Saturday, June 15, 2013

#63 Intro: Specialized Glove Vienna 1

I mentioned earlier that I was thinking about a (gasp!) hybrid to replace my Double Cross for trailer pulling duties. Today's ride home from the S24O helped move me in that direction: I felt the bars on the Soma were too low for me, I've never really been happy with the fit on it, and I'm a compulsive bike shopper.

As it turned out, the #62 Canfield Nimble 9 had barely left my garage and it's replacement (to be announced) was already on the way. Literally, I was waiting to pay for the new frame until I got the money in my paypal account for the N9: it's too tempting to have any balance there. That frame hadn't even shipped yet when I came across a good deal on a hybrid on Craigslist. Sam and I ventured down to the sketchy parts of Columbus this morning and made the deal: $140 later, I had landed #63:

It's a 2009 Specialized Globe Vienna 1, size 61cm. Globe was barely on my radar as a bike brand, but apparently it's Specialized's sub-brand for bikes that are too nerdy to be a Specialized. I had been contemplating a Specialized Sirrus, but the Globe is better for me in several respects:

- a shorter seat tube gives me more standover clearance and that mountain bike look that I like

- a (20mm) longer top tube is a better fit

- slightly longer chainstays for better tire and fender and clearance

- it was $860 cheaper than the leftover Sirrus Expert I'd been eyeing.

Still, $140 bikes don't come without their issues. It looks like this one has been banged against every bike rack and lightpole in Columbus:

The crank is some weird Shimano "Hyperdrive" with a huge plastic goiter.

Is the Altus front derailer a step up or a step down from the Alivo rear?

I don't know what this strange lug is for on the rear dropout. Maybe some Globe accessory?

But given those, the bike actually rides really, really well. Coming from my steel snob bike background (for instance, I purchased a Rawland Nordavinden because it's 25.4mm OD top tube with only 7/4/7 wall thickness should allow me to "plane"... if this means nothing to you, please subscribe to the best bike mag around, Bicycle Quarterly) , I find this bike to be smooth rider and a competent sprinter. At least, it felt so in my lap around the block this evening. Even though my buddy Brian says I look like a real suburban dad on it, I'm liking it so far. And even with the kickstand, it was only 28.7 pounds as shown. Not too bad.

It also has all the useful braze ons, and decent clearances front:

and rear:

even with 38mm tires. (and what is up with that front derailer? It has more linkages than an erector set)

My plan for the Globe is to leave it as is for a few months and see how it goes. If I like it, I'll probably strip off the junk parts, strip the frame to bare aluminum (and maybe polish it), and reassemble it with parts from the Soma.

Will I actually wait a few months to do this? Maybe a few weeks.

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