Here is a picture of the thing I happily spend a couple of hours a day on come rain, wind or shine.
I used to own a Specialized Tricross Sport until it got written off in a classic SMIDSY (‘Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You’) incident. The incident occured in the laughably titled ‘Cycling Demonstration Town’, Brighton & Hove. Although I made a spectacular ‘Starsky & Hutch’ style roll across the bonnet of a very shocked and remorseful driver, I made a complete recovery within days.
My local bike shop is Quest Adventure, owned by the kind, enthusiastic and evergreen JP Saville – Mountain Bike racing veteran and the chap that introduced the Kona brand to the UK. He transplanted the components off the Tricross onto a Cotic Road Rat frame and forks (‘Steel is Real’) with shiny new wheels and hung the tricross frame up in the workshop as a souvenir (it was incredibly battered). The result is an amazingly fast and comfortable commuter hack to this day.
Whilst I was convalescing from the accident however, I considered buying a Pashley Guv’nor with some savings I had as it would encourage me to slow down and really enjoy my cycling again. In the end, I just wanted to get back on a bike quickly and went for the cheaper option that recycled old components. The problem is that it still encourages speed & glimpses of lycra, even with the addition of Schwalbe Marathon tyres.
The point is that, as the components are now getting very worn, I want to give it a makeover that makes it low maintenance, comfortable and sedate enough to provoke the wearing of relatively normal clothes meaning a stop at a pub, cafe, shop, pub again, vineyard or beer festival is not out of the question. At the moment dear brothers and sisters, I am a shocking example of Cycle Chic and an appalling advert for cycling. When people look at me sailing by they suddenly develop sympathy for the homeless as opposed to a desire to try cycling. I am so geared up for the commute that that’s all I do. I never give myself the chance to be spontaneous.
I’m thinking of making the following addtions/omissions alterations and I need your opinion;
Hub gears with drum brakes (for low maintenance)
‘Path Racer’ handlebars
Cream Schwalbe Delta Cruiser Tyres (just because)
Carradice saddlebag with quick release rack (I’m currently carrying work stuff in a courier bag which is insane really).
Brooks Saddle (although the Charge saddle I have currently is outstanding for the money – thoroughly recommended).
My questions are as follows; Is this going to work out prohibitively expensive? What would you do/add/omit?
Also, for all the wonderful photographs on cycle chic blogs across the globe, can anyone maintain their chic for 12 miles without looking like they’ve just been orgasmed to near death and then pushed through a car wash?
I welcome any thoughts.
PS. If anyone is going to the Cycle Show at Earls Court on Friday 8th October, I’ll see you there!