Our work experience girl, Alex, just asked us what one bike we would have if we had the option. I had to explain to her that this is like asking a golfer to narrow their golf bag down to just one club: it’s not going to happen! Bikes, like golf clubs for golfers or knives for chefs, are specific to a task, and once you’ve been around the bike biz for a while, narrowing it down to just one bike is virtually impossible.
What you need is a fleet; a wardrobe of bikes that can fit your mood, the job at hand and the prevailing weather conditions. All of which got me thinking about which of the current crop of bikes on the market I’d really like to own: here’s the current long list…
For getting to work, trips around town, going to the shops and meeting up with mates, I’d plump for Trek District. It’s only £600 and comes with the innovation of the year in a belt drive. It also looks really good. As city bikes go, you want something simple, not particularly flash, and that requires minimal maintenance — as far as I can see, the District does all that, but with a little extra panache that appeals to my inner bike geek.
Commuter Bike 2:
“A second commuter bike? Are you out of your mind?”
Well, no, there’s method to this madness. There are times when taking a train is a necessary evil, and in those situations, you can’t beat a folding bike. As folders go, I’ve always been impressed by the Birdy range; they look bonkers with their parallelogram forks and funky colours, so this would be the one for me. The one downside is the price – this touring model costs £1269. Ouch!
Everyone needs a road bike; you can’t beat the instant snap of acceleration you get from a skinny tyred, super-stiff racer. In good conditions, in beautiful scenery and on smooth roads, the feelings a road bike induces can’t be beat.
With that in mind, I want something light, stiff, aerodynamic and above all, good looking. Of 2009’s crop of bikes, I’ve been bowled over by the Boardman range. They’re incredibly good value and yet they look great and pack some real innovation. My choice would be for the Pro Carbon at £1499. It’s a peach.
You’ll notice that reads “bikes” plural – that’s because I want two of these. I love cyclocross and if you want to do well in the short, but muddy one-hour long races, you need two bikes (plus a helper with a petrol powered jet wash to clean them for you). The bikes to have in the world of cross are Ridleys, and the Ridley to have is the X-Night. All carbon, it has different geometry to a road bike to better cope with the rigours of a tight, twisty and muddy cross course, it’s the one (or two!) for me.
If you’re going to race cyclocross, it makes sense to try your hand at XC racing too. For this, I’m going to plump for a Specialized Epic Marathon. I actually rode one of these in Spain a couple of weeks ago and it was AWESOME. Honestly, Specialized are going to have send the boys in if they want this one back anytime soon!
You may already have read my longtermer updates in which I’ve been harping on about how much I love my Lapierre Zesty 314. Well, it will come as no surprise to hear that if money were no object I’d still have a Lapierre, but I would step up the range to the 714 – mostly for it’s 15mm bolt-thru fork and lightweight carbon fibre back end. Yep, that would do me quite nicely thanks very much.
Right, I’m going to stop there. While I wouldn’t mind a bigger bike and even possibly a hardtail for tooling around on, I reckon the imaginary garage is already getting pretty full (and the wallet pretty empty) at this point. Yep, time to quite while I’m ahead I think.
So what bikes are on your wishlist? Let us know in the MBR forum.