New Bike

I bought myself a new bicycle this weekend: A 2008 model Scott SUB 20, for $650 plus tax. I shopped around for it for quite a while, which meant visiting several bike shops: You can’t really buy a bike online unless you already know exactly what you’re looking for, because even slight changes in frame geometry or componentry can completely change the feel of the bike, so you really have to ride them first.

So far, I’m very happy with my purchase; It’s pretty much exactly what I was looking for, and I covered 28 miles on it straight after picking it up from the bike shop on Sunday with no problems whatsoever.

SUB stands for “Speed Utility Bicycle,” because this is a hybrid bike — a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike — that’s designed for the urban environment. It has a lightweight aluminium frame, low-resistance 700c road bike wheels with fairly slick tyres and a just-above-entry-level 27-speed Shimano drivetrain. But it also has flat handlebars, and it doesn’t have any quick-release components (using a bike in the city, quick-release equals quick goodbye!).

It occurs to me that this is the first new bicycle I’ve ever bought, and the first new one I’ve had since I was a child (a select few people will still remember my old 5-speed Raleigh Arena, followed by the 10-speed Falcon Black Diamond). It replaces an old cruiser mountain bike that I bought used in Berkeley, CA, about 8 years ago, to take to Burning Man.

That old mountain bike was heavy and clunky and had pretty basic components, but it was the perfect city cruiser — in 8 years, all I changed were two brake blocks, and it was always exactly where I left it, no matter where it was locked up. I advertised it for $50 on Craig’s List last night, and was amazed how quickly it sold!

I’ve been meaning to get a better bike for a while now, but have had some extra motivation recently: My friend Johnny persuaded me to sign up for the Bike MS New York City ride in October, a charity 60km ride in aid of multiple sclerosis.

This means that I’m looking for sponsors! If you’d like to sponsor me for any amount, no matter how small, please go to my sponsorship homepage at:

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