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Cycling in Chicago

Old 03-14-08, 10:31 AM
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Riotgeer
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Cycling in Chicago

Hello from Chicago, I've been reading and following discussions here recently and thought it was about time to introduce myself. My name is Erick Wilcox- age 33 (in a couple of days), located near downtown with my SO/Fiance/Wife- Leigh Ann. I make and design shoes, as well as teaching the same here in Chicago. I lean towards more traditional materials and methods- in lifestyle (clothing and frame materials) and creatively (shoe-making and design).

I try to ride year round, mostly on old Euro style cruisers and recycled road bikes (steel) and commute the staggering 2-miles to downtown. I am about to buy a new bike for the first time! I had been contemplating longer rides and touring- in addition to already carrying heavier loads (tools, groceries...), so I thought it made sense to get a touring bike. When I determined that the bike I was contemplating (Surly Big Dummy) was going to be above my price range and impractical for storage, my LBS showed me the Raleigh Sojourn in the catalog. I've read a number of posts about it and think its pros (for me) trump the cons for the time being and think it's going to be a good starter tourer plus all-round bike (he says before he has a chance to test ride ).

We calculated that I've probably never ridden more than ten miles in a single stretch, so I've started looking around for scheduled rides to start meeting other cyclists and get in more mileage -- I'll be posting over in the Great Lakes regional discussion soon.

I am looking forward to meeting new people and hearing opinions and suggestions on biking here on BF.

Erick
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Old 03-14-08, 10:37 AM
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Oh, I think you will like the Sojurn. I got to see it in person at the Seattle Bike Expo, and it's a great looking bike. They will be introducing it at Re-cycled Cycles in Seattle, and selected stores around the country.

My only disappointment is that the smallest size is 50cm...too big for me .

Welcome to BF!

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Old 03-14-08, 12:21 PM
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East Hill,

Thank you for the welcome and the + on the Sojourn. My LBS received one "55cm"- it has a 53cm functional seat tube. They're sized by the top tube length not the Seat tube (?). The long top tube worries me a bit... I'm expecting to have to put a new stem on it.

More sizes expected any day now....

Erick
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Old 03-14-08, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Riotgeer View Post
East Hill,

Thank you for the welcome and the + on the Sojourn. My LBS received one "55cm"- it has a 53cm functional seat tube. They're sized by the top tube length not the Seat tube (?). The long top tube worries me a bit... I'm expecting to have to put a new stem on it.

More sizes expected any day now....

Erick
That's because the Sojurn is a touring bike, with more relaxed geometry than a road or racing bike.

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Old 03-14-08, 12:53 PM
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Is it common to measure by top tube in touring models, or is that a Raleigh thing? It doesn't look as relaxed as I would expect for longer and slower rides- but I really am a newbie. I'm like Columbo at the bike shop- "Oh- one more thing" but without the implied accusation of guilt.

I expect to be frequenting the C&V, and the touring forums.

Erick
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Old 03-14-08, 01:03 PM
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I don't know why they sized it that way, other than to say that they probably want you to go to your bike shop to get properly fitted (which is what you are doing).

C & V is a very friendly place, and so is the Touring forum .

You can ask any question in either of those forums, and you will get a civil, informative, helpful response.

East Hill
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