Emma Pooley reviews her Bond road bike, designed with input from the former World Champion to accommodate her specific needs and requests. Over to Emma...
Bond bike review, by Emma Pooley
What to say about a bike that one has (partly) designed oneself? What is there to say except that it’s totally perfect?
Well, not quite. But almost. Perfect would be being able to reach the handlebar, with zero toe crossover… and that would require smaller wheels (which, on my road bike, I decided against in order to make road racing feasible (spare wheels!)) or me growing about 10cm (too late, I fear). Compromises are always going to be necessary at my size, on 700c wheels. So yes, there is some toe crossover - but I’m used to it. For an uncompromising fit, I have my Bond TT bike with 650c Sense Composite wheels [coming soon].!
But the Bond road bike comes as close as possible. The fit is perfect - after a few rides playing around with saddle setback and handlebar position, I’m now confident that this is the best fit EVER of a road bike for me. To even have the option of changing saddle setback is an exciting novelty!
It has to be said that the handling took some getting used to, and with the fork rake I chose it is a little twitchy at the front end. But that’s simply because it is so different to my previous bike. The primary impression is that the bike is responsive, quick to move when I kick down on the pedals, and so smooth to ride too! That’s not what I expected for an aluminium frame - and with alu handlebar too (after I crushed one carbon handlebar despite careful use of a torque meter, I decided I can’t be trusted with anything other than aluminium on a bike that I frequently dismantle and reassemble to travel!). I think this lovely ride feel is a testament to the excellent job Bond has done with the quality of the aluminium and the welding.
And there’s objective as well as subjective approval for the Bond.Bike! QOMs in Mallorca, mainland Spain, and at home in Switzerland, on climbs I’ve been training on for years. Even if I don’t care about Strava QOMs (well, of course I kind of do, doesn’t everyone?!) that is rather satisfying feedback.
I have to admit that what makes the Bond.Bike even nicer to ride is the regular positive comment it garners from other cyclists. It really is a very eye-catching and beautiful bike, literally one of a kind. I am rather proud of it! And it gathers enthusiastic approval from fellow “vertically challenged” riders that I meet everywhere. Small cyclists: you don’t have to put up with mainstream brand mis-fitting frames!