Posted by: Emily | July 10, 2010

Decisions, decisions

A few months ago Ian announced that he was going to get a training bike. Prior to this, I had been blissfully unaware of the gaping hole in my bicycle collection. Once the concept of a training bike had entered my consciousness however, I found it hard to comprehend how I’d managed to cope for so long without one. Clearly this was something that needed to be rectified.

I now find myself in the delightfully difficult position of trying to decide which bicycle to get. After much deliberation, and Google searching, my top two contenders are the Condor Fratello and the Van Nicholas Yukon. Both seem like great bikes, have received very favourable reviews and would meet all of my requirements, which include having a rack as my new bike will also double-up as my ‘use for cycling holidays’ aka touring bike.

Given how much I love my Condor Tempo, the Fratello, which is essentially a Tempo with gears, is a bike that I know I’d instantly love and would no doubt give me everything I’m looking for and more. Ironically, this is also one of my main concerns. If I’m getting a new bike, it would seem like a waste, not to mention extremely boring, to choose one so similar to what I already have. That leaves me with my other top choice – the Yukon. On paper, or online, the Yukon looks ideal. Whereas the Fratello’s problem is one of familiarity, with the Yukon it’s the complete opposite – I would be buying a bike that I’d never even seen in real life, let alone taken for a test ride. On their site, Van Nic offer a 10 day money-back guarantee. Returning a bike to The Netherlands isn’t however something I’d relish doing from either a hassle or cost perspective. I could buy the bike from one of their UK dealers, but given there aren’t any in London, this isn’t as easy as it sounds and requires almost as much planning as a trip to The Netherlands. I’m obviously exaggerating a little, but it’s certainly not as easy as going to Condor who are a mere 20 minute ride from my doorstep. My other reservation with the Yukon is along the same lines – even if I love the bike, when I need to get work done or if there’s a problem, how easy will it be to do this in London?

As it currently stands, I’m 80/20 in favour of the Yukon. It was 70/30 this morning. If I’m 90/10 tomorrow I think I’ll take the plunge, or I could just pop down to Condor…

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