Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Detroit, MI USA
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I bought this bike because I commuted this winter on a mountain bike with two deraillers and cable operated brakes.
When the temperature got into the single digits nothing cable operated worked anymore. The brakes required almost constant adjustment. The derailler bent when I took a tumble on ice and never really was the same again. By the end of the winter, I was so frustrated with this bike, I wanted to throw it under the wheels of a a bus just to hear the sound of crunching metal.
This bike has the advantage of having only one fully enclosed cable. Hopefully it will work better in cold and freezing rain. The Nexus hub works well after you put about 100-150 miles on it. Before this shifting is a little clunky and stiff. It smooths out after these few miles. This could just be a matter of cable stretch and fine adjustment with the barrel adjuster on the twist grip though. The gear ratios work fine for me. I use 4th gear most of the time. First gear is 30 something gear inches and seventh gear is 80 something gear inches. I am told that this is about 95% of the range of a 21 speed bike. Since I tend to vary my cadence rather than my gears, this works well for me. Die hard spinners will notice the slightly bigger difference between gears make the transition to "cruising" speed less smooth. I am just very happy that the low gear is low enough. Shifting while at a complete stop (impossible with a derailler) is also a nice feature when dealing with many stop lights on my commute.
The bike weights about 24lbs (before rack, fenders, toe clips, lights, etc). I will probably change the stock tires out for "semi-slick" (knobs on the edges, smooth in the center) tires for this winter.
The coaster brake is my favorite feature of this bike. Absolutely no adjustments, *ever*. It works even when wet and icy. It did take me a little while to get used to braking with the pedals at 9 and 3 o'clock and then setting the pedals up at 12 and 6 o'clock for pulling away from a stop light. This is a little clumsy with toe clips, but in just a little while I got used to it. Panic stops require a bit of practice to avoid locking up the rear wheel. In order to get maximum braking you need to release and re-apply the brake just before it locks, much like old-fashioned (pre-ABS) brakes on a car. With no front brake and a locked up rear wheel you essentially are ballistic, so unless you plan on sliding into or under something, this is a situation to be avoided.
The moustache bars are comfortable but have little room for gadgetry.