For the final however-many months now I’ve been commuting to and from Brooklyn twice every week, principally by bicycle, and totally on the Homer, which I outfitted for the duty:
The principle commute-specific modifications had been fenders, a rack, and a plastic saddle that I didn’t have to fret about retaining dry within the rain. It was the right bicycle for this process: snug but sporty, steady when loaded, loads of eyelets for the aforementioned equipment, a headlamp, and most significantly one thing I appeared ahead to driving each morning and night.
In latest weeks nevertheless I’ve been commuting by subway. This isn’t due to the chilly or something like that; if something I’d a lot moderately commute by bike when it’s chilly than when it’s heat, on account of the truth that I run sizzling and have a bicycle-eating perspiration drawback:
No, the rationale I’ve been commuting by subway recently is solely that it’s loads quicker. “What, the subway quicker than the bike?!?,” chances are you’ll ask incredulously. Certainly. Whereas over shorter distances the bike will at all times win, whenever you’re speaking about round-trip of slightly below 40 miles the subway nets you a very good hour in time saved–or it nets me a very good hour, anyway, chances are you’ll journey a lot quicker than I do. In any case, it’s not like I’m giving up the bike commute fully, however at a time of yr when there’s all kinds of stuff occurring with college and work and household and holidays and all the remainder of it I might positive use these two hours every week. (After all what I exploit them for is driving, so it’s most likely a wash, however no less than I’m getting some studying in on the practice.)
However whereas taking the practice means I don’t get to commute on the Homer, what it does imply is I can resume my earlier relationship with the Homer, after I leaned it towards bushes as a substitute of motorbike racks:
In reality right this moment I went for a purely leisure journey on the Homer for the primary time in months and it was a sheer delight to journey it unladen and in an atmosphere the place I wasn’t beset by e-bikes and motor scooters. I additionally discovered myself within the very spot the place I launched you to it virtually 4 years in the past:
It’s modified fairly a bit since then, and I ought to notice that aside from the tires I believe each change I’ve made to it has come both from my components bin or one other certainly one of my bicycles:
It started life with the Choco bars:
However over time I got here to phrases with the truth that, for me anyway, the Homer actually needed to be a drop-bar bike:
Which in flip necessitated a shorter stem:
I did love the beneficiant sweep of the Chocos:
However with the drops I’ve obtained extra hand positions (effectively, not essentially extra, however I can place my fingers on totally different planes) and extra room to maneuver round on the bike, and I particularly respect them after I’m climbing and descending:
Whereas I’m nonetheless utilizing the identical pedals:
And the identical crank:
The drop-barification did warrant a wider gear vary, so I added a giant ring:
The triple-ization of the crank additionally known as for a brand new entrance derailleur, which now that I give it some thought was not from my components bin or certainly one of my different bikes, it was from Basic Cycle and a part of the world-renowned Simplex Enjoyable Bike group:
The letters are crooked, which is how you recognize it’s enjoyable.
Additionally not from my very own assortment was the rear derailleur, a Speedy Rise XTR that low-normal shifting apologist Grant Petersen despatched me:
Although he despatched me it shortly after I obtained the bike, so it’d as effectively have include it within the first place.
The Gravel King tires, although gentle and…look ahead to it…SUPPLE, had been a bit too flat-prone for these components:
So I in quest of a light-weight but sturdy all-around tire I took a flyer on the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme:
They’ve been implausible, and I used to be distressed to be taught than they’re now discontinued, however on the price they’re carrying I ought to wind up leaving them to my youngsters.
The rack and fenders I added for the commute, and the fender set up virtually broke me so I doubt I’ll ever take away them once more:
Talking of fenders, you recognize what’s even higher than medium-reach brakes?
As for the saddle, the plastic one was superb, nevertheless it’s a Rivendell for chrissakes, it wants leather-based. The unique saddle is at present on a budget singlespeed, so I went with the Swift:
As you possibly can see, the rails are constituted of titanium, and so I’d as effectively be driving a titanium bicycle.
Oh, and after I first obtained the Homer I wasn’t utilizing a kickstand if you happen to can consider it:
I’ve since taken care of that:
And whereas we’re in that space, let’s take a second to understand these chainstays:
When you learn what individuals say on the Web, which you actually, actually shouldn’t, you’ll typically see individuals complaining that the chainstays on the newer Rivendells are too lengthy. These complaints are fully primarily based on aesthetics, and sure, the tucked-in look of a traditional street bike is certainly visually pleasing. Nevertheless, having owned every thing from observe bikes to a Surly Massive Dummy, if you will get previous (gasp) seeing slightly air between the rear tire and the body, lengthy chainstays are actually nothing however upside. Not solely do they make the bike extra steady, however in addition they get the wheel out from underneath your ass, which might improve consolation, and a protracted wheelbase is an effective factor to have on surfaces like this:
And no, they don’t make the bike sluggish or something like that–loads of that comes from the entrance finish. For instance, the Massive Dummy wasn’t sluggish, even with the rear wheel in one other ZIP code. The Milwaukee additionally has longer-than-a-typical-road-bike chainstays (perhaps to make room for the medium-reach brakes, I dunno, I’m not a body designer), nevertheless it nonetheless appears like a race bike:
However don’t consider me, consider this man:
Some issues by no means change.