Edit: title should say "my perfect city bike". Sorry about that.
I personally find hipster bikes seriously lacking in several departments, but there's no denying that the idea of a simple, agile, maintenance-undemanding bicycle has a lot of appeal for quickly getting from A to B in the modern chaotic city environment.
So I decided to take the concept of the hipster bike, strip it of all the "alternative" crap and make it into something desirable for people who might not actually be fashion victims.
Here's what I've come up with:
- track bike frame: lightweight and easy to carry around
- freewheel-enabled back wheel: I don't see any advantage in the fixie philosophy
- gear hub: the practicality of gears without the maintenance headaches of a derailer system
- v-brakes front and back: powerful and about the easiest to maintain
Things I'm not so sure about:
- solid-spoke wheels. I know that people hate aerospokes and such because they're heavy, but there are aspects in which they're undeniably superior: they remove the problem of spoke tweaking entirely, they're more resistant to abuse and they're much easier to pass a chain or cable lock through - all things one would want in the type of bike I have in mind. Sadly, the hipster craze has spiked the demand and as a result they're awfully expensive. Also, I'm not sure if a solid-spoke wheel can be adapted to a gear hub, or bought specifically for one.
- seat. I really don't know anything about seats. Thin sporty seats seem more appropriate to agile bikes, but my gluteus maximus hates them; on the other hand, I get the feeling that thicker padded seats would somehow damage the ability to pedal hard (if this is completely wrong I'm glad to be corrected; as I said, I don't know the first thing about seats)
- belt drive. It'd be great to remove the oily, gunky chain from the bicycle altogether, but I'm not sure how tough, efficient and expensive belt systems are.
Possible upgrades if money is no object:
- shaft drive, to reduce maintenance to the absolute minimum
- nuvinci CVT hub
Thoughts? Suggestions? Insults?