my HERO

A really great client of mine, Merrill Stewart from Stewart Perry Construction, recently gifted me with an awesome bike to cruise around the neighborhood and take on day trips to places like Railroad Park when I take my kids.  I have written a backstory to how I came to receive the bike, as well as the meaning behind HERO and what it is that they aim to accomplish, at my office blog for CMH Architects (found here).  This post is more about doing an initial gear review and introducing you to a really cool company from right here in Alabama.

The bike, which I have named #1 Pencil (because it doesn’t need to be demoted to the more commonly used #2 Pencil) and in looking at the pics below I think you will see why.  As many of my friends and blog readers know, I name all of my bikes (the Stumptress, Great White Hope, Sexy Lady, Snatch, Yellow Submarine, to name a few recent bikes of mine).

This particular bike is a sweet cruiser for going around the neighborhood with the kids, riding to the community pool, or even rolling to the local grocery store for some light shopping.  I plan to eventually add a rear rack so that I can strap a cooler to it for when I go to friends’ houses for a few beers while watching a game.  The front triangle is made from hex-shaped bamboo tubes with internal carbon fiber lining.  That’s right, bamboo and carbon fiber….good stuff.  It makes for an incredibly smooth and comfortable ride.  Just ask my friends who have ridden it and loved it.

The gearing is straight-up singlespeed, which is perfect for how I use it.  You can opt to buy it with an internal geared hub, but that’s not a change I plan to make.  The rims are 700c Weinmann DP18, and the tires are Kenda.  Even better, the bike is built with a coaster brake, so I don’t even have to fuss with brake levers.  Plus, the coaster brake makes me feel like a kid again on one of my early childhood bikes.  Pedals are platform, and the saddle is a retro-looking Origin 8.  The handlebar is a Porteur bar with cotton grips that have twine wrapping….makes it very comfy when holding on.

With the bamboo frame, skinny rims/tires, and minimal setup, the bike is fairly light.  I haven’t weighed it yet, but regardless of whatever the actual weight is, it just feels light.  Simplicity + handmade + locally sourced bamboo + old school looks = a bike that should be a lot of fun for me for years, as well as something that will provide some real-life usefulness.

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