Colorful flashes of lean bodies and
pumping thighs - sure, you can watch televised visions of
cyclists straining up hills in the Tour de France, but that
doesn't feed the endorphin junky in you who yearns for the
road. Here's your motivation: Five of the season's top road
bikes and an insider's guide to the Tour.
n July 6, Texan Lance Armstrong will begin his quest for a fourth
straight Tour de France victory in tiny Luxembourg. For the next 21
days, Armstrong and his 180 competitors will pedal over 2,000 miles
through the plains, mountains, and city streets of Luxembourg,
Germany, and, of course, France, saddling up for four- to
seven-hour days under bitter rain, blistering sun, and the
occasional alpine snow squall.
Armstrong's comeback from the cancer that nearly killed him is well
documented, and his fairytale story has helped spark a tremendous
road cycling upswing in America. After nearly a decade of living in
the mud-splattered shadow of mountain biking, road bike sales are
up 20 percent from 2000 to 2001, according to The National Bicycle
Dealers Association, which tracks the top 13 bicycle brands. The
ranks of regional bike clubs are swelling, and charity rides are
growing in popularity.
All this means that there's never been a better time to get bitten
by the road cycling bug. To help ensure you won't quickly shake it,
we filled a garage with new models and hit the road. The following
five were our favorites; they span the "moderate" price range, and
more importantly, they're the ones that made us want to keep
riding, and riding, and riding. Perhaps, someday, all the way
KONA DR. DEW
Who should buy it: Riders looking for versatility and comfort.
Also, thanks to its heads-up riding position, the Dr. Dew makes a
great urban commuter.
$899; (800) 566-2872 or www.konaworld.com