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-   -   Commuter Bike that's also fun to ride on weekends: Linus/Public Mixtes? (http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/929732-commuter-bike-thats-also-fun-ride-weekends-linus-public-mixtes.html)

Dahon.Steve 01-28-14 10:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil_gretz (Post 16447304)
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!

Phil_gretz 01-29-14 05:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve (Post 16449110)
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.

JBC353 01-29-14 08:12 AM

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.

tcs 01-29-14 09:45 AM

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.

Giant Doofus 01-29-14 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JBC353 (Post 16449569)
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.

tcs 01-29-14 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Giant Doofus (Post 16449827)
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!

unaleona 01-29-14 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tcs (Post 16449819)
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!

unaleona 01-29-14 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tcs (Post 16449991)
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.

noglider 01-29-14 10:54 AM

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.

Giant Doofus 01-29-14 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unaleona (Post 16450035)
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.

unaleona 01-29-14 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noglider (Post 16450095)
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!

unaleona 01-29-14 11:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JBC353 (Post 16449569)
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!

noglider 01-29-14 11:31 AM

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.

Giant Doofus 01-29-14 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unaleona (Post 16450127)
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.

fietsbob 01-29-14 04:59 PM

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

have Fun at your own risk..

JBC353 01-29-14 06:28 PM

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

Dahon.Steve 01-29-14 09:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JBC353 (Post 16451462)
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!

JBC353 01-30-14 07:56 AM

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

tcs 01-30-14 08:18 AM

Cyclists have been voting with their pocket books for lighter bikes since 1878. :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by JBC353 (Post 16451462)
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:________________________

CrankyOne 01-30-14 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Giant Doofus (Post 16451155)
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).

CrankyOne 01-30-14 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve (Post 16452001)
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.

Giant Doofus 01-31-14 08:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrankyOne (Post 16455416)
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.

unaleona 02-04-14 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tcs (Post 16452804)
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?

noglider 02-04-14 11:44 AM

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.

Giant Doofus 02-04-14 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noglider (Post 16467055)
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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