Another Departure

The thinning of the fleet continues. What started with the Karate Monkey and the Smoothie continues with the Azor Kruis. It’s almost starting to feel like I own a reasonable number of bicycles. Almost.

2014-10-11 10.39.06

I bought this elegant beast in 2008 after a nagging shoulder injury made it nearly impossible to ride in a non-upright position–and certainly made it too painful to do so. I used it for non-winter commuting and utility cycling for a couple of years, but then stopped riding it much after my shoulder healed to the point where I could ride a road bike again.

A dynamo hub up front and an IGH (both Nexus) in the rear, both with roller brakes, made it basically maintenance-free and good in all weathers, and I never even had to lube the chain until the cheapish vinyl chaincase suffered its demise at the hands of a ham-fisted and overzealous mechanic (me). The AXA Defender frame lock with its chain extension made it easy to lock up to anything and everything–though I often didn’t bother with the chain unless I was parking it all day long.

However, for the last few years, it’s been mostly taking up space in the garage, except when we used it for a big load of groceries and/or a case of beer–the frame-mounted front rack was especially good for that sort of thing. I listed it for sale a couple of weeks ago, lowered the price once, and that was enough to entice a friend and and sometime riding companion buy it. He took it home last night, and I’m sure he’s riding it to work this morning.

6 thoughts on “Another Departure

  1. Beautiful bike. I’ve thought about an actual Dutch bike for a bit, but would also be worried about its weight/size. I find that the old British 3-speed is the best “compromise” in that department.

    I feel you on the “reasonable amount of cycles”. I’m about to sell another, which means the fleet would be down to three, which is pretty low for me.

  2. Yeah, there’s certainly no way that this bike could be characterized as a lightweight–or even a middle-weight. Riding it is like driving a semi; you have to start slow and work your way up to hauling ass. And then stop for a light and have to do it all over again.

    Some variant of the British three-speed is probably the best compromise for an urban utility bike, both in terms of frame weight, gearing, and overall layout. It’s really too bad there are so few really good three-speed hubs.

    My fleet numbers are still running around 6-8 (depending on how you count them). I have persistent fantasies about getting down to three bikes, but my attachment to fat-bikes and single-speeds (and a fixed/single fat-bike, for that matter) seems to get in the way of that.

  3. I’m realizing that I have/had too many “all-rounders”. Nothing wrong with that, but how many “do-all” bikes do I need? If I had more bikes that fill a specific niche, that would be different. But right now I want to reduce to a three-speed, the all-rounder, and bar/cruiser bike. Three is the magic number for now, until the custom is done. It would be nice to have a fat bike but it’s not in the cards right now, unless I move to a place that gets actual winter.

    Speaking about three-speeds, what’s wrong with the Sturmey-Archer AW hub?

  4. Rode it to work. I love it. I even like the weight – you could get hit by a car and the car would be more damaged.

  5. The AW is a decent hub, but it would be far better for all-around use if it had better engagement (more pawls) and weighed about half what it does. But that’s just the roadie in me talking, I imagine.

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