Thursday, August 14, 2008

I got a new bike.

I got my Swobo Del Norte a bit over a week ago. First off let me say it's incredible looking. The totally understated gun metal grey frame mixed with the flashy red powder coated rims is stunning. People comment all the time. It's not what people expect a bike to look like. I'm gaga over the looks of this bike.

The second thing that needs to be said is this is a sweet commuter bike. I have to ride about 4 miles to catch a bus. Not that long of a ride. But the roads sorta suck and I do hit some decent hills. The Del Norte is the perfect tool for the job in my case. The cro-mo steel frame and the 700x32 tires soak up the bumps. I like to think of the bike as cruiser bike-lite. It's so comfy. The gearing is 42 up front and 17 in the rear. A bit easy, but perfect for the commute. I wish I had a bigger front crank on the flats but on my uphills I love it. I routinely reel in other bikers on my ride up hills now and I'm usually weak on hills. New bike confidence and having no choice about shifting to the "right" gear has probably improved my climbing attitude.

The important thing to me is, did this bike fill the need I had. So far it's an overwhelming yes. The bike is incredibly sturdy and has taken the beating of being tossed around under a bus and I have zero worries about pulling my bike out to ride home and finding parts all bent up. I was a bit put off by the big tires but I'm enjoying bombing over curbs and I'm not too worried about blowing out or bending a rim. This bike was at my price point and has delivered 100%.

This bike isn't perfect tho. I hate the handle bars. They're sorta bull horned. It's hard to tell from the pics on the Swobo website but bull horned they are. I like to ride on the brake hoods, but when I'm just cruising I like to have my hands on the bar and with that curve, my hands are now pointing inward and that puts my wrists in an awkward position. After a few minutes I have to go back to the hoods. Sucks.

So I got a new bike and I'm very happy. Having a new bike has brought me a new luxury as well. I now have two bikes. I can finally take some time and work on my road bike and not worry that I have it finished by the next day for my commute. So I'm intending to do some work on that bike. I'm not very good at working on bikes yet so this should be interesting. I'll let ya know how that turns out.

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