Favorites revisited

Commuter, MTB, Road 10 2

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.

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10 Comments

  1. Anonymous November 20, 2008 at 8:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi James,

    Is the poster or collection of bike photos you have on 11.14 something you made? Is it commercial? I’d like to get a copy. Could you direct me to more info about it?

  2. James November 21, 2008 at 6:13 am -  Reply

    Hi Anon 8:36, sorry, but that is just a low res image that I put together for the post. It is basically just a collection of random pictures of bikes that I like. I would send you a high res version if I had it, but some of the images were pretty small to start with.

  3. Anonymous November 22, 2008 at 6:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi James,

    Thank you for the note about the low-res images of the bikes on 11.14. Could you provide me with written info on the bike in the upper R corner, and bike in the 2nd row from R – 3rd position down.

    Both of these look like cool bikes that could be used for commuting; if they aren’t prototypes.
    David

  4. Leszek November 25, 2008 at 6:06 am -  Reply

    Hi James,

    There is a bike in your poster which looks like one I designed for my personal use (mostly commuting, some cross country recreational riding). I haven’t built it yet.

    Could you give me some info on the bike in the second row, second from left?

    If it is produced, I need not pay for the customized frame.

    Indeed, I’d prefer a proven industrial design to my own unproven one. The pic in your poster confirms that I am thinking in the right direction.

    Who is the guy with the same thoughts? – Please help me find out…

    Congrats on your blog,
    kensbok@gmail.com

  5. James November 26, 2008 at 8:39 am -  Reply

    David, the bikes that you are referring to are the TrioBike in the top right and the Townie SUB, second row third position down. I have mentioned the TrioBike on the blog a couple of times before. The SUB is Xtracycle accessory compatible and you can read more about it here.

    Leszek, the bike you referred to is the Electra Amsterdam Balloon 8. Read more about it here.

  6. Anonymous November 26, 2008 at 2:13 pm -  Reply

    James,

    Thank you for the information. I’ll look into these as commuter/shopping options.
    David

  7. Anonymous March 7, 2010 at 9:01 am -  Reply

    James,

    thank you for linking up information about the Electra Amsterdam Balloon 8. I’ve ridden it, and unexpectedly got rather disappointed by the low quality of the bike. It is acceptable for an occasional ride “thru the hood”, though.

    Leszek

  8. Anonymous March 7, 2010 at 9:09 am -  Reply

    @BLOG ADMIN

    Dear Administrator,

    it seems that my Email address is being shown (see November 26, 2008, 6:06 am above) in spite of your blog policy, which states: “Email is required, but never shared”

    I’d prefer to have my email address – that one which shows above – rendered unreadable, or erased entirely.

    Very many words of praise for the quality of the blog. Keep it up!

    Leszek

    • James T March 7, 2010 at 10:58 am -  Reply

      Leszek, Thanks for the comment. Your email address is not publicly visible. It may have been visible to you before the comment was moderated, but your comment shows as anonymous. Please let me know if you have additional concerns.

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