Friday, October 4, 2013

Make it Work: Trek Mountain Bike

Happy Friday, friends! 

Let's go on a virtual bikey shopping-spree, shall we?

Today, I want to talk about my moutain bike. I worked in a bicycle shop in my hometown when I was in high school, when mountain bikes were the thing. As I mentioned in my initial post, I cycled (heh) through a few mountain bikes due to bike theft (my hometown is kind of steal-y about these things, though my second MTB was actually stolen from the flat we were staying in in London for the summer in 1995). While I was working at the shop, I purchased an alumnium-frame Trek 8000, then upgraded the fork to Shox. It has its original tires. My bike looks like this, except for the headset and Shox:
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It's a gorgeous bicycle, and I love the color scheme - loved it in 1996 and love it today (charcoal and yellow are a fab pairing). I also have a yellow bottle cage. That said, I wouldn't mind it getting a slightly more sophisticated style. I'd ideally like to make the following modifications (not in order of preference):

1. Upgraded saddle - The current saddle is not comfortable and the gel cover I have over it shifts and doesn't help much. Plus, since I've been riding again, I'm a little more accustomed to the bike saddle. I would like to get a Brooks, since I don't like this saddle (I don't LOVE the Linus' stock saddle, but it works just fine, so if I'm going to spend money to replace a saddle, it will be the MTB's). I like the ochre ($117.00).

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2.  Smooth tires. Let me be honest: I've never been a big "off road" girl. I don't mind fairly flat trails, but I'm not going to "shred" and never have. I like my spine and noggin intact, and I'm not an aggressive- or competitive-sports girl. The knobby tires slow me down. I'd like to get smooth tires. These Kwenda Kwests (~$25 each) would be fabulous . 

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3. Rear-view mirror. Always. I am particular to Sunlite mirrors, because they are crazy-inexpensive (under $8.00) and large and have reflectors on the back. Also, they mount to the handlebars instead of the bar ends which means your grips remain intact. Speaking of grips...

4. I'm now obsessed with these grips... ($81.00) to match the ochre Brooks saddle. My plan is coming together nicely...
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5, 6, 7, 8. The foregoing address cosmetic and comfort issues. From a truly-practical standpoint, I'd also need a kickstand ($29.00), rack ($90.00), fenders ($55.00), and I'd like a chain guard ($29.00) to protect my pants. I have combined them, because VeloORANGE makes gorgeous accessories. All photo credits below are VeloORANGE. 

I would be inclined to order two of the kickstand, since the single-leg variety (which I have on my Linus) doesn't do well with heavy loads, or since I've added the front basket. 

9. Finally, I'd like a pannier for the Trek. The narrow Philosophy Burnside is perfect, and the grey and black is really sleek (if a little expensive at $259.00).
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10. Bonus? A bell. Can get those anywhere for a song.

My thinking, here, is that the Trek could become a meaningful commuter option for work (extra gears), and I'd have the Linus for errands and local travel. I've have a couple of very good-looking bikes, and since I know the Linus can get me to work and since the outfit on the Trek can accommodate baggage, either would be a perfectly-reasonable substitute for the other in the event of a flat or if repairs were needed.

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