Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I want to ride my bicycle...

I was beyond thrilled when my inaugural post on Celia prompted someone to ask me to talk more about my new baby! Yes, I would love to tell you more, thank you so much for asking,  The Beverage Snob!

Trek Pure
Photo via Nat's Outdoor Sports. Click on image for details.

To start, there is a lot to learn about bikes if one is so inclined.  I have a long way to go, but I will share a few details about my particular cycle.  First, though, let's talk about me.

In case you've forgotten, here I am.
I'm a smallish person - 5'2" - so I needed a bike with a small frame. The nice man at City Bike Tampa determined my ideal frame is a 16.5. Even if you are my exact height you may need a different size based on the respective lengths of you legs and torso. It's all Greek as far as I'm concerned.

Click on the image to link to the geometry formulas that help determine sizing.

That being said, don't feel pigeonholed into a specific size because a cycling "expert" recommends it. Go with what feels right to you.

Another way to help you choose your bike is knowing what you want to do with said bike. I wanted something I could run errands on.

via SD Velo Vixens, uploaded by Maria

Technically, one can run errands on any type of bike, but I just wasn't feeling the mountain bike or street bike vibe. For me, the fewer gears the better. Basically, I wanted a cruiser. I happily ended up with the Trek Pure Lowstep, which I think is more hybrid than cruiser.

The pedals are further forward which means my body is in a more upright position, making me more visible in car traffic and more comfortable for longer distances because I'm not hunched over my handlebars a la Tour de France.

Breakaway group during stage nine of the 2008 Tour de France via Zimbio. Click on image for details.

Does that look comfortable to you? Yeah, me neither.

Now, let's get down to the nuts and bolts of my baby. As I mentioned, Celia is a Trek Pure.  It comes in two models, but I was drawn to the Lowstep.  For one thing, I think its gorgeous! For another, I'm ridiculously clumsy and the low front bar makes it harder for me to trip when getting on and off the bike. Harder, but not impossible.

I may never actually be as graceful as this snap from Apricot Tea and Honey.

You can get all the specs for the Pure here, but those most important to me are the frame length (14"), tire width (26x2.125" ), and number of gears (7).

I know, I know, I gave you all that jibber jabber up there about proper frame size, but because the Pure has a feet-forward configuration it can have a smaller frame and still suit riders of various shapes and sizes.

2.125" may seem like a small width for a tire, but, as bike wheels go, this is relatively wide.  Also, the tread is channeled instead of nubbly (technical terms. true story). The wider tire and tread mean each wheel has more contact with the ground and has better traction on wet pavement.  In contrast, street bikes have narrow tires made for speed, and mountain bikes have nubbly tread to accomodate rough, uneven terrain.


Rene Herse bicycle details via Lovely Bicycle
I don't actually know what magic number of gears is right for each type of bike. I had a hand-me-down mountain bike with something like 21 gears and I spent all my time in the same gear. I have no idea what combo it was - maybe 2:3? When it came to my bike I was keen on having as few moving parts as possible.  I also live in a flat area with no immediate plans to head for the hills, as it were.  More gears are necessary for easy riding up and down slopes. So far., I've used two of my seven gears. The second one was actually an accident. If, however, gears are your thing, definitely check out this couple's rundown.

I may have gone a bit overboard answering The Beverage Snob's question, but I was really really happy to be asked.  If you'll excuse me know, I have to go ride my bike.

via tumblr

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