They look like durable robots or metal servants and they are popping up on trails across Central Florida, providing personal service for bicycle adventuring.
They are do-it-yourself bike-repair stations, standing at attention at 5 feet tall with a pair of 18-inch, parallel arms at the top and a sidekick at their heels. Tethered from about neck high are screwdrivers, wrenches, tire tools and more.
What You Need to Know
Weight: 20.5 lb (M)
The Sora components (and the wheels) let you know right away this isn't an expensive bike, but the ride makes you forget that. Sitting in with the lead group on a long, flat stretch, spinning along as easily as those on $10,000 bikes, responding to potholes or gravel with little flicks of the bike to either side, trimming speed to stay on pace, and dropping back to pull two other riders up to the group—what I had underneath me was a capable all-rounder.
Road magazine has chosen the 2015 Defy Advanced SL as its Endurance Bike of the Year, praising the new model for its light weight, versatile performance and smooth riding quality on all types of road surfaces and terrain.
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Mennello Museum of American Art (900 East Princeton Street), with the ride starting at 8 a.m. Free coffee and bike tune-ups will be provided to participants.
The road bike has been splitting into niches for years, with models assigned to categories then sifted into subcategories so often that even those of us at BICYCLING sometimes have trouble deciding whether we're on a gravel, plush, adventure, classics, or (perhaps my least-favorite moniker) an endurance bike.