So, I've been dreaming of bikes lately.
Why so, you might ask. Don't you already have a functional bike right now?
Ah, well bikes are made to serve a variety of purposes. The bike I have now might be able to fill most of those roles to a greater or smaller degree of efficiency, but that doesn't at all take away my desire to be able to do some of those things better.
Unfortunately, as I am more or less broke (although, I did apply for a job yesterday and am hopeful I might get it) these are not likely to become a reality any time soon. But, hey, a guy can dream!!
So, because I can and you are my somewhat captive audience, I'm going to list off some of the things that currently have my eye.
The first is the tikit by BikeFriday
. My current main bike is also a BF, a New World Tourist, more or less a standard bike with the ability to pack down into an airline standard suitcase. The feature about this bike that I find most handy is it's ability to fold down to a smaller size with only a little bit of effort, allowing me to fit it into a friends car for a ride somewhere. But, it's still takes a bit of work.
Thus, enters the tikit. While there are other folding bikes which can fold much smaller, few fold as fast as the tikit. All of the BF's also are great in that they use normal bike parts, while many other folders have their own unique parts, which could make maintenance a chore. The reason I would like to get a tikit is to make it that much easier on the commuting/traveling around town side. The tikit has 16" wheels, as opposed to the 20" on my NWT, and the normal 26" on mountain bikes. So it greatly reduces the size it takes up, even if the ride is a little harsher. I would want a tikit for the times where I know I'm probably going to be meeting someone, or when I'm going to be going on the lightrail somewhere, or any time that I would just like to have a bike around. I'm not sure exactly what kind of gearing I would want to get on it, but I'm thinking about maybe singlespeed of either the fixed or freewheel variety, possibly an internal hub, because I would like to keep it as simple and as light as possible (without going to carbon, I like my durability thank you).
The next bike that I've been drooling over is the Quickbeam by Rivendell Bicycle Works
page for some good pictures of an older model). The Quickbeam is an amazingly designed bike. It is designed to be a single speed, with the option of having a few different gears while still avoiding the derailleur system that most standard bikes have. This is a bike I would love to have for when I just want to ride. I'm glad for the versatility I have with the standard transmission on my main bike, but it is harder to maintain, and if I just want to go for a spin around the park, it isn't as fun with my current bike, mostly since I have any number of bags and racks setup on it for when I'm around town. I really want a bike for when I don't have anything I need to carry around or pick up, and I can just go for it! Now, there are a number of bikes that could possibly fit that bill, and probably cheaper. But, I think the Quickbeam is unique so I gravitate towards it.
The next bikes I'm going to highlight are cargo bikes. Since I'm serious about not ever owning a car, I do need a way to be able to transport things. I'm able to do about three bags worth of groceries with my current setup, but it would be nice to be able to carry more, along with the capacity to carry items which would otherwise be very awkward on a normal sized bike. The most well known of these is perhaps the Surly Big Dummy/Xtracycle
. Xtracycle has a number of cool accessories for their design, making it possible to carry things you wouldn't think possible (like kayaks and surfboards!!). However, my dream bike of this type is the S-Cargo made by Black Sheep Bikes
in Ft. Collins, Colorado Pride! Unfortunately, given the exceptionally high cost of the S-Cargo, it might be awhile in the making. But it would be something that would last me a good long while.
The final sort of bike I would love to eventually have is the 'perfect winter bike.' There are a few different approaches to this bike, so I'm not sure what route I would eventually take. But, it does snow here in Colorado, and that can make it a pain to get around on a bike. For the first set, I'm going to post a link to here
. These sorts of bikes are designed to use huge tires with low pressure to get you over the snow (they were originally designed for sand but work just as well on other surfaces). The possible downfall of these sorts of bikes is that they are designed specifically for the large tires, and might be more difficult to run with more normal size wheels. Some of the frames are designed to switch to other wheelsets, giving them more versatility. Another option would be to add snow tires to say the quickbeam or another normal bike. The one qualification I would have for either of the types is to go with an internal hub, or a fixed gear. There is just too much that could go wrong with all the slush and grit and ice in bad weather conditions.
I seem to be mentioning singlespeed bikes a lot, despite not having ridden one yet. I'm drawn to the simplicity of them, partly for the idea of keeping things as simple as possible, and partly because it would be easier for me to maintain on my own. Not to mention, for the better parts of my rides I'm usually riding on a few gears, and only need the wide range when I hit a hill. I also like internal gears for the same reason, although they tend to be a bit heavier than normal transmissions, which is partly why I didn't get one on my current bike.
Unfortunately, none of these are really in my reach for now. I could potentially find a cheaper version of any of these bikes, but if I do that it probably wouldn't last as long as I would want it to, defeating the idea. That is not to say that there aren't quality bikes for reasonable costs. My first bike was quite a deal at around $700, but it doesn't fit me as well as I would like and just isn't comfortable or fun to ride anymore. Also, as much as possible I would like to buy bikes and components made in America. I'm not opposed to getting quality parts from overseas, but I would prefer not to because they do have to travel more to get here.
So I will probably have to wait for awhile, especially for some of the more custom bikes. It's hard not to just give in and get something just to fill the desire for the moment, knowing it might not last even if it's easier to justify getting it now.
While I'm sure I could probably come up with some other bikes I've drooled over, I think this is enough. Plus it's late and I should get myself to bed.