The third-generation Dacia Sandero debuted last year, and the reviews are coming in, including one from former Top Gear presenter, current Grand Tour presenter, and noted Sandero enthusiast James May. May has decided that, on balance, it is superior to his $10,000 bicycle.
Now, I don’t know how much May spent on his Orbea Orca, exactly, and he doesn’t say in his review, but he does say that the number is similar enough to the £10,000 Dacia Sandero he tested. The £10,000 Sandero isn’t the cheapest new car in Britain — that would be the 65-horsepower, £7,995 base Sandero — but compared to an expensive two-wheeled machine that you must power with your own body May says it’s pretty good.
“It is a complete car,” May says of the Sandero, though he goes on to award the Orbea higher marks for niceness, while the Sandero wins for practicality. The Sandero also wins for comfort, performance, and “not looking like a berk.”
Sandero also wins overall, but Orbea wins for value because May says that if you drive a Dacia Sandero no one will want to talk to you. That’s opposed to the Orbea, which, if you ride, might endear you to the cycling community and you might make some new friends, something that is invaluable.
May also acknowledges that, when not on their bikes, cyclists look like “proper knobbers.” May says that you don’t have to wear any of that stuff, but it helps.
You may also call spending a five-figure sum on a bicycle preposterous, but for serious cyclists every gram counts, and May’s review is a good reminder that, for hobbyists and enthusiasts of cars or bicycles, priorities differ. I recently acquired a bike that didn’t cost $10,000, and I plan to spend this summer trying to get back into riding. Everything is on track for this time next year, when I’ll be convincing myself that a $10,000 bike is not only something I want but something I need.