Old 06-13-19, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post

My point is simply to get a feel for what people think of as being the threshold of safety and dependability in an urban setting. I'm big on comfort and safety now that I am starting a family, and I would never ride the fixed gear without brakes that I used to have in SF, even in the safest environment. In any case, I really only commuted on the quiet side of town while I lived in San Francisco, and rarely got out for serious riding. But I don't want that to be the case down south!

...I live in Sacramento. While the majority of my miles here are now on the American river bike trail, I commuted and shopped for many, many years here on three speed Raleigh's and Schwinn's...even one old DBS. My own opinion is that in a larger urban setting (and I also commuted for three years in Merced, CA), your riding position is probably more important than technology. Upright with your head on a swivel gives you a more commanding view of the surroundings, even if it's slower.

I've never ridden much in San Diego, and assume there are more hills there. So I have no opinion on whether brakes from the stone age will be a factor in this. I did eventually put alloy rims on my 3 speed city bike hubs on all of them, to make them a little faster and more responsive. And you want the best puncture proof tyre technology you can be comfortable with because there's always a lot of tyre hazards over in the bike lanes and on the right shoulder.

I do ride all of them on occasion through town, even the drop bar old crit bikes. But the upright ones with straight bars give me a better idea of what's happening with the surrounding traffic and pedestrians. Watch out for the electric bikes in the bike lanes. Just go slower and let them get far away from you. Some of them radiate a sense of irresponsibility and potential for disaster. Not all of them, but there area a lot more to choose from now, and life in the local bike lanes has taken on a new sense of urgency.
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