For the final however-many months now I’ve been commuting to and from Brooklyn twice per week, principally by bicycle, and totally on the Homer, which I outfitted for the duty:
The primary commute-specific modifications had been fenders, a rack, and a plastic saddle that I didn’t have to fret about preserving dry within the rain. It was the right bicycle for this activity: snug but sporty, secure when loaded, loads of eyelets for the aforementioned equipment, a headlamp, and most significantly one thing I regarded ahead to using 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 fairly commute by bike when it’s chilly than when it’s heat, on account of the truth that I run scorching and have a bicycle-eating perspiration downside:
No, the explanation I’ve been commuting by subway currently is solely that it’s rather a lot sooner. “What, the bike sooner than the subway?!?,” it’s possible 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 great hour in time saved–or it nets me a great hour, anyway, it’s possible you’ll experience a lot sooner than I do. In any case, it’s not like I’m giving up the bike commute solely, however at a time of 12 months 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 per week. (After all what I exploit them for is using, so it’s most likely a wash, however at the very least 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, once I leaned it in opposition to timber as a substitute of motorcycle racks:
The truth is right now I went for a purely leisure experience on the Homer for the primary time in months and it was a sheer delight to experience it unladen and in an surroundings 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 nearly 4 years in the past:
It’s modified fairly a bit since then, and I ought to word that aside from the tires I feel each change I’ve made to it has come both from my components bin or one other considered 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 received extra hand positions (properly, not essentially extra, however I can place my fingers on completely different planes) and extra room to maneuver round on the bike, and I particularly respect them once 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 referred to as for a brand new entrance derailleur, which now that I give it some thought was not from my components bin or considered 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 Fast Rise XTR that low-normal shifting apologist Grant Petersen despatched me:
Although he despatched me it shortly after I received the bike, so it’d as properly have include it within the first place.
The Gravel King tires, although mild and…look forward to it…SUPPLE, had been a bit too flat-prone for these components:
So I seeking a lightweight but sturdy all-around tire I took a flyer on the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme:
They’ve been unbelievable, and I used to be distressed to study than they’re now discontinued, however on the price they’re carrying I ought to wind up leaving them to my children.
The rack and fenders I added for the commute, and the fender set up nearly 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 advantageous, nevertheless it’s a Rivendell for chrissakes, it wants leather-based. The unique saddle is at the moment on a budget singlespeed, so I went with the Swift:
As you’ll be able to see, the rails are created from titanium, and so I’d as properly be using a titanium bicycle.
Oh, and once I first received the Homer I wasn’t utilizing a kickstand when you can imagine it:
I’ve since taken care of that:
And whereas we’re in that space, let’s take a second to understand these chainstays:
If you happen to learn what folks say on the Web, which you actually, actually shouldn’t, you’ll generally see folks complaining that the chainstays on the newer Rivendells are too lengthy. These complaints are solely primarily based on aesthetics, and sure, the tucked-in look of a basic street bike is certainly visually pleasing. Nonetheless, having owned every little thing from observe bikes to a Surly Huge Dummy, if you may 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 secure, however additionally they get the wheel out from beneath your ass, which might improve consolation, and an extended wheelbase is an efficient factor to have on surfaces like this:
And no, they don’t make the bike sluggish or something like that–lots of that comes from the entrance finish. For instance, the Huge 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 (possibly to make room for the medium-reach brakes, I dunno, I’m not a body designer), nevertheless it nonetheless looks like a race bike:
However don’t imagine me, imagine this man:
Some issues by no means change.