I have wanted this bike for five years

Shiny new Gunnar Fastlane leaning against a large Douglas fir tree
Published 2012-02-12

Yesterday I took possession of my new bike, a 2012 quetzal green Gunnar Fastlane. It’s intended to replace the 2007 Soma Doublecross which became unrideable (but not unfixable) about three weeks ago.

I started planning this bike five years ago, when we were still in China. I wanted an all-singing all-dancing road bike: commuting, fire road randonneuring, heavy touring, hauling kids to the zoo, cyclocross, club centuries, rain training, short track MTB races. With a second set of wheels it could be a road racing bike, albeit not a very svelte one. The Soma was a much-cheaper stopgap ... I stopped that gap for almost five years, and in the course of keeping a cheap bike running I paid for it probably two or three times over. When the BB froze up in January, Jenny said “you’ve wanted a Gunnar for five years, you should just get it.”

So I did.

I spec’d this Gunnar around the bearings: other than the derailleur pulley bushings they are all Chris King. I put a lot of wet miles on my bikes so I want really bomb-proof, user serviceable bearings. Also the disc brakes: I shudder (pun intended) to think how many hours of my life I’ve spent toeing in cantilevers, which honk and squeal and yet still fail to actually stop the bike under moderate load. If I’m towing 100+ pounds of kids + trailer I want consistent braking.