I've been searching for a 1 bike solution for a while now. My criteria was:-
Capable of light touring, so mounts for mudguards/racks
Available in the UK
SRAM 1x groupset
Enough tyre clearance for some offroad/gravel/singletrack
Capable of having a child seat or a trailer attached
Ideally steel frame/carbon fork combo
Turns out that the requirements I have set may be a bit too limiting though as I'm struggling to find anything that ticks all the boxes. I've looked a lots of different bikes online and have ruled out carbon frames as I want to pull a trailer and most carbon frames won't have rack mounts either. I also ruled out alloy frames as I want as comfortable a ride a possible. I've been a bit flexible with my list of requirements and narrowed it down to the following 3.
1) Jamis Renegade Exploit (cons = no SRAM 1x, no framset option in order to build it up myself)
2) Genesis Croix De Fer Decade (cons = Samox BB8601 press fit BB)
3) Niner RLT 9 steel (cons = pfbb30 press fit bottom bracket, complete bike is over budget)
From a purely aesthetically POV, the Niner is my preferred option. I'd go for the frameset and build it up myself, but my brain is telling me to avoid the press fit BB like the plague as a noisy/creaky bike will give me buyers remorse.
In my search for the elusive bike to suit me I found some bikes by British company called The Light Blue.
I'm leaning towards the Darwin as opposed to the Robinson model, due to the extra tyre clearance on the Darwin.
Only thing these don't have is hydraulic brakes and they have steel forks rather than carbon, but everything else looks good. The problem is nowhere stocks the bike and they have to order it in from the manufacturer. One of my local bike shops has offered me a a ride on a similar bike to the Darwin to get a feel for the geometry. The bike they want me to test is the Specialized AWOL.
I guess the reason for this lengthy post is to ask the following questions:-
1) What are your thoughts on the two bikes by The Light Blue
2) Are there any alternative bikes you can recommend which I may want to consider?
3) Am I making too big a deal of the Press Fit BB?
4) Is it worth getting a test ride on the AWOL? The geometry figures online don't look that similar to the Darwin tbh
edit: review of the Robinson model available here:-