My bike has seen better days. A hand-me-down that was brought over from where my parents live in Holland (thanks Daddy!) four years ago, it may well be older than me – and at 27 I’m no spring chicken. It’s rusty and sometimes makes a funny noise when the pedals go round and it’s had more inner tube replacements than I can count. But it gets me from A to B (or rather from Vauxhall to Victoria – my daily work commute) and I like its old-fashioned style, so I’ve stuck by it faithfully during my time in London. However, none of that faithfulness could stop the bitter pangs of jealousy I felt when I set eyes on this gleaming white beauty of a bicyle, the Cooper Oporto.
The Oporto is the first ever ladies bicycle made by Cooper, the folks who brought you the Mini Cooper. It’s built from Reynolds lugged double butted tubing (which sounds kind of filthy to me) and features Sturmey Archer 5 speed internal hubs gears. No idea what that means either, but I know one thing: it sure is pretty. It’s also pretty expensive too, at £949. Get yours at your nearest Evans store or online.
Haven’t got a grand to drop on a new bike? Me neither, so the Oporto will remain the bike of my dreams. Sigh. But if you are actually in the market for a classic lasdies bike, here, in typical ‘skinted or minted’ style, is a more affordable alternative. Halfords do a lovely retro number, sensibly called the Real Classic Ladies Bicycle for £269.99. If you want cheaper than that you’ll probably have to delve into the murky world of Gumtree.