Bike Shopping

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FISHMANPET
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Bike Shopping

Postby FISHMANPET » April 4th, 2016, 11:43 am

My old bike is nearing 10 years old, and only cost me a bit over $200 new, so it wasn't that great to begin with. I've been thinking of a new bike for a while but I don't really have any idea where to start.

Some random looking at a few bike shops sites and now I'm interested in Civia. Looks like they're relaunching all new models this spring, but in general I like their concept that they're making plain "bikes" for getting around. Seems to embody the dutch cycle model but made here in the Twin Cities.

Any thoughts or recommendations on bike shopping?

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby FISHMANPET » April 4th, 2016, 11:57 am

I guess as far as what I'm looking for, the general dutch cycle methodology seems in line with what I like. I'm not some spandex clad speed demon, I just want a bike that's easy to ride and easy to maintain. Racks and fenders would be nice, as I'm tired of wearing my messenger briefcase on my back and getting all sweaty. So I don't want some bike looking bike pannier backpack, but something where I can stash my normal bag would be good.

MNdible
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby MNdible » April 4th, 2016, 12:05 pm

Breezer makes some really nice bikes in this vein. Definitely get something with an internally geared hub.

LakeCharles
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby LakeCharles » April 4th, 2016, 12:08 pm

What's the advantage of Civia over something like Workcycles? Just that they are local? Or something else?

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby FISHMANPET » April 4th, 2016, 12:15 pm

Workcycles look quite a bit more expensive, and that's not even taking into account what it would take to get them to America (unless local dealers exist).

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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby PhilmerPhil » April 4th, 2016, 12:22 pm

Based on what you just said, it seems we have similar views on what we want in a bike. Some of the requirements I had in mind when I got my bike:

-Fenders
-Kickstand
-Upright riding position
-Dynamo lighting
-Front quick release basket
-Bell
-Three speed
-Portable speakers
-Rear wheel lock
-Good looking

Dynamo lighting is one of the best decisions I made when purchasing my bike a couple years ago. You'll never again have to think about lighting in any way. I keep mine on day and night. No more worrying about batteries. They're attached to the bike in a way that makes them difficult to steal, and if they are stolen, they won't work on a bike without a dynamo hub. This site has some useful information: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/b&m-hl.php

Baskets are super underrated. People associate them with Dorothy and Toto, but they are so useful. I never carry a bag around with me and fit everything I need in my pocket (phone, keys, wallet). It's great for spontaneous shopping trips, or for a place to put your jacket if you bike to work in the cold morning and it's beautiful when you get off. And yes, it's also useful for small dogs on occasion. ;)

For speakers, I prefer the $20 Smashbox Pro. It's cheap and good for boring rides on the Greenway. Don't bike with headphones on.

Unfortunately, my bike won't fit a rear wheel lock, but that's a standard feature on Dutch bikes and they're great for immobilizing your bike for quick runs into the store.

Bike shops seem to steer people away from functional upright style bikes under the assumption that people want a lightweight bike to go fast on. If you go in knowing that you want utilitarian features, make sure you ask for it all. I purchased my bike at Handsome when they had their storefront on Washington, and had to go back in a couple times to ask for my handlebars to be raised up.

Here are some pics of my bike:
https://imgur.com/a/CDmkl

I paid about $1000 for it, which included everything listed above, minus the rear wheel lock. It's a Handsome Fredward with an internal 3 speed hub.

masstrlk67
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby masstrlk67 » April 4th, 2016, 12:37 pm

One thing to watch out for with front racks and baskets is front wheel accessibility for taking your bike on the bus. I happen to prefer front racks for lighter loads, but mine doesn't leave much room for the bus's securing arm to grab the wheel. You could say my bike has rail bias now.

LakeCharles
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby LakeCharles » April 4th, 2016, 12:48 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:Workcycles look quite a bit more expensive, and that's not even taking into account what it would take to get them to America (unless local dealers exist).
Makes sense. I just looked through the bikes on Civia's website, and looked at the Loring Version 1, which was $1100. And that's w/o a dynamo, rear wheel lock, etc. If you were interested, and happened to be in Chicago soon, JC Lind sells Workcycles.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby FISHMANPET » April 4th, 2016, 12:50 pm

Civia has a new model (Lowry) coming out soon that's all aluminum and only $500, so that's intriguing. Looks like they're retooled everything and gone back to the drawing board and discontinued all their old models and started over. There's also another model that's going to be made for people that ride "more" but there's basically no info about it.

amiller92
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby amiller92 » April 4th, 2016, 1:06 pm

I asked this question rather more publicly last fall: https://streets.mn/2015/08/06/what-kind- ... w-commute/

I went around to very nearly every bike shop in the city and road a few different city bike-style bikes. They are surprising rare to find in the actual shop, and they get pricey. I still sort of want one, but instead I decided to modify my inexpensive hybrid (pictured at the link) for commuting purposes. Having already ridden plenty of miles on it, I knew I'd be comfortable with it, which I didn't always feel on the aluminum-framed bikes I tried.

I got cargo rack and some panniers (silly expensive, kinda: http://www.thule.com/en-us/us/products/ ... -pp_100061) and fenders. It's amazing how much more practical it seems by just adding cargo capacity. I also got a fancy new Brooks saddle for Christmas, but I haven't tried it yet.

I get the appeal of dynamo lighting, but really, I try not to ride in the dark. That doesn't always work for the evening commute, but there's room in my pannier for extra batteries. I also have some cheap LEDs I just leave strapped on as I don't really care if they get stolen.

Anyway, I guess that's not really responsive as you asked for recommendations. Unfortunately, I can't recall the brands I liked better than others. Linus look great. The one I most closely considered buying was at the The Hub, which along with Varsity (think I road a Civia there) and Recovery I liked best as bike shops.

I'd be interested in whatever decision you make as I still may buy something for myself and/or the wife.

mattaudio
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby mattaudio » April 4th, 2016, 2:43 pm

@amiller92 time to get you in on the neighborhood rides we sometimes do.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby VacantLuxuries » April 4th, 2016, 3:13 pm

How do people on the forum feel about electrical assist bikes? I rarely see them brought up but as someone who doesn't necessarily feel comfortable in a bike lane or on a sharrow, I like the idea of being able to accelerate quickly when in mixed traffic. I've been eyeing one for a while since we're looking to move to an area where I would be close enough to bike to work, but would need to be on busy roads without dedicated bike lanes occasionally.

Anyone have any experience with them?

PhilmerPhil
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby PhilmerPhil » April 4th, 2016, 3:16 pm

If anyone has a spare $3200, this looks like a really good deal:
http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/b ... 05048.html

EOst
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby EOst » April 4th, 2016, 4:37 pm

I very much recommend a bike with an internal hub. It will add a fair bit to the cost of the bike (and make it somewhat more tempting for thieves), but you'll make back the money eventually through the absence of maintenance or cleaning. They're incredible for stop-and-go street riding too, since you can shift to a lower gear while you're stopped at the light and not worry about having to peddle into it.

I love the idea of generator lights, but in my experience they can often be a little bit too dim for comfort when there are car headlights involved. I also recommend getting a bike with somewhat wider tires, since even the best bike lanes in town usually have potholes and all-but-invisible manhole covers which are sunk a few inches down. I've had two flats with standard hybrid tires (700x32c) even while being pretty careful.

Otherwise I would probably tell you the same things that everyone else would. I second MNdible's nomination of Breezer; my girlfriend has the Uptown 8, and she loves it. I ride this Kona.

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Anondson
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby Anondson » April 4th, 2016, 4:47 pm

I bought a WorkCycles Gr8 ($not.cheap) but I love it. I splurged on a lot of upgrades after getting to test ride a few.

It has everything but I still need to buy a front basket (came with a frame to put a basket on).

I got it with roller/coaster brakes, dynamo powered lights, NuVinci transmission. The NuVinci lets me change gears at a stand still, so nice when I'm hauling my kids and I'm stopping at interactions, but it added $$.

grant1simons2
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby grant1simons2 » April 4th, 2016, 5:12 pm

Should check out Sunrise Cyclery at 2901 Blaisdell for bikes. They're totally overstocked at the moment.

They have some newer Civia's, but you might also find an older gem inside there for cheap.

mattaudio
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby mattaudio » April 5th, 2016, 9:43 am

Different question: What's the best configuration for carrying young children? I think we've realized a box bike is out of the budget and difficult to store in our crowded garage. Long tail? Burley-style trailer?

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Anondson
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby Anondson » April 5th, 2016, 9:55 am

How young? My five-year-old daughter rides on a seat behind the handlebars. Probably won't fit after she's 7+.

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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby PhilmerPhil » April 5th, 2016, 11:01 am

Image

amiller92
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Re: Bike Shopping

Postby amiller92 » April 5th, 2016, 11:28 am

EOst wrote:I second MNdible's nomination of Breezer; my girlfriend has the Uptown 8, and she loves it.
I think that might have been what I rode at the Hub and thought about getting.


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