I’ve been cycling to work regularly for a while now, it’s great fun.

But we’ve had a bit of rain lately (we need it!), and I really like cycling in the rain, it’s good fun. I don’t like riding our “house panzy commuter” bike in the rain though, since it actually belongs to my housemate, and it has a full 3-9 derailer setup, which I don’t like getting wet and gritty.

So I either needed to finish my old-school singlespeed project, convert the Trek xc into a singlespeed commuter, or get a new bike.

I’m too busy at the moment for the old-school singlespeed project, so that’s out.

The Trek is nice, but too small to commute comfortably and I was planning on converting it for 4x and enduro soon. So then I’d need to get another bike for 4x and enduro… which would get expensive (knowing me).

The best option seemed to be buying a new commuter. Years ago I wanted an internal gear hub (I like the look and concept of them). So I researched those again to see what the latest goss is.

I found Shimanos “new” groupset called ‘Alfine’, which seems to revolve around an 8 speed internal gear hub. The group looked pretty schwanky, and seemed to get good reviews… I don’t need 8 gears, I’d be happy with 3, but the Nexus groupset (which has a 3 speed hub) has a stupid twist-grip gear changer, and I can’t be bothered messing around swapping things, getting the right travel, blah blah blah. There’re some other nice internal hubs around, but they’re expensive and/or uncommon for me. I just want to keep the chain straight and have some gears, don’t need a bling bling Rolhoff for that.

Anyway, so I settled on the Alfine groupset, with 8 speed hub.

I did some research looking for commuter bikes produced in large volume using the Alfine group.

I found the Cell 101 from Cell bikes.

It looked good ‘on paper’, for a good price, but I was a bit suss.

Later that day a friend sent me an unprompted e-mail about that same bike, saying how great it is. So I had another look, and tried to research more into this “Cell bikes” mob (who I’d never heard of).

Aaanyway, so I found that Cell are an aussie (based?) business aiming to make good quality, good value bikes. Judging by all the reviews and opinions I could find online, they seemed to be alright.

The cost of the SS 101 is worth it just for the Alfine components alone, so I thought I’d take a chance and order one.

And it was delivered to my door in less than a day! I had it assembled and riding around within a couple of ad-breaks.

Good price, good specs on paper, good service, quick delivery, and well packed - so far so good!

Next I’ll post my thoughts after 2 weeks of cycling to work on the Cell.

** Picture stolen from Cell bikes’ website. I’m sure they wont mind ;-)