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Old 04-30-13, 10:08 AM   #1
switchbacks
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Biria Citi vs 2013 Manhattan Green 5 Speed

Hey folks. I'd like some feedback comparing two bikes I'm considering. Disclaimer: I can't ride either one of these at the LBS right now and they're both at the upper limit of my budget. None of my LBS's have anything similar I can afford. I'm 5' tall and I'm by no means a "serious" cyclist but I don't want to buy something I won't get at least 5 years out of if not more. I live on a valley floor in Mt with mostly flat terrain but some moderate hills. I want an English vintage style city bike (my side business is selling vintage clothing and I like to look the part that has a step-through frame and at least three gears. I want to be able to transport things like groceries, etc. but not haul major cargo. Also, I had my meniscus removed in my right knee in December of this year so this bike is part of my rehab plan.

I'm holding my breath waiting for my lbs call me back and tell me if they can get me one of these later on in the spring: http://www.manhattancruisers.com/13_green_5_m_green.htm. But right now they're not available and this LBS doesn't have the greatest customer service anyway. The only reason this peaked my interest is because it's aluminum and comes in a 14" frame since I'm only 5' tall (28.5 inseam). But I'm leaning towards ordering one of these: http://www.commuterbikestore.com/biria-citi-ez6-ladiesbike.html because they're cheaper and already come with extras, but the smallest size frame is 17" and I can't test drive it. Any thoughts? I looked into the bikedirect bikes but didn't see anything aesthetics-wise that I liked more that the Biria citibike, but maybe I'm missing something there. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks friends!

Last edited by switchbacks; 04-30-13 at 10:09 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-02-13, 12:36 PM   #2
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First of all, 3 speeds, not so great on hills, although maybe a bit better than 1 speed. If you have to go 3 speeds with hills, I would have the cog swapped out so 3rd gear is your cruising gear instead of 2nd.

BD has a loop frame on the front page, http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../elle_city.htm although I can't vouch for the quality.

Also in terms of sizing, you should get your true inseam measurement, measuring from your pelvic bone to the ground while wearing shoes. The rule of thumb for leg extension sizing is that you put your heel on the crank, and cranks are about 170mm long, and add 100mm for a cruiser seat. So for a 44cm frame, 44+17+10 = 71cm or 28in. The pedal will lower some of that because it has some thickness, and most seats aren't actually 4 inches thick. However, 44cm is the maximum size I would risk if your legs are actually 28.5" long to the ground.

Last edited by F red; 05-02-13 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 05-02-13, 03:09 PM   #3
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My wife is about your size.. she can ride SOME 17" frames. Her Raleigh Colts are 17" frames. We sourced a Raleigh Space Rider for a young lady that was even shorter. What is your budget? A folding bike might be an option, you don't say where you are located. If you have someone that could help with the details a Raleigh Twenty would be a possibility. Biria is a respected brand and has been around a while, but they are rare in the US.

Of the two bikes you have linked to the Biria uses a derrailleur gear system and is seven speeds the Manhattan is a 5 speed and is IGH (internal gear hub). From your list of wants that would be a better choice overall. You might want to look at the Giant Via 1 which comes in an XS (14") frame size. Or possibly a Torker T300 which also comes in the XS. Torker bikes can be ordered by any shop that has an account with SBS (Seattle Bicycle Supply). I own a couple of Redline bikes that are sister bikes to the Torker and they are a good value for the money.

The smallest of the Bike Direct bikes appears to be 17" which I think you are going to find to be a bit on the large side.

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Last edited by wahoonc; 05-02-13 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 05-02-13, 04:52 PM   #4
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Public Bikes has sizes for 4'8" folks,in the style you're looking for. They also allow returns if the bike doesn't fit you right.

http://publicbikes.com/
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Old 05-03-13, 06:13 AM   #5
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I agree with Fred, that a 3 speed would probably be insufficient. It is great if you have no hills and need only into the wind, across the wind and with the wind gears. So the extra gears are good.

What brands are available to you locally?
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Old 05-07-13, 09:34 AM   #6
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Have you made any progress in your shopping? Let us know how it's going.
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Old 05-07-13, 10:26 AM   #7
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Sturmey's 5 speed adds another stage, lower and higher ratio , To the 3 speed..

you can always change hubs. rebuild wheels, on a bike that otherwise was fine as a 3 speed.



NuVinci varies the ratio continuously , high is 360% of low ..
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