|The bike that once was so unreliable I wouldn't ride it.|
This isn't a glamorous bike. It probably isn't even a "cool" bike, but as far as the bikes I own now, this one is the most utilitarian, and therefore, the most used bike I have.
It is also the lowest maintenance bike I own. Single speed, dead simple wheels and tires, set up tubeless, and old school cantilever brakes. There really isn't much to go wrong here.
I like this bike since I can lock it up and not worry too much about it getting stolen with its bolt on wheels. I need to put a traditional seat collar on it as it still sports a QR seat post clamp, but hey! A guy has to risk something! Ha! But besides that, the main thing I really enjoy are the wheels.
Sure....they are 26 inch wheels. I know some of you find that ironic. But this is a total street bike, not a mountain bike for me. Big difference. I would also submit that this is a 26" plus bike, since the tires are ginormous. That volume makes for a super cush ride. The tubeless part has been really good too. The tires fit sooooo tight on the Velocity Cliffhangar rims and the Surly Extraterrestrial tires are thick so that I think air retention is better than most set ups. Anyway, I've only had to re-up on sealant once. That's a big difference from the wheels I used on this to start out with that had tubed Panaracer tires. I couldn't ride it a mile without flatting. It was so frustrating I nearly mothballed this bike.
I run these tires at no more than 20 psi, for any reason, and the front is a tic under that. The reason I feel these are really "plus sized" 26"ers is that the tire pressure is super sensitive. Too much and the tires get bouncy and lose that smooth ride. Too low and they get real draggy feeling, and all that with only a couple of psi swing either way. Much like plus tires react.
Honestly, if the 1X1 weren't a "legacy bike", the bike that has been passed down from one Europa Cycles mechanic to another, I would probably get rid of it and put these wheels on a Surly Troll. One that was a size bigger and it would have a lot more versatility. But alas, this cannot happen because of the situation. And really, this bike does the commute to work so well in so many different kinds of weather, it wouldn't be the same if it were a brand new Troll. Something about 18 years worth of nicks, scrapes, and stickers that makes it something a bit more special than an ordinary 1X1.