B = N + 1.

The equation B = N+1 applies to all of us cyclists, where:

  • B = Number of bikes required
  • N = Number of bikes owned

A couple of days ago I said I’d be getting a new bike after the interminably long wait for my Company to get it’s act together with the Ride to Work Scheme.

The temptation to get an all singing all dancing Full Suspension MTB was pretty fierce as was the desire to get a better road bike. But logic took over and I had to admit that my MTB and my road bike were perfectly adequate for the type of riding I do.

What I needed was a dedicated commuting bike that would cope with the worst an English Winter, road dirt and towpath shite could throw at it. It also meant wifey could have her Specialized Rockhopper back. And it meant I’d be getting my money’s worth as it would be the bike that gets used the most.

There were quite a few bikes I looked at, my favourite was this one by Milk Bikes. I had a pretty good email exchange with the founder Mark who couldn’t have been more helpful and accomodating and was very seriously considering getting one, but then I couldn’t justify the price tag even though it was good value for what you get, because the happenings at home had stepped in and I realised we needed the money for other stuff. Damn my conscience!

I would seriously recommend you talk to Mark at Milk Bikes if you are in the market for his vision of the ideal commuter. It’s a vision I whole heartedly agree with by the way.

So the nearest spec I could find to the Milk Bike was a Charge Mixer 8 from Charge Bikes which I mentioned a while back. The main difference is the fact the Mixer has chain drive where the Milk has my preferred belt drive. But I can get the Mixer converted over time. I know some local frame welders who will create a split in the frame for the belt and any number of LBSs would gladly do the conversion for me.

So here it is:

And the Spec:

And the Geometry:

I’ll be fitting my Brooks saddle, my bar ends and various ancilliaries for commuting and I’ll be getting the lads at Northfield Cycles to fit some Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres at point of sale.

Richard has already ordered it and I’ll be picking it up in around 3 to 4 weeks when the voucher comes through. Not before time. I’ll actually have a proper winterised commuter bike in time for the onslaught that’ll begin around November! Not that I’m wishing Summer away before it’s begun you understand.


4 responses to “B = N + 1.

  1. Nice, sensible choice mate. I have a bike with the older 8 speed “Nexus” hub and I can’t fault it one bit. I have more than enough gear ratio for my commute and best of all changing gear when stationary , sealed gears, winter proof, hope you enjoy yours as much as I have enjoyed mine.

  2. Nice looking bike, I had a Nexus 8 on my Subway 8, it was a nightmare, but the good news is, that was all down to Halfords, who in the end, admitted to me that their bike mechanics hadn’tbeen trained to set up or service the thing! They gave me a Subway 14 as a replacement and let me keep the dismantled Subway 8, which resides in the shed, waiting for me to put it back together again.

  3. Good choice, sure you’ll love it.

  4. Annoyingly I’ve just bought another charge spoon saddle and you’re changing one! It’s a very cheap saddle but it’s extremely comfy! Has a big fan base, especially in the MTB community.

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