Consideration Set: Road Bike

Modern steel from Icarus. Photo by Prolly. Frame price: likely around $2,500.

Titanium from Firefly. Frame price: $4,000.

Steel from Hampsten. Maybe the Max, pictured here, or the Gran Paradiso (La Dolce Vita). Frame price: $2,500-2,700.

Titanium from Moots. Frame price: $4,425 for the RSL, above, or $3,450 for the CR.

I need a bike with gears. I want one that’s made in the US. I don’t want carbon, partly because I’m big, and partly because I want a forever bike. And no weird proprietary standards.

I’ve leaned toward the Hampsten Max because it sounds like it’s designed specifically for me: “Maybe you’re a big guy who likes to sprint and is not afraid to grab a jersey or bump an elbow, you do ok on the short hills, better on crappy descents, maybe double espresso at the coffee stop. The spring classics are what get your blood pumping, full of rain, cobbled bergs, cow shit, and rabid fans.” The Moots is far and away the most expensive, especially if I wanted custom geometry. So it might be out.

But they’re all amazing options, some way more expensive than the others, and I’d be happy to ride them all.

More on this later.

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