After a 6 hour training ride, or even worse after a hotly contested race, the last thing that I want to do is throw the leg over a race geometry bicycle to get a cup coffee. Many would argue that my bicycle stable was already full, but I knew that they were wrong. Sure I already have:
1. Steel Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel for road racing
2. Wilier for track racing
3. A crappy Gary Fisher for mountain biking (soon to be replaced with a race worthy bike)
4. An Igleheart for cyclocross
5. Lugged steel Basso Loto for winter road training
6. Team Fuji Fixed for urban/fixed riding
Missing from the list is the shopper, the coffee bike, the bike with the basket and the bell. I have been craving the comfort of a slow, upright bicycle with a basket. In fact, I posted about it a couple of weeks ago, hoping that my readers would keep their eyes open for me. I got a few emails about super commuters with pedigrees, wooden fenders and fancy hubsets. I was grateful for the effort, but I was looking for something simpler, heavier and more, well quaint. Honestly, I wanted a British three speed. The problem is that very few British 3 speed frames are big enough for me.
One day late last week, I walked into Cambridge Bicycle and Jason seemed especially happy to see me. He said that he had a bike in the basement for me. He brought me downstairs and showed me this gem.
It is exactly what I need and it fit perfectly. Sure it is not British, but the hubset is.
Phil Wood Bottom Bracket
1972 Sturmey Archer 3 speed Hub (S3C) with coaster brake
Dia Compe center pull cantilever brakes
Continental Touring Tires (28c)
Fancy polished lugs
To get the bike on the road, I recabled the brakes and shifter, swapped out the handlebars for the pictured Wald steel bars and installed a basket and a ding ding bell. With these improvements the bike runs flawlessly and is the perfect local errand bike.
While I certainly am not fast or nimble on this bike, I have already been called “dapper”, “dignified” and “relaxed looking” while riding it. That is a large improvement over the “depraved looking sweaty pig” comment that I got while on my fixy a couple of summers ago. I am perfectly at home riding this bicycle in my tweed jacket while the leather patches on the elbows (you think that I am joking).
If you have the opportunity to get a shopper, I highly recommend it.
A special thank you to Kip, Bud and Jason at Cambridge Bicycle for setting this aside for me and making it affordable.