So crunch time is upon me. I'm finally moving to an urban area (Milwaukee, WI), where I'll be able to commute by bicycle without immediate fear for my life. I've owned nice* (a step or two above conglomo-mart), bikes before, but it's been at least six years since I've actually gotten on one. Plus, I've never made a bicycle my main mode of transportation.
I'm looking to buy a bike within the coming weeks. I've scouted several reputable bike shops, and all seem to be on the up and up. However, I've noticed that the local trend seems to be the fixed gear, no brake, rolled up girl-pants, fashion-forward messenger bag thing. I'm... not ready to jump on that bandwagon, entirely... but most of the sales staff that I've stumbled upon seem to be followers of this hip aesthetic.
As a long time lurker, I've always been surprised by the insight that BF members possess. I've found a few models that are to my liking, and the type of bike that I think that I would like, but more information is always welcome, if possible.
A good friend of mine has a steel road bike from the 80's. It was fast... but when I dismounted, I felt as though I had spent two hours on a thigh-master. Fast forward one week, and I can still feel the seat.
I like the idea of a single-speed bike. I'm all-for fewer moving parts. (Less stuff to break.) I'm not, however, a fan of the crazy hunched-down riding position that every model in town seems to have. I noticed Trek has a bike that's to my liking with the "Soho S". It has a similar geometry to a mountain bike (comfy), but with a lighter frame and slightly bigger-than normal road times. However, the internet doesn't have a lot of great things about it. Plus, I can't find one in the city to try out.
I don't want to special order anything. Is it out of the question to ask a bike shop owner to convert a bike that I like? IE: A Giant FCR series bike (or the dozens of similar bikes available.) I'm not familiar with the gear ratios yet, and don't want to waste his time by constantly switching around sprockets until I find one I like.
Should I be asking the store clerks better questions? Maybe there *is* a bike already sitting on a rack for me somewhere in this city?