Frozen Lake. City. Winter Bike.
I average about 50/50 when it comes to fighting that voice. With greater attempts to actually save a little money here and there, the “it’s cool but I don’t REALLY need it” has been winning out.
Not this time though.
To start out the new year I’ve switched my beloved Mendota to a full Alfine-equipped-super-commuting machine. I’ve also solidified my place at the shop for being “that guy.” A win of epic proportions.
I did this for a couple of reasons.
1) It’s piano-key black, which looks AWESOME and it’s different.
2) It’s ACTUALLY a functional change to the bike that I use for commuting, running errands, and riding around in hellacious street conditions. Having a dyno front hub also means that I won’t have to worry about charging up my batteries for my higher-powered lights! Something that I end up doing quite often — especially in Winter.
I know, the idea of doing something FUNCTIONAL to one of my bikes might seem surprising. It’s a new year! Time to make some progress!
In addition, my brakes got a nice upgrade as well. I’m running Avid hydraulic brakes with carbon levers. No more problems with cables freezing up, and the carbon levers do better at insulating the fingers from the cold. (At least that’s what I tell myself.)
Drivetrain wise I’m running a 44t front ring and the 18t rear cog on the setup – the hub covers the same range as my old 2×9 setup, just losing out a little on the highest end; where I never spent anytime pedaling anyways. Getting used to the gear-range steps has taken some getting used to since it’s not equal among them, but I’ll post up my thoughts on that after I get some more riding time in.
The bike now sports a sweet Snow Trooper look to it as well. (I’ll change that to Storm Trooper come spring.) Ride quality is vastly improved with the stronger wheels. Shifting is excellent running full length housing from the shifter to the hub – I don’t foresee any problems with the salt & slush at all for the rest of the season!
Since the bike was setup for gears originally I matched things up with an Alfine chain tensioner as well. Works super slick – I do lose that “single speed” look but it works, and that’s what matters. Chainline is perfect with this setup as well, something that I didn’t know I could achieve.
Complete specs as follow –
Gary Fisher Mendota 21″
Bontrager RXL Seatpost, Stem and Riser Handlebars
PDW Dapper Dan Ergo Grips
Alfine Trigger Shifter
Alfine front/rear dyno hubs laced with DT Competition Spokes on Bontrager Mustang 29 rims.
Bontrager RXL GXP Road Crankset
Shimano A530 Pedals
Salsa Crossing Guard Chain Guard & 44t Ring
Avid Juicy Carbon Brakes w/G3 Centerlock Rotors
Nokian Hakkapellita W106 Studded Winter Tyres
Disc ReeLights w/capacitor
Bontrager Rack & Trunkbags
SideTrak CliMitts Pogies
SKS Chromoplastic Fenders
The only original part on the bike that I haven’t changed from stock is the headset. Yes … I’m hoping to fix that problem.
Enjoy the winter! Keep riding – no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. 😀