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Old 02-11-05, 04:12 PM   #1
BeeTL
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Last edited by BeeTL; 12-01-05 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 02-11-05, 04:16 PM   #2
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cdale street, specialized globe? Not sure on the prices though.
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Old 02-11-05, 04:37 PM   #3
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The new specialized globe has a derailleur system, not an internal hub. I've got a Trek L-400, it's a really nice bike, but I've also got friends that are crazy about the Breezers. Several differences between these two bikes:

Breezer - 26" wheels, better headlight (B&M oval) and dynohub (3.0 watt), non-adjustable stem.
Trek L-300 - 700c wheels, adjustable stem, not so good headlight (beam isn't focused well), more effort to remove rear wheel due to fully enclosed chainguard, may only have 2.4 watt dynohub rather than 3.0 watt (?) - this means you can't run both a taillight and a headlight off of the dyno.

You should also be able to get a Kettler in the US, but dealers are hard to find, I ordered one for my wife direct from the distributor a few years ago, not sure you can still do that. Might be out of your price range, too. http://www.kettler.net/articles/2004...184/index.html

Biria is also importing bikes in this style to the US. http://www.biria.com/bicycles/
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Old 02-11-05, 07:30 PM   #4
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Joe Breeze's on a crusade to change the shape of cycling in this country. (Hey, he's done it before, so who knows, right??)

Anyhow, I don't know that he'll be successful but maybe the impending baby-boom mobility crisis will light a fire under his company. In the meantime, I would like to own one. I probably wouldn't ride it much because it doesn't really match my style, but it does look like the bees knees for a comfort bike.
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Old 02-11-05, 10:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeTL
Im thinking that one day Id like my knock-around bike to be a European-Style city bike. Id like an internally-geared hub, compact frame, rack and fenders. Lighting systems are an added bonus but not necessary. These bikes aint cheap, but...Anything else out there fit the bill for under $800?[/b]
Consider, if you can find, a cheap R/T airline ticket to Germany, preferably one that allows shipment of a bike as one piece of luggage, buy the bike of your choice and bring it back possibly for $ 800 or less for the entire package. As an extra bonus spend some time touring by bike, train or both.

I bought this 7speed Sachs/SRAM with Coaster hub, lights, fenders, rack, basket, pump, kick stand, 28' X 1.75" (622 x 47 or 700c x 47) tires on aluminum rims, etc for DM268 ($130 at the time, probably about $200 today's exchange rate) in 2000 or 2001. The only significant extra expense was for a decent seat to replace the original and additional lighting. This is a bike built for comfortable, reliable all weather cycling for city/suburban trips. The price was so cheap that I bought a matching girls model just in case my wife might get interested. I use mine daily now in the US all year round.
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Old 02-12-05, 05:47 AM   #6
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Bianchi Milano seems to hit all the right notes.
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Old 02-12-05, 09:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeTL
Im thinking that one day Id like my knock-around bike to be a European-Style city bike. Id like an internally-geared hub, compact frame, rack and fenders.
Trek L300

A little cheaper and available through my FBS.


Anything else out there fit the bill for under $800?

You might take a look at the Trek L200. It is a $100 less than the L300 and w/o superfluous (for commuting on the street) suspension components. It does have a lot of nice features and should be available locally. I was pleasantly surprised to see it offered in the US; I'd seen similar Trek model sold in Germany years ago. Prices aren't as good as overseas, but both the Breezer and Trek certainly deliver more city/street bicycling value for $800-900 than the same money gets in the techno-weenie road bike aisle of the typical US LBS.
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Old 02-12-05, 09:15 AM   #8
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I've seen and closely examined (but not ridden the Breezer Uptown). It looks like a very suitable bike, and has the advantage of being sold through "normal channels" here in the US. It is built in Taiwan (a free country) and based on a mountain bike frame. There are other bikes available like my Kettler, but getting these involves a lot of scouting around, searching the net, or direct importation. I'd also agree that buying such a bike is likely to cost much less than building up something from components. I've researched both options.

Having ridden thousands of miles at night withe battery lights, a sidewall generator, and a hub dynamo, the extra cost of the hub unit is no problem for me. If you want one, it is cheapest to buy a bike that already has it, although retrofitting one, as I did, is not dificult.

I do find it frustrating that theswe, the most useful sort of bikes are the only kind of bike that is difficult to find in the US. They are out there however. In particular, the Breezers have been much more succesful in the marketplace than anyone expected.

In many urban areas where parking is tight, a 1-10 mile trip involves a choice of 1) drive and circle the block for 20 minutes, 2) call a taxi, 3) have your own chauffeur to drop you of and pick you up, or 4) have one of these. I think that situation offers some hope for increasing availability -- at least in major cities.

Paul
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Old 02-12-05, 09:38 AM   #9
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FWIW......The Trek L200 captures the flavor of the Euro bikes the
best. Being a non-suspension bike adds greatly to the durablity of
the bike. Check out this site for a look at Dutch bikes. (The Dutch
ride bikes like we use cars.)

http://www.cycle-heaven.co.uk/gazelle.html
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Old 02-12-05, 12:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad
FWIW.....Check out this site for a look at Dutch bikes. (The Dutch
ride bikes like we use cars.)

http://www.cycle-heaven.co.uk/gazelle.html
If anyone knows of a legitimate importer of new Gazelle or Batavius NL bikes to the US, please post, or send me a private message.
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Old 02-12-05, 09:23 PM   #11
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Steven M. Scharf has a good site about commuter bikes:
Commuter Bicycles available in the U.S.

I have a Breezer villager, which I like, I will probably change the handlebars and I have an extra battery light as I don't like the generator drag when climbing hills.

The Shimano 7 speed internal hub is sweet. You could get the Shimano hub from someplace like Harris Cyclery and modify an existing bike to make your perfect commuter.
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Old 02-12-05, 09:48 PM   #12
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Check out the Novarra Fusion at REI.
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Old 02-13-05, 12:07 PM   #13
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European-style city bikes make the most sense in, well, European-style cities. I test rode a high-end Breezer once. It was a nice smooth ride, but it was a pain to get it up hills, and the geometry made me feel like I was sitting upright in church. I imagine this type of bike design makes much more sense for rides in relatively flat areas, like the Netherlands.

I was intrigued by the Bianchi Castro Valley but it isn't available locally yet.
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Old 02-13-05, 02:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
If anyone knows of a legitimate importer of new Gazelle or Batavius NL bikes to the US, please post, or send me a private message.
While I don't know of any importers (DARN!) I used the site to help me convert my
bike to a Dutch style commuter that is a great ride. For some reason new commuters
seem to like drop bars.(?????)
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Old 02-13-05, 03:04 PM   #15
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Or maybe make sense for getting around in Chicago, or NYC, or Philadelphia, or Washington, DC? Or any other reasonably level city/urban locations where a significant number of people live and might actually consider cycling for relatively short utility/commuter trips.

No type of bicycle will be considered by people, that are not interested in becoming athletes/passionate cycling enthusiasts, as "sensible" for frequent utility/commuter trips in extremely hilly locations.

If I recall correctly the original poster was looking for a European-style city bike for "knock-around bike" trips, not for tackling the hills of S.F. or training rides in the suburbs of San Diego.
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Old 02-13-05, 11:33 PM   #16
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I split my commute between a Dahon 3 speed (with a chain guard) and a Trek mountain bike (traditional 21 speed drive train). Both work equally well on my short, flat ride. The biggest difference I notice is the lack of a chain guard on the Trek. On the Trek, I am constantly tucking my pants into my sock to avoid catching it in the chain. A good chain guard is on my list of required equipment for any commuter/city bike.
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Old 02-14-05, 10:47 AM   #17
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In that case, enjoy.

A note on the Gazelles: Gazelle is afraid to import their bikes into the United States because of our product liability laws. (See the Google Answer on this). Thus, there aren't likely to be any "official" dealerships or importers here; just a couple of guys who buy and import them independently without any discounts from Gazelle.
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Old 02-15-05, 02:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeTL
Im thinking that one day Id like my knock-around bike to be a European-Style city bike. Id like an internally-geared hub, compact frame, rack and fenders. Lighting systems are an added bonus but not necessary.

These bikes aint cheap, but building up a Surly Karate Monkey will cost even more.

Heres whats at the top of my list:

Breezer Uptown

The Breezer has pretty much everything Im looking for. The dyno hub is cool but adds cost to an already pricey bike.


Trek L300

A little cheaper and available through my FBS.


Anything else out there fit the bill for under $800?
The Trek looks better constructed with a larger chain guard and rear wheel guard. I also like the 27 inch wheel because it's more efficient than a 26 inch. I'm impressed with Trek's bike but I'd still support Breezer because he was first and now everyone is copying!
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Old 02-21-05, 11:05 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeTL
On Friday I test rode the Breezer Uptown and the Townie. As cool as I think the Townies are, I guess it turns out that the "Flat Foot" thing isn't all that important to me. I like faster, smoother bikes.

The Townie was a 3s with the Shimano 3 speed hub while the Uptown has the "premium" 8 speed. The difference was night and day. The Breezer blew away the Townie's performance in every respect. Comparatively, the Townie drove like a tank.

Later that evening I rode a Trek 7100 with 700c wheels that a neighbor bought for his wife. Now that is a ride I could come to really love. Smooth, comfortable and fast.

I looked up the frame specs on the 7100 vs. the L300 and I was surprised to discover they are, in fact, different. The L300 is a longer, taller frame with slacker head tube and seat tube angles. I imagine this translates to a slightly less nimble bike with an emphasis on comfort. I expect with the "standard" Shimano 8 hub it might not feel quite as smooth as the Breezer, but the 700c wheels should help overcome that.

I'm going to try to track down an L300 to demo...
The Townie is a beach cruiser and should be compared with bikes in that catagory. It compares with beach crusers bikes like the Bianchi Milano or Trek's Clyde. The beach cruiser is the slowest bike in production and it's unfair to compare them with a traditional hybrid town bike. I suspect, what you really need is a road bike. If you like the Trek 7100 and consider it comfortable, then that's the way to go. Only a recreational rider would even consider a Townie.

I still think the Townie needs further development. If they could make the frame lighter, (under 25lbs) and use higher pressure tires, it might have some potential.
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Old 07-08-05, 02:06 PM   #20
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I hate to dredge up old threads, but this one discusses the exact two bikes I'm considering, the Breezer Uptown and the Trek L300 (or maybe L200). How can I find more info on these bikes? I have a Trek paper catalog and I've searched their web site, but there's still some missing information. I still don't know what kind of lights they use. And whether or not they have a standlight or lights that stay on after stopping. Breezer's site is a little better. I know that they use Lumotec Oval with standlight on the front, but I don't know what they use on the back. And I'm not certain if either bike powers the tailight with the dyno. Also, do either of these bikes have an integrated locking system? If so, what does it lock? It's a shame that I can't find these type of bikes around here to check out. If I wanted to check out a $5000 road bike, no problem.

BeeTL, did you ever track down an L300 to test?

Also, I have seen it mentioned here and elsewhere that front suspensions are not necessary for commuting. I don't know about you, but I encounter more rough riding during my commute than during group rides on my road bike. I would probably love a front suspension. Why wouldn't this be good?
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Old 07-08-05, 02:25 PM   #21
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All the Treks I've seen come with "Radius" headlamps. They cast a diffuse, rather than a focused beam. I replaced mine with a Lumotech Oval Plus, it casts a much better focused beam. My Trek also has a battery taillamp, not sure if the newer Treks still do or if they've switched to a dynamo powered taillight?
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Old 07-08-05, 02:54 PM   #22
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West Marine has a great lookin folder for 519$ in the catalog
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Old 07-08-05, 04:34 PM   #23
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Ya know this thread could go on forever but it will do no good. LBS & bicycle
makers (except custom) all want you to be a Lance wanna be and buy their
bikes.

It will take millions of utility bicycle owners or potential owners to get the
makers to get their head out of the sand and see that there IS a real market
for good ol' utility /town / commter mule type do it all work bikes like the Dutch
ride is what folks' would really like to buy .............at a resonable price ......in steel.

Trek may be rewarded IF they make a steel utility town bike that is super dependable
and rideable for Joe & Jane Average. Gas prices will, in time, force more mass transportation
and the use of bicycles for urban uses just as before. That said, the maker there first with the
right bicycle will..........win the lions share of the market. Lance is a nice guy but not everyone
know who he is.......or cares. They just want a simple bicycle to ride.
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Old 07-08-05, 05:24 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
I also like the 27 inch wheel because it's more efficient than a 26 inch.
Nonsense!

The 26" will be better in every way, except for that very rare situation when you're in your highest gear and can't spin your legs fast enough. Can't see that happening on a commuter bike in a city...
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Old 07-08-05, 09:47 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad
LBS & bicycle
makers (except custom) all want you to be a Lance wanna be and buy their
bikes.
A pleasant exception to this general rule is City Bikes, a LBS here in DC, that stocks...well, city bikes. They stock all the Breezers, the Bianchi Milano and Castro Valley, the Specialized Globe, and one or two others that I'm forgetting now. They also sell a good selection of cross and touring bikes, and their staff can actually answer questions like "can I put fenders on this?" with knowing authority.

Despite what I said on this thread six months ago, I now ride a city bike. I got myself a Specialized Globe. What sold me on it is that it has 27 speeds, which was enough to satisfy my ugly American tastes. Yeah, I know, I don't get an internal hub, but I have some serious hills to contend with on my commute, and after a long day at the office I have no shame in reaching for granny gears. For a non-mechanic like me, buying a single bike that already comes with fenders (with two red rear lights built in!), a headlight, generator hubs, a bell, a kickstand and rat-trap rack (just like I had when I was a kid!) and one of those ridiculous rear-wheel-immobilizing built in locks is worth it. I may go 2-3 mph slower than when I was using a road bike, but if I was in this for the speed I'd be commuting on a time trial bike. Also, other bike commuters actually compliment me on my ride, something that NEVER happened before.

As for steel, I really don't think bikes like these lose anything by being made of aluminum.
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