Today On A Bike

I forgot how enjoyable a commute could be. I had a good ride to and from work today. It was a nice 67º F on the way to work with the sun starting to shine through the trees and buildings.

2015-08-17 06.16.14 2015-08-17 06.21.42 2015-08-17 06.28.35 2015-08-17 06.29.43 2015-08-17 06.35.33My Straggler is doing great. It rides smooth with a lot of compliance. It smooths out a lot of the road.2015-08-17 06.32.442015-08-17 06.44.44

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TRP Spyre Disc Brake Review

MJ5L0909When I was thinking through my commuter build I knew I wanted disc brakes for their superior all conditions braking ability. I also knew I wanted mechanical brakes to keep costs reasonable for a commuter. Within those boundaries I choose TRP Spyre brakeset for a few reasons. Most importantly, they feature dual pulling brake pads. Unlike the vast majority of mechanical disc brakes on the market, when you pull the brake lever with the TRP Spyre brakes both brake pads compress equally. This gives the brakes a consistent feel and an easier setup.

MJ5L0912 Since June I’ve spent a lot of time riding my commuter and I’ve formed some opinions about the TRP Spyre brakes. The modulation and feel are both still good. They have good stopping power and they have not come out of alignment since initial setup. The brakes have plenty of clearance with the rear rack.

MJ5L0915 MJ5L0920Overall I have been happy with the brakes. The only downside has been a touch of roughness between the pads and rotors when braking. It’s not at a level that causes concern, but it’s worth mentioning. When compared to Avid BB7 brakes I’ve used in the past, I like the TRP Spyre brakes much more based on look, feel, and ease of maintenance.

MJ5L0941

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Today On A Bike

2014-07-21 07.31.30Sometimes it’s nice to escape. Be it unplugging from the world or putting aside stress or thoughts that weigh on happiness. Today’s commute to work was a bit of an escape and really enjoyable. For thirty minutes all that existed was pedaling, sun, and the wind.

2014-07-21 07.37.52-6 2014-07-21 07.14.51My commute is filled with little fun segments. One such segment is a tiny bit of singletrack and only lasts about two seconds, but that two seconds is as close to being five years old and out on summer break as it gets. The best part is if you want to enjoy riding, you can find lots of things like this and link them together for an amazing commute.
2014-07-21 07.23.03 2014-07-21 07.25.04 2014-07-21 07.05.38This summer’s riding so far has been a bit different from what I thought it would be. I’m having a harder time getting the same level of enjoyment out of racing cat 1 cross-country mountain bikes as I did with cat 2. I think it’s a combination of putting in more riding and training time and seeing lower ranking results as a product of the field being stronger overall. I feel like I’m in the best cycling shape I’ve ever been in but the race results don’t reflect that. I know it’s a part of racing but it can feel discouraging.

I’ve found more enjoyment in road riding with my team and riding my fat bike on mountain bike rides than ever before. I love the cooler summer temperatures. I’m looking forward to longer rides more so than ever before, but today I found a lot of happiness in the thirty minutes and seven miles to and from work.

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Today On A Bike

2014-06-20 08.36.21I’ve never been happier commuting to work! The Surly Straggler has been a treat to ride. I love having a rack that I can attach a bag to that holds all of my stuff. That makes my commute a lot more enjoyable and I end up less sweaty. The combination of the steel frame and the 28c tubeless tires makes for a very comfortable ride. I commuted about 70 miles in the first week of owning the Straggler and loved every mile. I find myself more energized when I get to work or wherever I am going and my seven mile commute only adds about ten minutes of travel. The people commuting via bike or running that I come across are wearing smiles instead looking bored and mad in cars. I find that I enjoy the views much more on a bike as opposed to being in traffic. Take a look at what caught my eye today while pedaling.

2014-06-20 10.27.00 2014-06-20 08.21.05 2014-06-20 08.29.47 2014-06-20 10.24.14 2014-06-20 10.15.13

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New Bike Day! Surly Straggler Custom

MJ5L0098I’m fortunate enough to have several bikes but I’ve never had a good commuter. I enjoy riding around town and to work but without a rack and pannier, my back typically ends up sweaty because of using a backpack to hold my work laptop and other stuff. My amazing wife decided to do something special for my 30th birthday this year and make my dream commuter a reality!

This bike is very special to me. Not only is it made of awesome parts, but it has a lot of sentimental value because my wife worked with some special people in my life to make it one of a kind! She worked with Bloomington Cycle & Fitness to order the parts, some of which were hard to find, she worked with one of my best friends who is a painter to lay down an amazing and unique paint job, and she worked it out for me to watch and help with the build process as much as I could.

I used the Sram Rival group from my now sold Specialized Roubaix for the drivetrain.
MJ5L0087The wheels are built up with Chris King R45 hubs and Stans Iron Cross rims, and Hutchinson Sector 28c tubeless tires.
MJ5L0051 MJ5L0068 MJ5L0070The brakes are TRP Spyre. In my opinion they up the bar for mechanical disc brakes. They feature dual moving brake pads that help with modulation, power, and setup.
MJ5L0106The cockpit is made up of a Thomson seat post and stem, a S-Works carbon handlebar, Brooks Cambium saddle. The front end is held together with a Chris King headset.
MJ5L0093 MJ5L0049 MJ5L0045The rear rack is made by Civia and is minimal and lightweight.
MJ5L0072 MJ5L0114 MJ5L0117I very grateful for my wife, my amazing friend who painted the frame, and my local bike shop for making the parts gathering and the assembly a reality! I won’t forget what you all did!
MJ5L0065 MJ5L0104

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