Rave: Our Brodie Arguses
As two urban cyclists who putt around town on used bikes, we were a little out of our element when looking to purchase bikes for a tour across Canada. We knew certain specs we were looking for. We knew we wanted to buy bikes specifically built for touring. We wanted a steel frame. We wanted disc brakes. The more spokes the better. And we definitely knew our budget. As students, $1000 was our mark. We would be willing to go a little over–but we knew that we would find a bike that could do the job. We didn’t need to blow money on a Marinoni.
After agreeing to ride from the Pacific to the Atlantic, we were avid googlers. You could constantly find us at our laptops plotting our route, looking up panniers and of course–researching bikes. We looked through a bunch of different brands of bike before narrowing it down to Devinci, Trek, Surly and Brodie.
We went on a mission around the city of Hamilton which has no shortage of bike shops, looking for test rides on as many bikes as possible. Many bike shops weren’t carrying the specific touring bikes, and they wouldn’t order the bikes into the shop without a financial guarantee that we would be purchasing the bikes. Well, we weren’t buying a touring bike without riding it around the block a few times first.
That’s when we ended up at Central Cycle, where they had a Brodie Argus in stock that happened to be our size (we have identical inseams). It had all the specs we were looking for and after a short cruise around the neighbourhood, we knew we had found good bikes. The only catch was they only had one 2012 model left and would have to order in a 2013 model if we wanted two. I asked what the differences were–they said the paint job. For an extra couple hundred dollars that hurt a bit–but we went for it anyways.
6000 km and we have hit the Atlantic Ocean. These bikes have climbed the Rockies, braked through construction and steep and windy descents and spun their wheels just as much as we have. And they are hanging on, just as much as we are.
Yes, of course there has been some mechanical issues–but that is to be expected.
I had four flat tubes before I swapped out the default back tire for a Marathon Schwalbe Plus. My brake pads have been cleaned and adjusted but never changed.
Sofi has exchanged both of her tires and her brake pads have also been cleaned and adjusted. Her biggest change was swapping the Brodie saddle for a Brooks saddle. It wasn’t just the paint job that differentiated the 2012 and 2013 model. Improvements were made to the saddle (and other subtle areas around the bike) that made my riding 100+ km a day bearable for me and not for her.
We have both changed our chains twice and I have bought a new cassette. This is pretty standard. Some argue to change the cassette every time you put on a fresh chain. We don’t believe in this school of thought. I didn’t change the chain soon enough and don’t change my gears very often and am a grinder on higher tensions. This is bad for my cassette and my knees.
What we have been most impressed with has been the life of our Hayes brake pads (go disc brakes) and the strength of our spokes. Despite the distance and terrain we have covered, our wheels have remained true the entire tour.
The Shimano components from our easily accessible bar end shifters to our cranks to our derailleurs and to the clipless pedals that Central Cycle threw in for us, have worked like a dream.
This ride would not have been nearly as pleasant had it not been for the efficiency of our bikes. And it proves that you don’t have to blow your bank account to buy a good touring bike. These bikes have taken us to summits of the Rockies where we have been dripping sweat while surrounded by snow. They have spun their wheels as fast as our legs would make them through the prairies. They have let us climb and then slowly coast, letting us take in the views of Lake Superior–over and over and over again. They have persevered through rain and construction. We have asked a lot of them and they have given us everything we have asked for.
Thanks Brodie Bikes!
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