Posted on November 6, 2008 @ 12:38:00 PM by Paul Meagher
I decided to add another bicycle to my collection (I have three so far). I wanted a bike that I could use as a commuter bike in winter. In my east coast climate, that means I need a bike that will perform in slush. What I ended up purchasing was a bike from the manufacturer Specialized called the Globe Centrum Elite IG3:
I added some front and rear mud flaps that will hopefully handle some of the slush I will be encountering this winter. One of the features that makes it a good winter slush bike is that it is internally geared. It has 3 speeds with all shifting occuring internal to the rear hub. This protects the shifting mechanism from freezing slush which completely disabled my shifting a few times last winter. The jury is out on how the disk brakes will handle the slush. They look like a good set of front and rear disk brakes so they probably won't fail due to poor quality components.
Another feature I liked about the bike was that for an internally geared bike it seemed to have a good range of tensions/speeds. The slowest gear is good for really steep hills while the fastest gear gives your legs a good workout and offers decent speed. The bike is very light - seems about half the weight of my 5 year old CCM mountain bike.
It is an easy bike to ride. I had it out for a couple of rides today. It was great weather for biking. One favorable impression that I am getting so far is that it is an efficient bike - it can get me to where I want to go in suburbia with more efficiency (and less shifting) than my mountain bike. A bit less efficient than a road racer style bike, but I can't navigate my local side walks with a road racer bike whereas I feel comfortable using the commuter bike for this purpose (wider tires, sturdier rims, but not as wide, sturdy and knobby as my mountian bike tires).
I had some regret after I bought the bike yesterday but when I picked it up this morning, got some nice looking slush pads installed, and started riding it I've been very happy with my purchase ever since. I also noticed that the bike shop that sold me the bike sold quite a bit of inventory in one day. This is because the owners and staff are excellent to deal with (30% off 2008 models), carry an excellent selection of higher end bikes, and the market for bikes is probably getting hotter as more people green their commuting or seek a healthier lifestyle through active transportation.