Drooling over shiny showroom-worthy steeds is all well and good, but in this 3-part series, we’ll be taking a look at the BC crew’s daily drivers: the bikes that they ride day in, day out whether it’s to and from work, rolling out on big adventures or simply to the pub and back.
A commuter bike says a lot about a rider, and though they might not be the most refined things in the world, they make for some pretty unique builds. With that being said, let’s dive in!
Sarn’s 70s Roberts Steel Frame 1.1
To call Sarn’s Roberts unique would be an understatement – this is one of a kind! Having started life in the 70s, this steel CX frame was a lucky cycle jumble find many moons ago, purchased for the princely sum of £20. That would be a steal for any old bike, but for a frame built by none other than frame-building legend Geoff Roberts, that’s the deal of a lifetime! Sarn hastened to add that the paintwork was his own handiwork, and that Geoff’s would’ve been considerably more refined – either way, we think it looks the part!
Next, you might notice the odd wheels: 700c at the rear, 26-inch up front paired with an old 90s MTB fork. Opting for a smaller front wheel ensures there’s no toe overlap, ideal for a fixie, and combined with the long wheelbase makes this bike super stable to ride while offering plenty of clearance. Having ridden fixed since 1993, it was only right that this Roberts followed the same treatment and, according to Sarn, the only parts on this bike from this century are the wheels and saddle – as they say: ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’! Complete with bullhorn bars and 39x17 gearing, this is the quintessential fixie.
Built specifically for daily riding around London, reliable is this Roberts’ middle name – there’s a reason why it’s still alive and kicking today. With that in mind, Sarn has fitted it with the commuter-classic Continental Gatorskins, which he claims to have had only 2 punctures on in the last 6 years of daily riding! Shimano dual-sided SPDs are his pedals of choice – in terms of performance, ease of use and reliability, it doesn’t get better for riding around London. Complete with SKS mudguards, an assortment of Lezyne lights and a bar end bell, we’d challenge you to find a better workhorse!
Despite its rustic appearance, if you look carefully there are plenty of classy details to be found here – whether it’s the Campy Record headset, Salsa Chromoly stem or the Campy Daytona cranks, the more you look at it, the more you start to appreciate the finer details!
G’s Genesis Equilibrium 1.2
To just call this G’s commuter would be unfair – this Genesis Equilibrium isn’t just confined to the streets of London, it’s been here, there and everywhere! From touring up and down the country to the daily commute, it does it all.
This bike started life 6 years ago, bought as a standalone frame back when Brixton Cycles was at Stockwell Road. Steel was the natural choice (a common trend amongst the Brixton team!) thanks to its comfort, reliability and ride quality, with the Equilibrium being constructed from Reynolds 725 tubing. Paired with Shimano 105 – the groupset of the people – it doesn’t get much more reliable than that. Sticking with the reliability theme, there’s a Brooks saddle up top, but in the Cambium variant rather than the traditional leather you might find on a classic touring bike. When asked about this choice, G’s words were ‘who wants a glove for your bum?’, describing the Cambium as more of a hammock. To each their own!
Naturally, as one of our resident wheel-building extraordinaires, G built the wheels by hand. DT Swiss hubs are undeniably dependable, hence opting for DT 350 front and rear, paired with some rather tasty H Plus Son rims and plenty of spokes to hold everything together. Built with daily riding in mind, it was important that these wheels could stand the test of time, but there was still some room for a little bit of bling!