So I’ve got yet another bicycle…

September 20, 2013

…and it’s only a few months since I bought my Robot Bike From The Future. But I want to make it perfectly clear I am not – repeat AM NOT – having a midlife crisis. I need this bike to get to and from work, and the last one I had broke. Here’s a picture if you don’t believe me.

crack on langster frame

It was a Langster, and I only discovered there was a crack near the dropouts on the driveside chainstay when I gave the dirty old thing a scrub. So there’s a lesson for you, kids: always clean your bicycle on a regular basis, even if it’s just a hack bike, otherwise you might not notice the frame has developed a structural fault that will cause it to snap and send you plummeting towards the tarmac, and possibly A&E.

I’ve heard great things about Specialized replacing frames that are out of warranty, but I didn’t go down that route for two reasons. Firstly, the bike was just a runaround, so I’ve left it unattended loads of times, and who knows what abuse some dozy, bored halfwit might’ve inflicted on the frame? Secondly, as much as I liked the Langster, the aluminium frame and carbon seatpost were only comfortable for short commutes; anything longer was a bit rough on the old knackers.

So for longevity, and because I want to do some long, flat training rides over the winter, I decided to replace the Langster with a steel frame fixie. I used one of the cycle to work schemes, opting to spend £700 (the maximum is £1,000), and voila! This is what I got…

pearson now you see me side

Like my Robot Bike From The Future, I bought it from the Pearson shop in Sheen. It’s part of their own range, and it’s called Now You See Me…

pearson now you see me front

That last ellipsis, by the way, which obviously acts as a transition to the above photo, also happens to be part of the name.

pearson now you see me name

(Also, you may have noticed that to complement the gritty, urban photoshoot which took place just off London’s famous Portobello Road, my team of stylists sprayed the bike with water to give it a rained-on effect.)

pearson now you see me back

I wanted to see how well my Now You See Me… would fulfill its dual role as a commuter and training bike, so for its first outing on Monday morning I did a round trip to Windsor before taking it into town. I am hugely pleased with the results. This bike just rolls. It dives through corners. It’s agile. And I prefer the 48×18 to the Langster’s 42×16: slowing down for a junction is more stride-and-decelerate rather than scamper-and-brake. What I like most about the bike, though, is that underneath the smooth, comfortable ride is a discernible toughness that urges you to give it a bit more welly whenever the traffic opens up to give you a clear stretch of road. The only reservation I have is the saddle: visually, I’ve nothing against the droopy tip, but I feel it might be nudging me further forward than I’m used to. I’ll need to put in a few more rides to judge it properly.

So that’s my impression after four days. And to think I may never have discovered such pleasure if that aluminium frame hadn’t cracked…

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