I was browsing around a bike shop yesterday, first time I've been in one for months, and ran across an incredible deal, on a bike that was almost exactly what I've been thinking I could use.
I've been wanting a simple, comfortable commuter that was easy to transport (unlike my recumbents) and still kept pressure off of my left wrist, which is plagued with tendonitis and can't sustain much pressure on it for more than 10 minutes. I've been unable to ride my upright bikes since last fall.
So I've been thinking about a crank forward bike, which has a very upright riding position. But one that is lighter weight - many of them are heavier, comfort-type bikes. Like the Electra Townie and Trek Pure.
So I'm browsing around and happen upon a 2009 Electra Amsterdam Sport 9d. Lighter frame, 700x38 tires, simple, straightforward design. Aluminum frame with Cro-Mo fork & fenders. Designed to be a bit speedier than the Townie. Higher grade components. Single front crank (42t) with a Shimano Tiagra 13-25t cassette, Sora 9-speed derailleur, and FSA threadless headset. A lot of the crank forwards have lower-end Shimano Tourney derailleurs and single piece stems. Not much of a serious hill climber, but commuter bikes rarely are. It will certainly get one up most city streets.
Nice smooth ride, smooth shifts, very comfortable with almost no weight on my wrists.
List price of $749 and Electra is rarely discounted much. But the dealer got a great deal on a warehouse clearance of 2009 models, ordered 24, and then slashed the price for Madison's Bike to Work week, to 50% off! $375. They were selling like hotcakes. They sold two others in the hour I was there.
I had to buy it. It was almost exactly what I wanted at an incredible price.
But as this put me +1 over my wife's bike limit (5 in the garage, 1 at the office), I had to balance the equation. I've had a mid-1980s Panasonic lugged steel road bike that someone converted to a flat bar, sitting unused for a while. So I cleaned it up, made sure everything worked, and donated it to a local bike shop that works with charities to place bikes.
Here's an image of the new ride from the Electra catalog.