Our search for a new city bike for Jane, my wife, is over. We decided, we bought (from a localish shop) and have collected the new bike.
In the end we chose a Ridgeback Avenida 8 Open Frame. Jane’s previous bike was a Ridgeback Storm and that has given us many years of good service and that has now been passed onto our youngest son.
Some of the things we like about this are:
- At Freewheel Jane was able to have a test ride of a similar model in the range and she really liked it.
- Alfine 8 speed hub gears (around here there seems to be a lot of scepticism about the Nexus range for reliability – although the Dutch seem very happy with them on many models). Anyway Jane much prefers the trigger shifters to twist grip
- Lowish step through but reasonably rigid frame thanks to the large profile aluminium down tube.
- Disk brakes (roller brakes would have been first choice but not offered).
- Reasonable chain guard (certainly on her first rides at home Jane has not needed anything to protect or hold in her trouser leg)
- Good mudguards, good tyres size.
- Quite nice pedals (metal but with rubber inserts for grip and to be soft on shoes)
- Nice height adjustable handlebar with ergonomic grips.
- Just what Jane wanted for seating position with a little weight on her arms
- Pretty good front basket that can be easily unclipped
- Fittings for a rear rack
- nice and light
- British company
Of course I would not pretend that it s perfect (or that it would be right for everyone). We have a few niggles:
- It has arrived with a fairly buckled front wheel. The disk brake is not rubbing so not immediate problem but we will get this straightened at the first, free, service.
- I would prefer a simpler chain tensioner than the derailleur style pulleys (eg horizontal dropouts, epileptic bottom bracket).
- I would have preferred a complete plastic chaincase so that none of the chain is showing and getting dirty.
- Mounting front lights is a bit tricky due to the basket
So far Jane is totally delighted. She has been for a couple of very short rides since we got home and is very pleased with the comfort and handling. Unlike her previous bike she can get on and off from either side.