I got some interest in my current bike so there is a good chance that I will sell it rather than upgrade its components. As a replacement I am sort of torn between Motobecane Cafe Express 3 and Cafe Express 8. The difference mainly is in the IGH (3-speed vs 8-speed) plus the 8 has fancier wheels. The difference in price is $100. I am riding the bike in summer only on a flat paved roads. No hill climbing, racing or anything like that. Purely recreational riding on a nice weekend days.
So what do you think? Price difference is a secondary factor here. I am mainly interested in not buying something that I will not take full advantage of. My current bike has only 7-speeds and it is more than I need for the type of riding I do. I am just not familiar with the 3-speed IGH so I am not sure if that would be sufficient.
Thanks for reply SlimRider. I have not yet come across a single speed in a hybrid form so I guess the Motobecane 3-speed it is.
I second the vote for the 3 speed. I have a Bikes Direct 3 speed, and it is my favorite bike for riding around town. It comes with a Shimano Nexus 3, which is a durable hub. It is a little noisier than a Sturmey Archer, but I like how my Shimano Nexus 3 shifts better than I liked my old Sturmey Archer AW 3 hub.
Did you get the Cafe Express 3? If yes, how do you like it?
Yes, I did get the bike and I like it a lot. The wheels are nice (I got them trued before putting on the bike), the 3-speed hub is a breeze to adjust and overall the bike is great. Especially for the money I paid as I did opt for the "scratch and dent" version from bikeisland.com which saved me $100 or so. The only thing scratched on the bike was the IGH shifter by the wheel (not a big deal). Otherwise the bike was like new so I assume that the mechanism got scratched during the transit and not that the bike was returned. The 3-speed if sufficient if you are doing recreational biking with some hills. If you are more serious bike rider, I would recommend more speeds though. The bike came with additional chain ring which, if installed, I think changes the gear ratio. I have stayed with the default one but it is nice to have an option.
If you have more questions, please ask. I will be happy to answer them.