More than just two wheels

More than just two wheels

One of the most important questions you might struggle with before your first longer cycling adventure is: What kind of bike should I ride? A lot has been written around this issue, where I barely can contribute much (I myself am a huge fan of Tom Allen’s blog where I learned a lot – you should definitely visit it). But what I can share with you is my personal story of me and my ‘trusty steed’.

As probably for most of us my decision was constraint by the available budget – and mine was very tight. So, I decided to trust in the old assets which I have already acquired in the past and relied on my Bergamont Vitess 5.1 (2011). No, it is no dedicated high-end touring bike for long distance cycling like e.g. the Surly Long Haul Trucker / Disc Trucker, the Patria Terra, the Norwid Gotland or the Tout Terrain Silkroad which you probably might have on your list (you find a good configuration of the Surly bike on my good friend Anne Westwards’ blog). But it had one major advantage on its side: it was already mine. And above that, I trusted in it and I was used to cycle on it, also for longer tours even though not so long as now was planned.

As my close and most of the time only companion my bike got a name, of course. May I introduce “Fiete” [ˈfiːtə]. Well, chances are you have never heard of this name. But if you have your roots in the north of Germany as both Fiete and I have, it may sound familiar to you. To be honest, I derived the name Fiete from the bike model’s name “Vitess” and it was a funny coincident when I realized that Fiete is a “Hamburger Jung” coming from Hamburg St. Pauli where Bergamont is based. Is it weird to name ones bike? Not at all!!! 🙂

Over the years I modified the bike’s initial configuration to make it more suitable for my journeys. Here are the current specs as of November 2018.

Frame Bergamont 700c AL-6061 Aluminium alloy 52cm male
Fork Bergamont Rigid Fork
Headset Tattoo SI-919, Semi-Integrated, Cartridge Bearing
Stem Tattoo Race Comp Lite
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore RD-M590
Front Derailleur Shimano Deore FD-M590
Cassette Shimano SLX CS-HG80, 11-34T, 9-speed
Crankset Shimano Deore FC-M590, 175mm, 22-32-44T
Chain Shimano Ultegra/XT CN-HG93, 9-speed, 116 links
Rims Ryde Sputnik 19-622 (28”), 36 holes, double eyeletted, DV valve with Mavic Valve Hole Reducer
Tyres Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour, 47-622
Innertubes Schwalbe SV17, 28”, Sclaverand valve
Spokes DT Swiss, steel
Front Hub Shimano Deore LX DH-T670, Hub Dynamo for V-Brake
Rear Freehub Shimano SLX FH-M675
Bottom Bracket Shimano BB-ES25, Octalink V2, 68×121-mm
Shifter Levers Shimano Deore, SL-M590
Brake Levers Shimano Deore BL-M590
Brake Calipers Shimano Acera BR-M422 V-Brake
Brake Shoes Kool Stop Cartridge H5 V-Brake
Pedals Shimano Tiagra PD-A530, combination SPD/flat
Saddle Selle Royal Ariel
Seatpost Tattoo Comp, 27,2 x 300mm
Seatpost Clamp Procraft Elite MTB, 31.8mm
Handlebars Tattoo Riserbar Pro
Grips Ergon GP4, size L, with Fullsize-Barend
Front Lowrider Tubus Tara
Rear Carrier Rack Racktime Fold-it
Headlight B&M Lumotec Lyt-N LED, 25 Lux
Taillight B&M Toplight Flat Plus LED
Mudguards Tattoo SP-45A*3
Extras Atran Velo kickstand, 2 standard bottle cages and 2 for 1.5ltr PET bottles, Vaude Klick Fix System for handle bar bags, Sigma bike computer BC 5.12, Cycle2charge USB-Charger, waterproof smartphone mount