Lance was right, it's not about the bike; this page is about the bikes

Chronologically I've owned these bikes in my life:

make/model color the story from to
Huffy? banana seat orange

a classic, possibly a Huffy.

Growing up, I used to jump it in my friends abandoned chicken coop. It was indestructible, as was I at the time...

mom and dad; most likely Caldors, Brookfield CT

mid 70s

lost in the mists of time

Shogun 600


this is the one I kept to futz with. during college it was converted to a mtn bike (lower gears, straight bars) with the help of my friend Pete Zay;

while looking to buy the Marin Highway 1 below, i discovered Sheldon Brown's fixed gear site. shortly after buying the highway 1 the drive train was changed to a fixed gear (38 teeth in front and 17 in the back IIRC);

recently added a freewheel to the otherside of the flip-flop hub and installed a rack and one panier, for an around town bike. it is the one i'll take to the grocery store, with built in theft deterence - it's a 25 year old frame with rust spots and only one speed (often the coolest bike in the parking lot, this does not appeal to the average thief).

side view of the Shogun 600 bicycle

bought from Scott

late 70s/ early 80s

it rides on...

Frame: Chromium Molybdenum, double butted with lug welds (Japan)
Fork: Tange Tangaloy
Hubs: Sovos - rear; Shimano VIA IE - front
Derailers, Shifters: None!
Brakes: Shimano 105 side pull calipers; Tektro levers
Crankset: Sakae SR 170mm cranks (Japan), 42 tooth chainring
Bottom bracket: ???
Chain: ???
Freewheel: Shimano SF-MX 30 17 tooth freewheel on one side; Shimano 16 tooth cog on the other.
Saddle: Salsa Zona Tres with an SA Laprade seat stem
Handlebars: no-name bars with GT grips and Avenir bar ends
Handlebar stem: no-name stem with 105mm reach
Rims & Spokes: Rigida - rear; Araya 700c - front
Tires: Conti 28-622 Ultra Gator Skin - rear; Conti 25-622 Ultra 2000 - front (Germany)
Pedals: Performance Topo
Rack: Blackburn Mtn-1 (red) with a Madden pannier on the port, Kryptonite U-Lock on the starboard

Tanaka brown this was the bike i rode to Boston after graduating college. it was the only bike with different sized wheels (which makes a lot of sense, but isn't done much). given to me in college, by George Near (who either took pity on my finances, was trying to get back at his girlfriend or both) sold to Nitin
Nishiki Saga white

the first bike i bought new. i commuted on it to work 10 and then 18 miles each way - frost bite and all.this may be my most used. i was younger, poorer and stronger then.

this is really a cheap bike, but it fit well, in part due to the 26" wheels (I'm 5'6" and have short legs for my height). Sadly, I'm really too short for 622mm/27" wheels and 170mm cranks. This fact was made clear to me by Peter White, Sheldon Brown and the Atlantis framebuilders - the frame uses 26" wheels (559 mm really, the standard size for mountain bikes) on the smallest frames. This is the only right way to make a proportionally sized, small frame.

those people have my utmost respect and admiration, but as a hand built frame, the bikes are very expensive. i'm considering one, but i'm kind of a tightwad.

bought for 399 new in Boston


gave to a homeless guy in Salem (who probably sold it for booze the same day)
Marin Highway One polished this was an expensive (for me anyway) racing-style road bike. i loved it, but i learned that i am more of a touring kind of person. unless you really race, the difference in speed between a light, expensive road bike and a sturdy, comfortable touring model in not noticable. i.e., the stronger rider will go faster regardless of the model. so, i reccomend putting comfort first, which will encourage you to ride more and thereby be faster...

bought from Harris Cyclery in Newton Mass *


stolen from a bike cage at Lotus :-(
Re-Bike blue this was a foray into the world of recumbents. it sucked, i could never get the feel of it. i do not believe is a reflection of bents generally, but this design in particular or possibly my skills. i would try another, but good ones cost a lot. bought from a guy in Tynsboro, MA do not remember,
Softride Norwester white

this is the replacement for the Highway One. it is more comfortable, due to the unique seat design and more relaxed in terms of handling. i soon swapped out the stem, as the stock suspension one is really heavy.

side view of the SoftRide Norwester bicycle

this bike has one fatal flaw - the frame is small and only light weight road tires will fit. this is evidence of my theory that i am too short for a bike with 700mm wheels. in order to make this fit, so my toes don't hit the front wheel, they shaved clearance on the back wheel. even though it is a unique frame shape, the geometry of wheels, seat, handlebars and crank is the same as every road bike.

even with this flaw, i love this bike. it is the most comfortable bike i've ever ridden. one thing it does well is fore/aft seat ajustment. it's hard to tell from the picture because the seat position is different with weight on it, but the seat is pretty far bar compared to the Shogun.

bought from Belmont Wheelworks


rides on ...

Frame: SoftRide Norwester (USA) with carbon fiber Beam for seat
Hubs: RSX VIA - HB-A410 front; FH-A410 rear
Derailers: RSX
Shifters: RSX with SIS SP cablehousing
Brakes: RSX side pull
Crankset: Shimano RSX triple, with 110/74 mm bolt circle, Hyperdrive 46/36/26 chainrings
Cassette: Shimano 7-speed 12-??
Bottom bracket: ???
Chain: ???
Saddle: Vuelta Bassano (Italy)
Handlebars: Salsa ACE
Handlebar stem: Zoom 90 mm (from Nashbar)
Handlebar tape: ???
Rims & Spokes: Sun CR18 with ???
Tires: Specialized Turbo 700X23 - front; Conti Sport 1000 23-622 (Thai) - rear

Surly Long Haul Trucker puke green

I chose this because 1) they make small frames; 2) it had fat tires; 3) it was locally made (relatively).

But I never really got comfortable with it. This is my 3rd bike and it was acquired when I lived in a house with a 2 car garage and 1 car. Now I live in an apartment with no garage (and no car). 3 just seems excessive, especially for a storage locker. I always find myself going for the shogun for errands and the softride for longer distances.

So I donated it to a non-profit bike club a few blocks away :-)

some time in the future  

* - Harris Cyclery is home to one of the world's best bike mechanic, Sheldon Brown. If you want to see a great site on the bicycle, check out his. If you live in the metro Boston area, where there are lots of great bike stores, I encourage you to support that shop. His site contains a wealth of basic, technical information and uncommon wisdom.