You know the magazines we all buy ? they have features with pros climbing steep hills at 6% doing 20 kph ! hands up how many have climbed a hill ever, that fast…..and lived? Hmmn, can’t see any. The fact of the matter is, that any magazine is selling product, its how they get circulation, and advertising. Nothing at all wrong with that.But however you read it, we do not fit the profile of the Pros the bike was made for!
A good example is frame stiffness, do we care if the latest trek is 22% stiffer in the bottom bracket than last years! Hell if I went back to the 2004 model, I couldn’t detect my 5.9 deflecting in the slightest. What I could tell was how well it cornered , and tracked in relation to my alloy Giant TCR ( which was also brilliant by the way!). I’ve had a few bikes, and I can tell you just by changing a few things its easier to make it a real comfort to ride. That’s the sort of thing that I hear is more relevant on the road to us!
Whilst I was at the London bike show, I had a good conversation with Richard at the Time stand. I’ve always been struck by the beauty, and good design of these bikes (Price is a bit yikes) However, the way they build them is, amazing! they pick the kind of carbon fibre derivatives they want, and weave them on site. The thickness, and amount of strands are all done in house. I’ve never heard of manufacturers doing this. Most buy the carbon in, they vary the thickness, and direction mostly to achieve what they want from the frame. It would seem that Time has an original way of getting the real life ride quality we actually need. How many Time frames do you see on the road? Hardly any!
So whats actually happening is that cycling has had this massive media boost, yes, we , as a country are a cycling superpower! But cycling is now starting to be seen as a status symbol to the masses, (well the masses that know a bit about cycles) again it’s not necessarily a bad thing, however the discerning amongst us still do the miles in all weathers, minus 8 degrees to 36 so far is my limit. It’s in all weathers, even snow! and most like me, maybe want to know what the difference would be if they rode the bike.
I hope to do an experiment with De ver Cycle shop owner Maurice Burton soon. Anyone who knows him, knows that he’s a three-time national champion. He lives on the bike still, and always has time for you at the shop in London Road, Streatham. Maurice ,is, Cycling! Simply put, he lives and breathes it. My plan is to do a simple back, to back test using a Pro, and as far away from a Pro you can get ( me). You know, the sort of rider who likes to have the odd beer and chips sometimes ( but not all the time).
Fully featured will be some exotic bike I hope ( Hello Time, and further along i sat through a bike fitting which is a real must if you are in any way serious about riding, another feature for Maurice ) which we will discuss what priorities we both place after maybe a decent length ride over the evil roads that have now become my local roads. Anyone interested to know? Hmmn still can’t see those hands!