Is There a Perfect Bike 5 Bike?

I want to build a Bike 5 bike, something I can use to cruise around town, pay the bills, pick up what I need at the store and ride home on singletrack if that’s what I decide.  This is Ogden, after all, and this is why I moved here.

Ogden’s a great place to be a cyclist, but it’s not perfect.  We have our share of challenges, not the least of which is bike theft. Folks who have been here a lot longer than I have tell me that it’s a huge problem, so I don’t want to leave a really nice bike out in front of the store while I do my shopping.   On the plus side, we have this amazing connection of bike trails, both paved and unpaved.  From where we live on the East Bench, it’s possible to get downtown or just about anywhere else on a combination of streets, paved routes and rugged mountain singletrack.

Yes, we have lots of this...

Yes, we have this…

...but we also have lots of this...

…but we also have lots of this…

...and more than our fair share of this.  I need one bike that can handle it all.

…and more than our fair share of this.

I’ve come to realize that the perfect urban get around Bike 5 bike is a product of where you live as much as it is anything else.  Ogden isn’t Amsterdam.  If it was, I’d probably want one of those bulletproof Dutch city cruisers.    If I was still in suburban Indianapolis, my Kona Rove would be just fine for about 99% of the trips I took.  But I’m not there.  I’m here and I want to ride everything Ogden has to offer.  I want to hoop and holler and l want to do it on a rig that is less likely to get swiped.

So I’ve been thinking about building something up and I’ve been watching the classified ads at Craigslist and KSL.com.  I’m looking for a Surly Troll frameset with the standard rigid front fork.

Why a Troll?  Lots of reasons, not the least of which  are:

  • Relatively unpopular Surly model, aka cheapo
  • Lots of braze ons and eyelets for fenders and racks and bottles
  • Ability to run 2.75″ rubber on 26″ wheels
  • Sixer stability and maneuverablity
  • Lots of different drive train options including internal hubs  (single speed, anyone?)
  • Chromoly steel = durability
  • Compatible with everything from canti to hydraulic disc brakes
  • Removable decals…less likely to be identified as having any value
Troll frameset.  Ahhhh...

Troll frameset. Ahhhh…

It's amazing what this bike will carry.

It’s amazing what this bike will carry.

I think this might be the perfect year-round Ogden Bike 5 bike for me.  It’ll go through relatively deep snow.  It has stopping power.  It’s at home on rocky trails and city streets.  Big fat tires eat puncture vine for lunch.  I’m short enough to be at home on a sixer with oversized tires.   I can cobble the bike together using a variety of parts from the bin.  It won’t cost a fortune.  It’s a Surly  (be still, my heart).

So what do you think?  What’s the perfect Bike 5 bike in your neck of the woods?  I’d love to know.  Share your thoughts in the comments or write to me.  If you send a picture, I’ll post it up in a future entry.  Have a great weekend.  Ride lots.

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