Today provided a unique opportunity for me to compare my Bike for Life (a Stoater Plus from Shand Cycles to my previous bike a Trek Pilot 1.2
Last year I cycled from Syston to the Greenbelt Festival at Cheltenham racecourse on the Trek (just weeks after completing Lands End to John o’Groats in 11 days).
Today I did the same ride (but with an improved, slightly longer route), again as a group of 3.
Last year the group was myself, Neil and Ann. This year it was Rachel (married to Neil), Ann and me with both Rachel and Ann were on Giant road bikes.
Ann noticed a huge improvement (obvious to me as well) as last year she was on a heavy hybrid.
So given so many similarities, how does my Shand Stoater Plus, fully equipped with belt drive, Rohloff 14 speed hub gears, hydraulic disk brakes, dynamo lights, full length mudguards, kickstand and 3 racks (rear, front low rider and front randoneer) compare with a lightish audax bike without mudgards and with 27 speed derailleur gears.
I’m not sure about overall speed and that was set by the group anyway. However, I clearly felt less tired when I arrived (despite being on antibiotics and paracetamol and ibuprofen for a problem wisdom tooth). I would have been quite happy to have continued quite a lot further. Despite the extra weight the Shand climbs much better. The Jones H-Loop handlebar gives great options for headwinds and downhills as well as the times when you need great control. The Hope M4 brakes inspire confidence so I brake later and less. The 32mm Durrano tyres are noticeably more comfortable than the 28mm ones on the Trek.
Not only was I less tired I was also more comfortable on the way with a better view.
These are exactly the sort of things I wanted from my Bike for Life. Not only that but it also comes with far less maintenance. FANTASTIC!!