Courier bikes - Which one to buy?
When I go back to Australia, we are moving over east to Melbourne. I'm going to hopefully be a bike courier again, riding around the streets at ridiculous speeds trying not to kill myself or anyone else. To this end I'm considering what bike to buy here in the UK (where choice is much better) to take with me when I go back over.
The choices so far:
Cannondale Bad Boy 8
I'm looking for a bike that is clean, beautiful and good to ride. I think both fill these criteria, although the each is quite a different style of ride.
The Pista is a fixed gear bicycle, meaning the rotation of the cranks is fixed to the rotation of the back wheel, no freewheeling. There are many couriers who love this style of riding and I'd really like to give it a try. Melbourne is quite a wet city with variable conditions so I'm not sure I feel totally confident about riding without brakes. Fortunately the Pista comes with front forks pre-drilled to accept a front brake.
The Bianchi Pista
Cannondale Bad Boy 8
The Cannondale Bad Boy 8 is a new concept (based on an old one) where the bike has an old style drum hub with eight gears. This means an enclosed gear section with hopefully low maintenance as it is sealed from the elements. It also makes the bike look very sleek and clean, especially with Cannondale's new cable routing through the frame. The Bad Boy also has disc brakes, nice Avid Juicys, which means excellent braking in wet conditions. I don't know what the gear ratios are like but I'm guessing I can change the rear cog or the single front ring if I need more speed.
The Cannondale Bad Boy 8
I'm also hoping there are horizontal dropouts on this or some way to keep the chain tension. Anyone have any idea?
I'll post which one I decide to go for in the end. Meanwhile I'm sorting out bikes for our Land's End to John O'Groats ride in three weeks time. So many bikes, so little cash!
I put a bid on the Cannondale Bad Boy 8 on an eBay auction and got it for Â£600. It had done 300 miles of commuting and is in great condition. My only disappointment is the weight of the Alfine rear hub and that it is silver when pretty everything else on the bike is black. But a major bonus is the use of an eccentric bottom bracket which means no need for expensive hubs if I decide to go single or fixed (which is quite likely). The bike is fast, I'm going to put some 700x25 tyres on for a bit of extra speed. It handles very nicely and the gears are growing on me.
I ended up stripping the gears out of this bike and turned it into a fixed gear Bad Boy. Very nice.