Friday, September 28, 2007

A Rash of Cross Bikes

Lately we've had a little surge of interest in cyclocross bikes. The local clientèle suddenly woke up to the versatility of 'cross bikes and a few riders have scraped up the coin to get them.

Try as I might to promote interest in the ultra-versatile Surly Cross Check, I admit that not every rider needs that level of adaptability. So I don't mind that the latest three cyclocross bikes off our assembly line have been Fujis. The riders who are getting them won't notice the limitations of VD and brifters. They're used to those features. If you never push against a wall you don't see, you can believe it isn't there. If it doesn't matter to you, does it matter at all?

'Cross bikes are cool. When people buy interesting bikes it puts the fun back in the job. I can imagine these riders taking their varied adventure rides.

Since the collapse of the mountain bike boom at the end of the last century, cycling has broken up into subcultures. Some riders maintain bikes to participate in more than one. Others have their one favorite. The cyclocross category provides many good examples of an "all-around" road bike for the one-bike rider who likes faster surfaces and a light-footed steed. It doesn't need to be paved, but it should be well-defined. Many places have paved and unpaved public roads that would be boring on a mountain bike but offer great opportunities for transportation and exploration on a rugged road bike.

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