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Nothing compares to the excitement of getting a new bike, especially when it’s a world away from what you know…

When you’re a bit of a bike fiend, nothing beats the pure excitement of getting a new set of wheels. Two weeks ago I pretty much combusted with utter joy after picking up a new addition to my family… a Colourbolt ‘Ratty Black’ Mixte.

I’d first laid eyes on the bike in April at Bespoked Bristol. British bike builder and founder of Colourbolt Jay Pond-Jones and his colleague Kendal had Ratty on display alongside his other bicycles. I couldn’t stop walking over to their stand to check it out and ended up admiring it all weekend. I wanted to ride around on this bike so badly… but I didn’t see that going down too well in the crowded hall. The draw I felt to the bike was unusual as it was nothing like the bikes I own; a Pashley Princess – a big classic traditional Dutch style bike with its solid and weighty frame and the Clubman, a fixed gear retro-racer, also steeped in traditional design. The Ratty Black made from a Columbus Spirit Frame and Carbon Fork was sleek, gritty and sexy.

All photography by Ian James.

She looked urban and tough – not overdone with logos, just subtle details like the single red coloured chain ring bolt, the LightSKIN LED seat post and these amazing square pedals that stood out. It was the beauty of the understated modern design that really got me.

Three weeks later and I was back in the company of Colourbolt at urban bike show SPINLDN. Ratty was back on show again for the weekend, and again I was admiring her. Two days into the event and with a lot more space in the Truman Brewery, Jay kindly let me take Ratty for a quick ride. I couldn’t believe how much lighter, faster and how much smoother it was compared to bikes I’d ridden before. Ratty felt so good and my mind was made up… this bike had to come home with me.

On the last day of SPINLDN, Jay and Kendal fitted me for the bike, with final tweaks to the tyres, chain and handlebars done by John of Tokyo Fixed… It was like being an F1 driver at a pit stop! All set up and ready to go, I cycled out of the Truman Brewery back to my corner of East London on my new baby, with a ridiculously massive grin on my face.

I’ve been riding around on her (yes, she’s a girl) for the past two weeks and already know I’m addicted to this bike. A world away from what I’ve always known, I’m discovering a whole new riding style, which is blowing my mind. Pretty amazing that what started off as me staring at a bike outside of my confort zone has turned into an exciting cycling adventure.

Thank you Jay for letting me have that test ride… you’ve started off a new cycling revolution in me.

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