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  1. #1
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    The perfect short-trip errand bike?

    I have a beautiful road bike which I currently use for recreation, exercise, and commuting to work 2-3 days a week. I'd really like to use a bike to do more of my errands -- trips to the supermarket, picking up take-out from restaurants, that kind of thing -- but my road bike is totally impractical. It's too valuable to lock up anywhere, has clipless pedals (Look) that are almost impossible to ride without cleated shoes, and is slim enough that it will necessarily end up coating pants with chain lube.

    I'm considering buying a second bike specifically for errand and in-town trips. My requirements are:

    1) Internal hub gearing. No derailers.
    2) Chain cover so pants don't get dirty.
    3) Upright positioning.
    4) Not too dorky-looking.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on brands or models? Thanks!

    - Warren

  2. #2
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    I would just grab a mongoose xr 100 or some related wal-mart brand. That way if it ever gets stolen you're out 100-200 bucks. I rode one of these instead of driving a car for 5 years.
    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
    "Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
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  3. #3
    Newbie Extraordinaire
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasGuy
    I would just grab a mongoose xr 100 or some related wal-mart brand. That way if it ever gets stolen you're out 100-200 bucks. I rode one of these instead of driving a car for 5 years.
    This bicycle does not meet any of the criteria I specifically listed. Why did you bother suggesting it?

    - Warren

  4. #4
    broke cyclist zebano's Avatar
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    Yes in addition to other things about Wal-Crap bikes, mine rode for 1 month before the rear derailur snapped. Thats the quality you just suggested. Warren, I would check garage sales if you're willing to lose the Internal hub gearing. No derailers. requirement. Otherwise, sorry I can't help you.
    I know just enough to make some serious mistakes =)

  5. #5
    "SURE!"
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    How about the Bianchi Rollo (http://www.bianchiusa.com/1411.html)? It's got a chain cover, it's upright, it's not too dorky looking (if you remove the horn). One "drawback": it's a singlespeed.

  6. #6
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    Mine doesn't look too dorky. Mine lasted for a decade and went through a car accident. I put on probably some 10-15k miles on that bike in a course of a 2 1/2+ year period of time. Was an excellent commutting bike and best part, was extremely low maintenance.
    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
    "Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
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  7. #7
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    lmao - I'd take my Mongoose over the Rollo. We must be from different generations if the Mongoose is dorky and the Rollo isn't
    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
    "Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
    So many sayings, so little sig space.

  8. #8
    genec genec's Avatar
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    How about something like a Fuji Beach cruiser...
    http://www.fujibikes.com/2005/bikes.asp?id=90

    3 speed internal hub, comfortable, and just right for short local trips.

    Raleigh makes them too:
    http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?...temid=279&va=0

    These bikes are heavy duty, and yet have enough style to not look bad. I wouldn't take one on a long tour, but for just banging around the neighborhood, they are quite suitable.

    I have a fat tire single speed "Huffy" that I use just for this purpose. I found it at a garage sale and added new pedals and decent tractor saddle... both cheap. I think I have all of $50 in my cruiser.

  9. #9
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    - i faced the exact same question... have one nice road bike, one road bike to ride the crap out of, and wanted a bike to do shopping, errands...

    - visited local pawn shops until i found the Specialized Crossroads [see sig linky]... for $100, new tires, and fenders, rack, and a little sweat equity, i got a really nice ride that will handle a variety of street (and path) conditions... (i've since put on cheap wire pannier boxes)...

    - so a used bike may be the way to go?

  10. #10
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    The Mongoose just looks like a cheap piece of crap trying to provide the "look" of a serious mountain bike. I'm not really into mountain bikes to begin with, much less cheap imitation mountain bikes. The Mongoose looks like something only a 12-year old could be proud to own. My errand bike will only be used on the road anyway, so any sort of suspension is just wasted junk to me.

    The Rollo is closer to what I'm looking for than the Mongoose, but I'd really like an internal-gear hub. The Rollo is also, admittedly, really dorky looking, particularly with that (the only) paint job. I'd like my bike to look understated and simple, if possible. To me, that's classy.

    Cost is a low priority for me. I don't mind spending more than a few hundred bucks, because I really want a quality bike, not a toy. I wouldn't be happy about losing a $500 bike to thieves, but I'd be much happier than losing my $2500 road bike to thieves.

    - Warren

  11. #11
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    On old dutch or english 3 speed: _very_ classy!


    Edit: after work, I'll come up with some real suggestions!
    Higher ground for the apocalypse!

  12. #12
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    genec,

    Now you're talking. The Fuji and the Raleigh are much closer to what I'm looking for. I don't particularly like the "beach cruiser" curvy look, though. I'd still like something a little more understated, a little more utilitarian, but those are both nice bikes and would fit the bill perfectly. I'll have to look into pricing. Thanks!

    - Warren

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by linux_author
    - visited local pawn shops until i found the Specialized Crossroads [see sig linky]... for $100, new tires, and fenders, rack, and a little sweat equity, i got a really nice ride that will handle a variety of street (and path) conditions... (i've since put on cheap wire pannier boxes)...
    Nice find. I'm still holding out on a bike that won't eat up my pants, though, and I fear anything with exposed chain and chainring will cause me grief. I could probably get away with one of those goofy ankle straps, but I'm sure it'll only be a matter of time 'til I ruin a pair of slacks which cost almost as much as the bike.

    I will probably put a rack and panniers on the bike, too, although I may just continue to use my messenger bag. It'd be nice if the bike had the option of a rack, at least.

    - Warren

  14. #14
    Stays crunchy in milk
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    I don't know what you consider 'dorky' but Breezer makes a line of city bikes that have internal gearing and chain cases: http://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes.cfm

    Jorg & Olif sell Dutch city bikes: http://www.jorgandolif.com/
    Cheers,

    Andrew

  15. #15
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    I'm kinda surprised this sort of bike is hard to find. Wouldn't it be the perfect bike for a large percentage of the population? Hrmph.

    - Warren

  16. #16
    @#$% cars
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    Love it or hate it ... I think the Bianchi Milano is a cool looking bike. Add a rack and lights if you need and your set for all conditions!
    http://www.bianchiusa.com/603.html
    internal 8 speed

  17. #17
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    AJRoberts,

    Bingo! Those Breezer bikes look perfect for me. Very clean lines and classy look, too! Now I just need to find out how much they cost... Thanks!!

    - Warren

  18. #18
    commuter all star peregrine's Avatar
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    as far as i know Breezer bikes range from $450 - $1200 (~ $200 less than the Treks). they truly are perfect for what you need, Warren, especially the Citizen, but to me it seems that's still too much money to leave on the street. I'll have to agree with TexasGuy that the Mongoose is not a bad deal. i've had mine for 4+ years and have never had problems with it. i've biked in the rain a lot, left it outside for hours, used it awhile for commuting... it's practical, in my opinion, and costs ~$200. i guess it all depends on your income and how often you plan to use it.

  19. #19
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    Breezer bikes meet your criteria. I've seen them at the LBS, too, and they're cool machines. Unlike other hub-gear utility bikes I've seen, they're light and have high quality parts all around. They look like really nice bikes as well, not just clunky utilitarian machines. I'm tempted to buy one, and I don't even need it. If I were getting one, I'd get the Uptown. It's got a Shimano hub generator connected to a headlight and a tail light. It's not even $1000.

    http://www.breezerbikes.com/

    All that said, I prefer a touring bike for utility purposes. For one thing, with racks and panniers it can carry *much* more than a bike like the Breezer. For another, with the flatter geometry and the drop bars it's better for rides of more than a few miles in length. It's just more useful, in my experience. The one thing I can't get around is the lack of a chain guard, though. I hate that. I have to be careful with my pants.

  20. #20
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    "I'm considering buying a second bike specifically for errand and in-town trips. My requirements are:

    1) Internal hub gearing. No derailers.
    2) Chain cover so pants don't get dirty.
    3) Upright positioning.
    4) Not too dorky-looking.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on brands or models? Thanks!"

    As already pointed out........What you have discribed is a good ol'
    reliable English or Schwinn 3 speed bicycle that was designed to
    BE an errand (utility) bicycle. Many here own/use one just for
    those jobs with their "good" bicycles kept for the classier work.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by chroot
    I'd really like to use a bike to do more of my errands -- trips to the supermarket, picking up take-out from restaurants, that kind of thing -- but my road bike is totally impractical. It's too valuable to lock up anywhere
    - Warren
    Any new bicycle is too valuable to lock up anywhere.

    Another choice would be the Dahon folding bikes. My 3 speed Piccolo has about 7K miles and the Sturmey Archer AW-3 speed hub has been indestructable and shifts like new. I happen to like the Vitesse which is the only 5 speed folder in production. I still think these new folders are too expensive to leave outside and my Piccolo has taken a beating by the crooks who over the past 4 years tried to steal it.

    I would look at getting a used bicycle from the 80's on Ebay. Pay about $150.00 dollars and shipping will take the price to $200.00. Then spend about $150.00 dollars in new tires and a tune up. I know this sounds expensive but you'll have an unattractive very reliable bicycle. If you're going to buy a new bicycle for transporation cycling remember to buy the Kryptonite New York 3000. It's a heavy U-Lock but there's no way you can leave a $700.00 Breezer attached with a 20 dollar lock.

  22. #22
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Why do you need mulitiple gears? Keep it simple.....it's an errand bike.
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  23. #23
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    wind
    You don't need multiple gears to ride in the wind. I've ridden in the wind on my fixed gear to run errands. Oh, hills too.......
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  24. #24
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Look up Worksman Cycles to get just the exact bike you want, including accessories. These bikes are American made too.

  25. #25
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    I vote singlespeed and I recommend a Redline Monocog. No chain guard, but I'm sure you could fit one on. I don't know if it has tabs for panniers, but it's a real easy pedaler and it just feels exhilerating to ride. It costs about $450.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

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