“ Manufacturer: Trek / Type: Bikes „
It's a Ladies bike, for Ladies.
Actually the man in the shop said 'its a very elegant bike' my reply? 'Er yeah, I'll do my best'.
I bought my gorgeous bike in April as part of the 'Cycle2Work' scheme that allows businesses to buy the bike and then employees to pay for the bike directly from their pay packet on a monthly basis over one year, at the end of the year the employee then pays a nominal amount and the bike becomes theirs. This scheme saves VAT on the bike and you get to spread the cost over 1 year.
This is an excellent scheme and since I was involved in the set up for my small company I know it is EXCEEDINGLY simple. Go to www.cycle2work.info - there is an helpful and easy calculator so you can decide your budget, you can find a bike shop that is a member of the scheme (Halfords are if you really can't find a local stockist that is involved, but please try to use your local shops!). There is also a section for the employer to apply to, this took about 30mins! You get a quote from the bike shop, include your helmet, reflective clothing, bike lock etc as well, apply for the voucher (your boss does this) and bingo! a voucher appears within 3 weeks. Go get the bike of your dreams.
The bike has a strong aluminium frame, although it is not the lightest bike on the market, I can carry it up the short flight of stairs to get out of my basement flat. For someone less confident I wouldn't recommend this though, I do often get a couple of bruises or scrapes on my way up. The advantage however is a solid, stable ride, as someone who is not overly happy on the road I do feel safer than on my bike than one with a lighter frame.
The saddle that comes with this bike is lovely, brown leather and specially designed for girls bums it is wider and rounder than men's saddles (like girls bums!). The handles are ergonomically shaped rubber and very comfortable to use (both saddle and handles are Bontranger branded). From there, the gears are easy to flick through with your thumb, the manual display is simple to understand and clear to see. The gears are Shimano 7 speed. I only cycle in the city so I tend to stay on the middle cog. They change very easily, although it's worth remembering to change gear before you put too much pressure on the pedals as the gear shifts can struggle with too much torque - resulting in clicky-clicky-getting-nowhere-fast-opps-I'm-a-bit-scared-now.
The tyres and alloy wheels are quite thin, perhaps only about an 4cms, although I was worried about this having only ridden mountain bikes previously, I had no trouble adjusting, I may have struggled had they been any narrower though. Since this is a road bike there is almost no tread and if we have another winter like the last one I'll look into getting some better tread (or teeny tiny snow chains). Since April I have managed to puncture both of them (same morning) I'm blaming this on glassy streets though. Can't comment on how easy they were to change since I just paid the man in the shop to do it!
The brakes are by Tektro, and seem to work fine!
The pedals have good grip, I've not slipped despite wearing all kinds of ridiculous heels and slippy shoes.
On the front of the bike is a strange grey frame, but once you have a lovely basket on board (it is a bracket for a basket) you don't notice it at all. There isn't a rear wheel bracket though, but you can get one fitted.
I do only use my bike for my daily commute, love passing static traffic, hate grazing knuckles on wing mirrors, but I do know someone with the same bike who cycled Land's End - John O Groats last year and Barcelona to Rome this summer, so its safe to say this bike is reliable!
But why this bike? Because I feel like Miss Marple of course! When riding you are in a very upright position, I feel like I should have flowers woven over the handlebars and a cat in the basket (he looked murderous when I tried it). The classy pistachio colour (with matching mudguards!) is wonderful and my favourite aspect of my bike (shallow I know, but that's me). My bike makes me feel good, I am proud to ride it. I have had many comments from random people in town as it really is striking, other people love my bike too!
£400 - check online for your local stockist, mine is from John's Bikes in Bath, I'm sure they'd be happy to help you! www.johnsbikes.co.uk
£30 - Basket, essential for champagne, fags and cats.
£30 - Helmet, if you don't wear one, you are one, damaging to hair quiffs however.