My Rides

Saturday, March 12, 2011

S.U.B. (Sport Utility Bike)

Read about the progress:
I just bought a used cyclocross frame on ebay to build into my "Sport Utility Bike."

Last summer I had my Cannondale 29er all rigged up with my rear rack, for commuting, and the skewer mount thing to attach the kids' trailer to.  The few times I went out on the trail I always got a few looks for my grocery-getter looking bike.  More bothersome was the rack rattling around on a trail, and loosening of my rear hub bearings.  Somehow, after towing the trailer, my rear hub bearings would be loose.  The Shimano M756 hub doesn't have a pair of locking nuts on one side (one nut buried in free-wheel, the other outboard so you can't have a wrench on both, ever), so it's tricky to get tight - the trailer must have just served to gradually loosen it.

Originally I was thinking about getting one of those fat-tire, laid back cruiser bikes.  As I got into my training, however, I could start to see myself doing a few group road rides - something neither that the Cannondale (even with some of my skinny 700c tires), nor a cruiser would excel at.  I don't expect to turn into a time-trial rider anytime soon, and this bike will also get used for commuting, and hauling the kids, so I wanted a "rugged" road bike.  Cyclocross (riding road-ish bikes in the mud, in the winter) bikes fit this bill.  It's tough, has clearance for wider (still skinny) tires, and commonly used to build "all-arounder" bikes.

I'm going to go for a look like this:
...wrapped bullhorn bars, bar end shifters (I'll be doing geared, rather than SS), and short-lever MTB brake levers.  I'll probably use my old saddle I've been whining about until I can get another Brooks.  The frame I got is a little "competitive" looking, which doesn't go with the vibe, so I may ask a friend (Tobias or his friend Rodd) to paint it some pastel color.  I had my heart set on a Surly Cross-Check in Robins Egg Blue (http://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check_complete/), but after bidding on a few Surly frames, and evaluating my budget, I just settled for a decent frame under $200.
I'll be updating as I build it up...