Thursday, August 22, 2013

Engagement bicycle

Who wants a diamond when you can get an awesome new bike!?

I have a new bicycle, an engagement bicycle!

It's beautiful.

Engagement bike

It is a SOMA ES steel frame with the carbon fork, built up with a mountain groupset at my request. I am not a fast rider, so the ratio of 42/28 in front, with a 11-34 cassette is more than enough to speed up to 35kph on flats (if I want to do that), and to succeed in climbing any hill I encounter. The wheelbase is shorter than my touring bike (987mm vs 1048mm)... and it weighs almost 6kg less. It's a bicycle for riding around the area in a sportier manner than my usual plodding along.

Cranky's in SB did the build, advised on all parts and recommended the awesome shallow handlebars and nice grip tape. They also helped me find the perfect front rack... because immediately after having a lighter bicycle, I tried to weigh it down. :)

One of my goals was to be able to carry my "nice" camera (a classic SLR in weight and bulk) around and take photos without dismounting. For that, it must be carried on the front. The solution: a Wald platform rack with a lip, partially suspended by the handlebars for my existing bag. Perfect!

Basket / rack

 (The rack came with a separate attachable basket that is now serving as a dog treat container in my kitchen.)

 I've barely ridden it so a review is silly, but I can say a few things that I noticed so far!

Size matters.

It really does.

I thought it did not, that I could adjust down or up a frame that was "close enough."
Now that I have a bike that really fits-
Wow. Just wow.

It's so stable, I barely notice if I'm going "too fast" because the bike doesn't shimmy or worry at all. It's made me wonder if my whole fear of speed was due to being on a bike that's too big...  and it's so comfortable and I can ride forever without getting as tired. Or so it seems so far.

Also, Cranky's recommended some awesome tires! They are Panaracer RibMo, 28's at 100 psi. I love them! They feel really good in a hard-to-articulate way. Good and cool, like them, I do.

Finally, I think I might have enough bicycles.


But do I? 

Anniversary tandem? :)


  1. Very nice bike, congratulations! I'm interested to see how the camera bag front rack combo works out in practice, too, since I know several people who have worked on exactly the same problem.

    1. Thanks!
      So far, I've managed to get a nice bruise on my leg from the barend shifters while taking a photo. The rack and bag are fine but they do make the wheel flop more easily. The fork is supposed to have rake/trail to accept light loads, so I am thinking of putting the shifters on the top bar with paul thumbie mounts to avoid the problem.

      Or I could have just gotten an expensive rando bag and rack, eh? :)

  2. Hey Alicia, congratulations!

    Those are beautiful engagement rims. They fit perfectly and look so shiny. Aluminum I suppose?

    Really, that bike Looks like good fun. So enjoy the cycling and the other things.

    1. Thanks! Yes, Aluminum CXP-22 rims in black. :) I wanted heavy duty vs. light weight but I think the compromise is fine... I'm not too sensitive in judging the difference anyways.