With its low-slung frame, BMX wheels, commuter-friendly disc brakes and eight-speed hub gears, the Cannondale Hooligan 1 is a lairy, Frankenstein’s monster of a bike.
As such, it defies any attempt to pigeon-hole it in the usual categories. But trying to define it as a trials bike, BMX or commuter workhorse is beside the point – it’s simply one of the most exciting ways to get to work short of riding a personal submarine down the Thames.
With the seatpost up, the Hooligan rides like a folding bike that doesn't fold. Its eight-speed hub gear setup is reliable and ranges wide enough for city riding. And the solid, large tyres give you plenty of cushioning over bumps, while rolling along without dragging too badly.
The only commuting catch is whether you can get that post up enough. Pushing six foot or more? Prepare for a hunt for a longer custom-built seatpost, or some serious knee pain for more than short rides.
With the seatpost dropped a bit, the bike transforms into its namesake – a proper little thug. In this form, it’s a semi-BMX with plenty of chuckability and enough toughness to mess about on.
The wide bars really help, but it's the low-slung carriage and fat tyres that really let you work the angles. The whole package encourages you to sling the tie off at six, stick some too-baggy jeans on and make the ride home a lot more fun than it has any right to be.
Still, pulling tailwhips and flips down the local skate park in your suit probably won’t earn you cred with the locals so it pays to remember on the Hooligan – you're not as young as you used to be, and you don't bounce anymore.