The thing I’ll never understand about my bike – and never complain about – is how for only 300€ it could start out as a 9/10 ride when so many people are unhappy with their bikes they paid thousands for. I substracted one point in the beginning because the saddle was a little too hard and narrow for my liking, but then it wasn’t really bad and I made it to over 1000 kilometers before I swapped it out for a Brooks B17 Select (with copper rivets!) that cost a little more than 2/3 of the original bike.
That was the 10/10 right there, I love the combination of ride comfort and colour and have ridden many, many kilometers with this setup since.
I bought it in the first year of my apprenticeship when 300€ was all I couldn’t really afford, a cheap single speed from an online-only retailer and by all means it was intended as a beater to get to and from the train station. Little did I know I would soon prefer the hour-long ride taking the ferry with my bike over the hour-long ride taking the train, each day a new adventure.
Here we are exploring an abandoned train yard together:
On the road it is surpringly fast, in fact it is not uncommon for me to breeze past every single rider I meet on my daily commutes, some „proper“ road bikers even. You wouldn’t quite think of a bike without any gears to be fast or if so only in a very small area of the spectrum but as long as I remain within the city I am among the quickest without much issues.
Once I turn to more rural the average road biker will of course profit from gears and lighter weight, but even then we still put up a fight and anyway speed is not the primary reason I love it so much. It’s just a fun extra when you breeze past people.
But no, the main reason I fell in love with the bike is because it is so simple. All during my school years I rode geared bikes, the more gears the cooler and definitely no internally-geared-hub bikes because those aren’t cool. Well, frankly I never once owned a bicycle where the shifter would not cause problems, often right from the start and certainly within the year or two until I bought a new one. Arguable I had some ten-dollar lost-and-found auction bikes in there, but also two in the 500-600€ range.
Now though I can rely perfectly on everything working anytime I feel like riding, plus it’s nimble enough to carry it up three flights of stairs to my apartment without much issues. Both the ride itself and the transfer of power are stiff, quick and without any wobble even before I bought a set of H+Son wheels that once again cost as much as the bike did originally. I just liked the look so much, but frankly there is very little difference to the original 60€ wheelset in practice. They are just nice to look at and arguably good wheels, I’m just not sure whether I would buy them again.
The same is true for the 10€ shimano freewheel, at some point I switched it out for a 120€ Whites Industries one and while that definitely made a difference in the ease of riding at low speeds behind pedestrians it was so marginal that I would probably not buy it again.
Over the years I have often found myself looking at really nice bicycles, custom builds and at one point my company introduced a program where you pay 30% less with monthly rates on any bicycle you want which makes some serious bikes seem affordable.
Each time I found myself close to pulling the trigger on this or that one however I thought about what I missed with mine and each time came to the conclusion that there was nothing other than this weird need to upgrade just for upgrading’s sake.
And so it is now close to seven years since I own this little green cutie with close to seven years of shared adventures, shared rides through rainstorms and perilous summer heat and I can not imagine life without it anymore.
For me there is really no better example for why sometimes we should be just happy with what we have, learn to appreciate the quirks as part of the whole package and just go out and ride, live, experience instead of longing for something better.
I hope you found this post somewhat enjoyable to read, just in case you need a little extra entertainment I have this video of my best buddy and me finding a bunch of weird things: