Well I took the plunge and last night bought myself a bicycle for the first time in over 20 years. I am now the very proud owner of a Halfords Real Classic Gents Bicycle!
At this point I am in 100% agreement with this review on the Halfords site:
“I could ride this bike all day – it just glides along and is so comfortable. The 3 speed hub gears have a good range – and in 3rd it keeps up effortlessly with a mountain bike in 21st so the ratio seems similar. In 1st it will go up any hill without too much effort. The ‘tick tick tick’ of the gear hub in 2nd and 3rd (it does not tick in 1st as Sturmey Archers don’t) is musical and you can tell which gear you are in and how fast you are going by ear. Sturmey Archer (taken over as SA/Sunrace in 2000) have been going for years and among thousands of bikes worldwide – even the Chopper bikes of the 70s proudly carried their reliable hubs which are latterly completely sealed and maintenance free! I’ve been a long distance cyclist in the past and would think nothing of setting off on a 300 mile road trip on this bike – it is so comfortable. Another reviewer mentioned that your top hat would not become dislodged on this bike – and I agree! Every bike should come with a copy of H.G. Wells’ book The Wheels of Chance – its a good synergy of modern cycliing and great tradition! A super machine for the money that glides for me anyway!”
So I guess I’m now part of the 1 in 5 Boris Bikers who have gone on to buy cycling equipment.
I plan to retain my annual membership for now. I feel so attached to our lovely blue Boris Bikes. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t cycling around London with a big smile across my face.