It never ceases to amaze me the number of people I see riding around town on crazily shoddy mountain bike wannabe BSOs. Or probably even worse, the real deal – £2,000 worth of carbon, knobbly tyres and suspension travel to deal with roads that are for the most part smooth as Liv Tyler’s complexion. Well, nearly.
I’ve always wondered . . . "Why?"
Roads are smooth. If your tyres are smooth too, you go faster, or further for the same effort – whichever you want. If you have suspension on the bike, then some of your push-down is soaked up by the boing-de-boing (especially on BSO suspension). If you have flat bars that are lower than the saddle, then you will end up looking like a gorilla riding a bike. That’s fine in a gorilla’s natural forest habitat, but decidedly unflattering when you’re riding past Habitat .
So why does this style of bike persist?
To answer this question, you have to look more closely at the infrastructure provided for bikes in UK cities. Like these examples:
Just make sure you’re on a mountain bike though – one that can deal with the rough stuff – one that’s tough enough for a few jumps, is stable at low and high speed, and can take the odd knock. Without such a bike, you could easily get into all sorts of trouble: