Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On my old mountain-bike almost every item on the bike was fastened using "quick release" levers. I could take it almost completely apart in 2 minutes, without any tools. My new everyday bicycle has no "quick release" levers. Because of bicycle theft and theft of accessories "quick release" levers and other hardware are not even available here in The Netherlands, except for special order. Many unfortunate bicycle owners have come out of a building to find that the only thing left of their bicycle was the front wheel, still firmly locked to the stand (I guess the lock was left too). I was told to buy 2 heavy duty chains and always fasten the frame of the bicycle to solid object. I'm told that bicycle theft is not a big problem here in Hoofddorp but if you live in Amsterdam better beware. Don't buy expensive bike if you live there. One of my coworkers had over 20 bicycles stolen from him, in five years, while living there. In the end he never left his bicycle anywhere. He carried it up two narrow stairs at home and it stood in the hallway, when he was home, and besides his desk, when he was at work. I will adopt similar method with my bicycle.
Both my old mountain bike and my new everyday bike, have top of the line, made in Japan, Shimano hubs and gears. The only difference being that on my almost 20 year old mountain bike the hubs and gears are almost 20 years old. Because they were top of the line items when new, they are not rusted or corroded and show nearly no wear. My mountain bike saw lots of use but I did the maintenance that was needed and I tried not to misuse it. Bicycles are one of few items where it pays to pay more and buy high quality products (unless it's stolen from you). You can buy the most expensive and well made phone. It'll be outdated in six months and the battery most likely gone bad in one year. Same with a laptop.

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