Day 1 of Winter Bicycling

Despite today being 40 degrees, I decided to take the 2016 Giant Sedona for a spin in its new environment.

The weather lately has been fairly chilly… there’s no disagreement that winter is here and its here to stay for a little bit longer. Temperatures for this last week dipped into the negatives (with wind chill) and this next week looks better.

Of course, I go out to my car just to find out the battery is dead. Thanks, old man Winter!

After that experience, I had to walk about a mile on the coldest day so far this winter. It wasn’t too bad.

The next day, my dad was able to deliver the Sedona to me, as it obviously wasn’t going to fit in my car. Today, I decided to take it for it’s first spin in it’s new home.

The Sedona arrived…

More Accessories

Before hitting the streets, I did buy some additional “accessories” to complement those I showed off in a previous post.

The first of which is a heavy duty bicycle lock. Last semester, a bike using the same exact type of lock I used on the Pinnacle was stolen. So, I decided that lock probably isn’t the best for protecting the Sedona.

For the job of guarding the Sedona, I picked a $20 hardened steel “U-lock.” While no lock is perfect (even the highest-quality, thickest steel lock can be torched or sawed open), this lock is much better than the simple, “word lock” I used for the Pinnacle. Not only does this lock look sturdier, but it is much – MUCH – heavier than the word lock.

The new lock

In addition to the new lock, I purchased a spare inner tube for this bike’s 26×1.95″ tires. The tires on this bike are the same size as the ones I had on the Huffy Superia I had a few years ago. Thankfully, this Goodyear tube seems to be much higher quality and thicker than the ones I bought for the Superia back then.

The new spare tube

I still intend on purchasing a tool kit for this bike sometime down the road. But this bike is more “tool-less” than the Pinnacle – the wheels and brakes are both held in by quick releases. So repairing a flat tire requires no tools except a pump, patch kit or a new tube. (Thankfully, similar to on the Superia, the tires on this bike can be removed easily without the aid of a tire lever.)

I didn’t, however, purchase a new light kit. The light kit I bought for the Pinnacle (which has been moved over to the Sedona) works fine and will suffice until it either quits working, breaks or the rubber mounting straps wear out and renders the light useless other than a strange flashlight.

The headlight fit great on the Sedona’s handlebars. It didn’t slide around as much while riding.
I chose an interesting placement for the taillight… on the rear of the basket, for maximum visibility. I may purchase another taillight for the other side of the basket.

The Ride

Lights set, my new helmet properly adjusted and my coat and gloves ready to go, I set out to give this bike a spin.

First off, this bike rides really SMOOTH. This thing feels like riding on a cloud in comparison to the Pinnacle. That can be attributed to the wider tires (1.95″ instead of 1.25″) and cushioning on the seat.

Since I typically start out on the seventh gear, I’m having to get used to shifting the chainring, as well. For instance, to shift your chainring from the first position to the second (to go from seventh to eighth gear), you either have to shift down to first gear temporarily and then shift to the second chainring position, or shift the chainring up and go down from the fourteenth gear. It’s strange and (at least to me) overly complicated. Although the Pinnacle had a “two-position” chainring, I never used it.

Besides that, this bike shifts really smooth, as well. The Shimano drive train drives nicely and is very quiet. The only noticeable noise while riding is the road noise from the tires.

One concern for me currently is the seat. Today, it didn’t feel very comfortable – especially in that (crotch) reason. The seat itself is very comfortable otherwise, and matches the color theme of the bike quite well. It also appears to not be a “sponge” like the Pinnacle’s seat.

Today was my first time (at least in a while) riding a bike in the winter – when the temperatures are below 50 degrees.

Unlike previous encounters where my lungs felt strange (a condition I call “rubber lungs”) and I felt like I was going to enter into a coughing fit, the temperatures didn’t bother me one bit. (Okay, the wind was a little cold and annoying – but otherwise, I was good.)

I did dress for the occasion and took frequent stops to catch my breath. My coat and leather gloves made the temperatures bearable.

So, overall riding the Sedona in 40 degree weather was mostly a success. I plan on riding the Sedona to campus daily (even on the cold mornings) to burn off some unnecessary fat I gained over the holiday break – and as an effort to try to get into better shape.

Pinnacle Update

As mentioned in previous posts, the 1987 Free Spirit Pinnacle would be retired once the Sedona arrived and entered service.

Obviously, that day has come. This post marks the official “retirement” of the Pinnacle.

Eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed the Pinnacle setting upside down without its rims on the first picture.

As mentioned in my previous post, the rear tire suddenly decided to deflate one evening. I decided to inspect the rear rim and see if a rust hole caused the tube to fail, or if I just received a dud tube from the factory. I stripped all of the electrical tape (being used as rim tape) off. The rim doesn’t look too bad rust-wise, but obviously both rims on the Pinnacle are junk because they’re both out of shape.

I decided to a similar thing to the front tire as a precautionary measure and to see what the spokes and rim look like. Stripping off the electrical tape of the front rim revealed some rust, but not as much as I was anticipating. On both rims I checked the spokes to make sure they were tight and had no signs of weakness.

I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with this bike at this point in time. I’m fairly certain I’m going to keep it (it does have some sentimental value to me) but I probably won’t ride it, or at least not often, anymore. (Hence, the retirement.) I’ll likely get new tubes for it, reinstall the wheels, possibly reinstall the rear derailleur and call it a part of the decor of my room.

On a tangent, in my previous post I also discovered a lot more information about the origin of this bike. It was made in 1987 (the frame was made in April 1987, according to the serial number) by Kung Hsue She in Taiwan. According to a 1988 Sears catalog, Sears apparently sold a similar bike in 1988 under the “Sovereign” name. Unfortunately, the Pinnacle was nowhere to be found. Perhaps the Pinnacle was a lower-end model that didn’t make it into the catalog, or Sears stopped selling the Pinnacle in 1987? Or perhaps they changed the model name from Pinnacle to Sovereign?

We may never know…