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Old 07-25-06, 10:59 AM
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High quality, well designed, well built utility bikes have always been rare in the USA. Very few people have owned such a bike. Few people have even seen such a bike. Hard to like something you don't know anything about.

The other problem is price. A first-rate utility bike is not cheap. You can buy a decent mountain bike for half the price. So, a guy thinks "this $400 mountain bike is a good way to get to work, and I can use it to stop for groceries on the way home". Hard to convince him to spend twice that amount for a bike designed to be good at short urban commutes and shopping trips.

I have a four-speed Trek that I have converted into a utility bike by adding a rear rack, saddle bags, front and rear lights, etc. It has big wide fenders, a sealed shifting system, and coaster brakes, so it works well in the rain (and has worked well riding through a foot of water during Houston's tropical storms). But, I got looks from people when I'm riding it that say "Why is that old geezer riding a forty pound bike when he could be riding a 19 pound "wonder bike"...doesn't he know 19 pound bikes are waaay faster and waaay cooler looking?"
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