missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
[personal profile] missroserose
One quirk of the Swedish language that I'm particularly fond of is that the words for "heart" and "brain" are only one letter apart. This just feels right to me; we need each as much as the other, and God knows there are times when it feels like they're pulling us apart with equal force.

Luckily, as such times go, this one's rather less high-stakes and more pleasant than some. The good news: I'm buying a new bicycle for my birthday! I've been riding my 80s-era steel-frame Schwinn road bike around for a good year and a half now, and it's been a solid beater, but the repairs are starting to run more than I paid for it initially, which seems like a good point to start looking at nicer options - God knows I've proven that I'm going to put a more expensive bike to good use. (When I walked into my neighborhood bike shop yesterday and said I was thinking about investing in something newer with a warranty, the woman who does the repairs - and has thus seen me on an almost monthly basis for a year and a half now - laughed and said "Yeah, you deserve a new bike!") Also worth considering is weight; Chicago's not a hilly town, so it's less of a big deal when riding, but I store my bike on my deck when I'm not riding, and carrying a nearly-thirty-pound frame up three flights of stairs versus a 17-pound frame makes a bit of a difference, especially after a long ride.

The dilemma: yesterday I found a bike at the shop that I really like. It's not a well-known brand (KHS, which Google tells me is a Korean manufacturer), but that's not necessarily a drawback - I'm not planning on attempting to resell it anytime soon, the price point is lower than a Cannondale or a Trek or something similarly recognizable, and (this is Chicago) it's not going to be as tempting a target for theft. I brought a friend with me who's much more knowledgable about bike stuff, and she says the frame is solid, but the components are mixed in their quality - the gearbox is high-end, the brakes decent, the shifters sort of mid-range. This fits with both what I've been able to find online about the brand (a couple of people mentioned they make strong frames with mixed parts) and my experience riding it (the smoothness of the pedaling is phenomenal, the shifters were fine but a little more finicky). I'm pretty sure I can live with that, and if not, there's no reason I can't get them upgraded later on.

So now to the dilemma: my friend thinks that I should hit up another shop or two and try out a few more bikes in my price range from different brands to see if I like any of them more. And, objectively, I agree it's a good idea! ...but that requires researching shops, getting down to them, riding around, assessing, not to mention finding the time in my schedule to do so...and some part of me's like "but you could be riding your amazing new bike this week!" Ah well. No matter which way I jump, here, I imagine I'll be pretty happy with the results. :)

(Hrm...I need a bicycling icon...)
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Rose

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