As with any turn of the calendar to another year, resolutions are had, dreams are made as we look out to the coming year... at this point, is full of potential. It may not come to any surprise but since the 2009 bikes started to be released back in August anyone working in a shop started looking for when these new models might come to be. Other than the release of the 2009 bikes, I think there might not be more excitement around product other than when the new QBP catalog comes in.
A few bikes across the industry have caught my eye, granted the likelihood of ever getting my hands on any of these bikes is extremely limited, so don't expect full review on these anytime soon.
The first bike is the 2009 Raleigh Detour Deluxe. Raleighs website states that the bike will range somewhere between $700 and $1100. A solidly spec'd bike that comes with fenders, lights and a rack.
Why do I like it? Well... I've already mentioned that the spec on the bike is solid, especially for a commuter. My only hesitance is the price, especially if the bike goes for over $1000. It has been my experience that as soon as a 'commuter' specific bike hits that price point, it becomes more of a shop rat bike. Granted, in such cycling Meca's like Portland I'm sure get more attention by the everyday commuter and maybe even the beginner. With all that said, I tweak all of my bikes. I've never let one of them stay stock. Partly because none really hit all my needs or desires for said bike. But this bike is straight forward, solid and ready.
Next we have the 2009 Fuji Palisade 1.0. It's MSRP is at $470 which is awesome.
Why do I like it? Come on! Look at it. SA-weeeeeeeet! But yes, looks aren't everything. The build on the Palisade does have some to desire. With only a 21 speed drive train and lacking a Shimano or SRAM drivetrain gets me a little nervous but we need to consider what this bike was built for. The college campus. A mustache bar for multiple hand positions and a front rack that well, I can't get enough of front racks. I don't see myself wanting to change much of this bike, sure, if I ever got one, I would abuse it, doing only minor work on it... but I think that's what the draw is.
So I'm late on this one... the Salsa Fargo. I don't need to say anything more because it's all been said by G. Ted. I want it, I have dreamt about it [I realize how akward that sounds] and it will remain that...
The Trek District. MSRP $929.99. Ouch! but not really. I had the privledge of seeing this at the 09 Trek World and needless to say [and Geoff can attest to] this bike rocked my socks off.
Why do I like it? Once again. LOOK AT IT! Last year one of my primary commuters was the Soho S, which is the exact frame work that the District works from. They even flipped the stem. What put me over the edge on this bike is the belt drive system. No maintance, basically ever. If the belt system wasn't already out for a few years I would not be as excited for this bike as others, since anything new often can either last but mostly fades away never to be seen or heard from again [so good luck getting parts]. The only way I could see Trek improving this bike is actually using Velocity hoops. Say what you will but Velocity wheels are the only way to go especially when comparing knock offs to the real deal Deep V's
Finally, the 2009 Schwinn Continental. Wait... what was that sound I just heard. Oh yeah, the sound of all you fellow bike-snobs gasping that I might actually be interesting a Schwinn. And I'll admit, if it wasn't that I worked at shop that sold them I would have mocked this bike from the get go and never really consider it. Ok, now for a gasp that's worth it... MSRP: $2399.99.
Why do I like it? Ok, Schwinn has made some mistakes in it's past, we all know it. The Schwinn name unfortunately means little or nothing since they sold out to the Big Box stores. BUT... believe it or not, they still make solid bikes for the independent bike shops. With that said, this bike has been in development and teased dealers and consumers for a few years. But it looks like it's finally going to show itself this year, according to my rep we will see them around March.
What's so special about it? Well, Schwinn offers a few different models of the electric bike and this at the top of the scale. I'm drawn to this model for a number of reasons... no unleaded! it's gas free!, 7 speed internal hub, as with most of the bike shown, rack and fenders, the battery has a 60 mile range and an extremely fast charge time 4 hours! and finally the electric system only adds 10 pounds to the bike.
Sure as with all the other bikes, I'll probably never own this one either. BUT. For the commuter who is concerned about the sweaty biking look at work, this might be the perfect option.
Sure, in a perfect world I'd be able to give full reviews with ride time on these bikes and really try to make you understand why each of them, I believe, are very worthy of purchasing. But now it's up to you to go out and try them.
Oh! If anyone is looking for a Bontrager Carbon 29er Fork I hear there is a great deal on one here.