|If you could only own one bicycle, what would it be?|
For those who own a cornucopia of bikes it's inevitable to entertain the possibility of culling the fleet, retaining one all-around bicycle. It would certainly clear out our garage—which isn't a bad thing—though I'm unwilling to break down and do such a ghastly thing quite yet. However, owning a singular bike has its appeal.
Would I keep a bike from my current stable? Or, is there another type that's a more appropriate fit?
For purposes of this exercise I'll consider my current bicycles and their attributes. I won't include the Peugeot UO 14; it's new (to me) and therefore is untested.
What stands out?
To narrow my thinking process, I've made a concise list of each bike's striking feature(s), in order of personal value.
Ross Mt. Saint Helens - Step-through ease, stable and solid frame, versatile front rack
Trek 830 Antelope - broadest gear range - I use all three chainrings, rock solid frame, best bike for hilly rides
Miyata 610 Grand Touring - most comfortable ride, frame soaks up road surfaces, lightweight frame
Increasingly, I have some discomfort, lifting my leg over traditional diamond frames—even more so with Miyata's higher top tube. Once I'm out riding, however, it becomes a moot point, as long as I refrain from constantly getting on and off the bicycle.
It's never an issue when I ride the Ross. In fact, even with handlebars that are too low, it's pure joy to climb aboard her frame. It's clear that I will—and perhaps already have—gravitate towards step-through style bicycle in the future.
For my ultimate ride, I envision a lightweight frame, ultra low gears (like my Trek with 34t freewheel), ample fork and drop-out clearance to accommodate wide tires and fenders, a simple front rack, plus multi-position handlebars for touring.
For now, the Ross is the closest in my bicycle closet—my go to bike. For sure it's a bit on the hefty side and could use lower gears, but for now it's a bike I can continue tinkering with, and with the ability to raise handlebars, it might suffice as an interim ideal bicycle.