The bike(s) and set-up of Experiment: Ride Bike to Work Every Day for a Week
This is the bike I am riding for this experiment. Very visible at night, don't ya think?
The bike is a Fuji Sunfire, purchased at Performance Cycles on Anderson Lane in Austin, TX, Summer 2009 I think. I was surprised to find this glowing review on this bike, saying it is one of the best hybrids you can get. I have enjoyed it pretty well, though it definitely needs a tune-up. I like that the front shocks can be locked out and it is definitely sturdy enough for level 1 mountain biking, the easy trails around Austin, and the work commute. I think I am still adjusting to the extra weight and different geometry after riding this
exclusively for a few years. All the websites say it was the 2008 Schwinn Madison but I'm pretty sure I bought it in early 2007 when I worked at Kozy Cycles in Chicago. In any case, the Madison is super sweet, and light, and really fast. When I first got this bike I would never leave it locked up anywhere. Now I can lock it next to a Bianchi that someone tied up with a cable lock and be worry-free.
It has the flip-flop hub in the back so you can ride it fixie, but I never have since I like how my face looks in its present configuration. It's not that I'm clumsy, it's just that if there is an accident waiting to happen, it is waiting to happen to me. So I try to keep my odds low, which is always why I wear a helmet while I ride (more on that in the gear post). I also have a third bike, because, obviously, I have a problem. We may talk about that one in a post deidcated to getting around for SXSW.
The set-up I have on the Fuji is a rack and a pannier set I got off Amazon for less than $50. The rack is a Delta Cycle Megarack Ultra. Not sure where the ultra comes in. The horizontal arms were not long enough to fit my bike without having the panniers too close to my feet, so I had to get another two inches of length using zip-ties. Ultra classy, huh? I'm sure if I wanted, I could get some other bracket / extender type thing to replace the zip-ties and I may once they start degrading.
I like the panniers much better, they are Avenir Metro Panniers. They have two roomy pockets on each side and straps in the middle so you can still tie something to the center rack if you want. The only thing I don't like is the super tight bungee with the killer hook at the end. I have snapped my fingers in that at least twice and it really hurts.
killer bungee hook
It would be easy enough to modify this so that it is not a sharp hook on the end of a bungee cord, and I may replace it with Velcro or something the next time I snap my finger on it.
I got these panniers because they were priced well and someone said they could get two gallons of milk in one pocket, which seemed good if I was going to the store for a family of four. I am more likely to be packing what this guy has:
How is Coors like sex on the beach?
A can of tamales to the first poster with the punchline to that joke. Happy Riding!