Monday, August 19, 2013

Commuting 2

I've been commuting on my bike most days the past two weeks because one of our Niholas is temporarily out of service (more on that later).  This morning while driving my regular commute I noticed that, despite the somewhat low inflation on my 622-37 tires, my bike was trying shake the meat off my arms.  Hmmm, the Niholas don't do that.

On my way home, after having picked up my son, I had the chance to drive over some roots on a little path, using my bike.  I wasn't looking to drive over roots, they just happen to be on the path, and the path is very narrow.  It turns out that I had driven over the same roots this past Friday with the Nihola and actually hadn't really noticed them, but on the bike they were impossible to overlook, very bumpy.

Its interesting to switch back and forth between bike and trike, it brings the differences into focus.  This is a bike with 622-37 tires, not some skinny racing slicks, and not even inflated to a level any performance biker would tolerate, but in many cases it rides rough compared to the Niholas.

My commuting bike, totally out of place in the land of sport commuting that is Oslo.
Wandering off topic...

Interestingly, this bike is a reputable Danish name sticker on some soulless multinational corporate asian-made bike.  It costs half what a Nihola costs, if we don't add options like child seats to the Nihola that the bike clearly doesn't have.  But this isn't actually as favorable to the bike as it might at first seem.  The Nihola is made in Denmark, built to order, you might even meet people who assemble it.  Every part is quality and likely to last.  To contrast, the bike is sold a chain store that shovels crap in bulk.  The spokes on mine started rusting within weeks, the kickstand failed, every last piece of plastic has failed in three years, and the handles have creaked since day one.  They even outfitted it with a poorly-sealed gear hub.  (On the positive side, the tires are great.)  Anyone who didn't want to fix a bike themselves would have thrown it in the trash already.

A Nihola might actually have a lower cost per km as a commuter than a typical name-brand Danish street bike, if you are careful with your options on the Nihola, and maybe a bit unlucky with the bike.

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