by Wil Barrett
December 13, 2016
We’ve all had bikes that we’ve lusted after. Bikes that we had dreams about as young kids when putting together our extraordinarily long and extraordinarily ambitious Santa wish list. Bikes that we always wanted but never materialised in our lifetime.
What bikes did you lust after as a kid? Was there a particular bike that would have seen you flipping out of your skin if Santa had sneakily delivered in the wee hours of Christmas morning? And what about now? What’s your dream bike to end all dream bikes?
We’ve gone around the whole Singletrack office to find out everyone’s dream bikes – both the ones that were on their Xmas wish list as wee little groms, and the ones that are on their wish list today as fully grown adults (we use that term lightly).
James – The Dispatch Guy & Endooro Shredder
Why? Because it’s got electronicals and buttons and it can fly!
It’s a bike from the future, and clearly no ordinary bike! The big ol’ plastic box with wires and other technical gubbins inside upon the toptube did some clever stuff, including data logging with readouts for speed, distance and how long you’ve been riding, as well as a radio & a sound generator with special sound effects!
Not only that, Mag wheels were pretty cool at the time, this bike has them, 3 speed! for “fast getaways and high speed cruising” states the brochure. It also features a bunch of other plastic accoutrements to keep the muck at bay and style high!
As for now, an Orange (Strange) 29er from the chaps down the road in Holywell Green. At EUROBIKE this year we saw two versions of this – a 150mm travel & a 135mm travel option. They’re not yet in production but when/if they are I’d go for the 135mm travel option I think…
Ooooof it looks well. It’s got them big wheels that I like and combined with justenoughtravel™ and good angles for rallying, it ticks all the boxes for me. Locally made and featuring a tried and true single pivot. It’s simple…in a good way. So one of these please with twist – a razzle dazzle camouflage kinda paintjob from this guy – DEATHSPRAY CUSTOM
Hannah – The Editorial Manager & Stealer of QOM’s
As a child, I basically wanted anything with MANY gears. I lived at the bottom of a hill, down a rough track. The boys who lived at the top of the hill had 21 gears and I nearly died of jealousy. But their Dad made them wear polystyrene helmets, and my Dad didn’t, so that helped make up for it.
As for right now, the bike I want for Xmas is actually based around the luggage I’m attracted to. Or what the luggage means: freedom, expanses of wilderness, just ride/eat/sleep. I want steel, I want rigid, I want Jones bars, maybe even *whispers* flared drop bars. In another world where I have amazing legs it would be a singlespeed, but let’s introduce a modicum of reality and have some gears.
Chipps – The Editor & Lover Of Poodles
Growing up in ’70s Britain, everyone wanted a Raleigh Chopper. With a giant saddle (proudly declaring ‘This bicycle is not designed to carry passengers’) and those ape-hanger bars, who could resist? It didn’t matter that it weighed as much as the rider on it and any riding position apart from ‘Just cruising around’ didn’t really work, it was, and still is a classic machine of dreams.
1991 Trimble. There are very few bikes these days that’ll turn heads. A top-end Santa Cruz or Intense barely gets a second glance as there are so many of them around. And even some of the classic retro machines don’t look that distinctive. But a Trimble was something else. Given that this came out at the start of the 1990s, it was mind-blowingly out-there and it still is. A huge boom tube led to a seat mast and an inverted number ‘4’ shape with the bottom bracket hanging down. Chunky elevated stays terminated with alloy plate with holes in it. And they all had gorgeous paintjobs – whether tiger stripe, spots, fades – it was all the colours of the nineties.
Forget your modern hyperbikes. This is what’s going to stop traffic!
Andi – The Social Media Guy & Keith Lemon Impersonator
I was about 15 years old and saw the Kona Cindercone at Wheelbase in the Lake District. At the time, Kona were always highly regarded for their geo and the Cindercone combined that geo in a super nice steel frame (I still love steel now and will only ride steel hardtails). The P2 forks were also really highly regarded as a trail tamer, but the plan was always to get a set of yellow Judy SL’s.
I never got the Cindercone (thanks for NOTHING Santa!). Instead I had a GT Timberline (which I believe is still at my mum’s), I did eventually get a set of P2’s and I have a retro Fire Mountain somewhere too.
My two favourite bike brands are both Andorran, I already have a couple of Production Privee and always wanted a Commencal. In fact all 3 of my kids have Commencal’s and I feel a bit left out.
The reason I want the V4.2 Supreme is because I see it as a reincarnated Sunn Radical (another bike I would have loved to own). The suspension linkage is actually very similar to the Radical and since Max Commencal had a hand in the Sunn (and Sunn currently only offer Enduro bikes) this would give me the chance to finally get a Commencal and own something similar to the legendary Radical.
Ali – The Web Developer & Secretly The Fittest Man Alive
I wanted a Raleigh Burner because I was young and thought it the plastic wheels and handlebar/stem/top-tube padding looked really cool. I never got one – instead I had some horrible Puch bike with a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub – a bike that definitely did not feature in “BMX Bandits” or any other film as far as I can remember.
Since Andi stole the Commencal from me, so can I please have a GT Fury, because I don’t have a downhill bike, which is the same as saying “I DESPERATELY NEED A DOWNHILL BIKE IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW!”. Also, “Fury” is a great name for a rowdy bike and it just looks ace.
Sarah – The Office Manager & Dirt Jump Specialist
Really, I just wanted a bike to ride, and it had to have streamers. Used mainly for playing chase and hide and seek around the neighbourhood. I think I wanted one of those Rainbow Brite girls bikes – I mean, just look at it!
I love my bike. It’s 8 years old and I don’t need or want a new one. It’s a Surly Karate Monkey setup as a 700c commuter bike, with lovely sweep handlebars and a leather Brooks saddle. It’s had a new paint job, so my Xmas wish list is basically for a few new bits to finish it off, and then it will be almost like new again. With a single rear brake with the lever on the right (Ed: Sarah and her oddball Californian ways!), and single gear. Clean, simple and perfect for the canal commute to Singletrack Towers!
Andy – The IT Guru & Commuter Heavyweight Tough Guy
The bike I always wanted as a kid was the Raleigh Chopper – this was what my brother had so I wanted one and not an uncool racing bike with funny dropped handlebars. It should be noted I also wanted stupidly flared trousers with a massive multi buttoned waist band and wedgie shoes.
I wouldn’t be unhappy if this came through the door. It most likely won’t get a review in Singletrack, but it will get me to places I want to go. Looks nice – but in bikes (as well as clothes) I’m probably prone to the same style mistakes I made as a kid in the 70’s.
Wil – The Tech Writer & Token Aussie
A friend of mine at school owned a Cannondale F2000 at an age that was far too young to fully appreciate it. But it was ok, I told that to him so he could understand his parents mistake. Anywho, my raging jealousy sprouted an unhealthy addiction with high-end Cannondale bikes, which involved weekday evenings lusting over the Cannondale website via our house’s painfully slow dial-up internet connection.
The Raven was the model that caught my eye in particular, with its huge monocoque carbon frame and single-pivot suspension design looking like something that had travelled back in time from the future. The fact that it had Headshok suspension, hydraulic disc brakes and a Shimano XTR rear derailleur helped seal the deal. Oh, and the blue and yellow paint job? Hot damn!
I’m well aware of the pot-stirring incurred by putting up a non-MTB suggestion here, but before you sharpen the pitchforks, allow me to explain. Whilst there are many mountain bikes worthy of my own personal lust, having worked in the bike industry for over a decade I’m well aware that bikes come and go.
Parts wear out, paint gets chipped, rotors bend, and wheels go out of true. It’s just the nature of it all. On top of that, standards change. And the last thing I’d want is a gorgeous custom built mountain bike that’s very likely going to be ploughed into a tree stump at some point during its life, or out of date in 18 months when a new fork standard comes out. Plus, I’m lucky enough to get to test mountain bikes all the time and – variety being the spice of life and all that – is what I find to be one of the real joys of this job.
So with that in mind, my dream bike right now is a road bike. A fully custom titanium number from a small Australian outfit called Baum Cycles. Having toured through the Geelong factory just outside of Melbourne and seen the quality finish, I know exactly where every last dollar has gone. Fully customisable, lovely metal tubing, and drop-dead gorgeous paint jobs. Santa would receive an eternal number of high-5’s if one of these were shoved down my chimney.<
Mark – The Publisher & Human Robot Dancer
I grew into the first BMX era and like every other teenager at the time I lusted after one. I’d had bikes before and they all looked like bikes in the traditional sense but the Raleigh Burner came with a mag wheel option. It was the ’80s and we thought plastic was cool. I wanted a plastic wheeled bike to jump the little ramps we made out of a plank on the seemingly car free roads outside our house. I didn’t get one – mum and dad couldn’t afford it. I got something called a Saxon Warrior instead. My first upgrade was a home made layback seatpost made out of an old set of BMX handlebars. It was a time of great invention.
I’ve ridden bikes all my life but even so for me they are tools in the same way all my choices of cars have been on practical grounds, like whether or not you can fit a door in the back and drive it to the tip with the boot shut. Bikes are tools that have allowed me to get to places I wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach. The Yeti SB6 is a tool that would allow me to ride over pretty much anything. It would tackle any terrain and in comfort too, which is becoming ever more important to me as I age. It also looks bloody gorgeous, but it’s not about that.. is it?
Rossco – The Ad Manager & Freeride Gnar-Lover
I wanted a KX because they were cool, fast and won things – and most importantly, they were Kawasaki green! The 1995 Kawasaki KX250 was what I wanted from Father Christmas, because this thing was badder than than a bad thing in bad town! Never got one in the end. I’ve had other bikes that I wished were as good, but never quite were…
Right now, I’d give Santa a big wet sloppy kiss if he dropped off an Orange Strange 29er or a new Five. I’m not sure what it is, but I just really like Orange. British made, they look industrial and super tough, simple to maintain, good colour choice, cool heritage. Now that I’ve just said that, I think I might have to actually go and buy another one now. Damn you…