Monday, April 05, 2010

Going Retro

One of the biggest drawbacks to commuting, at least with my bike selection, has been shoes. Sometime, way back when I started thinking I'd like to ride "seriously" (whatever that means) I shelled out some outrageous amount of money for Look pedals, shoes, and cleats. I put in the requisite falls, but finally learned how to use them, and never Looked back. Clipless pedals are the only way to go. Except...

Except if you ride to work. That means keeping another pair of shoes to change into when you get there. That's not too bad, but what if you want to stop off at, say, Food Lion on the way home and pick something up? Food, or maybe even PBR when it's on sale (like this week). That means traipsing about the slick floors on even slicker cycling shoes with cleats sticking out of them and trying to stay upright, plus, there really isn't any graceful way to wander around a store with the clomp - clomp of those cleats announcing your every move. Thus, I have relented. I rummaged around the shed and found an ancient pair of platform pedals, stripped the modern Looks off and now, I can wear whatever shoes I please. I think this will work out just fine. Besides, it's only on the commuter.

But wait, that's not all! Sometime, just before getting the Robauix I found a set of aluminum wheels for the Sports 12 (aka Old Blue, aka commuter) and mounted them to save maybe half a pound. Ever since I did that I have been keeping tube manufacturers rolling in money. My money. I have no idea why, but, after only a few hundred miles the tubes fail at the valve stems. The wheels don't have any obvious flaws, but something has to be wrong with them. Today the steel wheels went back on.

So except for the FSA Stronglight compact crank, plenty of rust, and the rear rack (from the Rhode Gear baby seat Sam used to ride into town in for a bottle of apple juice at Quik Chek - "faster Daddy") the bike is pretty much back to it's 1980 roots.

Ought to make a much better commuter - are fenders next?

1 comment:

Doug said...

Try some Campus pedals, platform on one side and SPD style cleats on the other. Mountain bike shoes with recessed SPD cleats are great for around town.