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City Commuter Bike (Read 1389 times)

Ed4


Barefoot and happy

    I'm looking to buy a bike for my new commute.  It's only three miles, all on city streets where the traffic is pretty slow, and there are bike lanes almost the whole way.  I'm looking for convenience and comfort over performance, and I want to ride in work clothes.  Right now I'm leaning toward something in Breezer's Town series:

     

    I like the fact that's it's got all the bells and whistles included (fenders, hub dynamo lights, chain guard, rack).  And I'm hoping I like the suspension seatpost, because the pavement here is absolutely terrible.  I've never used an internal rear hub, but it sounds like a good idea: no external dérailleurs to adjust or break, and you can shift while sitting still.

     

    I test-rode a cyclocross bike, and it's not what I'm looking for.  Too stiff to be comfortable on the bad pavement, and the posture is more aggressive than I really need.  I'm not going to ride centuries on this thing, I just need a practical way to get around town.

     

    I also heard good things about Breezer.  Apparently Joe Breezer himself sometimes answers technical questions by email. 

     

    Any fans here?  Critics?  Alternatives?

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      If all I was ever going to do is commute 3 miles each way to work then I'd look at some used clunker for nearly free.

       

      If I were going to spend actual money on a bike then I'd get something more high performance than the villager.  That looks like a great bike for a retiree down in florida who's got everything and loads of money and just wants something to put around his gated community to get a little more exercise than riding his golf cart to and fro.

       

      That's just my gut reaction.

      Runners run.


      ...---...

        The Villager looks like a classic. The fenders are a must as a work commuter.


        My problem with tooling around on my mnt bike is the uncomfortable position my body is in: torso forward supported by all arms and shoulder in a race position designed for weaving in and around tight single track. 


        Mikey - instead of NE transplant retiree in Florida for Ed on this bike, think British gentleman going to the market or the pub. 

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          Mikey - instead of NE transplant retiree in Florida for Ed on this bike, think British gentleman going to the market or the pub. 

           

          I still think that bike looks too fancy for that guy.  I'm picturing the classic old clunker that you see in every picture of Amsterdam...like this:

           

          Runners run.

            If all I was ever going to do is commute 3 miles each way to work then I'd look at some used clunker for nearly free.

             

            If I were going to spend actual money on a bike then I'd get something more high performance than the villager.  That looks like a great bike for a retiree down in florida who's got everything and loads of money and just wants something to put around his gated community to get a little more exercise than riding his golf cart to and fro.

             

            That's just my gut reaction.

             

            Yeah I'd have to agree. That seems really expensive for a 3-mile commute. Plus I don't think you're allowed to ride it without wearing a big fanny pack and sandals with socks. 

              If you want to change your name from Ed to Fred then thats the bike. Don't forget your little bell for the handlebar !

               

              I agree with mikey.....if your gonna spend that type of money I'd go for performance too. You may find that you want to ride for fitness. It's only three miles.....comfort shouldn't even be a question. That bike is good for one thing. Liesurely trips down the bike path. I'd really suggest....especially if your in traffic...slow or not....to get a bike that is agile.

               

              I commute nearly everyday and I do it on a GT ZUM. Basically a MTB frame with wheels designed for city travel. I can still hop curbs and corner and go fast etc. My next bike will be a full blown cyclcross. I wear my work clothes but keep a change of clothes in my office. Somedays I break a good sweat and others I get caught in the weather. I travel with a back pack and can fit a shit load of grocery items in my back pack.

               

              www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building

              Ed4


              Barefoot and happy

                You're thinking about cycling the way most Americans think about it.  As a sport. The aesthetic comments explain exactly why so few people ride here, even the ones who live in places where it's easy.  It's an attitude that says you either need to drive a race car, or you're a grandma.

                But look at how they do it in places where everybody actually bikes to get places.  They don't ride performance bikes.  Or if they do, it's on the weekend for a long ride.  Their daily bikes are big, practical clunkers with an upright posture and utilitarian features.  And what I'm proposing is still lighter and more agile than the typical Dutch-style bike (which is part of why it costs more).

                 

                mikey, I would go for something like that picture.  But a real, vintage Dutch bike like that isn't necessarily cheap in the US, and even when you find them, they weight almost twice as much as what I'm looking at.  If anybody can point out examples of where I could test drive and buy something close to that for less money, I'm all ears.

                I agree somewhat that the price is high, and I'd also considering moving down a few notches in the series, but look at the components on the thing.  It's not a beach cruiser.  There's obviously also a premium because the thing is built by a small company in the US, instead of a multinational cranking them out in a developing country.  I'd be happy to find a similar set of features for less, that's part of why I posted in the first place.

                 

                But put the cost into perspective.  This isn't a toy.  It's going to get me to work and back every day, rain or shine or snow, for years.  How much do you spend getting to work and back?  I bet it's a lot more. 

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                Ed4


                Barefoot and happy

                  Don't forget your little bell for the handlebar !

                   

                   

                  You scoff, but I probably will put a bell on the handlebars.  Or an airhorn.

                   

                  It's perfectly practical to do so.  In some countries, bells are actually required by law, for the same reason that cars can't pass inspection without horns.

                  Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.

                    But put the cost into perspective.  This isn't a toy.  It's going to get me to work and back every day, rain or shine or snow, for years.  How much do you spend getting to work and back?  I bet it's a lot more. 

                     

                    Yeah but "getting to work" for me sometimes involves getting to Portland, ME or Albany, NY relatively quickly.

                     

                    I hear ya that it's not a toy but nearly anything can get you to work and back.  It's three miles.  You won't have time to get uncomfortable even if your'e riding a 20 lb. used huffy that you find at the curb on trash day.  That's all I'm saying.

                    Runners run.

                       

                      But look at how they do it in places where everybody actually bikes to get places.  They don't ride performance bikes.  Or if they do, it's on the weekend for a long ride.  Their daily bikes are big, practical clunkers with an upright posture and utilitarian features.  And what I'm proposing is still lighter and more agile than the typical Dutch-style bike (which is part of why it costs more).

                       

                      Maybe in Asia countries and Russia but not in most European countries. They're riding performance bikes.

                       

                      If more Asians could afford a better bike I'd bet they'd be riding them too.

                       

                      The aesthetic comments have nothing to do with why more Americans don't ride bikes. More Americans don't ride bikes because....well they're Americans....they don't have to.

                       

                      If your really interested in practicality then, as I suggested earlier....a cyclecross or MTB with narrower tires is much more practical and versatile. It gives you more options as a rider.

                       

                      Obvisously much of this is opinion and personal choice but you did ask.

                      www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building

                      Ed4


                      Barefoot and happy

                        I hear ya that it's not a toy but nearly anything can get you to work and back.  It's three miles.  You won't have time to get uncomfortable even if your'e riding a 20 lb. used huffy that you find at the curb on trash day.  That's all I'm saying.

                         

                        True, and that's basically what I've been doing so far.  I have a Walmart mountain bike that I've been riding since college.  And it's not bad.  I could replace the knobbies with slicks and stick with it.  Probably not going to find a compatible chain guard, which is a minor annoyance.  And I don't think I can put a rack on it due to the full rear suspension, which is another minor annoyance.

                         

                        I could probably put $100 into tires, quality lights, fenders, and replacing some rusted out components.  Plus I need to retrue the back wheel, which I can do myself if I get the right spoke wrench.  So yeah, the cheap option is definitely there.

                         

                        It's not going to bust my budget either way.  Don't forget, I don't have to pay for running shoes. 

                        Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.

                           I need to retrue the back wheel.  

                           

                          I adjust my spokes with pliers. Boogers them up a bit, but it's an old bike and I figure that nobody will care in a hundred years. And the wheel is straight, which makes me happy.

                            I sometimes commute on my bike, 13 miles one way, and I bought an '83 stumpjumper mountain bike for $60 off CL, slapped on some full fenders and I'm good to go.  The bike already had a rack and smooth street tires.  The old Stumpie turned out to be a great commuter as it's a steel frame and has some flex to take off the edge from rough pavement and off-road sections.  The AL frame on the breezer makes you need or want that suspension seatpost.   Also most thieves wouldn't look twice at my bike!

                               

                              Yeah but "getting to work" for me sometimes involves getting to Portland, ME or Albany, NY relatively quickly.

                               

                              I hear ya that it's not a toy but nearly anything can get you to work and back.  It's three miles.  You won't have time to get uncomfortable even if your'e riding a 20 lb. used huffy that you find at the curb on trash day.  That's all I'm saying.

                               

                              A 20lb Huffy?!  You must be talking frame only!

                                A 20lb Huffy?!  You must be talking frame only!

                                 

                                Maybe he's thinking of the huffy time trial/pursuit bikes from the 80s. Very high dollar professional racing bikes. Of course, I don't think they were actually made alongside the department store huffy bikes and no one normally associated with huffy probably touched them...

                                Kirk

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