Don't Blame the Penguins January 10, 2012
Just in case you’ve been wondering about the beautiful weather we’ve been having this winter, here is why I have the front door open here at the store on January 10. You can call it climate change, or blame it on El Nino or La Nina or whatever, but really, it’s my fault:
My new winter commuter has been ready to go since Christmas - right around the time we saw our first blizzard last winter. Not that I wasn’t ready for it then with fenders and studded tires, but this year I decided to go for all the marbles; and as luck would have it we’ve had sunny skies and temps in the 40’s.
If we ever do get the icy weather New England promises between December and March, I will be riding this here Jamis Bossanova, which is a perfect commuter out of the box for several reasons. It is an “urban tourer” with a chromoly steel frame (Reynolds 520) and a carbon fiber fork. It has disc brakes (Avid BB5) - which should be ideal in the slushy slop we are used to seeing here - and there’s plenty of clearance for the 700x35 tires I like for the rough and tumble Providence streets.
The tires I currently have on there, however, are the Nokia Hakkapeliitta A10, which is primarily why there were a record number of penguins on Matunuk Beach last week.
The 700x32 are the only tires for icy urban streets because the roads here don’t stay icy for long and the 72 studs are minimal - just enough to keep you upright, but not so heavy to drag you down when the roads are dry.
And, to keep that burly winter tire tread from kicking the salty slurry up onto my Showers Pass rain gear, I installed a set of the Honjo fluted fenders. These full-wrap mud gaurds provide great coverage and they add a certain level of class to any road bike.
But the real reason your heat bills have been half of what they were this time last year is this:
The power plant of this polar beast lives in that front hub. That is the Schmidt SON 28 dynohub powering the front (B&M Lumotech LYT) and rear (B&M Toplight) lights. This is one of the most efficient lighting system available with minimal resistance and plenty of light for the darkest city streets.
So don't blame man's addiction to fossil fuels, global air currents, or even the penguins. I did this.