Putting On My Commuter Pants

7AM doesn’t mean I’m not hammering.

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted pictures of the Soma Double Cross Disc, and the old girl’s been through a few changes. More tattoos, more weight, and more rubber. Since the semester is back in full swing, I needed a bike that was completely committed to convenience. I like to think of it as an unholy union between two completely different bike stereotypes, like the Mash SF and Rivendell crowds had a jam session over heat-treated Tange Prestige.

The rebuild started with the tires. Schwalbe Marathon Mondials  are cheaper than regular Marathons, have better side-knobs for off-roading, and seem to me to be a little more supple. As supple as a touring tire can be, anyways… they’re still impervious bricks. Luckily, indestructible is just what I needed.

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The big addition is the Wald basket, strapped down to a Racktime Topit front rack from the same people that make Ortlieb panniers. Baskets are criminally underutilized. Wicker is out, and these $20 Wald baskets are the new cyclo-chic.

Ok, maybe not, but a girl can dream!

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My original XT Derailleur didn’t quite die, but its sickly moans and protests made me lean towards early retirement. For $15 off of ebay, the old Shimano Rapid-Rise tech will do nicely, especially since I’m using friction shifters. Older 90’s XT is still pretty on point for precision and durability. This one might even be from the 00’s…

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I tried about 12 different seats before a WTB Rocket solved my rear-end woes. I tried everything, up to a price point of $150+, but this cheap little thing was more comfortable for me. I wanted to fall in love with something glamorous like a Selle Italia or a Brooks Cambium, but I cannot argue with results, so this bargain buster will be my throne for the next few years. Everyone’s different!

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Every bike needs a little bit of flair, so I added a PDW Bird Cage to my downtube. Clever and functional; I haven’t lost a bottle yet in about 1,000 miles of use, with plenty of trail time.

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Maybe I’m starting to become an old geezer, but I like this function-over-form aesthetic. It’s nice having the bike be flat-proof, utilitarian, dead reliable and 6-pack-ready, even if it comes at the cost of a bit of weight.

Keep Riding!

4 thoughts on “Putting On My Commuter Pants

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