Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

My Sad, Sad Bike

I've been doing a fair bit of biking in the last few weeks -- on my actual bike instead of in the basement. Like, around a hundred miles of biking.

I bought this bicycle about nine years ago, for $35. It is worth approximately what I paid for it. The front handbrake doesn't work. The gel pad on the seat moves around and squishes out of a hole in the fabric at the back while I'm riding. It shifts into the two bottomost gears so clunkily that I've actually jerked to a stop more than once when shifting. It doesn't shift into top gear at all -- if I try, the chain comes off the rear gear entirely. The kickstand swivels around on its mount randomly, occasionally bumping into the pedals while I'm riding, and is no longer usable as a kickstand. I keep thinking "my bike needs some repair work" but honestly, what it probably needs is to be a new bike.

The most annoying thing about riding, though, is that there's something about the way I grip and/or lean against the handlebars that causes the tips of my ring and pinky fingers to go numb, especially on my left hand. The worst part is that they stay numb long after I get off the bike. As in "three days after a ride, the pads still feel a little not-quite-right." I think I'm pinching a nerve in my wrist, but I have no idea how or why, or if getting a different bike will help. My current bike does have the sort of "racing" design, where you're forced to hunch over the handlebars. I remember sitting up straighter on the bike I rode as a kid.

Anyway, I haven't looked into getting a new bike yet, but I should. Does anyone have any recommendations for bike features/styles/brands to look for or avoid, and why? Advice appreciated. :)
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