first transport reflections

I got my new Transport last Friday, and I promptly got it built up.

First thing to get switched up is the controls on the handlebars. The stock shifters and brake levers are fine, good quality parts, but they need my own personal touch. The Avid Speed Dial 7s for the stopping and Suntour Accushift thumbshifters will take care of the (limited) shifting duties. The brake levers feel more secure than the stock ones. The shifters are on there because they are idiot proof, and I hate bike maintence. Also, the bike came with a rear V brake - I upgraded to a BB5 disc to match the front. I don't know why the bike didn't come with a stock rear disc brake, long tailed cargo bikes carry a lot of weight over their rear wheel, and rim brakes just don't cut it for long when you wheel gets tweaked. Thank you Trek for putting a M475 rear hub on the bike, it made for a cheap upgrade.

Stock rear derailleur had a little to be desired - was begging for an upgrade. I had this Deore on the Xtracycle, so on the Transport it goes. You'll notice the spoke reflector and dork disc, coming off when the wider tires get here.

Other equipment upgrades aren't as important, a bolt-on seatpost collar, Portland Design Works Speed Metal Grips, and better pedals.

The Transport comes with one of the side bags. It is held on with 3 clips to the top rack, and the bottom rests on the fold down side supports. When not using the bags, just fold up the support (and tighten down with a toe clip strap makes it not rattle) and you have a svelte machine.

The bag is weather resistant, I think that in a heavy downpour, things will get wet. A heavy duty zipper keeps stuff inside, and an internal strap keeps the bag together while loading/unloading. There is two inside mesh pockets and one velcro pocket on the outside to organize your stuff. Two long straps keep the load cinched down and I wove them through the bottom supports to keep things from shifting around too much.

Rear light is a Portland Design Works rack mount zip tied to the top rack, with a Danger Zone, and the space on the back of the rack holds my u-lock just fine.

Other things on the horizon, a new headset (rant soon), some wider tires (2.0 for a little more comfort), fenders, a second pannier, and a light mount for the front rack.

How does it ride? So this bike is fun. It rides like a normal bike, except you have to remember the back end is much longer than a normal bike, so the turning radius is a little funny. Something I'm used to from riding the Xtracyle. It is also heavy, that is to be expected. I'll have more on how it rides when I've ridden it for a little longer period of time, more than 15 miles. The fit is pretty good, I might go with a little longer and higher rise stem, I think that being 5"6" is pushing the limit of the size 17" frame size.

Talk to you soon.

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