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  1. #1
    I'll ride for free MudSplattered's Avatar
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    Cool Commuter Bikes Available in the U.S!

    Check out Breezers
    http://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes.cfm

    REI - Navara Fusion
    http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...ory_rn=4500775

    koga-miyata: - some full suspension commuters, made in Holland
    http://www.kogausa.com/Town&Country.htm

    Biria - The Saftey Bike comes with a Remote control anti-theft kickstand - YES, this is for real
    http://www.biria.com/bicycles/

    Kettler
    http://www.kettlerusa.com/page12.html

    Burley
    http://www.burley.com/products/commu...unabout-27&i=0

  2. #2
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Lot's Knife's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Prairie Path Commuter
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    You missed the Biache bike and the REI Transfer.

  5. #5
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    ^^^ Why oh why do they insist on putting
    suspension forks on commuter bikes ?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cheshire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=£em in Pa=-
    ^^^ Why oh why do they insist on putting
    suspension forks on commuter bikes ?
    because some of the roads (depending on where you are) need them, and it gets more people on bikes than without.
    Ever ridden a rigid fork down a road that has just been prepped for repaving or has massive damage from the chains the city busses use all winter long? Lemme tell ya...ain't fun.

  7. #7
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheshire
    Ever ridden a rigid fork down a road that has just been prepped for repaving or has massive damage from the chains the city busses use all winter long? Lemme tell ya...ain't fun.
    I wouldnt know....here in VT it has to have been paved at least once
    to qualify for a 'repaving'

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheshire
    Ever ridden a rigid fork down a road that has just been prepped for repaving or has massive damage from the chains the city busses use all winter long? Lemme tell ya...ain't fun.
    On my first day commuting they cut the road between when I road in and road home. There wasn't really an easy way around it and it was only about an 1/8 mile so I decided to ride it. You're right, it's not fun.

  9. #9
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    It's been about 6 months and I am still enthralled with my Breezer. I have one of the newer Uptown 8's with no suspension fork, which makes me happy. I just did not want one more thing to take care of. The suspension seatpost and the saddle will be replaced with a normal seatpost and a B-67 just as soon as my budget allows for it, though.

  10. #10
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Donnamb sez : "It's been about 6 months and I am still enthralled with my Breezer."


    I am really enthralled by the Breezer and Joe B's attitude and advocacy stuff
    with cycling. Definately a hands-on ambassador. I really love these "eccentric"(??)
    commuter bikes !!! Does your Breezer feel MTB ponderous or can it make time like a
    'normal' bike on your commute ? How is it on hills ?? Does the Aluminum creak and
    groan when under pressure ?? Bottom bracket clickage ?????
    Tired of stoopit questions ????
    Enquiring minds want to know !!! YEs, I have searched but still want more

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheshire
    Ever ridden a rigid fork down a road that has just been prepped for repaving or has massive damage from the chains the city busses use all winter long? Lemme tell ya...ain't fun.
    Ugh, I ran smack dab into a road that had just been torn up on Thursday. Was cruising into it right around 25mph, in the zone, came around the bend and the next thing I know my skinny lil tires are rim deep in dirt, gravel, and .. larger gravel. Didn't even bother trying to brake, the junk cut me speed to near nil before I could decide whether it would be a good idea to brake and hope the tires didn't lock. Most unpleasant mile I've ever ridden.

  12. #12
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    So far, the only serious, practical machine I've seen in this list is the Koga-Miayta SilverAce.

    The Novara Fusion is indeed interesting, but a bit over the top. Like many other commuting machines, the stock stem doesn't have sufficient rise to it.

    Burley's offerings are simply MTBs with racks and riser handlebars thrown onto them.

    Pity that Kettler's site doesn't list their lugged-frame Raleigh DL-1 copy as being available here in the States.

    -Kurt

  13. #13
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=£em in Pa=-
    I am really enthralled by the Breezer and Joe B's attitude and advocacy stuff
    with cycling. Definately a hands-on ambassador. I really love these "eccentric"(??)
    commuter bikes !!! Does your Breezer feel MTB ponderous or can it make time like a
    'normal' bike on your commute ? How is it on hills ?? Does the Aluminum creak and
    groan when under pressure ?? Bottom bracket clickage ?????
    Tired of stoopit questions ????
    Enquiring minds want to know !!! YEs, I have searched but still want more
    Yes, well, what other kind of commuter bike would this eccentric person get? It's hard to say about whether I go fast or not. It takes me 15-20 minutes to ride 3.5 miles of pretty good urban streets with lots of stop signs, lights, cars, and other bikes (being that I'm in Portland). I don't feel like I'm putting out maximum exertion. Roadies always pass me (with a sneer). People that look like they have been bike commuting for a long time but aren't roadies always pass me. I pass most people on hybrids and all people on mountain bikes and small bikes. Being female, I do carry everything but the kitchen sink to work with me. I go faster when I'm not so loaded down.

    I'm glad I bought a bike with the premium Nexus because hills are my great challenge. The bulk of my riding experience up until April was in very flat SE Michigan. I need the gear ratios it has. Of course a Rohlhoff would be even better, but I don't have that kind of money. The aluminum doesn't creak or groan. As mentioned, I carry a lot on that bike, and I am not a small girl. In fact, I was 20 lbs heavier in April when I got it. That said, if Breezer made a steel bike, I would have bought it. I made some tradeoffs when I picked a Breezer, but it was worth it for my particular set of circumstances.

    The bottom bracket did click. I got it repacked last month. It's fine now, but we'll see. I've encountered 4 other Breezers in Portland after I heard about others having the clicking issue. They all had it too. 2 of them got it repacked and the other 2 didn't know enough about bikes to know it could or should be fixed. I hope they did. Do you know anything about it other than it seems a common occurence with Breezers?

    Other things I don't like: the suspension seat post isn't my thing and the saddle is not meant for sit bone spans of 190mm. I changed the pedals as they were way too slippery in the rain. The U frame is challenging to lock to the typical Portland staple rack, but I think that's more a flaw of the rack. I got my first flat this evening and I've never removed a rear wheel like that before. The LBS I got it from includes a year's free service with the bike and he's happy to have Breezer owners come in for their first flat to learn how to do it. It's just a bad time at work to take the afternoon off, but I have to be shown stuff like this the first time.

    Questions don't bother me and not many are stupid. I nearly drove my parents crazy as a kid with them, being eccentric even then.

  14. #14
    FG 48x17 eaglevii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888
    The Novara Fusion is indeed interesting, but a bit over the top. Like many other commuting machines, the stock stem doesn't have sufficient rise to it.
    I don't get the "commuter bike must provide a super-upright riding position, or else" attitude (not just refering to cudak, but in general). I ride a cyclocross bike (IRO Rob Roy), and I love it - and couldn't stand something as upright as some of those bikes pictured. If you ignore the fact that the IRO is single speed (which has benefits for commuting, but lets not go there - internal hub is probably better for most folks), it can be set up with real fenders and a rack, and wide 700C cross tires for bad weather, dirt roads, etc.

    Maybe one day the "comfort bike/riser stem as a commuter" meme will strike me, but I just don't get it.

  15. #15
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    A good collection of links.

    Many of those bikes would serve ordinary commuters well. It's refreshing to see so many bikes thoughtfully designed with practical purposes in mind, rather than trying to mimic specialized racing machinery.

    That said, as much as I want to like these bikes a lot, I don't. Even some of the nice-looking Koga-Miyatas. Too many of those commuting or utility machines are designed with the idea of selling bikes to people in the U.S. who are casual about bicycling per se. So, there are too many design compromises for those bikes to be ideal commuters or utility bikes, in my mind.

    In particular, the linked bikes seem largely aimed at the sort of rider who is intimidated by, or just does not want, drop bars and a more stretched out top tube. I understand this approach. The success of mountain bikes and their imitators has apparently taught bike manufacturers that they cut out 3/4 of their potential market, or so, if they put drop bars on a longer bike. But whatever is true for selling bikes to people who are new to cycling, it's a mistake to have a commuter or utility bike that doesn't have drop bars and a more forward geometry, in my view. It is not just racers who can benefit from cutting through the wind.

    Also, some of the manufacturers are apparently trying to push the market toward expecting more complicated, unnecessary, and expensive technology in everyday roadbikes. The disk brakes on the Novarro are a case in point, but the suspended frame of the Koga-Miyata Gran Tour is another example. These things are just not needed on paved roads.

    The next item is more a matter of preference, but I don't care for generator lights. Even the best dyno hubs rob their riders of ~7 watts when the light is on. That's over three percent of a 200W effort, and that's no small price to power a dim headlamp. Battery lights can light up a lot more of the road for the money, and they don't rob a rider of anything comparable to a generator's take. I know that a generator eliminates recharging, but to my mind it's just not that hard to deal with batteries, especially now that smart rechargers are available for reasonable prices.

    As much as I like the included features on many of the linked bikes -- fenders, coat guards, lights, chainguards, and kickstands -- I prefer a bike like, say, the venerable Trek 520 as a base for a commuter rig to any of them.

    www.trekbikes.com

    (Follow the menus.)

    The 520 (and other comparable tourers) has the right geometry for road riding, which is to say it is designed for road riding and does not imitate mountain bikes. It's got long chainstays, though, so you can mount sizable bags in the rear. Unlike all of the linked bikes, too, the front forks will support another rack.

    The 520's not cheap. Trek wants over twelve hundred bucks for it now. But if you added fenders, a kickstand, a front rack, lights, and some kind of ring guard, the total price would still be comparable to, or less than, the nicer Koga-Miyatas. But the 520 would be a better machine for many people.

    As far as that goes, by the way, I think that what many American commuters need is a bit different than the northern Europeans. Things in North America tend to be a bit more spead out, with suburbs, large malls, big grocery chains, and so on. So, many practical rides will be significantly longer over here.

  16. #16
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    donnamb sez : "Yes, well, what other kind of commuter bike would this eccentric person get"

    Hey thanks for that great reply, donnamb !! There is a place that
    sells them close by to me (an hour away) and I am going to go look just out of curiousity.......These purpose built euro-kommuters are so cool
    in that everything you need you have from the start. After a winter
    of riding a cassette bike and switching mid winter to a fix because of it being impossible to keep up with the cleaning, a hub gearbox sounds great ! Ive only heard about the 'clicking' sound from other Breezer
    posts in a search......I cant imagine a bike of this quality would have
    a serious issue. Ive had other new bikes that required greasing to get
    a click away so I think its an assembly issue moreso than anything else. Remember, humans do that part

    Oh yeah...99% of the time you DO NOT need to remove the wheel to
    fix a flat. Just pop the bead on one side and wiggle the tube out.
    If its a puncture you can patch and restuff with the wheel on
    the bike. Saves a little time !

    eaglevii sez : "Maybe one day the "comfort bike/riser stem as a commuter" meme will strike me, but I just don't get it."

    Not yet.....you will . Give it about 20 years If you are riding a fixed IRO right now Miss Cleo see a wack bike fo you in da future, Mahn (this isnt meant to be bad !)

  17. #17
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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    How do you find the flat when you don't take the tire off?
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888
    Pity that Kettler's site doesn't list their lugged-frame Raleigh DL-1 copy as being available here in the States.
    Kurt,
    Where do they list this at all? I poked around both the German and U.S. sites and didn’t find anything fitting this description. Sounds interesting.

    Regards,
    Alan

  19. #19
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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    Merriweather,

    I disagree that drop bars are that important. If you are using the bike for basic transportation, then you would rarely want to bend over. It puts you in a poor position for city riding. Other handlebar positions are better options--Breezer sells one other position that I looks great on their Range bikes.

    Drop bars also appear to be rare in other countries where they rely on utility style bikes. I think they are better suited in a faster configuration for weekend rides--one without all the weight of the commuter's accessories that these bikes have.
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  20. #20
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheshire
    because some of the roads (depending on where you are) need them, and it gets more people on bikes than without.
    Ever ridden a rigid fork down a road that has just been prepped for repaving or has massive damage from the chains the city busses use all winter long? Lemme tell ya...ain't fun.
    One of the years that I rode the MS150 (Cleveland-ish to Sandusky,) they had just diamond chipped 3/4 of the route for repaving the following week. I rode that on a carbon/aluminum Trek 2100 with an Aerospoke rear wheel. I thought my teeth were going to fall out of my head after that ride.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by thdave
    Merriweather,
    I disagree that drop bars are that important. If you are using the bike for basic transportation, then you would rarely want to bend over. It puts you in a poor position for city riding. Other handlebar positions are better options--Breezer sells one other position that I looks great on their Range bikes.

    Drop bars also appear to be rare in other countries where they rely on utility style bikes. I think they are better suited in a faster configuration for weekend rides--one without all the weight of the commuter's accessories that these bikes have.
    I will have to disagree with you thdave. I think it makes alot of sense to have a drop bar for many types of urban riding. I perfer them a little wider and higher than most racers but having upright positions on the bar tops and hoods in addition to a wind cheating lower position is an excellent idea. I ride from Shaker Heights to Cuyahoga Heights (2 inner ring suburbs) mostly on Cleveland streets. A lower riding position allows me to flow much better with traffic. If I need to be higher for visibility I can switch to a higher hand position. In addition I find the hand positions of a riser bar to be uncomfortable. Most road bikes have a handlebar to low for my tastes but bikes like the Trek Pilot work pretty well and most cyclocross bikes can be set up with a better bar position.
    Craig

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
    One of the years that I rode the MS150 (Cleveland-ish to Sandusky,) they had just diamond chipped 3/4 of the route for repaving the following week. I rode that on a carbon/aluminum Trek 2100 with an Aerospoke rear wheel. I thought my teeth were going to fall out of my head after that ride.
    Maybe a suspension would help for this type of conditions but I think a fatter tire would also help in this and other conditions without as much of a weight penalty and no complication. I've noticed that the 35mm tires on my commuter are much smoother than the 28mm tires I squeeze onto my "track" bike.
    Craig

  23. #23
    Senior Member Caspar_s's Avatar
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    City maybe - you want to be able to see traffic etc.

    But in rural areas, commuting from one small town to the next, with flat fields all around you, going into the wind, drops are nice.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Lot's Knife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merriwether
    ... it's a mistake to have a commuter or utility bike that doesn't have drop bars and a more forward geometry, in my view.
    In Chengdu, China; A'dam; and Modena, Italy, they haven't gotten the memo.






  25. #25
    FG 48x17 eaglevii's Avatar
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    Lem, in 20 years we'll see. And just for the record, my IRO is a single speed, I don't feel like rocking a fixie 90+ miles a week (maybe if I was younger I would, so I guess I'm on that fixie to comfort bike continum after all )

    Lot, I have not been to China, but I have been to Europe, and I've been in areas like those pictures. In my experience, the people on those bikes tend to ride very slowly (and at least in Europe) in areas with more foot traffic than car traffic. The fact that they are wearing 100% street clothes including heavy coats suggests that they are not going far or concerned with getting somewhere in a timely manner (which would generate a lot of body heat and sweat in those clothes, even in cold weather). So, if you're riding a mile or two (typical in European situations), I can see how those bikes would work well. In spread out US cities (especially in the west) and rural areas, I just don't see that sort of bike being nearly as practical. I'd guess from my experience that the typical rider on those coblestones in Europe is doing 10 MPH, which would make my commute take almost an hour each way. That'd be a bitter pill to swallow.

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