What I consider a "perfect all-around bike" for my style of riding is something between a BMX bike and a street touring bike. That's a strange combination, , but I enjoy both going on long rides, AND being able to drop the speeds down to do 3mph and do things that require a lot more precision.
- either a modern cyclocross frame
- or a pre-90's mountain bike frame (one that has no front suspension)
Having any shocks is bad when you're doing road touring — it's dead weight. It's true that shocks help when you're doing tricks, but since 99.5% of my riding is on-road, I really don't need shocks. Also, trials bikes are rarely rigid.
- extremely large slicks (eg. Schwalbe Big Apple)
Slicks to save weight, and extremely large tires to make up for the fact that I don't have suspension, AND allow me to ride up stairs and do huge drops without worrying about pinch flats.
- drop bars, for comfort during long tours
- whatever is compatible with drop bars
- disc brakes, if I can afford them and find a compatible frame — they're considered bombproof, especially because they don't have any problems with out-of-true rims
- Can't be single speed, because SS doesn't have the dynamic range to do touring and trials/BMX.
- bar-end shifters — brifters are FAR too susceptible to damage, AND they're expensive as hell
TODO: Compare the weight of modern mid-price front shocks to the Schwalbe Big Apple... is there any way the shocks might weigh less, especially when you take into account that the tire has double the inertia (linear + rotational)?
Sometime in the future, I might get a purpose-built bike for tricks. These are some of the requirements:
- the traditional urban assault MTB frame — one that looks like a BMX, where the top tube and seat stays are pretty much all on one line. This allows the seat to essentially be lowered completely out of the way — when doing huge tricks, you're completely out of the seat, and you don't want the seat to come up and smack you at the bottom of a huge drop, so it has to be able to drop down much lower than normal bikes.
- 2.35" - 2.5" slicks (probably Maxxis Hookworms, otherwise the Schwalbe Big Apples or similar)
monsters like this can take huge drops without having to ever think about the possibility of pinch flats
- get rims that are 21c - 29c wide — big enough to handle 50-60mm tires
- NO suspension — the hookworms give a lot of bounce already, and ditching the suspension will help offset a little of the weight that the monster tires add