Thursday, December 22, 2011

182 commutes

Get ready for the year-end roll up posts: "tried and liked," "year in review" and this one.

Here are the bikes I rode from my last 182 commutes to work. Basically -- this encompasses the calendar year 2011 of commutes. On a normal week, I ride to work M-Th. Friday is ride day. Friday-ride bikes are not noted here.

Here's a post from the last time I did this compilation in July 2010.

41 days - Elephant

This is a perfect commuter. It's super easy to just grab and go: integrated lights, fenders, rack. It's fast and nimble and is happy to oblige the trail-way-home on a whim.

This bike is being replaced by Elephant v2. More on that to come, but the elevator version: v2 will be pretty much the same, but with minor tweaks -- a tweak or two to satisfy Glen and a tweak or two to satisfy me.

The better news is that it looks like this v1 Elephant will become S&S'd a sort of communal travel bike. Stay tuned on that too.

39 days - Lyon "747"

This bike never gets the virtual ink it deserves on this blog. It's fast and wonderful and perfect handling. With integrated lights and fenders, it makes for a great fast commuter. I do not ride trails on this bike.

I put the soon-to-be-ubiquitous-on-most-of-my-bikes Campy 10 brifters (against 8 speed shimano/sram) on this bike since this picture was taken.

Since there's no rack on this bike, it turned out to be the one that forced me to discover that I'm more of a backback-person than a messenger bag-person.

This bike will be going on a diet this winter in preparation for more fast and long rides next spring and summer: the fenders and lights will go away, a lighter saddle and crankset will go on, and a tubular wheelset collecting dust in my garage will also go on it.

25 days -- MB-2
Last January.
In the winter months, this is the crap-weather go-to bike. Again: lights, full fenders + mud flap, and a rack. Platform pedals. Single, low-ass gear. With studded tires, I can pretty much trudge through anything on this bike.

In the summer -- I strip it down and put super light-race tires on it and treat it like a BMX bike. Super fun for cruising, beering, or easy trail rides.

23 days -- RB-T

Ah the soulful RB-T. Alas, how I wish you could remain by my side old friend. But the Legolas just beat you down handily.

Combined with an old cast-iron tractor seat, this once-proud frame will be demoted to a stool at the river.

The RB-T is just fun -- not so much on wet/rainy days -- but for any ride that has some dirt and trail potential, the RB-T always stood ready to rock. I broke it. I bent it. Glen beat and welded it back into shape a number of times. I considered selling it, but Glen said no way. Thus, it shall be stoolified.

21 days -- TIE: Rawland and Legolas
Jon on the Rawland.

Another retired bike. With the arrival of my mountain bike, the Rawland quickly became dustier. It also overlaps in function with my Elephant (for long dirt-road/forest exploration) and to some extent, the CX bikes.

I still dig the Rawland and I think I'll horde the frame for a year or so to make sure I'm sure I don't want to ride it anymore. The thing I miss the most about it is having a fat-tired, drop-barred trails bike that handles like a road bike. With the disc brakes on there, it's a special frame for sure. I may revive it some day when drop-bar hydraulic brakes are available.

As a commuter, shod with Hetres, the Rawland just begged taking the rough route every time.

As for the Legolas, it's pretty much all I've commuted on since getting it built-up a couple months ago. It's altered my thinking on OS tubing and even front-end handling a bit. It's fast, it's fun, it's super capable. As a commuter, it's impossible to take the paved way every time with this bike. I'm looking forward to racing it in next year's CX series.

9 days -- SH80

Just like in my last compilation, the SH80 falls nearly to the bottom of the heap -- this is a poor way to measure its usefulness. I only commute on the SH80 when I have a load to haul: P2P parts, t-shirts, etc. But with integrated lights and fenders and tons of cargo capacity, this bike is used for kid-hauling, grocery runs, and swap sessions on a regular basis.

3 days -- Salsa

Very rarely (3 days exactly), I get a notion to ride the mountain bike. On these days, it's because I want to take the long trail way home. I have big knobbies on it now so if I run into a big snow day this winter, I may give the Salsa a shot.


Stine said...

Maybe you could tie some HRM/GPS data into the 2011 stats...

John Speare said...

That'll be baked into the 2012 stats... you know it.

Pat S said...

Your year-end posts must be a ton of work, but they are are now pretty much tradition and they pretty much kill. Super fun read.

Patrick Sullivan said...

Awesome. You've got yourself a fleet. Super fun read.

Brian J said...

26inch drop bar..brilliant.thats what I can do with an early 90's diamondback sorrento!!!

oh...well done on the commuting front. "You can judge a man by the size of his carbon footprint". Big Bang Theory, where did I here that?

Anonymous said...

E = mb2?