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what is it about a particular bike that you like and why?

DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
edited July 2009 in Commuting chat
Work with me hear, it is my purpose to understand bicycles and the psyche.

Separated from the tribal mentality I'm trying to understand why some people truly prefer one type of bike over the other.

Me?

Though I’ve always had mountain bikes/hybrids, I’ve always been fascinated by road bikes. A trip to Brick lane yesterday and it finally dawned on me why.

I'd argue that the bicycle can be looked on as a work of art or an engineering masterpiece and ultimately a combination of both. While I was in a brick lane ‘fixie shop’ staring at a lovely looking green number, I finally got the fixie sensation.

They look nice and though there were no details of the frame, type of aluminium used, details of the drive train, wheels or even what type bar tape, it just looked nice and this was the basis of why many would buy that bike. Not me.

I like the amount of engineering that goes into road bike design, I like looking at the tube shapes, the bumps and grooves purposely placed for the wind to flow over, around and through the bike. For me that is what makes a road bike look pretty. Its purpose built beauty. This would explain why I also have a thing for TT bikes….

So I ask, what is it about a particular bike, be it hybrid, cyclo-cross, road bike, TT, mountain bike, BMX et al that you like and, truly, why do you like it?
Food Chain number = 4

A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game

Posts

  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    in terms of looks i like fixed/SS i like the simple lines.
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    I always, always subscribe to 'fit-for-purpose'

    It may seem a logical rather than emotional response, but for me the sense of 'rightness' overides the practiciality. I find an object (for want of a better word) desirable if it fits the purpose for which it is designed.

    That the designer can add engineering excellence into that equation is bonus, but the initial approval comes from its suitability.

    This is why I envangelise my CX bike (and enjoy the banter) as it perfectly suits my requirements.

    However, I want a road bike as this would be my leisure bike, and I don't want to ride my flat bar road bike as this does not fit my requirements. It's a good bike but it doesn't fit my needs and is therefore not 'liked'.

    I do not enjoy riding the CX bike on leisure rides as much as I know I would a straight out road bike as I am compromising on suitability. The tricross is a GREAT bike, but not ideal for leisure rides (IMHO) so I don't enjoy those rides as much as I do the commute.

    Does that make sense?
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    I always, always subscribe to 'fit-for-purpose'

    It may seem a logical rather than emotional response, but for me the sense of 'rightness' overides the practiciality. I find an object (for want of a better word) desirable if it fits the purpose for which it is designed.

    That the designer can add engineering excellence into that equation is bonus, but the initial approval comes from its suitability.

    This is why I envangelise my CX bike (and enjoy the banter) as it perfectly suits my requirements.

    However, I want a road bike as this would be my leisure bike, and I don't want to ride my flat bar road bike as this does not fit my requirements. It's a good bike but it doesn't fit my needs and is therefore not 'liked'.

    I do not enjoy riding the CX bike on leisure rides as much as I know I would a straight out road bike as I am compromising on suitability. The tricross is a GREAT bike, but not ideal for leisure rides (IMHO) so I don't enjoy those rides as much as I do the commute.

    Does that make sense?

    see i find MTB on the whole ugly but i love what they can do, how they can cope with fairly hard routes, and i love riding them but in terms of looks no they are more a tool for the job, which is to have fun in mud...
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    If there is one single breed of bike I love, it would be the tourer/randonneur (I exclude my "tourer" from this, because it is a) a Frankenstein and b) a bit rubbish at touring).

    I love tourers because they are:
      designed to be useful rather than as pieces of sports equipment incredibly versatile timeless generally built to last simple, honest workhorses

    I also have a soft spot for crossers because they are so versatile and rugged. Prob not surprising given that crossers often make good tourers.

    @ Kieran: I've seen guys racing crossers at the local evening races - it doesn't seem to be too much of a compromise.
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    The reasons I like my bikes are many and varied

    My mountain bike isn't pretty, but she does look aggresive, and I like that, it encourages me to adopt a more aggresive riding style, and I like the fact that it looks like it could take on anything and survive. It's a kind-of Land Rover thing I guess, the perfect match of form and function for a particular job.

    My Madone is a different matter, and I love most carbon frames for the same reason. The way the tubes seamlessly change shape and morph into each other is very sinuous. It just screams speed at me, and I love that, road bikes are meant to go fast and they should look as though they do, even when standing still.

    The one bike I don't own, yet, is a titanium framed, single speed mountain bike. I love titanium frames, the thin tubes take me back to a time when all bikes looked this delicate, and the gently curved rear stays are very sexy. The lack of any cable routing, deraileurs etc just add to the simple beauty of the thing.

    the one thing I absolutely hate is the current vogue for needlessly curved tubes, just look at Norco or Marin's MTB section and you'll see what I mean, and specialize have started doing it as well. imo if a bike looks wrong then it'll ride wrong.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • Stuey01Stuey01 Posts: 1,273
    I have always been a MTB lover, but recently have developed a fascination for road bikes. Current object of lust is the Pearson Carbon Pro - hot damn do I want one of them.
    I bought both my recent MTB purchases for reasons of lust, a Santa Cruz Chameleon hardtail and a Pace RC405 full sus, I bought my recent road bike for reasons of practicality - the second hand Bianchi was the right size at the right price.
    Now I have the MTB's of my dreams I have lost all interest in MTB mags, I no longer read the reviews or pore over the ads because they offer nothing that interests me.
    I do really enjoy the Bianchi but I know that I will at some point replace it with something that I truly desire, and hence still buy C+ every month and read the reviews and pore over the pictures of beautiful road bikes.

    With bikes for me, the heart very much rules the head. I won't buy something that is wildly inappropriate just because I lust after it, see the new Lapierre downhill mountainbike for an exampe, but if I buy something that is practical that I don't love then I will at some point end up replacing it with what I really wanted in the first place.
    Not climber, not sprinter, not rouleur
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    Roastie wrote:
    I also have a soft spot for crossers because they are so versatile and rugged. Prob not surprising given that crossers often make good tourers.

    @ Kieran: I've seen guys racing crossers at the local evening races - it doesn't seem to be too much of a compromise.

    Sorry - when i read my post back I thought I should've clarified that last line... it's meant purely as an aesthetic thing; and THAT only in my own mind.

    I know it isn't a huge compromise and the bike is fine for the leisure rides I do, but it isn't as perfectly suited - and that is the basis for my own subjective view. Saying all that though, if I was to strip off all the commuting gumpf (muguards, racks, lights yada, yada) it would 'look' a lot more suitable - hopefully that will explain my emotive response more clearly.
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    I always lust after completely OTT TT bikes... I think it's because they just look so fast and I really want to have a go on one.

    However, I am also slightly in love with a frame called the Lincolnshire Poacher from on one - it looks really classic and lovely.

    There's two ends of the spectrum for you. What I don't like is 'nothing' bikes that are drab and boring.

    Also, I could stare at the Maxima for hours. I like the Tifosi because it's a little classic-looking, I like the old commuter because it's a groovy cruiser thing... but I don't really like the Bowery.
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    DDD, if you like the engineering, look into BMX...

    Seriously, so many things come from there, like integrated headsets and the new BB30 standard is similar to one of the bmx ones. Freecoasters just blow my mind!

    I like my Inbred, which i commute on a lot. It's really light, sillyly undergeared for road use but is such a brilliant urban assault vehicle that I prefer it to my pompino.
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    I know it isn't a huge compromise and the bike is fine for the leisure rides I do, but it isn't as perfectly suited - and that is the basis for my own subjective view. Saying all that though, if I was to strip off all the commuting gumpf (muguards, racks, lights yada, yada) it would 'look' a lot more suitable - hopefully that will explain my emotive response more clearly.
    I hear you. :)
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    edited June 2009
    Lincolnshire Poacher
    That is a very purdy bike.

    I have a very soft spot for lugged steel frames. (Lugs are) My favourite bicycle construction method over everything else.
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Roastie wrote:
    Lincolnshire Poacher
    That is a very purdy bike.

    I have a very soft spot for lugged steel frames. My favourite bicycle construction method over everything else.

    Coming soon to a 'thread to tell everybody what bike gear you've just bought' near you... :)
  • Oddjob62Oddjob62 Posts: 1,056
    Roastie wrote:
    Lincolnshire Poacher
    That is a very purdy bike.

    Bit of a low BB if you're gonna ride fixed though.
    As yet unnamed (Dolan Seta)
    Joelle (Focus Expert SRAM)
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Coming soon to a 'thread to tell everybody what bike gear you've just bought' near you... :)
    If you need someone to spanner your new Poacher together for you ... :)
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Oddjob62 wrote:
    Roastie wrote:
    Lincolnshire Poacher
    That is a very purdy bike.

    Bit of a low BB if you're gonna ride fixed though.

    I'll get over it. :D
    Roastie wrote:
    If you need someone to spanner your new Poacher together for you ... :)

    Thanks! However, my cunning plan (at the moment) is to do as much as I possibly can by myself, thereby learning something as well!

    However, this cunning plan may well all fall apart if something turns out to be difficult. :oops:
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    5 bikes and counting :D
    Self builds are fun. The only bit I usually get someone else to do is the headset (although the planet-x one I did myself and was pretty straightforward once I got the crown race on)
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • bluesacsbluesacs Posts: 95
    I like loyalty in a bike. Always does its best and doesn't turn around when times get tough and says "nah I'm not doing that, look I've got a broken this or that, I can't." My old steel frame specialized mountain bike was just like that, loyal as the day is long. Setting off from St Mere Eglise in old Normandy the cassette started playing up and went very wonky, couldn't change gear, so we humped along in a middle gear all the way through a rain storm to Cherbourg, soaked to the skin, being attacked by big growly french quarry lorries but it never gave up and we got there. Hurrah demis all round.

    Though the reason it got awarded the Simpson cross was one night, coming back after football, possibly a bit tired and a bit emotional the bike started playing up around Brixton, got off, couldn't see anything. Got back on and wobbled on, the back wheel seemed to be jamming against the brakes or vice versa. A mile down the road and it was getting difficult.

    Stopped again, couldn't see anything, a racy guy stopped (that'll be he was a drop- handle, lycra-clad gentleman rather than a gentleman with a dubious morality), couldn't see anything.

    So in the manner of a sea captain cutting away superfluous gear, endangering the ship (think Russell Crowe in master and Commander), I got rid of the back brakes, thinking that in some sort of weird way they had loosened and were snagging.

    So finally got back, stowed the bike and fell into a deep dreamless sleep, only emerging at midday, after a breakfast I went down to check out those brakes.

    In the cold light of day I saw how heroic and loyal my bike had been. Both bits of the frame either side of the cogs had sheared off and for the last few miles had been balancing metal on metal. At any time a truculent or mutinous bike could have thrown me into traffic. But not my old specialized mountain bike.

    I not entirely sure how the bike had done it, but it had.

    Now that's what you want, loyalty.

    I was that cyclist.
  • Deadeye DuckDeadeye Duck Posts: 419
    Most definitely has to be steel frames with fancy lugs. They just look like works of art and will go and go and go till the end of the earth. I think the only thing I'd like better would be a titanium frame with fancy lugs because that would just be awesome.

    However, I understand the whole carbon thing and do like the look of carbon weave.


    Hmm... Fancy carbon weave tubes, fancy titanium lugs... *drool* :D
    Schwinn Fastback Comp : FCN 5
    The Flying Scot : FCN 515q6cuv.png
    My Life, My Bike & My Xbox
  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    This is why I envangelise my CX bike

    I didn't know you had a CX bike.

    Hey have you all heard? Michael Jackson's died!
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    Hmm - I like my fixie, as the frame has been with me a while and served me well....and I built it up from parts! Fits like a glove and goes like stink! In terms of Psyche - I like the lines and the fitness/training it provides with short rides.

    I am not too bothered aboput my road bike, very good value for what it is, but I have no leaning towards it - I must say that I am a tart and will be persuaded by a "name" - Colnago etc etc etc..Although, it has never let me down in fairly big mileage and I use it in all inclement weather....Psyche value is very little, I don't care about it much.

    As for my MTB, well, it serves a purpose and is fun offroad with the dog and mates - most of my mates mountain bike as opposed to road ride. It is built for purpose and has very expensive RockShox Reba race forks......whatever that means.

    I guess I like the simplicity of my fixed bike.....everything else is like the volume is turned down.
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Thanks! However, my cunning plan (at the moment) is to do as much as I possibly can by myself, thereby learning something as well!

    However, this cunning plan may well all fall apart if something turns out to be difficult. :oops:
    Should be straightforward - so you'll enjoy! Provided the frame is faced and chased (which I'm sure it will be), you'll be OK. :)
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Roastie wrote:
    Thanks! However, my cunning plan (at the moment) is to do as much as I possibly can by myself, thereby learning something as well!

    However, this cunning plan may well all fall apart if something turns out to be difficult. :oops:
    Should be straightforward - so you'll enjoy! Provided the frame is faced and chased (which I'm sure it will be), you'll be OK. :)

    The frame is who and what now?

    It had better be... or there'll be trouble. Oh yes. :x :wink:
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Roastie wrote:
    Thanks! However, my cunning plan (at the moment) is to do as much as I possibly can by myself, thereby learning something as well!

    However, this cunning plan may well all fall apart if something turns out to be difficult. :oops:
    Should be straightforward - so you'll enjoy! Provided the frame is faced and chased (which I'm sure it will be), you'll be OK. :)

    The frame is who and what now?

    It had better be... or there'll be trouble. Oh yes. :x :wink:
    Sorry, jargon is bad.

    Faced: When a frame is finished, the BB and head tubes need to be "face cut" to make sure they are square/flat. Critical for the bottom bracket shell if you are using an external BB, less critical if using a internal BB.

    Chased: After the frame is finished and painted, all the threads need to be "chased through" with an appropriate thread cutter to make sure they are clean and that the parts will screw in easily.

    Worth asking if this has been done before - I once built a bike that was not faced (had to take it to a LBS as I didn't have the required tools).
  • BassjunkieukBassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    This is a difficult one! I often find myself standing and starting lovingly as various high end road bikes and the TT bikes at the bikes shops that I visit whilst out and about. I'm not quite sure if this is just due to me desperately wanting to own a high end piece of kit or what but I know the ones that I like are the ones that are wonderfully engineered.

    As with DDD I'm fascinated by all those little touches that make a bike more aero then another, regardless of whether I'd actually notice should I by some minor miracle be able to afford one :-)

    Conversely I also love SS/FG, the simplicity and clean lines are stunning as the bike is parred down to it's most basic constituent parts to perform the task.
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