Hello, there, Bike Forums. Seeing that I recently added BF to my web browser toolbar, it is time I said a little something for the sake of propriety. Well I'm 27, have a job w/ benefits, have started a family--seriously pretending at being an adult--so I'm feeling like it's about time I stop having my dad service my bikes and begin doing it myself. That plus a recent bike purchase (2007 Bianchi Axis) have had me frequenting BF trolling for info, suggestions, and reviews.
Since I started riding as a kid, I've never not had a bike or 2 around for recreational and utilitarian purposes. I started out riding a trash-picked bmx bike ('fixed-gear') as a kid and have since owned a series of mountain bikes (my "good" bikes) along with several beaters. Until recently, I never really had much of an interest in the mechanical aspect of bicycling. I also recently realized I needed an all-purpose bike that's faster than have a mtb with slicks on it, thus the Axis.
OK, some pictures:
Picked those Kenda gumwall tires up at the LBS to match the bike's vintage.
I recently bought this C. Itoh 10-speed locally. Wasn't able to date the frame, but it appears to have all original parts. Pretty heavy but I've enjoyed riding it around the neighborhood. The flop and chop is my handy work--this is temporary, though, I want to get swept back bars or mustache bars for a more upright position.
Next item of interest is this 1985 Trek 620:
The bike was handed down to me, but has really always been too small for me. I really liked the bike, even though I didn't ride it, and I've held onto it for years waiting to find a proper home for it. I recently decided to clean/tune it up to be used by my wife, who has not ridden in 10 years. I have the original wheelset, as well. I'm not exactly sure what, if anything major, needs replacing, besides cables. The frame shows a little rust, but it looks clean inside the tubing. It seems like it'd make sense to do some kind of rust-proofing, which I've read about on BF. I ultimately want this bike to compliment my own as an all-rounder that can be ridden on the road as well as on maintained off-road paths.
This brings me to my last last thought: The Trek, if my wife accepts it, will not be properly complimented by my Bianchi. For this reason, along with many others, I am looking to get rid of the Axis in favor of a Surly Cross Check (No, I don't want anyone to convince me not to get one). Mostly, I feel steel is more suitable toward the kind of riding I do, which generally includes riding stretches of road, jumping curbs, and singletrack in the same outing. I can't deny aesthetics are a factor here, and I particularly feel a child seat would look out of place on the Axis. My son is 6 months now, so I won't be bringing him along until next fall or spring, but I'm definitely looking forward to it, and it seems like the Cross Check will accommodate a seat or trailer quite well. It seems conventional wisdom suggests running a trailer both for safety and practicality, but I think I'd like to have both options. Plus, I have fond memories of my mom's old Raleigh mixte bike which sported a child seat long after my brothers and I had outgrown it. It turned out to be the perfect bike for riding to the grocery store to grab a 12 pack, which would bungee into the child seat nicely.
I know this post has been a bit idiosyncratic, but that's the point right? I'm thrilled to have this community as a resource and am looking forward to becoming a contributing member.