""Why have a car when you can have a Kalkhoff""
To introduce this review, we should explain that we are both Vicars and bought our Kalkoff Agattus in May 2010. People might be the familiar with the image of a Vicar on a bike with a basket on the front. As you can see from the attached photo, the 2010 Kalkhoff equivalent is a bit different! The wicker basket is replaced by a wire one and the old Raleigh with 3-speed Sturmey Archer gears is replaced with a Kalkhoff Agattu with 8-speed Shimano gears and, of course, the Pedelec electrical assistance! Even without the electrical assistance, these bikes would be superb. As soon as we unwrapped them we could see the quality of the engineering and equipment. They are definitely the most comfortable bikes we have ever ridden. The Selle Royale saddles are brilliant, and we particularly like the ergonomically-designed handlebars which make for a relaxed and comfortable ride. Add to this the smooth-running Shimano gears and all the other built in components and you have a bike which is worth every penny. However, when you add in the benefit of the electrical assistance, these bikes really come into their own. As Vicars we cover 8 rural parishes spread over a large geographical area, and since we've had the Agattus we have found travelling round our parishes a real joy. The bikes just spin along the country lanes, and we must already have saved a huge amount on petrol costs, which also saves the church money. We now think nothing of a 15-mile round trip on the Kalkhoff for a meeting or whatever.. we both feel a lot fitter and between us we've lost a stone in weight! We also live close to the Yorkshire Wolds. Wolds, of course, means hills, and our previous experience of leisure cycling in the Wolds has been toiling uphill and (yes!) getting off to push with Tony waiting for Pam at the top of the hill. Having the Agattus means that we are now able to sail up the hills together, and on occasions Pam has reached the top of the hill first!! These bikes have given us back something we thought might no longer be possible as 63 year olds - the joy and excitement of cycling. As we look forward to retirement in a year or so, we are looking forward to undertaking routes like the Trans-Pennine Trail which we just wouldn't have been able to contemplate at our stage of age and fitness without the Agattus. We've said more than once that these bikes have been one of the best investments we have ever made. We can thoroughly recommend them, and would be pleased to demonstrate the bikes to anyone in the Hull/East Yorkshire area. Thanks also to 50 Cycles for their courteous and efficient service. By the way, the Yakkay helmets are also great.. although we may need to invest in some of their ear-muffs for the winter! All in all, our slogan would be (as per the Land Rover advert) "Why have a car when you can have a Kalkhoff".