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Old 08-17-09, 03:35 AM   #1
Sixty Fiver
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The City Bike...

The City bike, or "Stadsfiets" is what we commonly associate with the Dutch... those stately roadsters with their internal gear hubs, full chain cases and fenders, very comfortable riding position, fender skirts, and generator lights which are all standard equipment.

Most are fitted with 28 inch wheels and tyres which are really high volume 700c's although there are 26 inch wheeled versions and old English bikes used an over sized 28 inch wheel and tyre that is even larger than a 27 inch wheel.

These bikes roll through potholes and handle rough roads extremely well.

This is an Omafiets or lady's bike...



The English also made their own versions of the city bike and their domestic bikes tended to be set up in a nearly identical manner with full chain cases and with older models being fitted with rod brakes. Export models often had half chain guards to meet weight requirements and the full chain case has yet to be embraced by many North Americans.

My 1948 Rudge is a classic example of a British roadster... as an export model it came with half guard and also has rod brakes.



Times change and although the Dutch still make their traditional heavy roadsters (they are still very popular) many companies are building modernized versions of the stadsfiets and these new city bikes are marketed and sold alongside modern hybrids.

Thanks to wikpedia for these images...





Breezer makes the well reviewed Uptown 8 and they recently upgraded this already outstanding bicycle by adding a full chain case. My better half rides an Uptown 8 and has ridden it in excess of 10,000 miles... she has also had it retrofitted with a full chain case.



Pashley Cycles of England still makes a classic city bike / roadster that is meticulous in it's craftsmanship and utterly beautiful to behold and ride.







These bikes do cost more than the typical hybrid with prices ranging from about $800.00 to almost $2000.00 for higher end models... when you consider that the Pashley is hand built in England and sells for around $1400.00 it really isn't that bad a deal.

The Breezer has been described as the best commuter bicycle in North America and comes with an $1100.0 price tag but like all city bikes the only other thing you will need to ride is a helmet and your street clothes.

From a riders and mechanics perspective I love the traditional city bike... with a full chain case and internal hub chain life can be multiplied 6 fold because it is not exposed to the elements and internal gear hubs are tops when it comes to all weather riding and long life.

For many the set back riding position is unmatched for sheer comfort and this is what these bikes were designed for... pure unadulterated riding comfort.

They are heavier than your typical North American bicycle and modern versions have wider range hubs to give them a better gear range for climbing and better road speed... some are even being fitted with NuVinci continuously variable drives.

I hope you enjoyed my ramblings...
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Old 08-17-09, 07:13 AM   #2
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Nice bikes, but I never thought of them as hybrids, and I don't think I've seen them marketed as hybrids. By a literal definition, they surely aren't road/mtb hybrids. These bikes predate the mountain bikes, possibly tracing their heritage all the way back to the very first bikes.

Check out, for instance, the DBS City line: http://dbs.no/sykler/city These are very common bikes here in Norway, at reasonable prices.
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Old 08-17-09, 04:18 PM   #3
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City bikes are the ancestors of these modern hybrids and the modern wheels and tires on most hybrids actually are more alike to city bikes than road bikes.

When people go shopping for urban transportation the city bike and hybrid are going to be sitting side by side and the city bike offers some very nice features that a hybrid does not.

A lot of that difference stems from the differences between European and North Americans when it comes to looking at daily transportation.

These poor city bikes are also homeless waifs. and need some love.
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Old 08-17-09, 04:24 PM   #4
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City bikes are the ancestors of these modern hybrids and the modern wheels and tires on most hybrids actually are more alike to city bikes than road bikes.

When people go shopping for urban transportation the city bike and hybrid are going to be sitting side by side and the city bike offers some very nice features that a hybrid does not.

A lot of that difference stems from the differences between European and North Americans when it comes to looking at daily transportation.

These poor city bikes are also homeless waifs. and need some love.

I want a Pashley even it if means forgoing on a Xtracycle Unfortunately I never know on BF where to post about them...They dont seem to fit in anywhere either...
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Old 08-17-09, 04:28 PM   #5
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My friend just bought a Sovereign lady's model... the bike is absolutely stunning.

And I had a thought.

Musing
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Old 08-17-09, 04:33 PM   #6
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My friend just bought a Sovereign lady's model... the bike is absolutely stunning.

And I had a thought.

Musing
I'm test riding one of those this weekend if Red Bikes gets them in stock. I called this morning but they were awaiting a shipment with most of them already pre-sold
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Old 08-17-09, 05:21 PM   #7
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Hybrid in the sense of combining elements of a bicycle and a boat anchor?
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Old 08-17-09, 06:22 PM   #8
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15 minutes from me is a Flying Pigeons bike shop. Another cool city/urban/whatchamacallit bike. These are from China originally and are quite cool, but heavy.

http://flyingpigeon-la.com/shop/
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Old 08-17-09, 06:24 PM   #9
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Hybrid in the sense of combining elements of a bicycle and a boat anchor?
There is that... a city bike weighs in excess of 35 pounds and having weighed my old Rudge found it was 38 pounds.

A Pashley roadster weighs more than that.

But unlike a boat anchor they are very comfortable to ride.
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Old 08-17-09, 06:32 PM   #10
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I got an infraction for that post. Supposedly I have insulted somebody. WTF? It was a joke. My jokes always contain an element of truth, that's essential to humor. I meant what I said and I'm not going to apologize for saying it. Do you know infractions are being handed out to me on a daily basis to protect you? The one yesterday made some sense, but this is BS.
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Old 08-17-09, 06:34 PM   #11
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i got an infraction for that post. Supposedly i have insulted somebody. Wtf? It was a joke. My jokes always contain an element of truth, that's essential to humor. I meant what i said and i'm not going to apologize for saying it. Do you know infractions are being handed out to me on a daily basis to protect you? The one yesterday made some sense, but this is bs.
weird!
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Old 08-17-09, 06:35 PM   #12
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I got an infraction for that post. Supposedly I have insulted somebody. WTF? It was a joke. My jokes always contain an element of truth, that's essential to humor. I meant what I said and I'm not going to apologize for saying it. Do you know infractions are being handed out to me on a daily basis to protect you? The one yesterday made some sense, but this is BS.
That makes no sense.
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Old 08-17-09, 06:43 PM   #13
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I got an infraction for that post. Supposedly I have insulted somebody. WTF? It was a joke. My jokes always contain an element of truth, that's essential to humor. I meant what I said and I'm not going to apologize for saying it. Do you know infractions are being handed out to me on a daily basis to protect you? The one yesterday made some sense, but this is BS.

What post? the parade one? I thought it was funny
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Old 08-17-09, 06:46 PM   #14
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I got an infraction for that post. Supposedly I have insulted somebody. WTF? It was a joke. My jokes always contain an element of truth, that's essential to humor. I meant what I said and I'm not going to apologize for saying it. Do you know infractions are being handed out to me on a daily basis to protect you? The one yesterday made some sense, but this is BS.
For what post? The one that references an anchor? If that's the case, I'd say WTF too. If someone complained about that they need to HTFU and the moderator that sanctioned you should step back and take a big deep breath (and probably apologize).

Edit: just noticed the parade post is gone -- regardless, my comments above apply just the same.

Back to the topic -- aren't city bikes designed primarily for use on pavement? My thinking is that a hybrid is for both pavement and light-offroad.

Last edited by WCoastPeddler; 08-17-09 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 08-17-09, 06:47 PM   #15
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I think WCoastPeddler's description is point on; however, I think hybrids/comfort bikes/and city bikes are all one category. Maybe the term should simply be "Urban Bikes" since all 3 of these tend to be used more commonly in cities, on roads or bike paths, and people who ride these seem to get excited (I do) about racks, panniers, and carrying stuff
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Old 08-17-09, 06:50 PM   #16
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Here's an example. Take my bike for instance, a Trek WSD7000. On Trek's site it is listed under the category of BIKE PATHS, but now read the description:

The true Hybrid, Trek’s 7000 series is the one bike for all paths and manners of concrete. The perfect marriage of toughness and efficiency, the bike features rugged aluminum tubing with fast rolling tires that allow you to hit the dirt if conditions call for it. If you’re looking for a fast and durable solution to the changing landscape, you’ve just found it.

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Old 08-17-09, 06:52 PM   #17
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I think WCoastPeddler's description is point on; however, I think hybrids/comfort bikes/and city bikes are all one category. Maybe the term should simply be "Urban Bikes" since all 3 of these tend to be used more commonly in cities, on roads or bike paths, and people who ride these seem to get excited (I do) about racks, panniers, and carrying stuff

OMG you just said three of my favorite words: panniers, racks and carrying stuff I've panniers already, panniers on order, a front basket on order and I'm looking at a English style (I guess) bike saddlebag...

Freaking addictive. worse then my yarn obsession
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Old 08-17-09, 07:03 PM   #18
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OMG you just said three of my favorite words: panniers, racks and carrying stuff I've panniers already, panniers on order, a front basket on order and I'm looking at a English style (I guess) bike saddlebag...

Freaking addictive. worse then my yarn obsession
It is.

If you get a Pashley you can colour me green with envy and perhaps I can show you how to fabricate your own extracycle... it would be a great learning project and fun to boot.
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Old 08-17-09, 07:06 PM   #19
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OMG you just said three of my favorite words: panniers, racks and carrying stuff I've panniers already, panniers on order, a front basket on order and I'm looking at a English style (I guess) bike saddlebag...

Freaking addictive. worse then my yarn obsession
LOL,I have this pannier and although not as solid as I think I'd like, I got it for $25


And we got 2 of these cheapo grocery getters that we don't love but until we actually use them, they stay with us. They were 29 each


Husband loves his trunk bag
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Old 08-17-09, 07:09 PM   #20
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Here's an example. Take my bike for instance, a Trek WSD7000. On Trek's site it is listed under the category of BIKE PATHS, but now read the description:

The true Hybrid, Trek’s 7000 series is the one bike for all paths and manners of concrete. The perfect marriage of toughness and efficiency, the bike features rugged aluminum tubing with fast rolling tires that allow you to hit the dirt if conditions call for it. If you’re looking for a fast and durable solution to the changing landscape, you’ve just found it.

That design borrows heavily from the classic city bike... I believe yours has fenders, rack, and panniers ?

It would look lovely as an IGH equipped bike with a full chaincase... my girlfriend's Breezer is a similar bike that she had retrofitted with one (it already has an igh) or as she calls it... "Dutchified".

It is a seriously heavy bike but she rides this thing in every kind of weather imaginable and has already worn out a set of rims... she also has no trouble spinning it out and does not face too many hills she cannot conquer.

Part of that stems from how you use your muscles as on a city bike as they utilize the glutes more and this is where we have the most power.

The step through design is also nice for almost anyone as it allows for quick dismounts which can be really helpful when you are carrying a good deal of stuff.
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Old 08-17-09, 07:12 PM   #21
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It is.

If you get a Pashley you can colour me green with envy and perhaps I can show you how to fabricate your own extracycle... it would be a great learning project and fun to boot.

Nice!! and thanks
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Old 08-17-09, 07:15 PM   #22
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LOL,I have this pannier and although not as solid as I think I'd like, I got it for $25

Yep..I agree I have the double extra large one..I like it for large shopping trips but doesn't hold well..I have to bungee the flaps down. plus if i'm making a small trip to the store its overkill

Does yours have a plastic insert that is removable?

But cute as heck
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Old 08-17-09, 07:31 PM   #23
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That design borrows heavily from the classic city bike... I believe yours has fenders, rack, and panniers ?

It would look lovely as an IGH equipped bike with a full chaincase... my girlfriend's Breezer is a similar bike that she had retrofitted with one (it already has an igh) or as she calls it... "Dutchified".

It is a seriously heavy bike but she rides this thing in every kind of weather imaginable and has already worn out a set of rims... she also has no trouble spinning it out and does not face too many hills she cannot conquer.

Part of that stems from how you use your muscles as on a city bike as they utilize the glutes more and this is where we have the most power.

The step through design is also nice for almost anyone as it allows for quick dismounts which can be really helpful when you are carrying a good deal of stuff.
What is an IGH? Not one of those skirt protectors is it? I think a chain case would be nice but then when the chain has an issue, isn't that more of a hassle? I do not have fenders and although I like how they look, for now I won't bother. Living in L.A. there is almost never a need for them and if it's raining, I'd likely take my car. Work is only 1.4 miles away so it's not like I sit in traffic or anything in the car .

My guess is your girlfriend is far more fit, athletic, and physically active in general because this bike is not as heavy as the Euro ones and ANY slight grade kicks my butt. I also do have asthma that I take NOTHING for at this point but I was thinking of having my doc do a full asthma work up to see where it's at. Would be nice to feel more stamina in my lungs.

I like the step through for a couple reasons. 1. I go through stages of wearing skirts and I like that I can fanagle getting to and from work in one if I choose. 2. I ride in Hollywood where there is a ton of traffic and obstacles, being able to jump off not just left and right but center is a comfort thing. The space between the seat and bars is quite tight. I'm not petite but not huge I don't think, and when I stand over the step through my boobs definitely are at the handlebars But it's doable. And now that everyone knows about my boobs, I shall run and hide
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Old 08-17-09, 07:48 PM   #24
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Tamara -

My girlfriend is very fit but she is definitely not petite (thank god) and does have some mild exercise and pollution induced asthma... she is also a fan of pretty dresses.

Riding has gotten her into great shape and she can often kick my butt.

IGH = Internal Gear Hub
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Old 08-17-09, 08:01 PM   #25
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Tamara -

My girlfriend is very fit but she is definitely not petite (thank god) and does have some mild exercise and pollution induced asthma... she is also a fan of pretty dresses.

Riding has gotten her into great shape and she can often kick my butt.

IGH = Internal Gear Hub
Hmm, my newbie self seems to recall that being where the chain is on the inside, harder to access no? forgive my stupidity. I remember test riding one of those, or I think was one, but it was a 7 or 8 speed only. There are TONS of hills and inclines where I'm at.
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