Ryan James Leclerc
Posted June 7th, 2010
Whether you’re a snowboarder or snowshoer, mountain hiker or mountain biker, Nordic skier or Nordic walker, you need gear. Each month, I review, right here, three items that I personally feel are especially cool. Here are my picks for this month.
SPECIALIZED AMIRA COMP
Amira is the newest addition to the Specialized line of women’s road bikes. The base model, the Amira Comp, like all the Amira models, is a true race bike for women, and is above all, fast, efficient, and lightweight. The FACT IS carbon frame is engineered with shorter chainstays and a stiff, oversized headtube to deliver uncompromising, race-ready performance. Featuring women-specific geometry and select women-specific components such as a Body Geometry Jett saddle and Specialized Pro handlebars, the Amira Comp offers a custom-like fit for optimum ergonomics and comfort. Although ideal for racing, you don’t need to be a racer to appreciate the amazing power transfer and silky smooth ride. The Amira Comp is equipped with Shimano 105 shifters, derailleurs, brake calipers, and drivetrain for unquestionable reliability and value. If you’ve never ridden a carbon road bike, you are missing out on a ride that blends the highest level of comfort with the highest level of performance. What woman wouldn’t appreciate that? $2700.
The District is Trek’s first production belt-drive singlespeed. Why a belt-drive and not a chain-drive? Well, although a chain-drive system is the standard and works pretty darn well, it is far from perfect. Chains are heavy, they stretch out, they make all sorts of noise, and without an inherent and diligent focus on behalf of the rider towards proper chain lubrication, they eventually rust into solid rods useful only for abstract bicycle art projects. The belt on the Trek District is a carbon fiber composite that is reinforced to prevent stretching, is ultra lightweight, requires no lube whatsoever, will never rust, and is ninja quiet. Other than the innovative belt drive, the District features aggressive road-inspired geometry for unapologetic commuting efficiency. With only one gear and no chain to worry about, this bike is as close to maintenance free as you can get. What singlespeeder wouldn’t appreciate that? $1099.
CANNONDALE HOOLIGAN 3
The Hooligan is a bike specifically built for riding through the urban jungle. With 20-inch wheels, the Hooligan is super nimble for quick reaction to traffic, pedestrians, dogs, and other moving hazards that are constantly coming at you. The Delta V frame is bomber and strong enough to handle any abuse you give it, from freestyling in front of City Hall to plowing through potholes and city rails. An adjustable stem and plenty of seat height adjustment means you can fine-tune the fit for comfort on longer commutes that take you beyond the city limits. Finally, the compact frame, 20-inch wheels, and super-short wheel base make the Hooligan 3 super convenient for carrying up to and storing in your third-floor pad.
What city slicker wouldn’t appreciate that? $979. www.cannondale.com.