Sunday, October 2, 2011

New (to me) commuter bike

As you may recall, my commuter/mountain bike was stolen in June.  Since then I've been searching for a replacement for the bike.  Now that wasn't an easy task since I loved that bike so much.  I finally decided to get a nice mountain bike and a beater commuter bike.  A typical commuter bike is set up with 700c x 38 tires (skinny but not as skinny as a road bike) which isn't ideal for commuting in the winter so I set out to find an older mountain bike that wouldn't be such a target to thieves.  That was a tougher challenge than I thought.  I had a laundry list of requirements for the bike and finding on bike that fit all the requirements proved to be difficult.  In the meantime, I rode my road bike to work, burdening it with a rear rack and pannier bags.  This was usually fine but it looked stupid when I rode the Big Sky State games and Downtown Crit races.  I also hated changing shoes for a one mile commute but didn't want to put regular pedals (or even two sided pedals) on my road bike.

Here was my wish list.
  1. Not attractive to thieves (old and cheap)
  2. Functioning
  3. 26" wheels (so I can use my snow tires)
  4. Rack mounts
  5. Large frame (about 19")
  6. 21 speed (so I can use my spare rims)
  7. No clipless pedals.  I'm sick of changing shoes. 
  8. The right price.
So after months of searching pawn shops and craigslist, I finally noticed THE BIKE that I'd been looking for on the used bike rack at The Bike Shop on Grand.  They were even willing to work with me on price.  I ended up with a Raleigh Talon, probably early 90's.  It's still a nice looking bike which makes me a little nervous but I also have a U-bolt and a heavy cable lock which may deter most thieves.  So far I'm happy with the bike, but being an older style, it sure is a heavy bike.  I can really feel the difference.