Thursday, January 12, 2012

Finding a New Ride

 When I decided to start riding again at the beginning of  the summer I purchased  a used Huffy Cranbrook beach cruiser like the one on the left for $40.00.  I was thrilled to find a bike at this price and couldn't wait to start riding again. 
The bike is  pretty, and I thought well a bike is a bike. It kinda fits me and it rolls. I was happy with this bike until I started reading the cycling blogs.  Ignorance is bliss. and  I had great times on this bike while increasing  my strength and stamina considerably.

I am now ready to move on and up. I do not plan on doing a lot of riding until the spring but in the meantime the extremely mild winter we are having has allowed me to test ride quite a few bikes.  I have set a budget of $500 and have determined that I prefer a steel bike with a step through frame. So far I have ridden Electras, Felts, Globes, Schwinns and Treks. I would like to ride a Public but no local bike shop carries them. I may travel  the 80 mi to Cincinnati to try one out.

It seems the bloggers I read all have Pashleys, Rivendells, Abicis, Gazelle’s, etc.  Not only are these out of my price range, we have no LBS that carry them. I  have never seen one of these bikes on the street or on the trail here in town and I have been looking.  Most folks are riding Schwinns, Treks, Electras, or big box store bikes.  I went into a LBS that carries Electras and the salesman said that they don’t carry the Electra Amsterdam because it is too expensive for this market.  We just don’t seem to have the expensive Dutch bike culture here. 


  1. Are you located in the Chicago area? If so, you should check out Dutch Bike Chicago to see if some of those 'higher end' bikes strike your fancy (ex. those ridden by bloggers):

  2. Just a thought... Public Bikes used to (and I believe still does) have a policy that if you purchase their bicycle and don't like it, they will take it back. I know it's a pain to have to cover the costs of shipping just to try a bicycle, but it might be worth looking into if you're not finding something that suits your needs. Public is also spreading all the time, so you may find them popping up in your area over the coming months as well. I am personally horribly impatient when I want something, but if you can wait it out, something may turn up. :O) It might just be easier to travel the 80 miles to test ride one though.

    As for the "expensive Dutch bike culture," I don't think that exists in most U.S. cities. I know pretty much anything I've wanted to test ride I've had to buy without trying which can be incredibly frustrating (not to mention expensive). I think the mindset is slowly changing though, so you never know what might turn up. I've also found that just because it is more expensive doesn't necessarily make it a better bike for me. Don't despair... I think you can find what you're looking for in time.

    Also, just wanted to mention I love that you're documenting your progress toward your goals!

    1. Thanks for the reply and the encouragement. Have you sold the Superba yet?