I have been lurking for a while and decided I needed to ask a few questions before my impending purchase. My wife and I decided it would be fun to get bikes to take our 18 month old for rides around the neighborhood (less than 3 miles) and occasionally, probably rarely, to the zoo/large park (about 7 miles). I started thinking about all the crap bikes I had growing up and decided we should get good bikes from a local shop. I started doing some research and soon realized bikes are much more expensive than we had thought, and that there exists a thing called a “single speed.” Taking into consideration that we live in very flat New Orleans, I never really shifted gears on any bikes I’d had previously, and I like the clean look, I decided a single speed was right for me. After more research I discovered bikesdirect.com, this forum, and a culture that I didn’t know existed, and that I don’t particularly identify with, called “Hipster.” So after all of this I decided that the Windsor Timeline, with some modification, is right for me; I like the wider tires and the ability to take fenders. I do, however, have a few questions:
1-I don’t feel comfortable with drop bars and my child in a child seat, so I am wanting something more upright with a couple of hand positions. I like the VO Belleville and Montmarte. Are these good options? Also, I know I will need new brake levers, any recommendations or things I should look out for?
2-It seems that most Timelines are shipped with 15 tooth cogs. I think I’d like something bigger, maybe 18-20 teeth, to make it easier to carry my 25 lb kid around in a child seat and I’m not particularly looking to set speed records. Is this good rationale? What should I look for in cogs? Sizes etc.? Would I need a new chain?
3-Will I be able to put this thing together when it comes in? I’d like to be able to service it myself, and I figure this minimal assembly may be a good stepping stone. I can search youtube, I’ve worked on my own cars in the past, and I am moderately good at following directions. That being said, I can also take the advice of those more knowledgeable than me and have it put together by a professional.
4-Am I overlooking a more “appropriate” bike for my needs? Suggestions are welcome.
Thanks in advance for all of your help. I’m not going to ask a sizing question because that lemur ya’ll post on here kind of freaks me out.