Sunday, July 01, 2007

She's a sexy little thing...

My mountain bike (sans seat) which is a Bridgestone MB4.
Fromage and I found this at a garage sale a couple of years
ago. It was $150.00 in perfect condition---even the brakes
and chain! This is the bike that Fromage rode down to
the States several years ago, so he knew it was a
sturdy, well-made it was my size, he
urged me to buy it...
It was a good improvement over my previous bike,
which was too big for me, although I had all kinds
of emotional attachments to it. I had ridden it
as a bicycle commuter in Portland, OR for almost
2 get really close to a bike that way.
Anyway---I sold it to my friend AmyLou, who
loved it, so all's well that ends well.

I've been using this Bridgestone
for my training rides. As a mountain
bike, it's not ideal for the road riding I'm doing....and
I haven't found good hybrid tires which would make
it an easier road ride. Still, it's been better than this bike....

This is my roadbike---a Takara "Advantage" which
I pulled out of a dumpster and got Fromage to
put new wheels, chain, brakes, etc. on it. Surprisingly,
the gears and derailler were in good shape. Mostly, I
use this bike indoors in winter on the trainer you see
it attached to here.

(I did a "ride" at home on the deck
in my underwear yesterday because I didn't feel like
going anywhere....)

Once again, the frame is too big
for me, so I almost never take it out into "the world"
for 'real' rides. And it's heavy. And it's a yucky color.
And it makes my neck hurt....

The major problem I've had with bikes is neck pain from
always having frames that are too big for me or I can't get
the bars/stem in just the right place. Also, I have small
hands....and I mean small. This makes braking difficult,
because most brakes are placed for people with hands
that are human, not midget gorilla grabbers.

In light of these difficulties, and the fact that putting 40 miles via highway on a mountain bike is kind of silly---I decided that I wanted a road bike. (I know, I crabbed about this in the previous post...bear with me.) I went shopping yesterday and in the 2 bike shops in my town...yes, only two...I found that road bikes were never less than $900.00. I'm getting "serious" about cycling this summer---as serious as I can get, I think---but I am NOT going to shell out what amounts to an entire mortgage payment on a bike! Then, being me, I checked the thrift stores (well, you never know!) and found some really ancient Huffys that looked like they'd been run over by a tractor trailer....not my lucky day.

This morning, I was sipping my coffee and decided to peruse ebay.......

And found this sexy girl! It's a Dawes---some British manufacture---
new, with Shimano shifters, tighter women's bars, the right frame
size for me (aluminum), dual brake levers, and a cute powder blue.

Fromage woke up about this time and I made him read the auction
details and examine the photos. He said, "Get it." and went downstairs
for coffee. (God, I love that man.)

So. She is ALL MINE.
Now, I have to keep riding the 'ol mountain bike until she
gets here. Then I will name her, like my blogging pal Bike & Beer
does with her bikes!

A shot of the headset...

And I could've gotten her in pearlescent pink.


BookGirl said...

Congratulations, E! Getting a new bike is an event to be celebrated!

cochabamba said...

now that we're talking bikes...
i think i have found the perfect one.
i go down portland next week to test it out. this is kind of a ten year quest, and i may have found it.
i'm very excited. it may not fit me, and i may go back to seattle empty handed, but if i do buy it, i will let you know. finding the perfect bike is no small matter. kind of like finding a spouse.

painter girl said...

She is super cute! Congrats! I hope she is just the perfect fit...and I love the powder blue.

Anonymous said...

That's a pretty sweet road bike you picked out. If you are still looking for a hybrid tire for your mountain bike I recommend the Kenda Kross Plus K847 26" x 1.95" Black Steel (TR5163. I've tried a few different 'hybrid' tires, and I always seem to migrate back to this model. It's smooth in the center, but has knobs on the sides for gravel and traction on slick surfaces, and the roads in MS and LA are probably as shitty as the ones in AK, if not worse. Enjoy the rides!

Mike said...

I just stumbled upon this post through a Google search for sexy road bikes -- if you still have it, don't get rid of that Takara! I picked one up on Craigslist last fall and gave it an overhaul. For being cheap and relatively unheard of, they're really sturdy and easy to work on. I took mine on a century last weekend and it didn't have any difficulties along the way.

Even if you only use it as a trainer, I think they're a great member of any fleet.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I came across your page while searching the internet for Takara bike information.

I wanted to give you a tip regarding the "small hands braking problem." The hoods on Shimano brakes and shifters are much much bigger than the hoods on Campy parts. Thus, people with small hands typically find it much easier to brake with Campy hoods than Shimano hoods. You might give it a look at the local bike shop.