Bikes

Co-motion Carrera Tandem

Coach Fred Matheny reviews the Co-Motion Carerra tandem. He counts numerous technological improvements in the Carerra over his 10-year-old Co-Motion Speedster tandem. Among them: disc brakes front and rear, no diagonal tube, Gates belt drive, lighter weight, lively handling and a 10-speed drivetrain, to name a few.

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Cervelo Soloist Carbon Road Bike

cervelosoloistI'm convinced that a major contributing factor to the excellent all-around ride is use of the same material throughout the frameset. On my titanium bike I have a carbon fork. It's fine, but I can sense a difference in the materials. The Soloist has a more balanced or integrated feel that surely helps the superb all-around ride characteristics.

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Rivendell Rambouillet

Rivendell was founded by Grant Petersen, the brains behind Bridgestone Bicycles before the Japanese company pulled out of the U.S. market. Grant was the person for whom Bicycling magazine coined the term, "retro grouch." He likes traditional equipment. Or more to the point, he likes to promote traditional equipment. So, his Rivendell catalog is heavy on wool garments, leather saddles, canvas bags and cotton handlebar tape.

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Bike Friday TiLite XL Road Tandem Traveler

Bike Friday virtually created the travel bike niche. Sure, there were other foldable bicycles before Alan Scholz designed his first small-wheel machine to fit in a suitcase in the early 1990s. But none rode as much like a conventional bike. I have owned Bike Friday Pocket Rockets for more than 10 years. I've used them for camps, tours, brevets, centuries and training while traveling. They ride and handle as well as my best bikes. Bike Friday also offers tandems.

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Serotta Ottrott

Handling, despite the custom fork rake and short top tube, is perfectly predictable. The bike behaves exactly like I want it to. Besides fit, my main priority in a bike is stable descending. I ride steep, long, windy descents here in western Colorado and I hate bikes that shimmy. The Ottrott flew down the road from Black Canyon National Park at over 45 mph with impeccable manners. As I've gotten older, a bike's comfort has become more important, too. Here I'm talking about compliance on bad pavement. On the rough and cracked macadam that's my norm, the Ottrott is the smoothest bike I've ridden.

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Salsa Casseroll Triple All-Round Road Bike

Test riding a bicycle may sound like a cool thing to do. But if you take the work seriously, you have to give up riding your own bike for a fairly long period. Fortunately, the Casseroll did not disappoint. I enjoyed riding it. In fact, if there were more room in my garage, I would add it to my stable. And I can recommend you add it yours. Whether it's your only bike for all-round riding, or your go-to bike for days when there's too much crap on the road to risk a random pebble fracturing your carbon down tube, you will be stoked you are riding a Casseroll.

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Co-Motion Speedster Tandem

Coach Fred Matheny reviews the Co-Motion Speedster tandem. "The Speedster is a do-everything bike," he says. "Although not as light as a carbon or titanium tandem would be, its steel frame isn't a burden on long climbs and it offers the stability to mount racks and panniers for an extended tour. We opted for some bells and whistles: a WoundUp carbon tandem fork, Old Man Mountain rear rack, Shimano Flight Deck, RockShox suspension seatpost for the stoker and an Avid mechanical disk rear brake.

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Ritchey BreakAway Travel Bike

Is the BreakAway better than a Bike Friday? Both have their advantages. The Ritchey is definitely the better choice if you want to ride a standard road bike and are willing to accept a bit more build and packing time. It requires some mechanical ability to reinstall the front brake and handlebar. Bike Friday packs faster and easier and travels safely in a rigid Samsonite suitcase. It also comes in larger sizes than the Ritchey.

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Waterford R-33 Custom Road Bike

When I signed up for the Elite Tour -- 2,800 miles from San Diego to Savannah in 17 days -- I knew that I'd need a special bike. Minor bike and equipment breakdowns on a tour of this difficulty are especially frustrating because fixing them cuts into precious recovery time. A major problem on the road might mean not completing the day's mileage before darkness. So I didn't hesitate to shop for a steel frame and fork. Call me a dinosaur if you wish, but there are plenty of good reasons to choose steel in this era of titanium and carbon.

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