorter. I have to say I prefer this position. I can see better and I feel more visible.
It’s a great commuting bike despite still needing a bit of work. My poor old bike has not been touched since I got Rolly.
Last weekend, the upgrades began. My lovely wife took me to a few bike shops to have a look around. I was originally keen to change the handle bars. I even bought a pair of Outland Sweep bars. After trying them on though, I decided they were too big. They make Rolly look like a beach cruiser, which is not the look I’m going for.*
I like the Velo Orange Porteur bars (available at Velo Ideale) but I couldn’t find them anywhere in Wellington and I’m too impatient to wait for them to be sent from Christchurch.
In the meantime my wife bought me an awesome Brooks B17 saddle and some Brooks handle bar tape from Capital Cycles. It’s great they had them in stock, so I could check them out before buying.
I decided to put the tape on my old handle bars and really liked the look. So much so that I have decided to leave them as is. The tape and saddle have already improved Rolly considerably and I’m really happy with how it looks.
On Sunday, the wife and I went to the Frocks on Bikes “Love to Roll” ride from Oriental Bay to Island Bay and I took Rolly. I had quite a few positive comments from people and even won a prize for ‘Most Loved Up Bike’.
I’m so pleased with the result I may hold off getting Rolly repainted. The paint job is pretty good and there’s very little rust.
My next job is doing something about the gears. The derailleur doesn’t really work so I’ve been riding around stuck in one gear. Although I have gotten used to it. I ride up Constable Street to work and it’s not too much of a struggle.
I’m still unsure of how to proceed. Single speed, 3 speed hub or a new derailleur. I like the elegance of single speed, but the wife is pushing me towards a 3 speed hub so she can ride it too. The derailleur is authentic but I can’t think of any other reasons to keep it.
I’d be keen to hear what you guys think on this subject.
* If anyone is looking for a pair of Outland Sweep handles, make me an offer. (they cost $35 new) I’ll take them to the Revolve Bike Bits sale.