Bicycles: Best for Cyclers and Loves to go Outside
Bicycle, pedal cycle or pedal-drive bike, is an amazing mode of travel whose (usually) single wheels turn on their own power independent of the rider’s effort. This article is intended mainly for beginners interested in bike touring. Keep in mind that it wasn’t created by a professional bicycle or touring pro but simply by somebody with a big passion for touring. It is an incredible way to see the country, and it’s a really fun activity to do alone or with friends. But before you start off on your journey, you will need to gather as much information as possible and plan everything accordingly.
Written by Steven Turner.
Just in time for Spring, London-based Bobbin Bicycles has rolled out its latest laid back bike, the Bobbin Albion.
What they say: The Bobbin Albion is a retro-tinged classic design that comes complete with Shimano’s Claris gear set and Tektro brake system, ready for the urban commuter.
What it is: Just in time for Spring, London-based Bobbin Bicycles has rolled out its latest laid back bike, the Bobbin Albion. Another classic design with a retro hint, the Albion is fun addition to the entry level class of commuter bikes currently dominating the entry-level market.
Built around a solid thin tube cro-mo steel frame, there’s nothing overly fancy about the Albion set-up, but its not shabby either. Shimano’s user-friendly Total Integration road gears and 16 speed Claris gear set are included in the build and are quality choices, albeit a little too familiar for this style of bike, while the Tektro side-pull brakes are a good, if somewhat uninspired choice. As is custom with the Bobbin brand a lot of the focus is on the style, with the titanite green colouring giving the bike a classic continental Euro look and the matching brown saddle and bar tape keep things co-ordinated.
Taking it out on the streets the Albion performs nicely, there’s a good enough gear range for cruising at a leisurely pace or for picking up some serious speed, and the set-up is smooth and responsive. There’s nothing overly fancy about the Albion but it looks great and is an easy, if somewhat basic ride. Its not going to blow you away with its originality or attention to detail, but it will make you smile on a summer day.
Who it’s good for: Like the Bobbin brand, the Albion would suit a carefree rider focused on the experience and not the technicalities
Written by Steve Turner.
The simple, yet classic design of the Stanforth Kibo hides a robust, custom built bike created to handle the stresses of touring, mountain and street cycling.
What they say: Designed with simplicity, strength and durability in mind, the Kibo meets the needs for expedition touring in the back of beyond, as well as for everyday urban cycling.
What it is: The first bike from new UK firm Stanforth Bikes, the Kibo is billed as the definition of versatile, with eyes on riders wanting to tour, commute and have a little off road adventure thrown in. A tall ask, especially for a first-time build, but after taking it to the tarmac I’m quietly surprised about how the bike glides given its chunky look.
The Rigida Sputniks rims and Shimano Deore hubs are unspectacular but stable pieces of kit that help create a flawlessly smooth experience, while the Shimano Deore transmission, with its all terrain 27 gear set-up, provides enough options to push me along with the best of the street specials.
Off-road the bike is equally as fun, with its robust build, Genetic cantilever brakes and solid yet supple Continental Retro Ride Reflex tires creating a stability that vanquishes any doubts about its ability to handle the more extreme terrains.
A big part of what makes this machine so enjoyable is the little touches, such as the Brooks expedition saddle and the Nitto riser stem. This is the attention to detail that is required for a custom build company that is looking to go the distance and not cash in, and Stanforth should be acknowledged for its ambition.
While specialists will no doubt want something a little more focused, its hard to fault the craftmanship and level of thought that has gone into creating this bike. I’d be more than happy to add the Kibo to the armoury.
Who it’s good for: Riders with a specific style will probably would opt for kit thats a more suited to their needs, but if you want a handcrafted piece of kit that will pander to your varying cycling needs while giving you a number of cycling options, then this is for you.
Written by Josh Mott.
A retro styled commuter that is sure to turn heads and stand up to the rigors of urban cycling.
What they say: The Raleigh Gran Sport features a classic design with a Reynolds 520 chrome-alloy steel frame, full chromo forks, as well as all the trimmings of a modern commuter in a Shimano 2300 groupset and Tektro R359 brakes.
What it is: The Gran Sport oozes class. Classic details adorn what is a beautiful frame design and paint job, giving the bike a retro bespoke feeling without the price to match. The crowned forks cut-a-dash, as do the white wrap-around mudguards, an especially nice touch for those all to frequent rainy days.
The white paint job will have riders wanting to keep the bike a clean as possible. The polished steel finish on the handlebars and seat post are also rather eye catching. What is clear is that the Gran Sport is not just a cash-in on nostalgia for the classic bikes of yesteryear, but a genuinely good all round road bike.
It rides well too. Shimano’s 2300 16-gear groupset provides the smooth shifting usually associated with higher end derailleurs. The gear range and quality also make the Gran Sport perfectly acceptable for longer rides too and not just commuting.
One factor that riders may find slightly cumbersome is the bike’s weight (11.8kg approximately), which is especially noticeable when switching from an aluminium or carbon frame to the steel. This does have its upsides though. The Gran Sport feels very sturdy and is more than capable of standing up to the often rough and tumble nature of commuting.
The grey chain rings and crank arms would have fit better with the overall aesthetic if they too where in the polished steel style of handlebars but this doesn’t detract from the overall beauty of the bike.
Who it’s for: While retro purists will likely turn their noses up at the Gran Sports pretender status, its stunning looks, reasonable price and all round ride quality make it ideal for anyone looking for something outside the ordinary fixie or hybrid standards.
*Pictured pedals and grip tape are not included.
Breezer Bikes is proud to announce the launch of Repack with MLink™ suspension technology. Joe Breeze, the creator of the modern mountain bike worked with the industry’s leading full-suspension kinematics engineers, Dave Earl and Luke Beale of Sotto Group, to design a groundbreaking all-mountain bike that redefines big wheel handling and full-suspension efficiency.
Presented exclusively to members of the press at a Eurobike launch event Wednesday morning, Repack is named after the first recorded downhill mountain bike race and the birthplace of the modern mountain bike. It features a revolutionary new proprietary suspension system called MLink™, coupled with innovative Joe Breeze frame geometry that takes full advantage of its 27.5″ wheels and 160mm of travel.
“At Eurobike’s Demo Day yesterday, two riders summed up the bike with one word: perfect. I can’t wait for the rest of the world to ride it,” said Breezer Brand Manager JT Burke. “There’s more than 30 years of suspension experience loaded into this design.”
When Joe Breeze built his first full suspension back in the ’90s, he teamed up with MIT engineer John Castellano on the Breezer Twister’s Sweet Spot™ system. When starting the Repack project two years ago – evaluating the suspension systems on the market and how to improve – he recognized the value of working with kinematics experts and wanted to tap into that knowledge.
Enter Dave Earl and Luke Beale of Sotto. Started in 2006 after a combined 25 years working at Lockheed Missiles, Siemens, Bontrager, Specialized, and Santa Cruz, Sotto Group is responsible for the majority of new proprietary suspension systems on the market today, including Yeti’s Switch™ system and now MLink™.
“Refined Simplicity“ – a clear statement of intent which was the focal point of the development work on the Spectral AL. The objective was to focus on the essentials. Sit on it, ride off and have fun – whether it’s up a steep hill, on flowing single trails or technical downhill sections.
We have designed a versatile trail bike in the form of the Spectral AL with its refined and uncomplicated simplicity, perfectly positioned between the Nerve AL touring bike series and the Strive AL enduros. We decided to launch two Spectral AL versions to meet the individual demands of riders and the various requirements of the areas of their use. The 27,5″ and 29″ versions of the trail bikes in the Spectral AL model series replace the successful Nerve AL+ model in the new model year.