- It’s got comfortable handlebars, swept back to provide an upright position.
- It’s got a comfy saddle, pretty wide. Wouldn’t want it any wider, it would weigh a ton.
- Fenders, elegantly painted to match, providing dignified protection from mud-splattered-on-the-back-of-your-shirt-and-in-your-crotch. No one likes that.
- Carriers, black in back for him*, green in front for her**. Why is one in back and the other in front? I don’t know.
- A Bell! Look, no one knows what “On your left,” means, and no one likes saying it at the volume required to make it heard. Also, it only works on multi-use trails, which represent 0.01% of bicycle-legal conveyances in the United States.***
- It’s got plenty of gears, as many as you’ll ever need. (21 if you have to ask.)
In the US, Trek is the Coke of bicycles. There’s a Pepsi, a Royal Crown, some generic brands, and lots of local micro-brews, but then there’s Trek. It’s true they had humble beginnings, but that’s true for most of us. It’s also true that they’ve accomplished a great deal, not the least of which was supporting a cyclist recovering from cancer after he’d been left for dead by his former team.
Trek makes a lot of bikes. Unfortunately, as recently as 2004 NOT even ONE Trek sold in the US was an off-the-shelf vehicle for practical transportation.
Something must have been happening below the surface, because in 2007 Trek CEO John Burke gave a fairly rousing speech, and initiated a bicycle advocacy campaign called 1 World, 2 Wheels. (When you’re done here, please go to 1 World, 2 Wheels and listen to his talk, it’s worth it.)
Mr. Burke clearly knows who puts the butter on his bread, but he also appears to know that unless transportation culture in the US begins to change, (a) many of his customers will be run off the road by people driving Hummer H-7s, and (b) it’s going to be hard to ride bicycles in America’s coastal cities when they’re under water. In other words:
The bicycle is a simple solution to some of the world’s most complicated problems.
That is Trek’s tag line for 1 World, 2 Wheels, and for the Allant. What’s the big deal about this bike? Nothing, and that’s the point. Just get on and ride.
* Sometimes called a “boy’s bike,” the black Allant has what should really be called a diamond frame. Sometimes people try to be egalitarian and say Unisex frame. I find it hard to say Unisex without sounding like an idiot. I keep thinking, I don’t know what a Unisex is, and I don’t think I want to know. We could refer to diamond frames as normal, but that implies that other designs are abnormal, and ends up creating all kinds of problems. Here’s the facts, Jack: both men and women can and do ride diamond frame bicycles.
** Sometimes called a “girl’s bike,” the green Allant WSD has what is known as a step-through frame. Both men and women can and do ride step-through bicycles. The WSD anagram stands for “Woman-Specific Design,” so it’s possible/likely that men won’t fit the step-through version very well. This isn’t because it has a step-through frame however–it is the result of several other design features. Follow this link to find out more about WSD.
*** Multi-use trials are sometimes mistakenly called bike paths. Bike path is not correct terminology. This is important, because bicyclists must yield to pedestrians and equestrians on these trails, always.