Yesterday I wrote a post that set out my thoughts about buying a new bike with a view to starting to commute to work once again. My primary reasons for considering such a purchase were to have a bike that had forgiving gears for the hills around where I live and for the bike to be relatively cheap. Relative, that is, when compared to my current bike, a rather expensive Koga WorldTraveller Signature. If you were an early adopter of that post (i.e. you read it shortly after it was published) you may have missed the updates that I made where I introduced an alternative bike, the Ribble Hybrid AL Trail Disc Enthusiast 2.0…
My initial focus had been on the Ribble Hybrid AL Commuter – SRAM – 2.0. Use the sliders below to compare the images and specs of the two bikes. The left image is the ‘Hybrid AL‘, the right image is the ‘Hybrid AL Trail‘:
You’ll note that they are very similar bikes and the price is identical. Most of the specification is identical. There are, however, differences. The geometry of the AL Trail results in a slightly more upright position, which is good for me. I am no fan of drop handlebars; the Dutcher (they are famous for the ‘sit up and beg’ bikes), the better. There is no rear pannier rack as standard (although it can be added as an option). And the forks are suspension forks. It has already been pointed out that these forks are at the cheaper end of the market but I don’t have an issue with that; I am, after all, looking for cheapish bike. Similar comments have been made about the rear SRAM cassette but the same argument applies. Later yesterday afternoon, after several more hours of thought and research, I took the plunge and ordered one of the Hybrid AL Trail bikes, the one on the right in the above images. Why?
Well, I realised that yes, it was important for me to have a cheap bicycle for commuting. But it also struck me that if I were to buy the Hybrid AL I would really be buying a cheap version of the bike that I already have. If I’m buying a second bike, why not use the opportunity to get hold of a slightly different bike? Do I need a rear pannier rack? Not really… Would it be useful to have suspension forks? Actually, yes. My commute is on road but the roads in my corner of West Yorkshire are far from smooth, and when it comes to that commute, there are some off-road options that, when the weather is playing ball, would be good to exploit. Far easier to do this on a bike which can cope with a more rugged surface. And inevitably I’m not going to use the bike just for commuting. Those trips along the Calder Valley down the towpaths to Hebden Bridge and beyond would benefit from a little suspension.
What finally provoked me to push the ‘buy now’ button for the Hybrid AL Trail was, however, the sizing. At 172 cm tall I was on the very edge of the medium (162 – 172 cm) and large (172 – 182 cm) size bike when it came to the Hybrid AL. For the Hybrid AL Trail, I was comfortably within the medium (170 – 178 cm) size bracket. The need to travel over to Clitheroe to visit the Ribble Bikes showroom was removed. I hope…
My new medium-sized Ribble Hybrid AL Trail Disc Enthusiast – 2.0 should arrive in a few days. There remains, however, an important question…
…which is, of course, the bicycle’s name. Such important questions merit the input of my informed Twitter followers so last night I posed the question:
As you can see, there have been quite a few responses. Here they are:
- Ronan Ribble
- Rubbish Ribble (this person had, unsurprisingly, no followers…)
- Officer Ribble (get it?)
- ‘Ranulph, as it’s Fienne looking bike’ (he got his own coat…)
- Rochambeau (No idea? Me neither…)
- ‘Rocinate, Roci for friends. Like the El Quixote’s horse.’ (One of the people who are overthinking this…)
- Ezmerelda (from someone who hasn’t really grasped the idea)
- Ragnarök (Justification: ‘Ragnarök is a series of events and catastrophes that will ultimately lead to the end of the world….of car dominance’. Another overthinker…)
- ‘Dave, as in Rodney’ (I like the thinking here)
- Ribble Rebel
- Dibble (see number 3)
- Barney / Barnie (get that one too?)
- Lokme (err… is that a play on ‘lock me’?)
- ‘Cybil surely’
- ‘Jimmy Ribble’
- Worthers-O (I simply don’t get this; a reference to the sweet, yes, but why?)
- ‘Mine’s called Rebel the Ribble’ (so that one’s no longer available)
- ‘Reginald Perrin? Stunned no one has mentioned it.’ (Can’t work that one out either but it must be obvious to Gavin who suggested it)
- ‘I went for Rachel for mine’ (so that’s not available either…)
- ‘Rigsby Ribble’
- ‘Ribble Ride’
- ‘Officer as in Top Rat’ (clearly this is a version of the cartoon I missed back in the 1970s…)
- ‘The Ribble Yell’
- ‘Rocky the Ribble’
- Wibble (in reference to BlackAdder Goes Forth)
- Rigsby (again)
- ‘Raspberry Ribble’
- ‘Rocky Ribble’
- ‘Robbie the Ribble’
- ‘Ratio? With that gearing Ribble Ratio’ (Mmm…)
- ‘Remmingtom Ribble, as it will clearly cut through anything you point it at on your travels’ (that was from Victor Kiam, RIP)
- Bubbles (???)
- ‘Romulus (front wheel) and Remus (rear). Don’t know why.’ (Me neither…)
- ‘Preston!!’ (The exclamation marks suggest it’s obvious to Stew but for the rest of us?)
- D (think about it…)
- ‘Or maybe Rowdy Ribble, obviously depending on how you ride it.’
- ‘Regina in memory of Reggie.’
- ‘Rishi. You just know it will leave you poorer!’
- ‘I once won a competition to name a teddy bear- Dr. Bearington. So it’s got to be …. Dr. Bikington’ (Strewth…)
Before I reveal the ‘winner’ (there’s no way this is going to a public vote!), there was also this, rather bizarre, suggestion:
Shall we assume Spenser had been drinking?
Bad news for fans of ‘Barney Ribble’ came when Jeff Williams revealed that the name is no longer available. Here is a nice picture he provided of Barney on a beach:
But the winner was staring me in the face all the time, as Ian Child set out:
We do indeed have a winner Allan. The bike will be called Ronnie, Ronnie Ribble… If you have no idea why, read this.
Talking of Reggie the Ridgeback Panorama, it has been picked up by some people that I have been referring to ‘buying a second bike’. Surely, they say, it’s your third bike after Reggie and Wanda (the Koga WorldTraveller). Well, yes, but… I still have Reggie, star of the ‘Reggie trilogy’ of books (Crossing Europe… / Along the Med… / Spain to Norway… on a Bike Called Reggie), but he is, err… ‘retired’ and is currently living out his retirement in my dark, damp cellar:
Does he count? He would need a considerable amount of TLC to get him up and running again… In my defence, storage in my small house is at a premium. Even Wanda has had to be moved into her new living accommodation in the front room in anticipation of the arrival of Ronnie later this week:
So it’s Reggie RIP and a warm welcome to Ronnie. It is, however, worth noting that the original Reggie outlived Ronnie by quite a few years so my Reggie will, perhaps, one day make a comeback. Watch this space…
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Hi Andrew, great post and have fun with Ronnie Ribble, was nice to see my name (Jeff Williams) receiving a mention in your post, The photo was taken last summer at Cukmere Haven in East Sussex.
Thanks Jeff. Great photo!