In an effort to express my troubles in choosing the right bike for me I decided to write a review of three that I chose and for what reasons. I was going to write a review of a few bikes and how everyone should decide, but that is far too presumptuous on my part. I, nor anyone else, knows how you specifically ride so I believe those articles on what bike is right for you are just garbage.
This is how I would do it;
I, being a college student living downtown, I need a fast quick comfortable bike. One that I can ride in any weather, and if duty calls, be modified to race with. Ten years ago this would seem like a lot to ask of just one bike. Then comes the Cyclo-cross bike. These are durable, fast, strong and easily modified bikes that have the best of both worlds. Road bikes are the epitome of quick, but once inclement weather hits you are out of luck. With pure mountain bikes, they can handle anything, but the shocks and geometry don’t conserve your pedaling force like a road bike does.
Jamis Nova Sport- $800 (Urban/Trail/Everything bike)
I chose this bike for a ton of reasons, comparable spec bikes are easily in the $1000 range so this is a fantastic purchase for the money. But also I needed that speed, but I could not be limited to only riding when it is nice out. The clearance allowed for tires enables this bike to have up to 700x38c tires, maybe even bigger if they aren’t aggressive treads. It is a bit more “road” than I initially wanted but I personally think this bike was the answer to all my prayers.
Surly Cross-Check $1200 (touring, urban, everything)
Surly is a mainstay in the cycling business. Their products are used all over the world as a staple for the long-haul touring elite. Their frames will last forever. But this all comes at a price that not everyone is willing to pay. But you get what you pay for, with more availability for mounts and racks then ever before (more than I even know what to do with). But with Surly their geometry comes from an old pure racing style setup, which keeps the rider in a much more aggressive posture and can make the ride uncomfortable if you aren’t ready for it. This bike for me was a bit too pricey and had things I didn’t think I needed. But I can see myself getting this bike in the future for my plans for my Europe trip in a year.
Surly Pugsley $1200 (off road, trail, touring, all weather beast)
I am sorry for the overuse of the Surly brand but they just have some of the best products. And this Pugsley was my first guilty purchase. But was it so guilty? The Fat-Bike trend is slowly making a comeback and people are turning to these all-weather beasts instead of the possibly more limited full-suspension 29ers. I know this is in a whole different category than the other bikes I have mentioned, but in a lot of ways it is comparable. Of course it lacks in the speed of the more road-esque bikes, but what it lacks in speed it makes up for in pure grit. You can throw any measure of terrible terrain at this and it will handle it with the smoothness of George Clooney. A surplus of rack mounts and great gears make this a perfect all-weather fun bike, and isn’t the purpose of biking just to have fun?
I love to pedal,
This article also seen on The Bike Relay