I have spent more than two decades in search of a perfect bicycle…
In my thirties, I bought a Serotta racing bike that I loved at that time of my life. I rode the bike exclusively on training rides and at a goodly clip. As my cycling perspective has evolved into a much more transportation oriented framework, this bike did not meet those needs. I sold the bike two years ago, fifteen years after I bought it.
In 2006, I bought a Rivendell Rambouillet that was still a go-fast road bike though with a much more relaxed geometry. This bike accepted wider tires and fenders. The bike had been cut by Bilenky Bikes.
I rode across Kansas, New York, and North Carolina with the Rambouillet. It was a perfect bike for supported tours and training rides. The Rambouillet handled crappy roads better than the Serotta with its 700×32 tires. During the 2007 rainathon that was FANY, the fenders were wonderful. Many other riders commented on my fenders and wished they had them. However my views of cycling was still evolving. I was beginning to commute to work more and was more interested in self-supported touring. The Rambouillet was perfect for where I was but not where I wanted to be.
Last year I bought a Surly LHT for a ride across MD’s Eastern Shore. It was extremely functional and rode nice if not exceptional. It was okay for commuting and I never worried about it. I changed out the handlebars from drops to mustache bars to help with commuting where I wanted to be more upright in traffic.
This winter, Nancy and I went to Austin for the handmade bike show. I brought the Rambouillet as my travel bike and I would say that it did okay but was not particularly suited to urban riding. When we got back, I got a Brompton for just these types of trips. It will be perfect for this use and for around town. I have done numerous errands on it and it works great for this.
Unfortunately, we were now up to eight bikes. I was beginning to spend way too much time maintaining this fleet. I was seeking to simplify my life and find a bike that could serve multiple purposes without horribly compromising what I wanted to do
– Commute to work
– Supported touring
– Self-supported touring.
I sold the Rambouillet, the Surly, and my Quickbeam and bought a Rivendell Atlantis with two sets of handlebars. I have Albatross bars for commuting and drops for touring.