Recently someone asked me a pretty tough question- what are my 5 favorite bicycle designs? I didn’t know how to respond; that is almost an impossible for me to answer because of the great variety of bicycle types that interest me. The question immediately made me think of a post from years ago- March 2006 to be exact- in which I listed a few high-end road and mountain bikes that I really liked. I stand by that list and I can say that I still like the current top of the line recreational bike offerings from all those same companies. Does that make them my favorite designs? Well not really. If the question had been something like “if you could have any 5 bikes on the market, what would they be?’ I am pretty sure that I would pick a few really nice (and very expensive) road and mountain bikes. I might also pick a super high-end cyclocross bike and of course I would get a really nice time trial bike. Yeah, I like expensive racing bikes, but from purely a design standpoint I wouldn’t call any of those my favorites. As I have said before on the blog quite a few times, the bike designs that interest me the most are not necessarily the ones that I ride most of the time. I am interested in designs that are transportation focused and aim to introduce a wider audience to the joys of cycling.
Out of curiosity, I did a search here on Bicycle Design for the word “favorite”. It is interesting to see how many times over the course of three years I have used that word in various posts. At one point I called the Alta my favorite single speed commuter. The Mike Burrows designed Windcheetah was referred to as “one of my favorite tricycles with two wheels in the front and a very low rider profile” (I am not sure what my other favorites in that category would be). I also used the word favorite when talking about the old Boardman Lotus superbike, the new Ridley Dean TT bikes, my old Specialized Sub 6 helmet, my Giant carbon aero seatpost, and Archibald Sharp’s 1896 book “Bicycles and Tricycles” just to name a few instances. OK, so I have thrown that word around a lot, but my five favorite designs are still something that I just can’t pinpoint. I guess I don’t really feel the need to. I will suffice to say that I like to see all kinds of different bicycle designs, which is why I am looking forward to reviewing all the entries in the commuter bike design competition. Remember, the deadline for entry is just three weeks away, so get to work if you have an idea.