Since I needed a new bike, quickly – walking to work really sucks, especially in the rain – I ordered a Nashbar Hounder on Sunday night. It’s a pretty typical single speed / fixed gear road bike, with flat bars, caliper brakes, a flipflop rear hub, and 700×28 road tires on it.
(It was on sale when I ordered it – the total was about $205, shipped. I see that the sale has ended now, unfortunately.)
The bike arrived quickly, dropped off by FedEx on Tuesday morning. It was one flat box, so I thought that the assembly would be a bit involved. Fortunately, I was wrong. There were really only five major components – the frame/rear wheel/crank, the front wheel, the stem/handlebars, the seatpost/saddle, and a box with a few odds and ends (reflectors, pedals, front brake, etc.) There were no assembly instructions, oddly, but it only took me 45 minutes or so to get it all together.
I haven’t ridden it a lot yet, but I’ve taken it to campus and back a couple of times. The ride is smooth, though the higher-pressure tires make little bumps and pebbles more noticeable. It feels strange to corner and manuever on such thin tires, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. It’s a heck of a lot lighter than the Escalade, too – the frame is chromoly, which probably helps. All in all, this seems like it will be a nice simple bike for the next few months.