I’ve been fortunate to spend time riding an unusually eclectic collection of bicycles over the past few years. The partial list includes:
I’m sure I missed a few. Some of those on the list I owned, others were on extended loans, all were interesting in their unique way, and each harbored a collection of design compromises. A few I still have, but many moved on because I changed my riding habits or they didn’t fit my riding habits in the first place. Probably the most important lesson I learned from experimenting with such a wide variety of bikes is that matching the right type of bike to the right use is more important than laboring over the insignificant differences between competing models within a bike-type. It may seem obvious, but it’s worth stating: if you’re going to haul cargo, buy a cargo bike; if you’re going to race, buy a racing bike; and if you’re going to commute, buy a commuter. The most lauded bike, if used for some purpose other than the one for which it was designed, is not going to live up to its potential and is likely to disappoint (as the boneyard above so aptly demonstrates!).