Steve in Winnipeg has just posted some definitive advice about buying department store bikes. That really is a cool project he's got going on over there, well done sir, I wish I had the mechanical ability (and patience!) to do something similar.
Along with the flat I mentioned yesterday on the Jamis, I noticed a few days ago that the fairly cheap front tire I have on my Kona had bulged, and a lot of seam was showing through the panels of rubber on the tire. So much so that I gave the bike up as unrideable until I replaced the tire. I already had a Specialized 26 x 1.5 slick Armadillo tire on the back, and I shelled out the $56.00 (Canadian) for another one yesterday, and put it on the front wheel of the Kona.
It's kind of weird - with my Kona set up as a singlespeed, my tires on this bike are now worth more than my drivetrain, more than the fork, and since the Kona is six years old, maybe even worth more than the entire frame.
Oh yeah, and the deal with Specialized Armadillo's is that they're meant to be the most puncture proof tire you can get. I agree - when I was riding all the way to Oshawa last summer, I put 4000+ kms on 700 x 25 armadillos without any punctures, and I've only had one puncture on the 26 x 1.5 armadillo on the Kona. A stupid staple pierced perfectly into one of the grooves in the tread and flatted me.
I don't plan to make a habit of this, but here's another music mix for you all. It's at this address. Click, type in the little code, wait 45 seconds, unzip the file and play the songs in RealPlayer or something.
Here's the playlist.
Weakerthans – A New Name for Everything
Martin Sexton – Black Sheep
Groove Armada with Richie Havens – Hands of Time
James Brown – Too Funky in Here
Great Outdoors – Land of my Deceased
Waifs – Lies
Malvina Reynolds – Little Boxes
Daniel Lanois – Lotta Love to Give
Ricardo Lemvo – Mujer Divina
Solomon Burke – None of Us Are Free
Bruce Cockburn – Pacing the Cage
Steve Forbert – Romeo’s Tune
Sly and the Family Stone – Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)
Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris – This is Us
K.T. Tunstall – Universe and U
Lyle Lovett – What do you do (live)
Staple Singers – Will the Circle Be Unbroken
David Bowie – Young Americans