Monday, 26 December 2011
After riding my 1947 Humber 3 speed recently on a one day 115km tour of Ko Sado, I was left pushing my 3 speed up some long hills while watching my cycling pal Brian fly up the mountain in low gear on his lightweight Cinelli road bike. And a recent near miss with a car ( not my fault ) while riding home one night got me thinking about purchasing a modern lightweight bike for my regular commutes into the bicycle shop and the odd long distance ride when time allows. My vintage Humber is my favorite bike by far but it has it's limitations manly due to it's weight and gearing, I will still use the Humber in fine weather for some touring and pottering but I am not keen to ride such a precious bike in the rain or snow and the near miss at speed with a car in the rain at night was a bit scary to say the least. So I have purchased a 2012 Kona Jake cyclocross bike and a Italian Kask k-50 helmet.
Why a Kona ?, well for starters they have a lifetime warranty on the frame and I've owned a Kona before and was very happy with the quality and price. My new bike comes with the 2012 Shimano Tiagra 10 speed group set with a Shimano 105 rear derailleur and being a cross bike means I can commute , tour , ride off road and if I fit some road tyres it's basically a lightweight road bike with cantilever brakes. The first up grade with be a decent set of pedals maybe the Shimano PD M324 with a rat trap platform on one side and SPDs on the other side. I haven't purchased a new bike in over 6 years and have never owned a cross bike at all but I'm sure it will be perfect for the style of riding I like to do. As for helmets they are not required by Japanese law so 90 % of cyclists don't wear them on their daily commutes only for racing or official events ,but after several near misses with cars at 30km per hour I feel it's time to start wearing one on a daily basis as I did when I lived back in NZ where everybody must wear a helmet by law .
Pictured above is the 2012 Kona Jake , it's so popular here in Japan that only the large frame sizes are left so basically it's already sold out, they were only two 53cm frames in stock so I was very to get one !