Getting to ride the latest and greatest product on the market is a huge perk of this job. And I could talk for hours about how much I liked the technology or ride quality of this ten-thousand-dollar bike or that twenty-eight-hundred-dollar wheelset. And while I have very much enjoyed riding and reviewing those products, at the end of the reviewing period, these products (sadly) go back to the brand. And so, looking back at the year, I would rather talk to you about items that I used day in, day out and will happily continue using for some time.
Bonus: many of these also come with less of a sticker shock!
Flame Lacquer Brompton M6
My Brompton (opens in new tab) or “Brommie” as I call her was an impromptu, n+0.33 Craigslist purchase I made in January. I’d been low-key intrigued by Bromptons for a bit and when I was planning my trip to the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Fayetteville in January, I thought a bike would be a nice way to get around but didn’t feel like hauling my big bike box there. I’d only be on the ground for four days after all, and I would be too busy to actually ride.
Perusing Craigslist one evening, I found this gleaming orange beauty in like-new condition. How could I possibly resists?
Six days later I was on a plane headed to Arkansas with my new travel buddy in tow. Once at the Bentonville Airport, I unfolded the Brompton, swung my duffel on my back and pedaled the 24 miles to my hotel in Fayetteville — meeting quite a few stares along the way.
On that first trip we tackled road and gravel, attended a group ride and rode approximately 80 miles over the course of four days.
From that trip on, Brommie went with me to France for the Tour de France Femmes — I even sprinted up the finishing climb of stage 3 in Épernay—, to her manufacturing home in London and to Amsterdam.
With the Brompton in tow I always had my own transportation with me. I didn’t have to rely on public transportation or taxis, I could move around more speedily than by foot and I got a teensy bit of saddle time in where otherwise I would have had none at all.
Image 1 of 2
Unlike a regular bike, the Brompton doesn’t require much added consideration for flying. I simply place the folded bike inside a clear plastic bag — the Ikea Dimpa to be exact— and drop it off as a checked bag. In the biggest planes, it can even fit in an overhead bin! And…