Oh, Northwest weather, you got all contrary again. The autumnal equinox hit, and what do you do? Give us summer like weather, dry and highs in the 80’s F. Okay, fine. As long as it doesn’t come with all that haze and smoke, I think I can survive. 😉
But no, weather like this is still great, and it reminds me why this time of year can be the best. (Especially since I don’t go to school.) Being outside is joyful. I need to get a overnight camping trip or small tour done, but remember that the temperature drops significantly overnight due to the shortness of the day.
To celebrate this weather, I took out my most “summer” bike, the Schwinn Heavy Duti. Since I got a bunch of stuff done to it back in May, I’ve been riding it a lot more than I had in possibly the 3 1/2 years previous. Having that front brake makes me more confident on it!
I’ve ridden it the last week straight. It’s a fun, yet practical bike. That front basket holds a lot, and I’ve strapped a bunch of stuff to the rear rack. (Thank you, rat trap rack!) I also loaded my rear Carradice panniers for a grocery run, and it did well, though made the bike a bit sluggish with all the weight.
I haven’t done much else to the bike since the big upgrade except swap out the tires. The front Schwalbe Fat Frank tire was starting to wear (more on that in a bit), so I decided to put on some Nashbar Fuels. These tires have a semi-aggressive tread on it, good for street and trail. I thought I would use them for the Bantam but got the Kenda Small Block Eight tires instead. So far, they have worked pretty good.
The only failure on the Heavy Duti has been the bottle dynamo. After trying it for a few months, I’m done with the Nordlicht dynamo. This was supposed to be “the best of the best” as far as bottle dynamos go. Yeah, maybe it’s too good: it rubs through the sidewall. Now before you go “Don’t all bottle dynamos do that?” The answer is no. I never had that happen with the AXA HR. And the wear was in a short amount of time. I tried running it against the rim, but it sucks in the rain (and still manages to cause sidewall wear due to tire bulge). So I think I’m going to find another AXA so I can keep riding this bike.
And wouldn’t you know it: today (October 3) is the fourth anniversary of me buying this bike! It is currently the second oldest in the stable (I’ve had the Crested Butte since October 2012.) Hope I can get four more years of use out of it!