Herzog and I were talking about our cross seasons. Mine had ended a few weeks prior when I’d put fenders on my bike, signaling that I was done for the season. John doesn’t put fenders on until cross season his season is done, and he wasn’t riding with fenders yesterday. As conversations about these go we got around to talking about the bikes we raced this year, and predictably, Herzog loves his Mudhoney and I talked about how it doesn’t track in corners the way I want it to (or at least not the way I expect it to). He followed that by asking me what my dream bike was.
I responded weakly at first. Using the lame answer: “I don’t know.” Which I knew was bull shit the moment it left my mouth. I took those words back and laid down the short version of what I wanted: low bottom bracket, at least 28s with fenders, but overall room for 32s, which would get me through most anything. Basically an all roads style bike. Which feels like the direction I’m headed. We didn’t talk long about those things, and I eventually rode to work.
After showering I looked at the sign above where my towel hangs in what passes for the “break room”, “locker room”, shower and supply closet. The sign is made up from a list of things we are supposed to strive for. The is a section labeled Non Negotiable Standards.
So here are MY non negotiable standards.
Externally routed cables
room for bigger tires with fenders (28s are fine)
Corners like a race bike
Fender and rack mounts. (hidden would be nice)
Quick; I still want it to be able to throw down.
Styling a little closer to classic, than modern
Stem must be at least 100mm
Things that would be nice, but aren’t deal breakers.
Internal routing for lights. (I know this runs contrary to the external cable standard, but really how often am I changing light wires?)
I’ve come to these standards based on the rides I’ve been doing lately, and the direction I see myself going. That’s 95% road, with a group ride once or twice a week, brevets, dirt and gravel roads and the occasional fast and light bike tour.