Friday, September 22, 2006

A Giant bike purchase...

I have been commuting to work by bike since August 18th or so... since my bike got here from the movers. However, my bike, a 2000 Cannondale R800, isn't ideally suited for commuting. Aside from its race-oriented riding position and steering geometry (which I like), it lacks eyelets for fender and rack mounting and lacks clearance for fenders.

It is supposed to rain here a lot in the winter. Last week, we had quite a bit of rain, and the Cannondale didn't deal with it too well. It splashed a nasty road-grit emulsion all over my feet and shins. And my drivetrain and, worst of all, rims. With wet rims, stopping at the bottom of the steep hill on my route was a bit scarier than I'd like.

So here's a bike that's a bit more ideal for commuting. A 2003 Giant OCR Touring. If you're not bike-savvy, Taiwan-based Giant is one of the largest bike manufacturers, and makes tons of bikes for other brands. I picked it up used from a local Craigslist seller.

This bike has all the features that I was hoping for in a good commuter bike. Plenty of clearance and fittings for a rack and fenders, road geometry, and... disc brakes.

Disc brakes are supposed to be a really good choice for use in bad weather. They're supposed to work great in the rain. Oddly, mine don't seem to work great at all. I'm hoping that they just need new pads; the ones they have are pretty worn.

The bike came with super-heavy-duty racks in front and back made by a company in California called Old Man Mountain. The racks (I've already taken the front rack off) are unusual in that they attach at the bike's axle, rather than to threaded eyelets on the frame. I think they're really overkill for my kind of commuting, so I'm thinking I'll take them off and put my little cheapie Nashbar rack on instead.

The brakes are Avid BB7 mechanical (cable-operated) discs.

One thing that is the most peculiar about this bike is its headset. It's an integrated headset, but it's not threadless. Very unique. Here it has some kind of adapter to allow the use of a threadless (Salsa Moto Ace) stem.

Also included were two LED headlights. They are on a little mount that bolts into the fork in the hole where a sidepull brake would bolt in.

Jake tries out the integrated shift/brake levers.

1 comment:

Topher said...

hmmm.... very slick. I have to say that disc brakes sound like the bon-diggity. Allthough I guess it could be better... they could work. Oddly enough, the disc brakes on my truck do quite poorly in the rain with a lot of grip-and-slip or maybe it's no grip, and mucho slip-age. It's tough to say forsure.

"Road-grit emulsion"??? How does that work out in practice? I'm hoping your $70 kakis didn't get road-gritted or emulsified or any nasty combination of the two. I must admit that I have little or no knowledge of such outgoings ons.

hope you're having a happy time in the rainy city.