Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Commuting takes its toll

All around the world, there are numerous folks, like me, using fairly unsophisticated and old bikes to get to work on. Often these bikes are of mediocre quality and with good reason, since for the conditions they have to endure, it's not worth ruining a good bike.

I've been following the interesting saga of the bike of doom, the real life experiment in running a cheap department store bike as a commuter. Steve has detailed the life of this £50 bike over the last year. He's done over 3000 Km on it and had to do numerous repaiirs. He's documented the advantages such as, it's unattractive to steal and disadvantages, such as reliability of the components. Overall, the bike of doom seems to have been a surprise in that it is still going and has fuelled a passion for riding and maintaining bikes. Steve has just started commuting again last week - in temperatures down to -44 degrees (in F or C it's the same - bloody freezing!) Check out the Bike of Doom blog for some interesting reading.

Also using the same department store cycle is Urban Xavier in Montreal . He has similar tales to tell. Also good reading.

Commuting has been taking it's toll on my bike again. This nearly thirty year old rusting steel Raleigh is begging for some restoration. I think it deserves some new paint in the spring and I have been hoping it gets through the winter without too many problems. There was one last week though, as I discovered when another spoke in the back wheel broke. In September I had two fail and realised then, getting parts for 27in wheels is becoming more difficult. I looked somewhere new for a local bike shop that carries spares and was pleasantly surprised when Henry Gregson Cycles in Accrington were more than happy to keep my old machine going. Now I have the new spoke fitted and somewhere to go for tyres and bits when I need them. Well done HGC and thanks.

1 comment:

Steve at Bike of Doom said...

Hey, thanks for the write up and the link! Just a comment on 27 inch wheels. Before I bought the Bike of Doom, I picked up a cheap 10-speed at the Salvation Army Thrift store, intending to fix it up as a commuter. It looked to be in pretty good shape. I left the wheels until the end, and only then realized they were 27 inches! I couldn't find tires for them, and it was just too much trouble to keep going. Hope you manage to keep yours on the road.