What I Want For Christmas
No, not an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock.
Instead – and I won’t shoot my eye out with it, though I bet I could do some sweet jumps – the Jamis Exile 29’er Single Speed Mountain Bike:
O.k., maybe not that particular bike, as I’ve not ridden it. But I really think a 29 inch single speed has moved ahead of a recumbent and tandem into first place on my list of bikes I am going to buy as soon as I move economically from lower middle to middle middle or upper middle class.
Sure, I already own four bikes. But no single one has 29 inch mtb tires, one speed, a steel frame, a rigid fork and the incredible minimalist and non-conformist sexiness of this bike. I want it. [Cyclist: a person who thinks it is appropriate to use the word “sexy” to describe a bicycle].
Don’t get me wrong, I love my current mountain bike – a 2000 Schwinn Moab 2:
In fact, it’s part of the reason I am ready to try a single speed. Gears add weight: front and rear derailleur, three chainrings, and nine sprockets. They also cost money, up front and for repairs – probably ninety percent of the repairs I’ve had done on that bike involved the gears. Even when they work, they rattle and bang down the trails. Add to the costs the fact that I probably spend three quarters of my time in about three of the twenty seven speeds. So does that use justify the added weight, noise, and repair expenses? I always thought it did until last Saturdaywhen, due to serious issues with the gears, I had to ride the JCC trail with one speed. You know what? It was cool. Instead of wondering what gear to hit and when, I just spun my legs and powered up the hills, over the rocks and through the switchbacks enjoying the simplicity of the ride. So now I think I may want to ditch the gears.
As for the rest of the Exile’s specs . . . . I love steel. My roadie is steel, and it rocks. It’s old school, it rides smooth and it’s super tough. Plus the tubes look better than the thicker aluminum stuff. Old school is also the main draw to the rigid fork. Minimalism is the idea, so no shocks. The tires are three inches bigger than the normal 26 inch mtb tires. That’s supposed to make it handle better (more tire touching trail at any given time) and smoother (smaller angle against obstructions). Again, it also looks awesome.
So there it is, my new number one must have bicycle. I don’t think it will fit down the chimney, so I’d better start sending out some resumes. [Cyclist: A person who owns his car but makes payments on his bike].