25 October 2021

Goodbye road bike, welcome gravel bike

After a year or two of commuting by road bike I had decided that a gravel bike was more up my street. And I hadn't looked back since! I had even decided, and then managed, to sell the road bike to someone who would use it to its full capacity. So I was happy with my gravel bike. But bikes sometimes need maintenance, so sometimes this gravel bike would be out of service. The last time I hadn't been able to use it because I had a puncture I had switched to my trusted old black bike. That had, of course, brought me where I needed to be, but at considerable expense of energy. So I wanted an extra gravel bike, so I would always have a functioning bike to get me where I needed to go, and fairly fast at that. So I had been keeping an eye on online platforms where you could buy things like that. And one day a gravel bike appeared on eBay. It wasn't very expensive, it was my size, the seller was happy to ship it, so there was no reason for me not to bid on it. And I won!

About a week later there was a knock on the door. A man had placed a big box there. My bike had arrived! And it had been partially dismantled for shipping, of course, but it took only a few minutes to put it back together. I didn't try it out; I was getting ready for a day in the field with the students the next day. And that next day I was, of course, in the field with the students.

How it arrived

What it looked like later that day

In the end took it for a spin on Friday. It still didn't have mudguards, so I made sure to wear clothes that could get muddy. I went to Idwal cottage and back. And I was impressed! The bike is very comfortable, and has a wider range of gears than the other bike. I had figured that out from looking at it, of course, but that's different from actually feeling it. The small gear was small enough to come up the steep bits of the old road, and the big gear was quite big! This is a good bike to come crashing down long mild slopes. I think this will be my standard bike once I have made some additions and adjustments. And then the green bike can be the backup bike!

So what needs changing? I wasn't impressed with the braking power. As things stand I don't know how to adjust disk brakes, but I am sure that Google does, so I will just have to look that up. And I want mudguards and a pannier rack. And then I'm sorted! Commute, here I come, with a vengeance!

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