Some time ago, I decided that I had delusions of grandeur and wanted to do some serious long-distance cycling. To that end, I had a bike built to spec for that intended purpose.
I thought a great deal about what I wanted in that build. Relatively light weight, comfortable, and easily maintained were some of the variables I decided on for this bike.
I started with a brand new-in-the box dark green metallic aluminum frame and fork from Nashbar tha I acquired from Craigslist. Truly NOS – not even out of its wrapping. The color is a dark green – like British racing green – metal flake metallic.
The bike is sitting on a custom set of wheels with sun rims and 32 spokes apiece, with a Son 28 dynamo hub to power the lighting. Panaracer Pasela Tour Guards in 700 x 35c handle the roads nicely – not much loss of roling resistance, but easy on the body and soak up road nasties easily.
Velo Orange hammered fenders keep the garbage off the bike and me, and a Velo Orange Pass Hunter rack holds the front bag. No name silver aluminum rack does duty on the back. A Planet Bike ARD saddle keeps my toosh comfy.
I had wanted Nitto Randonneur bars, but they came in as the wrong size. I ended up with Bontragers that have a bit of an extension at the ends – good for bar ends and easy on the hands. Shimano 3 x 9 bar ends (Dura Ace) do shifting duty, Origin8 brake levers handle stopping pressure, and tektro brake calipers handle the actual stops with ease.
I have ridden the bike some miles- for an all-aluminum ride it is surprisingly comfortable. Very stable handling makes it fun to ride and also fun to travel with. I have a pretty huge 9 speed cassette on the back – 12-36 -and it lets me climb hills with ease. While I wasn’t sure how the rig would turn out, it has suprised me with being beefy, yet light, and comfortable and stable, yet easy to move. Overall, for this application, it gets a good solid “thumbs up” rating.