I was just going to have a look. I wasn’t going to buy. I was going to check out options for what I wanted to save up for. I had good intentions.
And then, I rode the Vivente World Randonneur. I rode it around the shop driveway. Then I ventured further up the street. I couldn’t stop riding so I just did laps of the block – up the hill, around some corners, down a slope and along the grass. I did it all for about half an hour. And then I stayed sitting on the bike in the shop holding the wall to keep from toppling over.
I tried a bike one size up. I considered the fantastic value for money that the Vivente represented compared with other touring bikes:
- 4103 steel frame
- Shimano LX drive train
- Shimano LX front dynamo hub
- Busch & Muller lights
- 36 spoke trekking wheels
- Schwalb marathon 700×35 trekking tyres
- Tubus rear rack
- front rack mounting points
- double legged kick stand
- two water bottle cages with mounts for a third
- comfortable trekking bars.
I read every online review I could find and all were glowing. I found blogs about the bike and saw people riding them in all sorts of conditions. I read the history of the company and the owner’s story.
Sure, the Surly Long Haul Trucker is the usual touring bike choice, but it’s overpriced and under-specced here in Australia. Last year I was quoted $3,000 for a build with the same level components as I was being offered with the $1,400 Vivente. Why so cheap? Because it’s a 2012 model the bike shop have had sitting on the floor for 18 months. There aren’t many new 2012 models left in Australia – the manufacturer sold out and it’s only floor stock left. Yes, a shop in Sydney is selling them for $1199 but I though $1,400 was a fair price for the bike given it’s recommended retail and that I liked the 2012 more than the 2013.
The only thing I’m going to change is the saddle because the WTB saddle might be a bit wide for me. I gave my father-in-law one of my old bikes recently and he doesn’t like the saddle but I think he’ll like this one; so I’ll probably just swap with him. But I’ll test the WTB first – we have a long weekend so that’s going to give me heaps of time to ride.
I sit quite upright on the bike. My posture is more like a city bike than a racing bike. It’s so comfortable.
I can’t wait to ride to work tomorrow.