Saturday, June 9, 2012

ANT Bikes in the wild

Another blogger had noted that she sees several ANT bikes around Cambridge and Somerville.  I have seen a few and happened to ride with an ANT owner a few times while commuting last year.  This person commuted on a single speed ANT and had another ANT, a road bike, as well - and he doesn't live more than a mile from me.  Despite that, I would hardly call them common, at least on the paths that I travel.  While riding with the family today, we happened to stop at a playground along the bike path.  I saw a cool bike passing and mentioned it to my wife, who said that was the bike she wanted.  What was it?  An ANT:

The bike is beautiful, with an amazing finish (ANT's powder coat finish seems much nicer than the powder coat on my Surly - no surprise there) with very nice welds.  The wheels are 650B:

With a dyno hub and a front drum brake:

The rear hub was a 3 speed Shimano Nexus with a roller brake (which my wife is interested in).  The owner was gracious and was also stuck at the playground so I had a chance to look at the bike closely - in between running after my younger boy on his various excursions.

It seems the owner has the same conundrum that we have - what kind of gearing works best for someone who lives at the top of the hill in one of the northwest 'burbs.  I'd like the think that the Nexus 8 speed hub would work for us.  Using Sheldon Brown's Gear Calculator, I figured out that the 8 speed hub had a lower gearing than my 30/39/50, 12/32 gearing on my Surly.  The 30/32 combination gets me up the hill to our house fairly easily with either a boy in the bike seat or a boy in the Burley or both!  So, perhaps, the 8 speed is the way to go.

1 comment:

  1. Agree re. inadequacy of 3-speed for anything other than strictly urban commutes. I have a Surly Cross Check built up as a townie (Albatross bars, fenders, etc.) with an Alfine 8 speed. The range is 32.5 to 99.7 gear inches (170mm x48T crankset). I have the Rapidfire shifter and find shifting really becomes seamless.