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Old 05-10-05, 03:44 PM   #1
mrdugr
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Getting back into Bicycling

Hello,

I haven't owned a bike since my red and yellow Schwinn Stingray back in 1979, a sweet ride. Was biking leisurely on vacation last summer, enjoyed it, and am looking to buy a bike to tool around town (Manhattan). I have no interest in breaking any land speed records and would more likely be smoking a cigarette on my bike than breaking a sweat. I'm an architect, so design is important to me. I am fairly averse to buying things that are not designed with some thought to the aesthetics. Looking at bicycles the ones that caught my eye were the following (in order of appeal):

Kronan
Biomega Amsterdam
Bianchi Milano
Electra Townie

In any case, there seem to be a lot of expertise in this forum, and was hoping to solicicit some advice from anyone willing. The Kronan seems currently unavailable in the US. Looking at the Biomega website, I have a feeling their bikes cost enough to warrant a free Toyota Camry with purchase. This leaves the Bianchi Milano which is a little more than I'd like to spend, but certainly possible. The Electra Townie looks to be a possibility too, although maybe a bit too "cruiser" looking.

In any case does anyone have some advice for me, or other similar suggeestions?

much appreciated.

down wit opp
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Old 05-10-05, 03:50 PM   #2
tulip
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You might like the Breezers. www.breezerbikes.com
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Old 05-10-05, 04:38 PM   #3
caloso
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I am a certified spandex-wearing roadie snob but I still think that Bianchi Milano is a sweet looking ride. If you get one, please please please get the celeste green.
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Old 05-11-05, 02:15 AM   #4
mrdugr
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Hey,

Thanks for the suggestions.

Let me throw something out there to all you bike aficianados (or snobs, as you wish): most beatifully designed bike?

Use your own criteria (mine is based on -likely horrific to many- everything but quality and performace, just looks).

Thanks
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Old 11-18-05, 01:52 PM   #5
a.gunn
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I have a Kronan that I am trying to get rid of (Kronan wasn't made for SF riding) but it is in amazing shape bought from a boutique 1 year ago in San Diego- I am having a hard time selling it in my area
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Old 11-18-05, 02:17 PM   #6
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Shameless plug: Check out recycle-a-bicycle if you don't mind used, it's a youth training program that gives kids something to do and be proud of. They take donated bikes, fix them up (new cables, bearings, grease, true wheels, etc.) and sell them for cheap to fund the program. Selection is varied and largely random - some weeks we have an embarrassment of MTBs, other weeks it's all 3-speed cruisers. Bikes range in price from $100 to $250.
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Old 11-19-05, 07:09 AM   #7
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do they sell online?

and btw whats shameless plug (out of curiousity)
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Old 11-19-05, 10:28 AM   #8
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If you plan to ride in "nice" clothes, to work appointments and such, the bikes with sealed Nexus hubs and chainguards, and wide fenders will do a good job of keeping you clean and dry. The back "ad" pages of UK cycling magazines are full of such bikes, from companies such as Thorn...such bikes are rare in the USA.

The Trek website shows some Euro-style commuting bikes, but I'e never seen one in a shop...they are a "special order" item. Cannondale sells a nice commuter bike in Europe, but I have not seen one in Texas...again, it may be a "special order" item.

Breezer may be the only company in the USA that focuses on "city" bikes. The Breezer website will show you the entire Breezer lineup and help you locate Breezer dealers in your area. You could phone Liberty Bicycles on 9th Avenue at 212-757-2118 for information on Breezers.

www.breezerbikes.com



I was talking with a tech that works in a shop that sells Breezers. He says potential customers are turned off by the high price. Customers seem to think that it is okay to spend $1,000 or $2,000 for a "pretend" racing bike, but that commuter bikes ought to cost $200. But, the economics of manufacturing are that adding fenders, racks, chainguards and lighting systems to a first-rate bike will increase, not decrease, the cost of building the bike.

So, although a Breezer three-speed at around $600 is a bargain, it is difficult to convince customers of that..."Why, for $600 I could buy a Trek road bike that looks JUST like a racing bike".

The good news is that top quality "city" bikes are built to last. The cost "per year" of ownership is very reasonable. I have a bike with a four speed Nexus hub and coaster brakes as my rainy day/hurricane bike. It has been through several major storms, and more than once has taken me down streets flooded with a foot or two of water. Zero upkeep. Zero repairs. By the mile, the cheapest transportation in town.

Last edited by alanbikehouston; 11-19-05 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 11-19-05, 01:26 PM   #9
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If it's looks you want check out the Giant Stiletto. Seven gears should be able to take the hills of Manhattan. No one else will be able to get their chopper in the elevator up to the office.

If you want to smoke, get a Stanton engine, that bolts right in with real chain drive. Claimed top speeds are about 50. Not bad for a bicycle...
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Old 11-19-05, 03:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artkansas
If it's looks you want check out the Giant Stiletto. Seven gears should be able to take the hills of Manhattan. No one else will be able to get their chopper in the elevator up to the office.

If you want to smoke, get a Stanton engine, that bolts right in with real chain drive. Claimed top speeds are about 50. Not bad for a bicycle...
Thats what I would commute on if I
A: could commute (job)
B: could buy the 7 speed in Australia (3 speed only)
C: didn't have 8 bikes already
The Stiletto is very very pretty.
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