A hundred years ago, when there were no more hand-me-down bikes to give me, I was gifted a dream bike, the Trek 1000. Black with blue outlined red decals, all the best colors, nothing more. There has never been a faster bike.
Equipped with Suntour Edge components and Trek’s own Matrix hard anodized grey rims, this rocket would take me on spirited rides to Kendrick Park, McKenzie Reservoir complete with fishing poles and tackle box, and eventually from Seattle to San Francisco – fully loaded. It was my all-road bike, as it was all I had. I knew nothing of tires, suppleness, or thread count, I just knew that If I strained I could pump them up to 120 psi and live.
The brakes cleared the 23mm tires with ease, and may or may not have cleared more, who cared? On the rear rack sagged my tent, sleeping bag, pots, pans, fireworks, camp stove, souvenirs, and my Nike Deschutz sandals, bringing my total bike weight to upwards of seventy pounds. I may have been asking a lot out of the value packed single pivot brake calipers. None of that mattered though, because I never saw the parked Geo Storm I rode it into, I just saw stars.
A friendly shop helped me out by installing a used, yellowing, white steel fork but the damage was done, the bike would never be the same physically or aesthetically, I ruined it.
What happened between then and now, why did it take so long for me and others to try out a pair of 28’s and longer to morph into 32’s and 38’s and 42’s and beyond? Why do so many people still pump their tires to a hundred and above?
When I heard Jan Heine had written a new book, “The All-Road Bike Revolution,” I imagined it being a story about how and why riders preferences evolved over the years, from wanting something similar to my skinny tired Trek 1000 to the supple, All-Road bikes at the forefront of most cyclists wants and needs today. I had only imagined this, I didn’t read any reviews, it’s merely what I thought it’d be about.
Instead, “The All-Road Bike Revolution” is basically one man’s opinion of what is important to consider when shopping for a new bike. Lucky for me, I enjoy that topic quite a bit, and was intrigued by some of Jan’s research and beliefs.
With the book now finished, I am left wanting more out of it. I want to know what happened, how, when, and why? Who was first! Jan? Rene? I want to know if I have ever experienced a bike that planes, and if I’d even know it. Has my carbon fork diminished a spirited ride quality? Would I be more aero with fenders and a handlebar bag and would I feel it? So many questions. I needed an outlet so I spoke to friend and frame builder Bryan Hollingsworth of Royal H about the book, and floated the idea to him about designing and building a bike through the eyes of someone trying to see through the eyes of Jan Heine. Great news all, he is enthusiastically on board.
Over the next few months, we’re going to build a new bike, heavily based on topics discussed in “The All-Road Bike Revolution.” There’ll be photos, stories, questions and answers, guest bloggers, ramblings, and who knows what else. I hope you’ll join us in the process and share your thoughts, experiences, and strong opinions one way or another. More to come!