The Crit ‘Usual Suspects’
When reading a Bike Crit-ique on this site you will undoubtedly read of ‘the usual suspects’, but I don’t always fully elaborate on what they might be.
There’s only four of them, and here they are:
- Black brake tracks – or perhaps more to the point, my utter dislike of silver ones. Points will be deducted if there’s silver on show, except in the case of rims like Ambrosio Nemesis on which the original grey (which is also acceptable) hard anodised surface has worn through to the silver rim beneath it. The introduction of Mavic’s range of Exalith-coated ‘SLR’ wheels now means you don’t have to buy carbon or old-fashioned tubular rims to succeed here.
- Black saddle rails – or, again, more to the point my dislike of silver ones. There’s just no need. Any bike looks better with black saddle rails, even if it’s the cheap version of the saddle that’s got painted rails rather than the expensive one with carbon rails. (N.B. I’ve slackened up on this ruling on the basis that it’s more important to get a saddle that is comfortable and doesn’t destroy your man [or lady] vegetables.)
- Matching saddle and bar tape. It’s just how it should be. (N.B. I’ve slackened up on this one too, but only if your bike has colouring that means different colours at different ends looks right.)
- Collar & cuffs. The most important one. Not matching stem and bar, but matching seatpost and stem. It’s about balance you see, and as your bike is most often photographed in profile the bar doesn’t get seen. Match your seatpost and stem and the bike will look better for it. Weight? Who cares!
One last thing: coloured tyres. Just DON’T.