The most popular page ever on this site, by far, is the [one about my
touring bike which I bought in Toowoomba, in Australia, where I live.
Here it is – on my feral driveway.
A couple of regular readers were annoyed that I strayed from the normal
fare of word processing and XML but it brings me a steady stream of
Googlers. I might figure out how to start up separate feeds for
technical posts and cycling posts. Maybe. Anyway, there will be a couple
more cycling posts coming soon. We have a new bike in the shed that I
**need** to talk about.
One of the nice things about posting about the Trek 520 was meeting one
Simon Troman online. He emailed me with some advice about the numb toes
I was getting from the [Specialized Body Geometry Comp MTB
Simon suggested that this might be due to soft soles, causing the shoe
to flex over the pedal. Not in this case – my shoes are very stiff.
Subsequent discussion suggests I should try moving the cleats back a
bit. I haven't tried that yet. I have a feeling my toes might hit the
mudguard (fender) if I do. But with thick socks in winter I have not
been doing the shoes up as tightly as I did in summer with no socks and
I'm having fewer problems with the toes.
Simon works for a Canberra bike shop part time. I've never been there,
but based on Simon's willingness to help me out over the net I'd
recommend a visit if you happen to be shopping for a bike in Canberra.
Try [Bike Culture in
They can sell you a Trek, I gather.
Anyway, at around 7 months of age the bike has now done 2000km, mostly
on the home, school, work, shops, home run so I thought I'd give an
Everything still works, as you'd expect from a decent bit of machinery.
In contrast, the \$340 Apollo mountain bike that preceded it was was
starting to show its age after this kind of mileage with gears not
shifting properly and brakes a bit funny, not to mention the broken back
axle (but then it was carrying me and a 20kg kid 15km per day 3 days a
The Trek 520 doesn't look new anymore – there are a few scuffs on the
frame from bike racks, and collisions with children and the like.
A few minor issues:
1. Handlebar tape is getting a bit uneven – maybe this is normal.
2. Mudguard is a bit bent. This is due to the impact of an enthusiastic
six-year-old on the way home from school in [Queen's Park Gardens,
formerly known as the botanic
I said “You know I'm riding beside you, don't you ...”. We tangled
on the “you”. Nobody was seriously hurt. He got a good jab from the
end of the drop handlebar.
3. Went through the first set of front brake pads (right down to the
metal) in 1500km. The guys at [Bikeline in
Toowoomba](http://www.bikeline.com.au/) were astounded, as I don't
do that much seriously downhill riding, but I worked out that it was
from riding with my kids. I come home from school, about 1km, with
brakes on just about all the way a few times a week. And maybe I'm a
bit timid on some of the other downhill pitches around Toowoomba.
4. One of the little plastic covers fell off one of the STI gear/brake
levers. It appears to serve no function anyway, except maybe
5. The Bontranger Race Lite (700x32) tyres are really hard to get off
and on the rim. I found this out when I broke the valve on the front
tyre (more than once) because I only had a hand pump. Then I broke
the plastic tyre levers I bought when I got the bike. Then the tyre
would not seat properly until I got a real pump and pumped it up to
Kids, get a proper floor pump with a pressure guage. It was amazing
how far under the recommended pressure **all** our bikes were.
6. And those tyres are a bit slippery in the wet. Not that it rains
much here, but when it did a couple of weeks ago I had a couple of
little wobbles. I assume a bit of practice would be needed to know
how far they can be pushed.
7. Then I got my first puncture, and in the process of replacing the
- Blew up a tube with a spectacular gunshot-like crack at about
100psi while I was pumping. I assume it was pinched somewhere.
- Bent the lip of the rim outwards presumably with tyre levers. I
bent it back in with a hammer and a pair of pliers, as per the
It's pretty straight now, but I had to adjust the brake pads to
clear the wobbly bit.
Next step is to buy a trailer, to make trips to the markets,
supermarket, nursery, hardware store, and picnics a bit easier. True, I
can put a whole box of apples on the front rack of the Apollo. And a big
load of veges in the back panniers. And more in a backpack. But a
trailer would be simpler. And I could hitch it to the 520.
I like the look of the [BicyleR Evolution
I have no desire to have an