Wednesday, March 06, 2013
After a bit of humming and hawing ("hawing"? Is that right?) I decided upon a simple, affordable, no bells and whistles Fuji Bikes, Declaration – like the one pictured above. It's a no-fuss single-speed 44/16 set-up that will be my day-to-day ride. So yes, I'll add a rack and fenders (and a chain guard when I get around to it) which will remove any urban cool it may have had. They sell them in a variety of colours with fun coloured tires and rims but my goal was to get a simple bike that didn't break the bank and didn't call attention to itself. The only thing I didn't really like are the super-grippy handgrips and the brakes, which I'll adjust to my liking. I like the diamond frame, and that is lighter than it looks. In general, I like riding more upright but the geometry is good enough that my toes don't strike the front wheel in a track stand stop. Okay, I can't do that, but on my Specialized bikes and even my 1980s Bianchi road bike, that is a problem when stopping to yield at an intersection, and it's always bugged me. I'll be picking it up this week (not sure why I didn't just take it on the spot – I had other errands to do).
If you're interested in testing some of these, in Toronto, Bikes on Wheels in Kensington Market have plenty of sizes in stock (I tried a 54 and a 52 and a 48 cm model was on the floor) and at $525.00 CDN it's as good a price as you can expect for a new bike. It remains to be seen how long the finish on the chain and gears will last – I'm generally suspicious of painted chains and cogs.