Biking In The Winter Wonderland

My and “Gary”. I hope I’ll be riding his strong and stiff frame and saddle for a very long time.

I need another bike. Owning n bikes is not enough when I clearly need n + 1 bikes. I mean, my new pink carbon road bike is fantastic, but it doesn’t take tires thicker than 25c. My steel Bianchi is more versatile, and can take 32c tires, but it’s still a race bike. My actual aero race bike? Forget about it! What am I going to ride to do grocery in the rain/snow?

The bottom line is that I need something sturdy, takes very wide tires, and cheap. Gravel/adventure bikes fit my needs, but they’re expensive, and after building up Pink, I couldn’t afford to splurge on another bike. So I had to get creative: converting hybrid bike into what I need.

And I found just what I needed on Kijiji: a 2002 Gary Fisher Tiburon hybrid for a mere $50. When  new, it would have cost ~$450. I met up with the seller, bought the bike, and rode it home. Oh my god, the saddle was awful. Also awful: the flat handlebar, the SRAM grip shift, the adjustable quill stem, the derailleurs, the 3×7 drivetrain, and the kickstand. The rear rack though, I liked. Looks like this girl has her work cut out for her.

First went the kickstand; I had no use for it. Then went the flat handlebar. I replaced it with an alloy drop bar that I have in storage, and mounted a set of old 9-speed integrated shifters on it. Next went the derailleurs. They were old, heavy and low-end to start with. I replaced the rear mech with an Alivio that I used briefly on the Bianchi. No new front mech: I’m going 1x, just like Pink and the Bianchi. Then went the 3x crankset, also old, heavy and low-end. I replaced it with an old Ritchey crankset in my spare parts bin. I bought a new narrow-wide chainring (because I’m running 1x), which took forever to arrive from China. The rear wheel was replaced too. I can’t do 1×9 if the rear wheel uses threaded freewheels. I also bought a new stem adapter so that I can use a threadless stem. The last thing that I took off was that God-awful saddle, and replaced it with a road saddle (also took forever to arrive from China). After spending an additional $200 and 3 lbs lighter later, the “new” bike finally took shape.

Today I rode the bike to work for the first time. In subzero temperatures. with a 30km/h wind. Yeah, I makes me badass.

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