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Cycle Bug

2008-02-09 05:13:32.504562+00 by ebradway 3 comments

I was in REI today looking at bike parts. I've been planning to fix up my second-hand mountain bike to make it better for commuting but instead ended up tooling around parking lot on a Marin Muirwoods 29er. Compared to my early-90s era DiamondBack, this was a dream! Lighter chrome-oly frame, disc brakes, and huge 29" wheels. I started scanning the web and found the Marin Hamilton 29er - the same bike in fixed-gear (or free wheel) for $140 less. Neither bike is terribly expensive and the way I ride, I think I'd rather have the disc brakes...

Of course, I walked out of REI empty-handed. Still too much ice on the roads for my taste (not that it has stopped more die hard Boulderites). But I'm thinking that 29er is a better investment than upgrading my clunker.

[ related topics: Bay Area Bicycling Economics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-02-09 12:46:06.91377+00 by: meuon

Disk brakes on a bike are a 'must have' for me, worth the extra bucks. Controlling or stopping my weight on the steep hills around here (Boulder has good hills as well) is a safety requirement.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-02-09 15:57:34.781084+00 by: Dan Lyke

I'm mixed on disk brakes. Love 'em on the tandem, for the reasons Meuon mentions (when they get hot they don't pop your tires or fade, they warp the disk and melt the plastic adjustment bits but will still stop your bike), I think I'd like 'em on a cruiser (Charlene's "mountain" bike has 'em), but on road bike they're heavy and on a hardcore mountain bike they're one more thing to break and make you lug your bike several miles back to the road.

In the mid-range, yeah, I think it's quite often cheaper to replace the bike than to upgrade, however, don't buy from REI. Your local independent bike shop will likely have a "we'll fix it for a year" or more support guarantee, and the wrenches there will actually know what they're doing.

On ice, they do make studded bike tires...

#Comment Re: made: 2008-02-10 00:02:02.12968+00 by: ebradway

Yeah. High Gear in Longmont is a full Marin dealer. But REI isn't Wal-Mart either. And I'm a member of the co-op. REI gives a free tune-up after 200 miles. And Boulder, being what it is, even the REI wrenches are more than just total-tools. But still, before sinking the money, I may ask a friend about building up a similar bike with my own choice of components.

Personally, I wouldn't mind a single chain-ring in the front and a second rear wheel so I can go from an 8-speed to a fixie just by swapping wheels and chains.

And yeah - studded tires are popular around Boulder. But even still, I'm not hard-core enough to deal with the wind and cold. Today was warm - about 55 degrees but the winds were gusting around 55 mph too!