Oh so much has changed! Wheel sizes? When I left this sport, it was pretty clear cut; anything other than 26″ was against the rules. Gears? Well, lets just say I rode the wave that saw the arrival of 15 gears, increasing to 18, and then finally to 21.
I’ve been looking at the MTB market and heck, it’s no longer a case of waiting for the next edition of MBUK or Cycling Weekly (we didn’t really have the internet in the olden days, and yes, I’ve no idea how we managed either) but the internets are awash with information. Well, Bikeradar is proving to be useful, and the singletrack forums are possibly helpful!
I would really like to get a new bike, and I’m busy looking around and well, its somewhat overwhelming – I guess it used to be the same in the olden days, but back then I was a bit of a bike geek, I used to spend hours at school break time, in the bike shed, not smoking, but debating what kind of jockey wheels, or brake cables were the best.
In my quest for finding the perfect new bike, I’ve been looking and looking for the right kind. Perhaps I’m just old fashioned, or nostalgic, or something, but I do have a few ‘red lines’ – it needs to be a hardtail made to suit the UK trails, it probably should be made of steel, and made (or at least designed) with passion. Its also going to need to be as light as possible, fun, and ideally it should be one that is a rich heritage in the roots of our sport.
So I have narrowed the hundreds of options down to a few…
- A Cotic Soul 27.5
- An On-One 45650b
- A Whyte 805 or possibly a 901
- A Boardman 29er Pro
- A Genesis Latitude
OK, that is 5. I have been looking at bikes with the Bike Scheme half in mind, and that does (probably quite sensibly) limit things to around the £1000 mark, but the Cotic Soul (a little bit more than that magic £1k mark) has, well, got quite a grip on my soul! The Cotic backstory is the kind that gives you goosebumps, the story of small business, driven by a passion for cycling, and well, the simple things in bike terms, a durable steel frame, brakes that work, big tyres and long forks. Cy and Paul do an awesome job at building well thought through bikes, a brand, and a viable business. And for that, the Cotic team deserve a round a of applause!
And that orange is such a good colour (although the blue is pretty damn nice too!).
So there we go. Dream bike is a Cotic Soul. I just need to start saving and persuading!
pictures are from the Cotic website