The bike for you is the bike you fall in love with. You’ll know it when you see it. It’s the one that makes you smile, or fills you with pride when you’re up there on the saddle. Like a pair of jeans, or a piece of music, it’s got to be you. Nothing else will do. Find the bike of your dreams and you’ll ride it. So where to start?
Lightweight, aerodynamic and fast, these bikes are built for speed. If you like to be first off at the lights, this is the bike for you. Road Bikes usually have handlebars that curl downwards and skinny tires. Some come with fixed gears that can take a bit of getting used to.
With strong frames and lots of gears, these bikes are designed for rough, 4×4 terrain and can be tough going when cycling down a flat, featureless London street. But then, why not take them out of London and off-road?
If your plan is to cycle to work, this is the type of bike most shops will try to sell you. They have the speed of a road bike, with all the gears of a mountain bike. Getting up Ladbroke Grove, perhaps – but do you really need all those gears on Ken High Street? On the plus side, you get a more upright riding position which is better for all-round visibility.
The benefits are obvious. Perfect if you’re short on space at home and you want to store your bike inside. Or if your flat’s on the third floor. Take them on the tube and trains. Fit them snugly into the car boot. And with the range of great colours and frames available, you can stamp your personality on them.
Ladies and gentlemen, if it’s imperative that a sense of style and de rigueur needs to be maintained when one bicycles down Sloane Street, without a care in the world, then this is the bicycle for you. Recently made fashionable by Pashley – who introduced some new, rather more dapper styles – these bicycles often sport a basket up front for storing shopping and allow a lady to mount and demount, in skirt and heels.
Once highly fashionable in 1970s, the Chopper appears to be making a serious comeback on the Borough’s thoroughfares. Fun to ride, they tend to result in a lifelong devotion from their owners.
The perfect solution for anyone who has to move heavy items around, or cart young children to the park. Popular in Denmark and Holland, these bikes are growing in popularity amongst parents in the Borough. Bulky, perhaps, if you’ve limited storage space at home. But many people just lock them up outside.
Apparently, this is the bike 40% of the Borough’s residents own. It’s that old bike you’ve got stuffed in the shed that doesn’t get used often enough. Time to drag it out and get it back in fighting condition. The sun is shining. And those quiet lanes through the Borough are crying out to be explored.
If you travel long distances, or if you’ve got a lot of hills ahead of you, that extra bit of electric push behind you has resulted in these bikes gaining more respect amongst cyclists in recent years. Especially now that some quality bikes have been produced to look like a regular bicycle.