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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
    Unaleona,
    I'm wondering if you're still considering the Breezer Uptown 8?
    I believe the OP rode the men's Breezer bike which is why she didn't buy. She should have test rode the womans breezer and asked them to put a Brooks Champion Flyer. It would have been a sale!

  2. #52
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    I believe the OP rode the men's Breezer bike which is why she didn't buy. She should have test rode the womans breezer and asked them to put a Brooks Champion Flyer. It would have been a sale!
    Papillon has the woman's Breezer. I've seen it there. Agree...it's just about perfect for her uses. Heck, I'd love to have one to knock around and city ride on, but it's not a necessity.

  3. #53
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    Interesting thread and the OP has done a lot of really good research. All those test rides are the smart thing to do.

    It's pretty easy to spec a commuter but much more difficult to define a commuter/recreation bike. What features of the commuter are you willing to forgo to make it suitable for your particular style of recreational riding?

    Just based on the features I see that Breezer Uptown could make a great commuter. A longer front mud flap, a skirt guard and a B67s and it might be right. No weight was listed, anyone know how much it weighs?

    A rolling side mount makes the extra step over height of a mixte a bit easier to handle. I love the looks of a nice mixte and am hoping I can find a good excuse to find a vintage one to fix up for my wife.

  4. #54
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    In post #40 , the OP says it was the lower price point Breezer Downtown 8 that was test ridden, in post #47 there is a mention from the OP that it was the Uptown 8 (still within the OP's stated budget) that was sampled. Yeah, it makes a difference: these bikes have significantly different frames and equipment.
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  5. #55
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBC353 View Post
    Interesting thread and the OP has done a lot of really good research. All those test rides are the smart thing to do.

    It's pretty easy to spec a commuter but much more difficult to define a commuter/recreation bike. What features of the commuter are you willing to forgo to make it suitable for your particular style of recreational riding?

    Just based on the features I see that Breezer Uptown could make a great commuter. A longer front mud flap, a skirt guard and a B67s and it might be right. No weight was listed, anyone know how much it weighs?

    A rolling side mount makes the extra step over height of a mixte a bit easier to handle. I love the looks of a nice mixte and am hoping I can find a good excuse to find a vintage one to fix up for my wife.
    I believe the Breezer Uptown 8 step-through weighs 35 pounds. I'm not sure where I found that information, though. I was recently searching for a bike too and kept an electronic notebook with specs on different candidates. 35 is what I have listed for that bike.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
    I believe the Breezer Uptown 8 step-through weighs 35 pounds.
    Ya know, 1.75 wide tires, fenders, generator hub, lights, rack, shock seatpost, IGH, gear case, ring lock, bell...it adds up!
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    In post #40 , the OP says it was the lower price point Breezer Downtown 8 that was test ridden, in post #47 there is a mention from the OP that it was the Uptown 8 (still within the OP's stated budget) that was sampled. Yeah, it makes a difference: these bikes have significantly different frames and equipment.

    Thanks for the clarification, it was definitely the cheaper Downtown 8 that I rode. I've just checked the Breezer site for pictures to make sure. I got mixed up somewhere on the thread!

    I'll add the Downtown 8 to the list based on the high praise from all of you. I have to admit part of the issue with the Breezers is that I really don't love the looks of them, but I'm trying to be level headed about function over form.

    I've also added to the list at least testing out some vintage mixtes. It seems like potentially a more reasonable $$ place to start than building up the Soma, but will require finding a bike store that is really comfortable with refurbishing/rebuilding vintage bikes.

    Anyway, thanks everyone for all these tips, these are all great points and I'm still trying to figure it all out!

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    Ya know, 1.75 wide tires, fenders, generator hub, lights, rack, shock seatpost, IGH, gear case, ring lock, bell...it adds up!
    Thanks for pointing out that this has the generator hub/lights, since that seems pretty rare on anything but the heaviest dutch bikes. Definitely appealing.

  9. #59
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    unaleona, how tall are you? I don't know about modern mixtes, but older bikes have longer reach than new bikes built for women. Reach is very important for women. Make sure you measure.

    That Soma in the review by Velouria is really nice. It looks expensive but you get your money's worth. It's an uncompromised choice.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  10. #60
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unaleona View Post
    Thanks for pointing out that this has the generator hub/lights, since that seems pretty rare on anything but the heaviest dutch bikes. Definitely appealing.
    Just to clarify: It's the Uptown that has the dyno hub and lights. I don't think the Downtown has that. I actually like the appearance of the Downtown frame better than the Uptown (based on pictures only). If I recall the Downtown is a steel frame, so it might be a little heavier than the aluminum framed Uptown.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    unaleona, how tall are you? I don't know about modern mixtes, but older bikes have longer reach than new bikes built for women. Reach is very important for women. Make sure you measure.

    That Soma in the review by Velouria is really nice. It looks expensive but you get your money's worth. It's an uncompromised choice.

    I'm 5'5.5" and have long arms and legs, but the measure/reach/fit issue is definitely a big question for me going the vintage route. I'd want to be able to test out the frame beforehand, or at least have ridden a very similar bike.

    The Soma definitely seems like the least compromising choice so far in terms of functionality and looks, but it definitely forces me to spend more than I'd wanted. And while the money is not a dealbreaker, I also worry it's a little much to go from riding whatever is around and putting the least money possible into it, to buying a very expensive, made-for-me bike.
    @giantdoofus, I did realize it was the Uptown that has the lights, but didn't realize it was aluminum. Always so many things to think about!

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBC353 View Post
    It's pretty easy to spec a commuter but much more difficult to define a commuter/recreation bike. What features of the commuter are you willing to forgo to make it suitable for your particular style of recreational riding?

    I know that this is the crux of the issue, and can easily see how people start buying multiple bikes. But since my recreational riding is still theoretical at this point, I just want to start with a bike that can handle a wider range of distances and inclines, and then see where I am. I'll have to look up what a rolling side mount is!

  13. #63
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Having long limbs means having a short torso. This is a common cause of discomfort for women. Also, having less mass in the upper body, relative to men, makes leaning forward more work.

    Velouria alludes to something called the virtual top tube. This is a horizontal line that goes from the top of the head tube to wherever the seat tube would be if the top tube existed and were horizontal. This is one of the most critical measurements. Measure it on as many bikes as you can. You can compensate somewhat for a top tube's length by using a handlebar or stem that provides the amount of height or reach that you need, but there are limits of how much you can do this. Some compensate by moving the seat forward or backward, but this is not a very good thing to do, because it can stray from the ideal seat-to-crank position. Moving the seat forward can put your pelvis over the crank. Typically, you want the nose of your saddle to be about one inch behind the crank. Draw a vertical line from the front of the saddle. It should fall about an inch behind the center of the crank spindle. This is a rule of thumb (what a gruesome term) and there is variation. For example, I like my seat way, way back.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  14. #64
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unaleona View Post
    I know that this is the crux of the issue, and can easily see how people start buying multiple bikes. But since my recreational riding is still theoretical at this point, I just want to start with a bike that can handle a wider range of distances and inclines, and then see where I am. I'll have to look up what a rolling side mount is!
    I think it's much easier to buy a recreational bike that will work okay for commuting than it is to by a commuting-specific bike that can go on longer rides. Here's what I mean: For years I rode my hybrid bike on nice, long recreational rides -- up to 50 or 60 miles. I loved it for that. I've been commuting on that bike, which would cost maybe $600 today, since September. It works fine for commuting, but I found myself thinking "gosh, I wish my chain were in a case" or "man, too bad I don't have dynamo lighting" or "an IGH sure would make this stop-and-go shifting easier." When I found a bike that had all that stuff, it ended up being a bike that isn't suitable for 60 mile rides any more. In my case, that's fine because I still have my handy-dandy hybrid for those rides.

    If your current ride is fine for commutes, then you could simply buy an inexpensive used bike for recreational purposes. On the other hand, if you have to replace the commuter any way, then your decision is a little more complicated. I do want to emphasize, though, that my existing hybrid is *fine* for commuting. I did not *need* a new one. I just wanted one and am in a position where I can afford it right now. You could do very well buying a nice recreational bike with external gears and rim brakes and putting some good quality LED battery lights on it.

  15. #65
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    not having to get to work on time or get sacked, should make any bike riding less stressful ..

    have Fun at your own risk..

  16. #66
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    I am surprised at the weight of the Uptown 8. Given the aluminum frame and all the alloy components I did not think it would be that heavy. My preference is for traditional styles so I am not too keen on it looks either.

    You've seen the rolling side mount before, I am sure. Hands on the grips, left pedal at 6 o'clock, step on it with the left foot and kick off with the right. Now just pass the right foot through, sit down and off you go. At the 1:00 mark several women show how it's done.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFc61Ku1P_M

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBC353 View Post
    I am surprised at the weight of the Uptown 8. Given the aluminum frame and all the alloy components I did not think it would be that heavy. My preference is for traditional styles so I am not too keen on it looks either.

    You've seen the rolling side mount before, I am sure. Hands on the grips, left pedal at 6 o'clock, step on it with the left foot and kick off with the right. Now just pass the right foot through, sit down and off you go. At the 1:00 mark several women show how it's done.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFc61Ku1P_M
    Nice. Alot of strange looking bikes in the Netherlands. I was surprised to see even a child's bike had a saddle bag!

  18. #68
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    They use bikes like we use pickup trucks around here; for everything.

  19. #69
    tcs
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    Cyclists have been voting with their pocket books for lighter bikes since 1878.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBC353 View Post
    I am surprised at the weight of the Uptown 8. Given the aluminum frame and all the alloy components I did not think it would be that heavy.
    Fair enough. Irrespective of the OP's budget, a lighter factory bike equipped the same way would be:________________________
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  20. #70
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
    I think it's much easier to buy a recreational bike that will work okay for commuting than it is to by a commuting-specific bike that can go on longer rides.
    I think the bulk of the populations of Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark might disagree with that. They routinely do 50 or 60 mile rides on their city bikes (EG, Dutch Oma's and Opa's).

  21. #71
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    Nice. Alot of strange looking bikes in the Netherlands. I was surprised to see even a child's bike had a saddle bag!
    It's their transportation. Most kids, I think something like 80%, ride their bikes to school every day. They ride their bikes to go shopping with their parents, to go to a friends or grandma's for a sleepover, and to sports practices. They need a way to carry stuff.

  22. #72
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    I think the bulk of the populations of Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark might disagree with that. They routinely do 50 or 60 mile rides on their city bikes (EG, Dutch Oma's and Opa's).
    I genuinely hope that I am wrong then. I just bought a 39-pound Achielle Oma, which should arrive in a few weeks. I'd love to be able to take it out on long weekend rides.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    Cyclists have been voting with their pocket books for lighter bikes since 1878.



    Fair enough. Irrespective of the OP's budget, a lighter factory bike equipped the same way would be:________________________

    tcs, this is a great question. Which lighter (under 35 pounds) bikes are high quality and come equipped with full commuting accessories?

  24. #74
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Giant Doofus, I just noticed you made a decision and placed an order. When is the bike due to arrive in your hands (or legs)? I'm eager to hear how it works out.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  25. #75
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Giant Doofus, I just noticed you made a decision and placed an order. When is the bike due to arrive in your hands (or legs)? I'm eager to hear how it works out.
    It should arrive at the bike shop in mid-February and get to me about a week later. I'll post some impressions once I've had it out for a few rides.

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