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I realized I was the only member of the family without a bicycle.
So, I bought a "fitness" bike, which basically means road-bike components,
flat handlebar, and a somewhat upright riding position.
I found good value from a company called Felt.
I bought a Verza Speed model, size large.
It turns out buying a bicycle is like buying a house.
It's just the beginning.
A bike without accessories is like a house without furniture.
Reserve a good chunk of your budget for after you've got the bike home.
I might have gone a little overboard, but I wanted to use the bike
for trips to work and to the farmers market, etc..
Here's what I got...
- Helmet - Giro Register MIPS, some ridiculous yellow
- Lock - ABUS 5805C.
I know it's not a U-lock.
- Headlight - Cygolite Dash Pro 600.
This has a really nice lightning flash (strobe) mode for daytime,
but it can't be aimed side-to-side.
- Headlight - Light & Motion Urban 900.
Very bright and can be aimed side-to-side.
Pulse mode is slow, gentle, and boring.
- Taillight - Planet Bike Grateful Red USB.
Looks and works like a simple reflector when powered down.
Comes with bracket to mount on rear rack.
Tip: swap out the M5 nuts for nylon-insert ones.
- Bell - KNOG Oi
- Spoke Reflectors - Salzmann 3M Scotchlite
- Bottle Cage - Topeak Shuttle
- Water Bottle - Camelbak Podium
- Saddle - Serfas RX 921L.
It's wider than a sporty seat, but narrower than a pure comfort seat,
and it has "gel".
It may not be macho, but it's comfy for 5-mile trips.
- Pedals - Shimano PD-MX80 Saint.
Perhaps heavier than stock, but my feet don't slip. And they look cool.
I don't feel like trying clip-ins at the moment.
- Leg Band - Jog-A-Lite.
Keeps pants out of gears. Reflective, too.
- Gloves - Pearl Izumi Cyclone Gel, medium.
These are full-finger and protect from the cold.
- Gloves - Pearl Izumi Elite Gel, medium.
Fingerless, but protect from vibration, scrapes.
- Jacket - Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier Convertible, screaming yellow, medium
- Neck Gaiter - generic buff-type.
It's windy on a bike.
- Helmet Liner - Pearl Izumi Transfer Lite.
Avoid that weird-pattern sunburn.
- Rear Rack - Topeak MTX Explorer
- Straps - ROK Commuter Reflective.
A cross between webbing cinch straps and bungees.
- Seat Bag - Topeak Aero Wedge, medium.
I got the one with the straps, not the new-fangled plastic mount.
- Pannier - Ortlieb Back Roller Classic.
This is the category killer. Holds a ton. Waterproof.
No heel strike. I bought just one.
- Backpack Pannier - Two Wheel Gear Convertible.
I use this more than the Arkel.
It's smaller, more stylish,
and has better organization for small items.
It can slide fore and aft on my rack, inviting heel strike,
but I put some spacers on the rack to stop that.
- Backpack Pannier - Arkel Bug.
Supposedly the best in a category of compromise.
My biggest issue is heel-strike if I don't place my feet a bit forward
on the pedals. My chain-stay is 445mm.
The bag is big and goes on and off easily.
It could use better storage for small items like pens.
Conversion to/from backpack is relatively simple, but takes a minute.
- Grocery Pannier - Banjo Brothers.
This seems to be the best model, although not always in stock.
No issues with heel strike. I got two.
- Grocery Pannier - Inertia Designs Metro Lite.
Not as nice as the Banjo ones. Rides a little lower.
I had to bend the S-hook open a bit to catch the bottom of my rack.
- Trunk Bag - Topeak MTX Trunkbag EX.
Looks cool, but I haven't actually used it.
If I lock my bike up, I'll have to carry this with me, which is awkward.
I think it might work well on long rides or picnics, perhaps for a camera.
It doesn't seem compatible with standard panniers.
- On-Bike (mostly in seat bag):
- Pump - Topeak Road Morph
- Inner Tube - generic presta
- Tire Levers - Pedro's
- Multi Tool - Crank Brothers M17
- Patch Kit - REMA TT 02 Tour
- Spoke Wrench - Park Tool SW-7
- Chain Tool - Park Tool CT-5
- Spare Links - generic for 11-speed
- Valve Adapter - Presta to Schrader.
If all you have is a car-tire inflator at a gas station, this can be handy.
- At Home:
- Floor Pump - Topeak Joe Blow Pro
- Torque Wrench - Venzo 2-24 Nm Allen Key Socket Set
The rest of the family has had bikes for longer than I have.
We all have MTX rear racks.
We share a couple of Topeak MTX Rear Baskets,
which are useful for hauling books to school
or bringing to-go food home.
They pair well with Delta Megarack cargo nets.
For tail-lights, half the family has the Grateful Red USB
and half has the Cygolite Hotshot 150.
I guess we're running a long-term A-B test.
To keep panniers from sliding around, I made some clip-on spacers
from 1/2" nylon spacers available in the parts drawer at Home Depot.
I cut them at 12 o'clock and 2 o'clock so they'll snap
on the MTX rack and stay in place.
You could cut them with a saw, but I used a hot-knife webbing cutter.