My first real race bike was a Team Miyata: In a beautiful blue colour with black panels and yellow lettering, it looked the part with Campagnolo Super Record. The bike was a purpose-built criterium machine with steep head and seat angles, fantastic for racing but less capable for our weekday epic rides over the fire roads and singletracks of California.
After awhile, tired of extricating myself from the bushes and stream beds, I bought a more relaxed road racing bike, an Austro-Daimler. Burgundy and with a box section fork, it was not as flash as the Miyata. The relaxed angles and taller headtube made the bike a bit of a truck at the local circuit races, but that same geometry was perfect on the trails of northern California.
This Austro-Daimler was the old-school equivalent of the latest “gravel grinder” phenomenon in the bike industry. Gravel grinders are a road bike/cyclocross bike hybrid: Relaxed angles and taller, these bikes aren’t built for flogging through corners at the local crit, but rather all-day rides over mixed terrain.
Sabbath sent us their September AR-1 disc bike, their version of the genre, for a few weeks of long rides in the south of England. Is their latest titanium frame a good alternative for riders looking for a do-anything machine..? Read More >
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