A steel mixte frame is pretty compelling. Swapping stems and bars as necessary to get your preferred upright position is cheap and easy. As much as I love vintage 3-speeds I would always go with the 8 speed on a new bike. The ratios are closer and the range is wider and you will really appreciate it with either a headwind or a tailwind.
Well, I guess I will be able to tell you all about the Motobecane Bistro 8V Deluxe as my wife has just ordered one. Ladies Ocean Blue 49cm. I will post a review on this forum once she get a few miles on it.
Found a deal on a 2012 breezer downtown 8 from a LBS. 8 speed IGH with a chromoly frame. I'm pretty excited. Should be here by Friday. I just couldn't reconcile my reservations about ordering online. The possibility of having to send the bike back if it wasn't right for me seemed like a monumental PITA. Thanks, everyone for the feedback!image.jpg
Be kind: we are all fighting our own battles.
I've got last years version of this bike:
PUBLIC C7i - Our Best Dutch Commuter Bike
They go on sale often for under $600. The 2014 have more sweptback handles bars than mine did, but I swapped my bars last week and love the new ones. The ride is stable. I get loads of compliments and love the step-through frame for easy mounting. It is a fun bike for me, I just ride around town, my longest ride has been about 5 miles at a time (12 miles in a day), and I didn't have any issues at all. The gears are just about perfect, it might be nice to have one more for the steeper hills in my neighborhood, but I avoid most of them. I've stopped at about the 8% incline ones. There are steeper ones. The good news is, you ca definitely standup on this bike to get more power, even though it is an upright.
People who don't know anything about classic commuter bicycles assume they were terrible. That is far from the truth. My old all-steel Raleigh Superbe got lighter 700c aluminum wheels with better tires and was a breeze to ride. They're comfortable indestructible practical every day transportation. Not built for speed like a road bike but to get you in comfort and style from point A to point B.
That's really the only kind of all-rounder bike most people need.
Now that my wife has put a few miles on her new Motobecane Bistro I will give a quick review.
We ordered this from BikesDirect on a Wednesday and it arrived on Friday. Amazingly, and atypically, it arrived with absolutely no damage. That was certainly more due to the very good packing job than UPS's care in handling it. A good start on those counts.
Assembly consisted of mounting the seat, handlebars, front brake, pedals and racks. No parts were missing and everything fit well with the exception of a rear rack stay which needed a little tweaking to line up correctly. The adjustments needed were the front hub (too tight), brakes, chain, IGH cable, fender alignment, spoke tension and chain guard. Final fitting required a couple modifcations on the seat post clamp to get the tilt of the saddle to suit. Everything else was straight forward but I would not recommend DIY to someone without proper tools (cone and spoke wrenches, etc) and some bike mechanical aptitude. Due to my bicycle OCD the assembly and adjustment took about 4 hours.
All the components look pretty decent to me, with the exception of the crappy little bell. Eh, who cares. I did not recognize any brands other than the Shimano Nexus 8 speed hub. Fit and finish is very good and the paint is really nice. The brakes are great and of course the Nexus 8 is wonderful.
Now that all the fitting is done my wife seems pretty happy with it. With the weight off her hands and wrists she is a lot more comfortable. The saddle is OK, but then she has never been completely satisfied with any of the half dozen saddles she has tried. Her biggest complaint is that it is 1 mph slower on her typical ride than her Raleigh DL1. The Bistro as shown weights 37.4 # and the Raleigh is 4# more and has a 3 speed. Damn if I know. My DL1 is fast too, but then to me at least, they look fast just sitting there.