So, it's either genius/madness or the thin line between, , but last night, as I was listening to a Cycling 360 podcast about cleaning bikes, I got the bright idea to take off my fenders and rear rack.
I have only had my bike for 2 months, but I've been reading so much of the Bike Forums, and decided I could handle taking apart simple stuff on my bike. The fenders came with my bike (2011 men's size small Globe Daily 2), but they rattle around too much and daily need slight adjustments. It was just aggravating.
I hated my rear rack since every time I used my panniers, I felt like I was being weighed down (is there a decent demand for Axiom waterproof panniers? I only used the damn things 6 times.). I'm big enough without weighing myself more. Steering feels much harder with stuff on the rear; the CETMA website that sells front racks explains it better than I can.
The kickstand just took up weight I felt like. I wasn't initially planning to take off my bike basket, but I did. I felt so great on my bike today! I do need to get a sprocket set and tighten up the nuts on the wheels, but I felt almost like I had a new bike! I was naughty and listened to my iPod with headphones, instead of the speaker system that was in my bike basket. But I did keep the volume low.
I could eventually see myself getting rubber panniers in the winter if I absolutely had to. And I wouldn't mind a front rack eventually. But, I'll tell ya, it feels lovely to be stripped down of extra "stuff" on my bike.