My new winter ride

With this bike, I feel like I’ve come full circle.

While I had several BMX bikes as a kid, I can remember that in the late 1970’s, I decided to take my brother’s bike out for longer rides. It was a red 1976 Schwinn Traveler 10 speed. At first, I was content to just ride it around the neighborhood, especially since I needed the help of a tall curb just to mount the damn thing. At some point, I had the bright idea that I could take it into the hills, on some of the tamer trails we rode our BMX bikes on. This worked out quite well, and it was a blast to ride in the dirt, even though handling was sketchy, at best.

Fast forward nearly 30 years, and I’ve got a little bigger around the middle, so it’s time to think about riding year-round. Sure, I could ride one of my current bikes this winter, but what better than a new bike to guilt me into riding on a regular basis? I knew I wanted a cross bike, as there were no road bikes in my stable, and they just seem like the perfect multi-use bike.

I’ve owned about a half dozen road bikes since that old Traveler, but it’s the Schwinn that I wanted to compare my new bike to. It’s red, and it’s got drops, but that’s about where the similarities end. I’m guessing the Fantom Cross weighs about 1/2 of what the Schwinn weighed. It’s got a double, with 9 out back, which should give me a better range than the old 10 speed. I’ve got Vuelta aero section wheels with paired, bladed spokes, which are just a wee bit nicer than that steel wheelset (with dimpled brake surface) that I started with. Brifters and bar top levers – hooray for not crashing! I could go on, but you get the idea.

This is the bike I couldn’t even have dreamed about back then. And it’s a relative bargain today, since it’s so versatile. In the summer I can slap some 23mm slicks on it, and have a proper road bike. It’s got front and rear rack mounts, so I can use it for commuting, or even light shopping trips. And with that carbon fork soaking up vibrations, I can probably spend a little more time in the saddle.

I’ve gotta go weigh myself, then I’ll post regular ride updates, along with my weight loss progress.

Holiday shopping reminder:

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I’m chomping at the bit for a nice ‘Cross bike. I almost bought one instead of my Trek 1200, but the price on the road bike was too good to pass up. Now, I’m kind of kicking myself. I’m still going year round like I did last year, but it’ll be on a hardtail MTB.

That looks like a great bike for the cash. My biggest beef with most cross bikes was the bar-end shifters. They fixed that with the Tiagra STI’s. Decent gearing for a double ring crankset… You done good! That says pre-order. Do you know when they’re shipping?


I thought I saw somewhere on the site that they were supposed to be shipped around the end of November. Mine arrived Friday.

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