With Halloween only days away, I’m celebrating with a special quiver of bikes that are a little bit scary. Fortunately, since I’m picking from our selection of professionally inspected Certified Pre-Owned bikes, I won’t have to worry about getting a bike that’s possessed or cursed. Instead, a bike can seem scary for a lot of (sometimes silly) reasons. I might be afraid to buy or ride these bikes because of how they look, what they cost, or even what they represent. So what sort of bikes spook me? Read on to find out.
Road bike: Argonaut Cycles Custom - $7,499.99
This custom Manual For Speed “Reach for the Dream” Argonaut is a beautiful example of American-made carbon. Thanks to the one-of-a-kind custom paint, I don’t think there’s any bike in the world that I’m more afraid of actually riding. If I somehow scratched the paint, it'd be devastating. Even Manual For Speed’s Daniel Paisley has never ridden it. But that’s not all. I’m afraid I might be too old to roll out on an exotic bike like this without feeling self-conscious. Alas, I am powerless against the effects of time, and the brightly colored Argonaut is a memento mori for me, a stark reminder of my own mortality.
Tri bike: Specialized S-Works Shiv Disc - $9,699.99
Tri bikes are rarely attractive to me, but if there’s one bike that I’d call the king of monsters, it’s the radically redesigned Specialized Shiv. My overactive imagination has me thinking the old Shiv got crossed with an insect during an experimental mishap in the Specialized “Win Tunnel.” Specialized engineers created a front end with wide, asymmetric, airfoil-shaped fork legs to minimize drag in crosswinds better than a witch on a broomstick. The Shiv is basically an F1 car in bike form, and I’m afraid that I wouldn’t have the power to do it justice. Or even scarier: I might fall in love with it and dedicate my life to triathlon.
Mountain bike: Marin Mount Vision 9 - $5,041.99
With its engorged swingarm, extreme seat tube angle, and stretched bottom bracket, the Marin Mount Vision looks like a creature designed by body horror legend David Cronenberg. But I’d say it’s more like Rocky Dennis. It’s what’s on the inside that counts! The Mount Vision’s Naild "R3act-2play" suspension uses a slider tube in the bottom bracket area to decouple the suspension from its high anti-squat forces whenever the rear wheel hits a bump. It may look like a monster, but this design provides a supernatural ride: suspension that always feels supple but provides complete pedaling efficiency at the same time.
E-bike: Specialized S-Works Kenevo SL - $13,999.99
The high price is reason enough to fear this S-Works Kenevo SL. But I chose it because e-bikes are changing cycling, and change is scary. Don’t get me wrong, I think e-bikes are fun to ride and they allow more people to enjoy riding. But I’ve always been afraid to buy one because the e-bike haters might come after me with torches and pitchforks. Bikes like the Kenevo SL are hard to distinguish from their acoustic counterparts. Will we find ourselves in a future where average riders discreetly use e-bikes to blast past pros? I have no idea if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. And what if these bikes get too advanced? We may have to fight an e-bike uprising.
Trigger bike: Spooky Skeletor - $1,999.99
This American-made Spooky Skeletor has the perfect name for a Halloween quiver. But it’s also fitting because “Skeletor” is a trigger word for my phobia of skulls. I think it all started when I was four, and I saw the face-melting scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Those images fueled my nightmares along with the Crypt Keeper and, don’t laugh, He-Man’s arch nemesis, Skeletor (the live action version not cartoon). Even though I’m not keen on unearthing my early childhood trauma, this tough aluminum bike would be perfect for taking on some fast (and scary) crit races. It’d also serve as a great reminder to wait until my kid is a bit older before scaring him with my favorite movies.
Museum bonus: Slingshot Team Issue - Priceless
I couldn’t resist including a bonus bike from our Bike Museum. This team-issue Slingshot uses a steel cable and spring in place of a traditional down tube and hinge on the top tube so the frame can act as a form of suspension. I rode the Slingshot during one of our vintage rides, and the whole time I was careening downhill, I was imagining the frame folding in half and killing me. (The brakes don’t work great either.) It's definitely the scariest bike I’ve ever ridden.
Total cost: $38,241.95
Ultimately, I’m too much of a scaredy cat to take the plunge on monstrous bikes like the Shiv or the Mount Vision. Though I want to stay current with e-bike tech, I’m afraid that I’ll become dependent on Kenevo SL’s motor and abandon my other bikes. And the Argonaut custom is awesome, but I lack the panache to ride it in public.
The only bike in this quiver that is seriously tempting me is the Spooky Skeletor. It’s affordable, and I just love aluminum bikes. I can get over the whole skull thing. I’ll just keep it in the darkest corner of my garage and — wait — did I just see it move?
Did I make good choices? Are there any other bikes that you’d consider scary? Let me know in the comments!