From the start, here’s my bike history and some background on each one:
Boy’s bike – my memory seems to think that it was blue and red, and had very small wheels, probably 24″. It certainly wasn’t a Chopper or a Grifter, but it got me onto two wheels.
Dad’s old racer – this was a 27″ wheel drop-bar bike that dad bought some time in the late 40’s. It had a 4-speed Sturmey-Archer hub, but we swapped this to a 5 speed derailleur in the build. Unfortunately I didn’t recognise the value of the frame 20 or so years ago, after I’d left home and it was consigned to the skip in a garage clear-out.
First courier bike – I spend a year in Melbourne and managed to get a job as a cycle courier, so I had to buy a bike and found one at Hillman’s. It was my first mountain bike, albeit it in an over-size road-friendly frame and was delivered in lurid pink. Over six months I literally rode it into the ground and upgraded to another Hillman. It made it back to the UK and found a home with a Retrobike member.
Second courier bike – another Hillman, this time in blue and white. It also made it back to the UK and also found a home with a Retrobike member.
Saracen Kiliflyer Pro – This was my first proper off-road mountain bike. It came with short raised chain stays, hydraulic Magura brakes, an old-school stretched position and was stealth black.
Cannondale Adventurer hybrid – this was a fantastic family work horse that did everything I threw at it. It managed some time trials with Chippenham Wheelers, hauled the boys in a bike-seat, carried shopping in panniers and was competent on trails and tow paths (I fitted cycle-cross tyres to help it away from the roads).
Cannondale R700 road-bike – I’d had my nose pressed against the Cannondale showroom window for many many years, so this bike was a real treat. I’d set myself a personal target of completing the Malmesbury triathlon and this was choice of steed. It arrived in a beautiful retro orange and worked a treat. Over the years it’s done three triathlons and a trip round the Pyrenees – and the only change has been slightly upgraded wheels after the original Shimano rear wheel came to the end of its life.
Marin Eldridge Grade – my first foray into the world of suspension after the Saracen came to the end of it’s active life, and I couldn’t justify running it as a project.
Giant Anthem X3 – my first foray into the world of full suspension after I’d decided that the Marin was “a little bit slow”. The Anthem was a rocket.