I often wondered if my 8,5km cycling from home to work would be easier with a race bike. Thanks to my friend Hanne, who borrowed me her bright blue race bike for a week, I could do the test. I had normal pedals installed on the bike, so I didn’t have to put on these weird fixed shoes. Ready to go!
Positive points: it’s very handy to walk with the bike. And second positive point: i got quite some approving looks from the male population, so if you’re looking for a sporty boyfriend, this might be the way to go!
But in the end, the race bike doesn’t win the race for me. For several reasons, but the most important one is that I enjoy the cycling less on a race bike. I can see why some people love its swift flow, but that is just not my kind of pleasure. I like to look around to shop windows, birds & trees, clouds, other cyclists… whereas on a race bike, you’re more inclined to look at the ground because of your position and you’re more focused because of the speed.
And talking about speed, the race bike is great on long, uninterrupted stretches of bike lanes. But in the city centre, you have to stop quite often for cars, traffic lights, pedestrians or dogs on your path and the speed advantage is a bit lost. So I find the normal (not slow either!) rhythm on my good old upright Achielle-bike safer in town. I also like to carry loads of stuff in my bike bags (books, sports outfit, groceries, flowers) and you cannot take all of that comfortably with you on a race bike.
Last question: is the race bike easier to go up hills? Brussels is not exactly “le plat pays”… but the difference of going up steep hills with a race bike or with my Achielle was not significant either. Glad I tried out the race bike, it certainly was an interesting experience, but no thanks! I prefer comfort, style and pleasure over speed.
Tags: Race bike
One Response to “Tested: race bike”
Morgans Bicycles Says:
March 8th, 2013 at 01:29
Thankyou for your post. As the delighted importer of Achielle bicycles into Australia we couldn’t agree more. Hope you don’t mind that we have put your post on our reviews page.
best regards, Jimmy & Suellyn