City & Commuting

First week with the Ultimate Commuter

0 Comments 19 August 2010

My attempt of an artsy photo of the Surly badge

Second week of riding to work after a looong summer holiday. My plan was to rest during the weekend, but while building my Ultimate Commuter we were missing a few parts so I had to take my bike and ride to the local bike shop to pick up those parts. So, I was left with only Sunday for resting and I nearly managed to do that when read from Facebook (we have a page there, wink wink) that a friend needed help with a bottom bracket installation .. Yeah, so much for resting on the Sunday.

When riding with a new bike, even if it would be fitted well, there will be some adjustments needed. The first ride with the new bike on Sunday was quite painful due to the poor setup that screwed the ergonomics, so I was a bit worried how the commuting would get going. On the positive side, the bike rolls like thunder – it’s like a riding a huge slab of bacon on a hill of ball bearings.

Every trip taught me something new about the bike and my position on it and I could adjust closer towards the good fit. The pain dissipated immediately after I fixed what I noticed after the first ride. After three days or riding, it’s very close to great – so if you feel bad on your bike, listen to your body and adjust accordingly.

The bike has Shimano’s Ultegra hubs in the wheelset and they have one really cool quality – they don’t make a sound. Seriously, it’s like a pack of ninjas throwing feathers in a sound-proofed room, nothing. No sound. In a way it’s nice, since you don’t have the annoying rattle of the freewheel, but people are paralyzed with fear when you pass them and they just see a shape flowing by – even if you pass them at quite a distance with your lights on.

Tomorrow is Friday, time for a weekend of rest after 12 days of riding in a row – surprisingly I doesn’t feel straining yet, so perhaps I’ve found my optimal commuting speed.

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Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.

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Coming Thru (or Coming Through - as that URL was taken) is a daily updated bike magazine - a collection of writings and links that relate to biking in its every form. The idea started from when Maarten met Markus decided to finally start collecting the things we like about bikes and talk about our everyday adventures in dodging moving objects at high speeds.The site is run by a collage of cyclists, most notably by Canadian Johanna MacDonald, Belgian Maarten Patteeuw and Finnish Markus Sandelin.

It all started in the spring of 2010, after a record breaking snowy winter when Markus bought a house 25 kilometers from the office and decided to handle the commuting with a bicycle. It turned out the bike wasn’t up to standards for that kind of stress and the first weeks were more tragicomic than glorious. Thus the idea began to brew to actually document this journey.

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