What makes a good bike good?
The Cooper Revival 11 is a nice bike. It’s also around 3,000 Euro. The most expensive non-electric, non-cargo bicycle we have. It got me thinking about the oldest question known to bicycle shops, no, not, “Have you got any stickers?”
“What makes this a good bike?”
Looks aside, this is sehr schön.
I get asked this all the time by friends and family and of course customers.
Most people who work in a bike shop will instinctively answer that question based on years of built up knowledge about various products and their perceived worth. They may not be able to tell you exactly why it is good, but they know that it is. Or they may just shrug and say it’s up to you. (In which case, I’d say, go somewhere else.)
For me there are usually a couple of non-negotiable considerations.
Good bearings. Rubbish bearings need replacing more often and don’t feel as smooth. You’ll have to ask the seller about this.
Good paint. The quality of paint often signifies a general attention to detail. The thicker the paint, the less likely chips and then rust will occur. Also good paint is much more expensive than cheap paint. Never look a gift horse in the mouth, but always check the enamel of a bike!
Looks nice or has a unified aesthetic. Very important. For many people (myself included) I want a bike that I can enjoy looking at. My aesthetic is more functional than form which dictates the style I look for. However there is a plethora of bicycle shapes and designs out there these days, so no reason to settle for an ugly or plain steed.
(of course it must feel good, there is no reason today to own a bike that doesn’t feel good)
Parts make sense. Consider the parts on the bike. The three speed vs. the seven speed, how did they feel. Was the handlebar an acceptable width?
This makes sense. Just check out old Campag Record prices…
Justifiable price. If the bike rode exceptionally well, better than anything you have ever ridden, the paint is thick and tasteful, then it is likely worth the money. There a very few bikes out there that are more expensive than they need to be. I always prefer to get a European or American made frame, they are usually smaller companies doing it this way, however some Taiwanese frames are actually pretty good. I have both.
On going service. Can you do it yourself? Do you want to?
These are all the questions I ask myself with a new bike, if you can’t come up with an answer, ask your sales assistant.
So then what makes the Revival a good bike? It looks great, with the best Mavic road rims and 11 speed Campagnolo group-set it offers great reliability and durability as well. The paint! Holey moley, its tasteful, thick, glossy and understated. It has the lightest possible steel frame. Brooks saddle and bar tape. Also it’s super easy to service. All in all a well thought out bicycle. Someone at Cooper bikes is very good at their job. Finally, did I mention it uses sealed bearing hubs….
So that’s what makes a good bike.
If you see this sticker, it means „good“.
Perfect colour for the bike.