Re: About me
- Local topography definitely changes the sorts of bikes you see, as well as fashions having an influence.
Central London is mainly flat and I see quite a few hub gear bikes round there, old, new, domestic and imported. Also single speeds are very common. I think that single speeds are going to be a passing fad and I suspect many will become converted to hub geared bikes in the future.
The very successful London Cycle Hire bikes are all low geared Nexus 3 speeds and I think these are doing much to remind people that a 3 speed is often enough.
Closer to home in Kent, I've hardly ever seen a hub gear bike in hilly Chatham, Gillingham and Rochester. Derailleurs are the thing round there. I live in Maidstone which is still hilly but most hills are not all that steep. There are a few other "hubbies" around here but I've never managed to strike up a conversation. In flat coastal Sheerness I see quite a few old 3 speeds. I wish I'd taken a photo of one in particular, a very unusual looking old Puch with the rustiest frame I ever saw, and a non indexed frame mounted lever shifter, racer style. The owner assured me it was still going strong.
I wonder how many of today's cheap MTBs and hybrids will still be knocking around in 20 years... Some of those cheap supermarket bikes look shiny but are awful underneath.
For boys' bikes, single speed BMX bikes are now very popular and often the saddle is lowered way down and the boys ride without sitting on it. I can't imagine you'd want to go very far like that.