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Old 12-07-12, 06:43 AM   #1
tjkoko
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Need recommendation for English Racer (edited).

I'm 58 and a former chiro. The choices I've seen are the Schwinn Coffee, the Brooklyn Cruiser and the Via 1 by Giant. Anyone have experience with any of these three bikes? Any other recommendations?

Btw I intend to rebuild my fifty year old AMF Hercules three speed in the near future.

Best,

-T

Last edited by tjkoko; 12-07-12 at 11:12 AM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 12-07-12, 08:30 AM   #2
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You might want to check on cruisers in the recreation and family forum.

I would suggest that whatever one "turns you on" would be appropriate. One that begs you to ride it.

Other options might include a hybrid or entry level mtn bike.

How are you going to use it? Terrain? By yourself or group rides? Frequency?

Have fun. Hopefully others will know more about cruisers and can add good thoughts.

Welcome to the 50+ forum.
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Old 12-07-12, 08:33 AM   #3
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Just for riding to the store and back, less than a mile or two. And an occasional jaunt around the neighborhood to get the blood flowing. Here I'm not interested in both aerobicity and cadence. Otherwise I'll take my mountain bike.

And, I prefer the upright posture so that I can see as well as smell the roses!

8^)
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Old 12-07-12, 08:44 AM   #4
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Welcome to 50+, as Denver said. My only thoughts on cruiser or an IGH bike would be to not limit your self to the 3-speed hubs, there are a lot of nice Shimano IGH systems with up to 11-speeds, although a top line Alfine, 9 or 11-speed hub may be a bit pricey and overkill for your needs. If the trip isn't hilly or your loads will not be heavy a single speed, coaster hub might be less costly. This way you save some dollars for the rebuild of the Huffy 3-speed, that one is worthy of pictures here when you get it done, as well as a post in the Classic and Vintage forum.

I am with Denver on going to the BF Recreation forum for more detailed input from people that ride these bikes on a daily basis. All 3 you mention are good bikes, I would suggest buying which ever brand/model you choose from a Local Bike Store (LBS) so you get follow up on any problems and it is set up correctly by a Bike Mechanic and not a minimum wage backroom stock person that does not know how to check a bike over when it is assembled. With the modern warranties you should be good to go with an LBS to stay on the road and you could get any racks or baskets you may want for carrying anything you pick up on your errands. Just my thoughts, Best of Luck in choosing one and please let us know what you decide.

Bill
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Old 12-07-12, 08:56 AM   #5
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Welcome to 50+, as Denver said. My only thoughts on cruiser or an IGH bike would be to not limit your self to the 3-speed hubs, there are a lot of nice Shimano IGH systems with up to 11-speeds, although a top line Alfine, 9 or 11-speed hub may be a bit pricey and overkill for your needs. If the trip isn't hilly or your loads will not be heavy a single speed, coaster hub might be less costly. This way you save some dollars for the rebuild of the Huffy 3-speed, that one is worthy of pictures here when you get it done, as well as a post in the Classic and Vintage forum.
Bill
It's quite flat here in southeast GA and I just want to get a simple and upright cruiser with three speeds. BTW I intend to lower the gearing on my AMF Hercules: 1st gear will become 2nd and 2nd will become 3rd. So I'll be substituting a lower first gear to the Sturmey Archer rear hub. It'll probably be sent to Sheldon Brown for a cleaning and rim bebuild with new spokes.
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Old 12-07-12, 09:03 AM   #6
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It'll probably be sent to Sheldon Brown for a cleaning and rim bebuild with new spokes.
Likely you mean Harris Cyclery as Sheldon died a couple of years ago - just in case you did not know.
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Old 12-07-12, 09:09 AM   #7
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Do you mean that the hub will go to Harris Cycles for its rebuild? Sheldon Brown passed away in 2008. (Denver beat me to this, sorry) I am familiar with the SE Georgia where you are at, my dad lived in Savannah before WWII, beautiful country around that area. You may want to check into a new rear cog for the rear S-A cog, it could change the overall gearing to what you are looking for and be relatively inexpensive although having a pro service the hub is a good idea if it is really old and the inner lubricant is as aged and probably broken down. Again, check with our Classic and Vintage Forum about this IGH and rebuilds or regearing, they have several very knowledgable people for the S-A 3-speed hubs that are there a good bit and are super nice people, to boot.

I think as I said above, any of the three bikes would be good, the giant is the best quality in my book but I am no expert by any means. Hopefully some of the 50+ members that ride IGH bikes will see your post and can offer better advise to you. Best of Luck.

Bill
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Old 12-07-12, 10:51 AM   #8
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Any other recommendations?
Know that when you say 'cruiser', most cyclists will think balloon tire, cantilever framed bikes rather than the more 'English Racer' style of the ones you specified.

Some bikes that might be of interest, off the top of my head and from cheap to breathtaking:
Windsor Oxford
Globe (Specialized) Daily 1
KHS Green
Cannondale Hooligan
Worksman Dutchie
Sun Streamway 3
Trek Cocoa
Ant Bike Truss Roadster
Pashley Guv'nor 3
Dahon Vitesse D3
Electra Amsterdam

Last edited by tcs; 12-07-12 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 12-07-12, 11:05 AM   #9
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To all: THANKS very much for the update concerning Sheldon and 'tis Harris Cyclery that I meant.

And special thanks to TCS for the added variety in 'english racers" that I seek. 8^)
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Old 12-07-12, 04:17 PM   #10
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The Electra Townie comes as a three speed, I think. It's upright. I ride my wife's from time to time.
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Old 12-10-12, 07:36 AM   #11
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...the added variety in 'English racers" that I seek.
Yeah, it seemed like that's the kind of bike you were after, but be aware it's only us old guys that might use the term "English Racer" any more. I guess these bikes are usually called "Urban" or "Lifestyle" (seriously, I'm not kidding) now.

Another fine choice, if you can find one still in a shop, is the Trek Belleville, a discontinued model.
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