I'm dickering around with a lot of ideas at the moment, hence my questions about various handlebars, too much time spent in the commuting and SS forums, daft discussions about pedals and the like.
The basic concept that's gelling in my tiny little mind, is that of one bike to do everything ... that I want to do. Fortunately, the compromises forced on such a beast tend to affect areas that aren't overly important to me.
- commuting, night and day, a winter that can get very wet but usually isn't and no snow or ice, stinking hot summers. My panniers for uni have been known to top 10kg incidentally.
- stable on dirt tracks - seriously, my commute into the city has a section that is loose gravel ... and it's near the city centre
- ride on rough surfaces - many councils here have rather bizarre interpretations of the word 'road' and 'paved' and the concept of making the base flat before sealing it has been forgotten in some areas
- local running - shopping, errands, library, visiting, etc, the stuff you do with the family car
- towing a trailer - heavy load would be the shopping (though I still haven't done this), normal load my wee doggie
- towing my daughter on her tag-along (will she ever learn to ride on her own?)
- gentle family riding ie, bike path, slow, comfortable
- day trips - probably no worse than metric centuries because of kid committments, I just don't have the time to disappear on the really long rides
- I'd love to do a light tour one day and if I ever get the chance, this'll be the bike
- sports/fitness rides ie, go like blazes, have fun, terrify my teenage son
- climb like a cat
- bars WILL be at saddle height (or above) and considering I'm not a great fan of the highly angled, very long neck currently fitted to the commuter, this will affect frame choice and sizing
- be very reliable - I'm not a fan of having to fiddle with things all the time to keep them working right, once set they can flamin' well stay that way, nor will I be spending my weekends lovingly grooming and fettling this beast
What it won't be doing:
- going on group or club rides - I'm not into that sort of thing, too much of a loner I guess
- fast is good and I'll ride as hard as I can but ultimate speed is largely irrelevant, it just has to feel fast and reward spirited riding
- carrying more than I can jam into two panniers - front panniers are a nice option but can be overlooked
- riding fire trails - it's a road bike, not a mountain bike
- doing extended, fully laden tours
Maybe another term might be 'urban all rounder'
I have my own thoughts of course:
- Brooks B17
- a wheel at either end of the bike but width undetermined
- handlebars are undeterimined (despite the threads about them, I'm trying to keep an open mind) but the 'flat' had position WILL be angled such as with the Nitto Noodle ie, not dead straight or flat, my hands don't like dead straight bars
- geared or fixed but probably geared but maybe not but a frame that will do both anyway
Recumbents are a non-starter I'm afraid - my current bent has taught me that you need to get the type of bent right and I don't have the luxury of effectively test riding lots of different types. Bents remain something I'll look at in later years when I've got some money. Incidentally, if I build this bike, my bent, my sportster and my commuter will all be sold to finance the project, reducing me to the new bike and my Europa (which is almost a starter as the base frame anyway).
Anyone care to chime in with thoughts and ideas? Components are a part of this too because they can affect other decisions. For example, mudguards are important so my current Jamis frame is a non-starter because they won't fit. Are dyno hubs worth the expense?
Forumites, here is your opportunity to spend my money - go for it