I went to see this bike today. Dear lord is it lovely…and yet it’s tough as hell. Methinks that’s an aspirational statement.
The husband and I are both in the market for a new bike. In Chicago, we rode cheap-o (relatively speaking) hybrid bikes. This was perfect, since the main goal was to avoid taking a tumble in a city where potholes abound. I still chuckle when I think of Lucus riding home with 3 gallons of paint in a backpack (we lived car-free for a year and a half).
Now, however, we’re in an area of the country where cycling is serious business. I’m excited to go on longer rides than the 20 miles we’d sometimes fit in on a sunny weekend. Hybrid bikes just won’t cut it. Too heavy, wrong handlebars. I also need something faster and easier to ride for the triathlon.
My top choice is a cyclocross bike. Cyclocross is a cross-country style race that looks awesome. I’d love to be tough enough to get on board with the sport. But the main appeal of a cross bike is that you can fit it with road or off-road tires. And they’re very minimal in design, so there’s a lot you can customize. Even though they’re primary purpose is off-road racing, cross bikes are just fine for longer rides, although they certainly can’t match touring bikes for long rides.
The Surly is my top choice. I had hoped to ride it tonight, but the shop was closing, and we decided to head back over the weekend. The super helpful dude at the shop, Phillip, also showed us the Bianchi Volpe. Another solid option.
Since the basic setup for both these bikes is just over $1,000, I want to make sure I test ride a variety of bikes and really understand the pro’s and con’s of different styles and models. For instance, I already know that if I buy the Surly, I’ll need to customize some of the components. That adds up.
It’s going to take patience to find the right bike. This is sooo not something I am good at. I am ready to start training for the bike portion of the triathlon now! But I also know that riding 20 miles won’t be a problem, so it’s not the area I should focus on just yet.
That said, I cannot wait to test-ride the Surly this weekend!