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  1. #1
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    Best bikes for NYC/Brooklyn

    What's up forum,

    I know this question probably gets asked a lot, but what's the recommended bike for travel in NYC? This is more of a recreation/sometimes commute deal. I live in Williamsburg (yes, Williamsburg and biking), but I don't want one of those 400lb iron-wrought 1970s bikes you see people riding around there, as cool as they can look.

    Thanks in advance,

    some dude

  2. #2
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    Oh yeah, I'm more interested in just going places rather than doing intense, Tour de France style exercising, if that helps any.

    Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!??

  3. #3
    Solo Rider, always DFL
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    What, if anything, have you had/ridden/used in the past? Not specific brand, but just style or type of bike.

    That will have some impact on what anyone might suggest/recommend.

    I would be careful about anything with really lightweight wheels, and too much flash. The first will get damaged, the second will get your s$%t stolen.

  4. #4
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    The last time I rode a bike was back when kids raved about GT Dinos and Mongooses and the hobby was stealing chrome caps off the wheels. Of course, I just had some Sears thing.

    A humble bike good for joy rides across NYC bridges and streets is fine... $300 or less. I just want an easy, fun way to get a little exercise and travel around. I've seen bikes totally mutilated on lamp posts, so nothing too pricey.

  5. #5
    Ride 365 Lucky07's Avatar
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    desant, check out nycbikes.com. I really like this model. http://nycbikes.com/item.php?item_id=508

    All their bikes are solid & meant for taking city abuse.
    "...devil take the hindmost..."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hambone's Avatar
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    If all you want to do is cruise, I'd say check out craigslist or a local bike shop and get a used MTB.

    Put street tires on it and have fun. If you get hooked, buy a nice road bike and join us for the NYC Century in the fall. (100 miles on the streets/bike paths of NYC.)

    I don't know your LBSs (Local Bike Shops) but somebody here can probably recommend one in your area.

    The most important thing is fit. If you have a friend who has a bike you can spend some time on so you get more used to how it feels before you go trying, that is always a good investment in time. Otherwise everything is so knew.
    Inside me is a thin man dying to get out.
    (He is kept comfortable by some pie, a half case of Bud, two cheese-dogs and a big screen Sony.)

  7. #7
    Senior Member dendawg's Avatar
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    My wife is in the market for a road bike. If she buys one her Fuji Hybrid will be for sale. A little over a year old and she has changed the original knobby tires for skinny armadillos, but she will include the original tires as well if she sells. Contact me off list for a price if you are interested. It's a 27 speed Del Rey model. I will also be selling my older more abused Gary Fisher Nirvana Hybrid, as I just bought myself a roadie.

  8. #8
    Senior Member keithnyc's Avatar
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    Personally, I like the Dahon folding 20" bikes. I have the Speed D7 (the '06 model is about $60 cheaper if you buy it from a place that sells both the '06 and '07 models, otherwise they may try to charge you an '07 price for the '06 model....the '06 model is cobalt blue, the 07 model is puke olive). Anyway, I digress......the price was right ($295 including tax and shipping), it's super-sturdy and it folds up small and quick enough for the bus and subway (my main mode of travel). You can also easily carry it with you (if it's in a Bolso bag or something similiar...) so you don't have to lock it up.
    I don't give a damn 'bout a bad reputation
    -------------------------------------------------

    Joan Jett, circa 1980

  9. #9
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    I vote for the Swift folding bike, designed in Brooklyn.

    It's more expensive than a Dahon (around $700ish) and doesn't fold quite as small, but it's a superior bike. Excellent components, great ride, adaptable, upgradeable, light (22-24 lbs).

    Folders are great for urban use. You can keep it in your apartment, under your desk at work, or bring it inside when visiting friends. The less time it's on the street, the less likely it will get stolen. (Bike thieves in NYC will take anything, even the most junked-out bikes....) Plus you can take a folder on the subway or rails any time.

    If you are considering a folding bike, drop by Bfold on 13th Street. They've got a few different types, including the Brompton (super-small fold) and Swifts.

  10. #10
    Senior Member keithnyc's Avatar
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    Baccia- Yeah, my decision was really based primarily on price on on the great expereinces people have had with the Dahons in general. I heard a lot of great things about the Swift and the Dahon, and they both make excellent bikes on the higher end of the pricing spectrum.
    Once I start using my bike (when the weather warms up...), I'm certain to be either upgrading my parts or getting a higher end bike althogether. One thing I have noticed, Dahon does seem to be very responsive to their customer base. Their website has lots of activity in the user forums, and the Dahon tech guys actually respond to people, either giving them suggestions or sending them additoonal parts they may need. Very cool.
    I don't give a damn 'bout a bad reputation
    -------------------------------------------------

    Joan Jett, circa 1980

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    +1 for NYCbikes.
    They are located on Havemeyer Street and will build you a bike tailored to your specific needs and on a budget. For $400 you can get a decent city bike. It might not be name brand quality, but their bikes are designed for city use, so I expect they will hold up. Been thinking about buying one of their bikes for my wife.

  12. #12
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    Folding bike is mass transportation and small space friendly. If you have no idea what you want Downtube, sold on ebay, is a cheap but decent choice.

    An alternative chaining outside. Keep your chain well oiled if you do this.

    Bicycle habitat offers bicycle maintenance courses.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  13. #13
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    One thing to keep in mind, for a city bike, you want it to be comfortable and discrete. Discrete because this is NYC and it will be STOLEN.

  14. #14
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    Hey guys, new to forum...

    so I'm at school and not back on the East coast yet. Wanted to get a decent road bike for nice leisurely bike rides, and also to ride in NYC. Most decent bikes cost from $300-500... I found a nice bike for $500, but it's newer and pretty nice so I worry about theft. Would that be a problem? Even with one of those Kryptonite NYC Locks? Sometimes I feel like I'd be better off getting a janky older bike, but then I see that nice newer bike for not much more and wonder if it's worth the little bit of extra $$$

  15. #15
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    If you live close to a Citibike station in Williamsburg and most of your commuting is within the current range, consider a yearly membership. Even a weekly membership would be a reasonable choice to see whether the biking life style is for you.

  16. #16
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    no bike it theft proof, nicer the bike the bigger the target

    whatever you land on, lock it up in a well traveled area and not overnight (sounds like your not living in NYC)

    the lock you mentioned is good, anything decent with hardened steel will not be cheap because they are made for abuse

    I use a 9mm chain link with a motorcycle lock and a second thinner one for the wheels (locks/chains weigh about same as my bike)

  17. #17
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Where you lock your bike, how you lock it, and how long you lock it are major factors in the theft risk. How desirable your bike is another, but I have seen some very nice bikes locked up. Sometimes I even lock up a valuable bike, but never for long. Know the neighborhood, and see if you can get an idea of how the bike thieves work. Take a look at what happens to the bikes parked overnight.

    One odd thing I've noticed is that if you use a cheap cable lock to secure one wheel to your bike (and lock your frame properly with a good lock), thieves don't bother cutting the cable just to get a wheel. This isn't even sensible, because cutting a cable is so easy. But that's what I've noticed. I've locked up some very valuable wheels with cheap locks. Then again, my neighbor got his wheels stolen, so I guess it does happen. I suspect he had locked them properly.

    So if you want a nice bike, see if you can live your life without locking it up outside or at least not locking it up all day. If you can't live that way, i.e. if you have to lock it up while you're at work, there are some nice bikes that look bad. But you're best off with an undesirable bike. If you can swing it, you might want to have two bikes, one for commuting and one for fun rides.
    I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. --Blaise Pascal

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  18. #18
    Senior Member yankeefan's Avatar
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    You can have a brand new fixed gear bike boxed and delivered to your house for <$400. Should be straightforward to assemble with a multi-tool and a 15mm open wrench. Considering your location and riding needs, you should fit right in with the Williamsburg crowd. Ditch the rear brake for extra street cred.

  19. #19
    Junior Member
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    Thanks y'all... Was thinking about getting a decent Cannondale but was scared they're too nice and might risk getting stolen. Also for riding around the city, an older more versatile bike might be more suitable, like an old Trek or something. I found a nice older Trek for around $250, but I also just came across a nice Cannondale for $340, which is a very good price for the bike. For not much more than the Trek, I can get a much nicer Cannondale, but I just don't know if it's too nice for NYC.

  20. #20
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    Im looking into getting one of these just because i like the simple bike idea. I wish i was close enough to ride one before i purchase it but i don't think it will deter me. Well there local to you and you can try it out if you want. Plus its not to expensive and you could replace it if it was stolen.

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