Friday Group Ride #96

When I was eight-years-old, I awoke on Christmas morning to find a bright red BMX bike perched quietly in front of the tree. The moment I breached the living room and glimpsed that bike for the first time is a moment stuck in my head for eternity, or at least for my geologically narrow slice of it.

My next clear memory is of riding that bike, full tilt down the street, wearing a brand new Oshman’s track suit. No doubt I was on my way to rubbing my opulent good fortune in the faces of the other neighborhood kids. I had been wobbling along behind them all on a beat purple kiddie bike, silver sparkle saddle, for a full year. In a Christmas instant, I vaulted from worst to first.

Next to the moment I first learned to ride, training-wheel-free, under my own steam, that Christmas morning remains one of my most cherished memories, and if it’s true that we spend our whole cycling lives trying to recapture that first moment of freedom, there is a parallel drive to relive that first dream bike acquisition.

Now, you’re not a kid anymore, except possibly in mind and maturity, but just imagine the coming holiday promises a bike in front of a tree. Now, before we get all wrapped up in “but I don’t celebrate Christmas,” or “I don’t believe in Santa,” or “I don’t have a tree,” or even “I practice an ancient, animist religion that eschews the giving and/or receiving of gifts,” let’s just be kids for a minute here. All we have to believe today is that we’re going to wake up one morning in a week-and-a-half and find a dream bike in front of a tree, which, for whatever reason, is standing in our living room.

What’s the bike? What color is it? What are you gonna do with it? And, most importantly (or not at all), who is going to be envious?

I happen to have this bike in the works for myself. It’s a custom, Ti single-speed mountain bike, set up with tubeless 650b wheels, disc brakes and a generous application of kick ass. I’m not sure it will make it to the tree, or at least not the one set up in my living room.


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  1. Dan

    Heh. I’m obviously biased about the frameset (I own the company), but I’m wanting a Pallas Athena custom steel road frame (fillet brazed Columbus Max) with carbon seatstays and an Enve carbon fork. Di2 drivetrain with a SRM power meter in the cranks, Zipp 404 wheelset. Enve carbon bars, stem, and seatpost.

    65mm of BB drop, 74 degree head angle, 73 seat angle. Maybe even a cutout in the back of the seat tube so I can tuck the wheel in super-close and shorten the chainstays a bit.

    Matte black with metallic silver and metallic red highlights.

    Someday. 🙂

  2. Steve

    The current dream bike–and like any dreamscape, it shifts frequently–is a custom-built, titanium single-speed randonneur built around 33mm Jack Browns, Paul Racer brakes, fenders, and a low-trail front-end for bag + decaleur + rack.

  3. drew

    Another 7800 equipped viner vigor cross with dv46ts… short of that, and I know those are hard to find over here, ill take about any two matching, shimano equipped, high-end cx bikes. Getting tired of watching everyone else hop on clean ones when I’ve got ten lbs of mud on mine and 2 laps to go.

  4. Jarvis

    I had my dream MTB, a Cove Hummer, but sold it last year due to my back injury. I do have a Giant TCR Advanced SL ISP which I thought I considered to be my dream bike, but the geometry does not suit my weird physiology. ld quite happily list a raft of bikes I’d love to own, road & mtb, non of which you’d call top-end, but all of which have a desirability to me: Look KG381, Giant Anthem X 29er, Raleigh Team Burner. I’d planned to kit out the road bike with tubeless wheels & Dura-Ace & maybe some little trick parts, but I like things that work. That still stands, but I’m not sure where my dream bike lies any more, what I do know that whether I get a road frame or a singlespeed 29er, the frame will be from Donhou Cycles.

  5. armybikerider

    In the spirit of the holiday, probably the “correct” answer is a shiny new BMX bike for the kid across town whose family can’t afford to buy him a bike, or a commuter for the guy next door that has a less than 2 mile commute yet still fires up his diesel 4X4 pick up for the daily drive to work, or a fast road bike for my brother who still doesn’t understand my obsession with 2-wheels (I think he’d dig the lifestyle if he would only give it a chance.)

    I never thought I’d be riding the Lynskey Ti that I have now, so in many ways it’s my dream bike. But if I were to only think about myself, it would have to be a custom geometry and custom butted Baum Corretto, with one of his signature paint jobs in some sort of multi-color scheme with matching paint on the seatpost and stem, Sram Red components and Lightweight Standard-C wheels (yeah I’m a sucker for clinchers)…..and I’d ride it like I stole it!

    No one need be envious…except maybe all the guys on plastic bikes!

  6. Ransom

    Mine’s about to be built up. A Kona frame which spent its recent life as a local pro’s spare bike in 2010, soon going in to discuss what parts to hang on it…

    Twelve years ago I switched from my beloved Wicked Fat Chance to a new Klein Attitude Comp as a parting gift to myself as I left my local shop and my opportunity for pro deals. Progress had happened, and I was blown away.

    Looking forward to benefiting from progress once again.

    To answer more of the questions, it is white, due to the perplexing way that this world seems determined to set this aging punk up with white vehicles as some sort of cosmic joke. And I’m going to try racing mountain bikes again, after the local ‘cross scene has convinced me to have another go. This has also been twelve years coming…

    I expect the envy will be mine, directed at the speed of my competitors.

  7. Wayne

    Have you seen the Chevy commercial where the old married couple gets into a new Camero and they are transformed to their younger selves going out on a date?

    Well I want a bike that would magically give me an unlimited amount of time to ride. Younger legs and heart would be a bonus.

    Hey – you said dream bike right?


  8. MJ

    90% of the time, when I think about the bike I’ll buy the year I pull a crazy-unexpected bonus, or turn 40, it’s something along the lines of a Pegoretti, Vanilla, or similar custom/boutique. However, for the sake of this exercise, I think it’d be pretty damn cool to look under the tree and find a Look 695 or Time NXR. Something loud, carbon, and Euro and made in France, with the lone (non-pro) concession to everyday ride-ability being a pair of King hubs built up 24/28 to some HED rims.

  9. randomactsofcycling

    Anything from Peter Weigle.
    I would like to have a bike that I do not feel compelled to ride fast. Something on which I can enjoy the scenery if I want, rather than sensing it as it blurs past me in my hypoxic state of lactic acid build up.
    A Weigle is beautiful to look at, stunningly crafted and can be fast if you want. But I’m also with Jarvis – a KG381 is a cool bike.

  10. Souleur

    wow…here we go again, we get to dream like its xmas. Which is nice because my pocket book is not dreamy big as my cycling tastes, so my pragmatism and reality demands aluminum usually instead of high modulus carbon.

    and, my dream would be the Cervelo R5, decked with Di2, Zipp 404 tubulars, 3t stem/fork/post. I prefer the stealth black of course, so that works perfect, but perhaps red cables and some red cnc’d M5 brakes.

    and…hoon…leave us dangling would you?
    you get the real deal, brag about it.

  11. DoubleUc

    i hear ya MoNilla…watch out for what you wish for…
    did that one years ago…she couldn’t keep up…
    dream bike has turned into a dream scooter…for her of course.

  12. Doug Page

    My dream bike for a long time was a Ventana single speed 29er (Fox fork). I just finished building it up, so Christmas came early for me…. too much fun! Next on my wish list is a Blue Collar ‘cross hand built by Robert Ives who works for Ventana Bikes. It would be nice to have a bike that would be essentially a road bike with canti bosses. The hardest part (other than the money of course) would be getting him to stop playing with his KTM on weekends and build the thang. I’d put on TRP mini-Vs, Ksyrium SLs, and a Campy ‘cross group. That’s it!

  13. Jesse

    A 24″ BMX cruiser from the mid 80s. Haro or GT. In chrome. With an ABA expert plate on the front. ODI mushroom grips to round it out.

  14. hidayanra

    I’m a terrifically luck guy – I’ve already owned almost ever ‘dream bike’ I’ve wanted.

    First, it was a Cervelo Soloist Team w/ SRAM & a Powertap – got that a few years ago, it was a great bike.

    Spooky Skeletor w/ handbuilt wheels (WI hubs, 23mm alum rims, CXray spokes), 150mm drop bars, SRAM, Quarq, Thomson everything. Being in the right place at the right time (and money from a car-accident settlement) got this one off the ground last fall.

    Cervelo P2sl, Oval Concepts aerobars, HED disc/deep combo, SRAM, Quarq.
    Again, being in the right place at the right time, and the other bits of money from my settlement made this one happen.

    Since I’ve already owned those, the next dream is:

    Custom geometry Track frame – built around a set of Sphinx bars & points/pursuit geometry. That said, I’m not losing any races because of my current setup, and having life be a bit tighter for the next few years means this is a ways away.

    All that said, it helps a lot that all my dream bikes are on the cheaper side & acquired used.

  15. GuidoWongolini

    Nothing for me this Xmas as over the last 2 weeks I have bought a white Colnago CLX3.0 + Campy Chorus11s + Euros for training & a black Colnago Super for w/ends..

    This time next year.. Something custom, something Ti..

  16. MCH

    My dream bike is a custom steel frame that weighs the same and performs like the latest high tech carbon frames. For me, the bespoke nature, uniqueness, and craftsmanship of a custom steel frame can’t be matched by the production sameness of today’s carbon frames. Conversely, a custom steel frame cannot perform at the same levels as current CF frames, particularly in larger sizes – not even close, no way, no how. So, my dream remains just that – a dream.

  17. Chromatic Dramatic

    What bike is it?

    Hmmmm, what multiple bikes is it?

    Firstly I’d replace my entire quiver of bikes, and add in an extra one or two (n +1 anyone?). I’m being mostly practical below.

    MTB – Give me a new Giant Trance X1. Yeah, Giant’s aren’t the most sexy bike out there, but the value and performance is hard to beat. Oh, I would just be replacing an old Giant Trance

    Roadie – Life get’s tough here. I’d probably go for a Boardman Road SLR 9.2, or even a Focus of some sort. Probably go for the Boardman first. But if I really wanted to be extravagant I’d in a custom made titanium frame from Baum.

    I’d also add in:

    – 29″ Cannondale Hardtail (with Lefty),
    – new single speed town / pub / coffee bike (doesn’t have to be great) and
    – an all weather roadie commuter. NFI what exactly, but it’d have fenders, probably sram APEX so I can keep commuting when it is bucketing down. Well that is what I’d tell my wife.

    In all honestly I’d take any of the above, but will not be getting one.

  18. PeterLeach

    A few weeks ago I gave the bike that got me into cycling to my son. Last week it got stolen.

    So, what bike would I like to see under the tree?

    That’s easy … I’d like it back if you can swing it please Santa.

  19. slappy

    well it’s more of a trike, , imagine if you will, unpacking the truck at burning man and out roll three twelve foot tall wheels, built on car rims as hubs, steel rings welded together as the rolling surface; wheels for the playa. Then out come the frame members to be bolted into a scaffold bike ship with a series of couches with pedaling positions driving a single speed gear. Next the tall bike tandem fat tire (i.e. moonlander 4.8 tires) xtra cycles, for riding with passengers and gear, upon high; tandem tall xtracycle fat bike. When the tandems and other tall bikes ride underneath the scaffold of teh bike ship they’ll be able to attach their handles and climb aboard the moving bike ship. Atop there would be a large solar shade structure, sound and cold beverages. At the prow of the ship, above and ahead of the foremost 12 foot wheel of steel, will be a small cycling cockpit with geared steering so my daughter can drive.

  20. Ben Martin

    I have a dream bike – a Renovo R4 wooden frame bike, with mostly SRAM Force as a cost concession (Red crank and ceramic bottome bracket, though). The bike is gorgeous (I chose sappele and purple heart woods). I plan to make it dreamier with upgrades over time. However, I keep getting new dreams, and I have been eyeing a Roark Ti frame with SS couplers for those dream bike vacations I plan to take….

  21. Lachlan

    a cut of Cervelo’s californian handmade cloth, with a touch of THM on the cranks and bars, some roues artisanales (enve rims, tune 150 hubs thanks Adrien), Gravitas brakes, Dugast tubs, SRAM Red (heavily tuned bien sur)… +some awesome life insurance and the deeds to a luxurious piece of real estate in overlooking Bormio and the Stelvio….

    – oh, and all black thanks Santa, then even when I’m going really slow, at least the bike will look fast :))

  22. Frank

    Ah yes, the dream bike under the tree would have to be a Pegoretti Responsorium with Campagnolo Record 11…what the hell it’s a dream bike, make it Campagnolo Super Record 11, Zipp Service Course SL cockpit and a Zipp 303 wheelset.

  23. Dan O

    Tough question and answer may change depending on mood. As of right now, a custom Steelman, complete with steel fork and matching stem. Campagnolo Chorus group, with some nice wheels. Frame and fork with clearance to run fat(ish) tires.

    Make it blue – same blue as the RockShox SID forks of the late ’90s. Yeah, that blue.

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