In executing my master plan to sell my commuter and beater bikes and then buy a cyclocross bike, I have taken step one by cleaning up my Orbea Zonal and listing it on craigslist. The weird thing I find about bikes is, in buying a used one, the price always seems high. But in selling one, I added up all the crap I bought for it and I can’t believe I’m listing it for THAT low.
Anyho, it’s a good bike. I bought it off ebay in panic before the Bath County Sprint in 2004 and rode it for a year before upgrading (from ebay) and making it my long commuter bike. The nice things about it:
- bulletproof: the only time I had a problem was when I dropped the chain and mangled it going up a steep-ass hill. I got the chain un-wangled enough to ride the 10 miles home but then replaced it and the cassette.
- disposable: I took it a lot of places and chained it thinking “it might just get stolen here”, and not really fretting about it. It never got stolen. Except once, when someone took it from my garage and later that day I saw it leaning against a nearby telephone poll. So, not wanting to be an idiot I put a U-lock on it after that.
- comfortable: I liked riding it for meetings in Crystal City, Herndon, Ashburn. It’s good for about 60 miles at a comfortable pace and I MUCH prefer riding my bike than sitting in the car/traffic/congestion.
The only downside to my Orbea is it’s a pure road bike and I just can’t take it anywhere but the road. I remember doing a training ride several years ago where we wanted to go on the C&O path. The thin tires of the Orbea were clearly not a match for the sand/pebble mixture of the path.
My current off-road bike is a Giant aluminum bike (women sized dimensions) I bought off of craigslist for $80. It needed some work but now rides okay. However, it is not something I look forward to riding more than 10 miles. I bought it purely to get around town with the expectation that it would be stolen. And frankly, it’s so poor compared to my road bikes that I almost hope it will get stolen – almost but not quite.
So now, with limited storage for bikes, I’m looking at something I can use for street commuting and off-road/single-track riding. Several people in my riding group have cyclocross bikes and love them. So that’s what I’m in the market for as soon as I sell the Orbea. Something to replace good qualities of the Orbea and fulfill the bad qualities. I’m not looking for an expensive cross bike because one of the good qualities is to ride it somewhere and chain it for a couple hours without worrying about it being stolen. But at the same time I want something that will allow me to go long.
We are even talking about riding to Harpers Ferry or longer, even connecting to the Alleghany trail and going to Pittsburgh! That would be really cool!