Bike Lust Got Me

KHS Flite 220
My used KHS Flite 220

I’ve styled myself as hobo biker on my blog profile. I actually live pretty comfortably though. House in the burbs, two cars, a camper, bunch of kids running around. It’s definitely the suburban dream. My hobo-ocity really only applies to my bike buying tendencies. Or, maybe I should say applied.

I always sort of felt resentment over what companies charge and what people pay for bicycles. They’re such simple machines really. It always seemed silly to pay higher than a hundred or two for a bike. After all, what’s the price of scrap steel or aluminum?

To that end, I’ve never spent more than 30 bucks on a bike. They’ve all been used and some in considerably worse shape than others. Probably each bike has been less than $50 by the time I get them road worthy. That old timey 3-speed went on the road with some parts from my GOK pile and a new chain. Oh, and I repacked the bearings so I guess some new grease too.

But the Bike Lust got me this summer though and bought an entry level KHS road bike. It’s used, probably a couple years old. I got it from http://www.backpeddling.com/. A store I really highly recommend and will visit again and probably write about another time.

I classify this bike as the Honda Civic of road bikes. It’s sporty, but no Ferrari. It does have some speed advantages over the Raleigh. The tires are 125psi. The frame is much lighter. Shifting can be done without changing hand position from the brakes. There are 16 speeds with high gear much higher and low gear much lower than the old 10 speed.

I tell you what I miss about riding the Raleigh with the straight bar and pannier rack on fitness rides… The equipment check from riders on the other side of the road. When they glance sideways as we sail past one another, now they see a fellow rider. They used to see a misfit.

But listen it’s not a spandex blog. I promise not to turn it into one  (my part anyway) if I can get comments from readers (or riders) about their current riding inventory. Don’t forget the photo links.

7 thoughts on “Bike Lust Got Me

  1. This is my long distance rig an 2006 specialized hybrid that was gonna get scrapped but I saved it and the wheels and made it into the monster that it is now. My rain/snow/etc. bike is a 5 speed sturmey archer with drum brakes… not nearly as light as the specialized but it does rather well around town and even short country rides are nice on it.

    As for spandex there’s nothing wrong with it and it’s much more practical to wear than helmets ;) I just made a pair of DIY bike knickers (google has plenty of good blogs with info) out of wool slacks and I think I might like them more than the lycra pants, but they are both really nice when you spend more than a few hours on a bike. I used to ride them to work and change in the washroom, that was nice too but any shorts work for that.

    My housemate has a KHS bike similar to yours and she’s commuting to Guelph and back on it sometimes and it has gone on tour as well so I think you’ve got a really great bike there, it looks like it has fender eyelets eh? I like backpeddaling as well, for the same price as a new crappy tire bike most folks can find something that has been properly serviced and actually works.

  2. Oh yeah, I’ve got somewhere between 6-10 bikes… lost count… they’re in my room too… I’m like a crazy cat guy but with bicycles :S

  3. Note… just because the tires may have 125psi on them does not mean that’s a recommended inflation pressure. If you’re a 150lb rider, you’ll do fine on 700x23c with 90psi in the front and 95psi in the back. If you’re a 190lb rider, you’ll need about 110psi on the front and 115psi on the back, or better yet, switch to 700x25c tires and drop the pressure 5-10psi.

    If you inflate the tires to max, you increase rolling resistance and radically increase fatigue factor as you bounce along on a very rough ride.

    1. Thanks for the tips. I had pumped up to 110 and there was some escape as the pump came off.
      Rolling down fresh blacktop was a dream, older roads, not so much.

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