Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Strikebreakers (for girls)

There's been a tube strike in London this week which has seen a lot of people getting on their bikes to get to work, rather than battling an unsympathetic public transport network. The strike has caused such misery amongst commuters, even my girlfriend is beginning to see the benefits of cycling to work. Her new found enthusiasm for two-wheeled transport got me looking at bikes for her — it's not the sort of thing we get to cover at all on MBR, and actually, I'm quite impressed by what's out there now.
If I get her a new bike, top of the list is the new Charge Bikes Hob. It looks nice (and looks even better in the flesh), it's got a step-through frame so she can wear a skirt, and one gear is more than enough for riding around London.

On paper £630 looks like quite a lot for such a simple bike, but the frame's good (Tange tubing - not some unbranded old crap) and all the components are top quality, so it's actually pretty good value.
NB. My opinion of value when it comes to bicycles is totally skewed and is probably best ignored.
Next on my list is the Creme Cafe Racer. It basically does the same thing as the Hob, except with gears (7, in the hub), dynamo lights, a rack a slightly more euro feel. At £850 though it's definitely at the luxury end of the spectrum — probably a good choice if you can get cycle2work though.

I can't help thinking though, once the strikes are over, one of Boris's Barclays bike might be a better idea for many commuters than actually owning a bike. A bit like cloud computing I guess — why store stuff on your own computer when you can store it in the cloud? And why own a bike when you can just use one as and when you need it?


ThePixelMerch©nt said...

I saw an old Raleigh Mixte today that is just like that Charge. I shot Paul Smith's Wedding last Saturday and he had one that he had turned into a fixie with white rims/hubs and a riser bar inverted with Brooks bar tape grips. Looked sweet! So, two in one week - they are around......

Andy Waterman said...

Yeah, Smiff's one looked wicked. Saw it on the C+ blog. Stressful job shooting another photographer's wedding I bet - he'll be checking all your exif data and everything haha

Old wind man said...

I think she might thank you if you got her the bike with the geared hub, single speed and head winds are not a good mix to a non cyclist