My track record of keeping a bike is poor… in the past 12 years I’ve had four of them, and all have been stolen – in some cases the same bike (well most of it) was stolen twice! Now the main reason for this is that I haven’t really loved them enough to be bothered taking proper care of them. In most cases I haven’t thought it necessary to lock them up – and lo 5 minutes later they are gone. I did at least have one of my rides in a locked back garden behind a 6 foot high wall, but the thieving chavs still clambered over and nicked it good and proper… When it was returned (8 months later) it had new wheels and new (better) gears but it still felt contaminated and I haven’t ridden it since.
However, when at the Design Museum last weekend I saw the Vanmoof No.5 on display in the Brit Insurance Design Awards exhibition and thought “Hmmm… maybe I should get myself a new bike”. So a little research and what do I find – three bikes (and one super dedicated bike builder with a fabulous sense of retro modern design and a great website to match) that I, for different reasons would consider splashing the cash on.
First up we have the Vanmoof DÜSENJÄGER – the extreme version of the No.5 – with its red rimmed white treads and shiny aluminium frame that hides the lock (yay!) and solar charged led lights. Topped off with matt black or red detailing in the seats, bars and chain guards; this bike is a tour-de-force in heavy-duty functional urban design.
Now how does a handmade, pared down, minimal masterpiece from New York’s finest bicycle craftsman Francesco Bertelli grab you? Well, if you ever wanted to see what dedication, coupled with talent, a keen eye and steady hand can produce when applied to the art of building a biciclette – then look no further than here.
Francesco combines new, refurbished and vintage parts to create individual and unique masterpieces for the luckiest cyclists in NYC . I wonder how much it would cost to ship one of his bikes to London? If I start saving now, I might not be able to beat the Chris Hoy at the 2012 Olympics, but I’ll most definitely out-style him around town! Oh and I just have to put my hands together for the website and photography – glorious!
Finally, a bike fit for the 21st century; forget your classic Brompton and Dahon folding bikes – those are for types who like twigs in their flat, warm ale and who wear hi-vis vests along with bicycle clips to keep their cords safe from the chain… No, what you need is cycling’s answer to the Prius and Segway: The GoCycle!
Designed for commuting – this is a tool for city boys who can’t be arsed breaking sweat on the run into work in the morning and who would prefer to concentrate on staying alive while navigating London’s notoriously treacherous rush-hour traffic (mostly consisting of maniac motorcyclists, mopeds and the biggest killers of all – artics and bendy buses!). At £1200 (plus another £150 if you want the dinky little storage case) it’s not cheap – but then again cool things like this never are, and remember its aimed at the city dweller and I’m guessing city is the operative word in that audience!