That's it. My next bike will be a belt drive. SS or IGH, I don't care.
It's funny, I grew up in Corona... I will have to see if I know these guys.
Pics of my new-to-me commuter bike, from craigslist. It looks pretty drab but rides so much better than the full-suspension Mongoose I had been riding. This is much faster, especially uphill. I bought it yesterday evening after work and rode it to work this morning after adding the underseat bag with a tube and lock and the front water bottle cage with a mini-pump clipped to the side.
It's a Raleigh USA MT 400, made in Seattle. The brakes, brake levers, shifters, and tires don't match each other, but both derailleurs are Shimano Deore LX. I imagine I'll change stuff over time - like having matching brake levers, especially. Do you guys have any favorites on the lower side of the price range? Right now one feels great (Shimano, looks like aluminum to me) but one feels cheap and flimsy (ProMax, looks like cheapest Chinese pot metal available).
Do either of the tires look backwards to you guys? They both do to me, but I confess I know little about bike tires.
Shopping list - brake levers...maybe I can buy one that matches the Shimano I like on craiglist, eBay, etc.?
Pedals - I don't like clips on pedals and while I could remove these, the pedals themselves are pretty mashed up. Is there sort of an inexpensive but durable favorite pedal among MTBers and commuters who wear regular shoes while riding?
Fenders, rear rack, and some kind of rack bag. Maybe a little stubby front rack too that mounts on the brake...uh...mounts? You guys know what I mean. There's a recent thread about them.
Grips. These are terrible. They are thicker at the outside and after my five mile commute this morning, it felt like all the pressure was on the bone between my pinky and wrist on each hand, instead of evenly distributed across my hands.
Saddle. It looks and feels like the stock seat on my Mongoose but I've been at my desk for about an hour now and I still feel like I'm on the bike. That didn't happen on the other bike. I guess it might be the lack of suspension, but otherwise I stand whenever going over bumps and such. I'll switch them out tonight and see how that works tomorrow.
Got the electric bike to work today. That's a 14Kv DC transformer it's hanging in front of.
Is Gates still based in Denver? They used to have a big plant there, and that might help explain things a little. :)
In any case, if you are not going to ride this bike on rocks, I would recommend you replace with slicks or semi-slicks. Eliminating knobby tire rolling resistance is the number one way to speed up a bike on hard surfaces, i.e. asphalt; or even smooth hardpack dirt trails.
brake levers, pedals, grips, saddle...If possible, get thee to a co-op! All these things should be available very cheaply used, and most anything that looks non-crappy will work fine for you. Exception, you'll probably want to buy new grips, but those will be under $10. And seats are very hit-and-miss, and particular to individuals. If you still have the seat you liked before, swap seats at least in the short term while you shop. You might have to go through a large number of seats before you find one that works for you.
Racks/fenders: Your bike has the interesting, but for this purpose unfortunate, design element of wishbone seatstays (with no rack mounts that I can see), and cantilever brakes. There are rack- and fender-mount screw-holes at the top of the dropouts, that's a start, but any rack you might want to clamp up top is going to have a hard time getting around the cantilever brake cable. Maybe you can find a rear rack that mounts onto dropout holes below, and cantilever brake bosses above (i.e. screw on top of your brake calipers). Other than that, I think you're stuck with seatpost racks, which IME are annoyingly difficult to keep stable, and don't keep bags out of your spokes. Fenders, similar issues. I can't tell if there is a mounting hole at the junction of the wishbone.
If it was me I'd replace the flat bars with risers, replace the crappy lever, and find some comfortable ergo grips. With fenders and a rack this bike will look great and should be a very capable urban assault vehicle tm
That series of Shimano lever is pretty solid... LX level STI's are very nice and you will need to match the number of speeds so it indexes properly and get the model that works with cantis as they have a different pull than v brake levers.