04 February 2012

My Giant Bowery singlespeed commuter

She's three years old now. I bought her after so much research into what would be best for a flat (well, mostly!) city like London. A singlespeed it was. It can be converted to a fixie by flipping its rear wheel, but I do not want to screw my knees up and to be honest (as of today!) I really do not see the point.

So, three years down the line, pretty much 7 days per week of usage, and more than 10.000 kms...I have only replaced brake pads, bar tape, cables, tyres, chain, and pedals (bmx ones, with spikes, for wet days). The rest remains original and going strong! Even the bottom bracket (something other users complain about) is the same, despite some creaky noises that could be fixed by removing and re-greasing it. No re-trueing has been necessary in three years. The rims show signs of wear now, so will be looking into new ones soon. And it has been used throughout the year, be it rain, sun or even snow!

Having a rest (see the double locks, a must have in London!)
I normally carry a backpack when I commute, and have fitted a clip-on rear mudguard for the rain. But due to some recent problems in my back, I fitted a Carradice SQR on to it and this is how it looks from up close. Again, a very high quality product that we've used in short "credit card" touring.

Carradice SQR saddlebag used to commute 
Although not as cool as the singlespeed/fixies that we see nowadays on the streets of London/NYC/Barcelona and the like, I can highly recommend this model. As an off-the-peg singlespeed for under £300 it really is good value.

This year should see her going to Brighton as a one-off experience without the help of the gears...let's see if I manage!

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