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: