There’s a number of bikes of a particular format that I’ve always had a level of intrigue over. Many (most, even) of them get good reviews, lots get ridden by the pros at the Spring Classics and a number of them have some really nice features about them, as well as being well suited to those long of leg and short of torso – i.e. Me.
In the industry, bikes of this format are referred to as sportive / fondo / endurance geometry. I prefer to refer to them as “bikes that actually fit me without a massive stack of spacers”.
The 2015 models of many of these bikes are appearing in stores and, as I’m in the market for a new project, I’ve been looking with a little more intent than in previous years. Some of them look good. Really good. Some nice colour ways, new features and tweaks and the usual annual 10% increase in stiffness and 10% reduction in weight. I wish more companies offered more of them as their top-level spec, and preferably without a naming convention that automatically sets them apart into their own “you’re not flexible enough to ride our ‘pro’ model so you can have this nearly-but-not-quite alternative”. Unfortunately for most companies these bikes are just range-fillers and ‘ticking a box’. To make matters worse, many of them are now only available with disc brakes.
I want disc brakes on a road bike about as much as I want my eleven week old daughter to jump off a cliff (by which I mean, not at all, just for clarity). Disc brakes on something a little more versatile than a road bike – like a commuter, CXer, or a gravel bike – sure, but not on my road bike. Yet now, because the sportive / fondo / endurance geometry road bikes produced by these brands are the only models in their range that properly fit me, in some cases I now have no choice.
Talk about pigeon-holing. It’s tantamount to racism…
A little while back, my good lady wife’s bike was in need of a spring clean so I took the opportunity to finally cover something I’ve been meaning to do for ages – cables. But this is not so much a ‘how to setup and tune your brakes and gears’ and more like ‘how to keep…Go on then, tell me more...!
It’s every rider’s little dirty secret. I’m sure it’s the same theory for all activities, but for cycling deep in the back of every cyclist’s mind they secretly like to think themselves as being ‘hardmen’. Some just think it, others are quite overt about it but either way it lingers there, simmering under the surface.…Go on then, tell me more...!
I’m allergic to production bikes. Ok, that’s not strictly true, but I will generally avoid most production machines – usually based an irrational dislike of the brand, a less irrational dislike of the available colourschemes, ill-suited geometry or a combination of the above. Recently, on the hunt for a new project, I had a (rather…Go on then, tell me more...!
I bet that title caught your attention!? Let me expand on that. Bicycle ‘design’ is boring and I mean both in terms of visual appeal and in terms of design and designing. It’s funny when you think about it but somehow, in the world of bicycles, we seem to have ended up with a never…Go on then, tell me more...!
At the London round of the Rollapaluza National Series during the week a conversation got my cogs whirring… Nick Hussey, Damien Breen (of that most excellent In The Saddle blog) and myself were talking – it was like a mini bloggers convention (although not ‘mini’ in that any of us are particularly short I might…Go on then, tell me more...!