With biking season rapidly approaching, I’d been pondering some changes to the bike stable. Since I added the full suspension ETSX at the start of last winter I’ve been conscious that there’s a lot of redundancy between that and the hardtail, and the poor Soul was relegated to commuter bike status. As commuters go it did a good job – the front suspension made for a very comfortable ride – but was unquestionably slow and heavy.
With a new job meaning that I’ll be spending more time visiting different work locations, the idea of a faster and lighter commuter started to make a lot more sense. I also liked the idea that I’d be able to head straight out from work for longer road rides without having to come home first to switch bikes. And so this past week, I sold the Soul – not without a significant wrench, since I was very attached to it – and used the proceeds to pick up a Cannondale Bad Boy 9.
I wasn’t sold on any particular model and had about a half-dozen on my test riding shortlist, but the Bad Boy checked every box and was in the lower end of the decent quality hybrid price bracket. I particularly like the downhill riding position, and it has my one commuting non-negotiable: disk brakes.
So far the Bad Boy and I have clocked around 120km together, and I’m extremely happy with it. There’s no question that the rigid fork makes for a harsher ride, but it’s also fast and light while feeling quite different than my road bike. I don’t have the same sense of overlap that I had with the two downhill bikes.
More to come on the Bad Boy once we’ve had longer to get to know one another, but I think this is the start of a beautiful relationship.