cpolk: (Default)
[personal profile] cpolk posting in [community profile] bicycles
I bought my first bike last year.

Well, let me try that again, as it wasn't my first bike. it was the first bike I bought. before that I had a heavy green stepthrough with no gears and a coaster brake that was a hand me down, and then I had a late 70's Raleigh Grand Prix that I overhauled down to the ball bearings in 1985 and rode passionately for a few years until it was stolen. I was a cyclist in those days, a creature of lycra and sinew and mashing through traffic because I could get there first, even though my bike was steel.

But last year i went to a bike shop and I bought a Kona Dew Deluxe. I probably shouldn't have, on reflection, as it wasn't the bike that I wanted but I didn't *see* the bike I wanted so I thought that bike wasn't available here. I love Bruce, I do, he's light and zippy and really much more nimble than I need a bike to be and those disc brakes are amazing and i'm glad i have studded tires so I can keep riding all winter even if I didn't actually need them this year, but Bruce isn't the best bike in the world for a woman who wants to be able to ride places and not need to change clothes.

In short, I wanted a bike that was just like my first bike: heavy, simple, with a step through frame and a rack on the back, a basket in front, a kickstand, a seat with springs. A bike that no one would ever use while wearing lycra. A bike that says "okay" to 20 kmh speed limits on recreational paths. A bike I could wear a skirt with and never catch said skirt on the nose of my saddle while trying to dismount, so I land on my ass. (I'm still choked about that.)

Kona has a bike a lot like that, actually. It's called the africabike three and I'd buy it in a hot minute, but the bike shop that sold me Bruce doesn't keep that style of bike in stock, and they don't want to order one if i'm not going to buy it. (If I decide I don't like how it rides, I'm not going to buy it, so I want them to order one so i can test ride it before buying it or not buying it.)

so okay, not buying a bike there. (Sad. I think kona makes a great bike, and i definitely would have stuck to the brand if it rode well.) There's another bike shop in town that caters to that heavy city bike style, and in my price range they have Linus Dutchi 3 and Bobbin Birdies coming in this spring.

My old Raleigh was a damn heavy bike but it was a tank. So I'm thinking a fully lugged steel bike like the Bobbin is going to be nice and strong, and the built in rack on the back is a major selling point for me. The drawback is the colour range is - well. Red is right out. completely unacceptable. I have an aversion to the colour. The blue is really nice but I wonder if a powdery turquoise isn't too-too, and yellow? Well it's bright and happy? I guess? Is my reluctance clear? Linus has more sedate colours but from what I've read, people complain more about the Linus dutchi than they do about the bobbin birdie. So do I suck it up and learn to love yellow? Or is the Linus more of a gem than I've been led to believe?

Date: 2012-02-17 04:04 am (UTC)
rivenwanderer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rivenwanderer
I treat my Electra Townie the way you describe (after outfitting it with a basket, rear rack, fenders, and panniers). I almost always wear skirts when riding it. The panniers sort of function as a skirt guard also! I don't carry it up and down stairs, but I do love riding it sedately around the city.

I don't have any experience with the bikes you're looking at, though.

Date: 2012-02-17 01:21 pm (UTC)
pinesandmaples: A cropped image of a black Globe Work bicycle (bike: Globe Work)
From: [personal profile] pinesandmaples
My wife also rides her (eggplant) Townie in skirts 90% of the time with no extra training or special gear. It's easy to do! Townies are bikes that like toodling, which is what the OP seems to be looking for. Although if Townies are available in her part of Canada is really the question.

Date: 2012-02-18 01:43 am (UTC)
pinesandmaples: A bicycle stencil in yellow with the words "Share the Road" painted below. (bike: share the road)
From: [personal profile] pinesandmaples
A three-speed Townie shouldn't be $900 CAD. It should be much closer to $500 CAD. If you're seeing them priced that high, you're being jacked around.

Date: 2012-02-17 04:30 am (UTC)
sara: photo of a bicyclist (bicycle)
From: [personal profile] sara
I dunno, I think red is the most ideal of all possible colors for a bicycle. *GRIN*

Date: 2012-02-17 11:23 pm (UTC)
damerell: (cycling)
From: [personal profile] damerell
British Racing Green, black forks, black bar tape, black saddle. If you please.


bicycles: Cyclist on a red clockwise spiral background, text reads "Bicycles!" (Default)
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