Choose My Bicycle!

The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets.
— Christopher Morley

David had to go to the bike store today to get reflectors put on and I met him there after I went to the movies (The Losers = awesome).  I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a new bike for a little while, and we just signed up for a 19-mile ride at the end of the month, so now is as good a time as any.  I found two that I really liked and test rode them both.  First, the Breezer Citizen:

Pros:  It’s SO cute, it comes with fenders, a chain guard (and I usually ride in pants, so that’s useful), automatic lights on the front and back (pedal powered), the spring-loaded basket holder on the back, 3-speed on the handle bars (like a motorcycle), and a bell. I can imagine myself tooling around town, to the farmer’s market and stuff, in this adorable but durable bike.

Cons: Maybe it’s not so sporty for the kind of riding we do (road and trail riding; no off-road stuff), though the guy at the bike shop said it should do just fine.  I also worry maybe three speeds isn’t enough, though I tested them all on my test ride (and I don’t use anywhere near all of the gears on my current 10-speed).  As a womens bike, it only has one place for a water bottle cage.  Also, I don’t love the color (it’s more yellowy-cream than this picture shows) and it’s the only color it comes in this model year.

Next up, the Marin San Rafael:

Pros: It’s definitely a good bike for the riding we do, the seat has awesome shock absorbers, so I hardly feel bumps, the handle bars are adjustable, it’s got two places for water bottle cages (because it’s a men’s/unisex bike – I guess woman don’t need as much hydration), 10 speeds more than fulfills my needs, and I love the sparkly dark blue.

Cons: as-is, it doesn’t have reflectors on the front or back (but those are easy enough to add), and no spring-loaded basket holder (which I really love) or bell – and it’s already a bit more expensive than the Breezer, so adding these things brings the price up even more.

I don’t know.  Or maybe I do.  What do you think?

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13 thoughts on “Choose My Bicycle!

  1. I think I have 15 speeds on my bike, a hybrid, and basically I leave it in the middle rear gear and go up and down within that. About 3 speeds total! LOL!

    I think the around town bike would serve you best as far as using it every day to go to the farmers’ market and such. But I don’t see it on trails…so on the other hand, get the Marin because you can add all the stuff you like about the other one…and still ride it on trails!

    OK. I know. I am no help at all!!

  2. The Marin is better because it has more gears. You need more speeds/more flexibility for maneuvering in traffic. I don’t know what kind of distance you have to go, or if you have hills, but for my 2.8 mile hilly commute, I use 6 or 8 gears at least. But if you currently have a 10-speed, do a test ride to work and see how well it works.

  3. Thanks, Mo. I actually hadn’t considered riding to work until you mentioned it. I Google mapped a bike route and it’s 11 miles. So . . . 22 miles a day. That’s not really within my abilities at this point, I don’t think, but it’s definitely something to consider down the line.

    As for testing it on my current 10-speed, I’m not sure how much that would help – the bike is so old (it was my grandmother’s actually; I’ve had it for about three years) the gears aren’t that great. Something to think about though.

  4. You take the bus usually, right? Don’t Metro buses have bike racks on the front? Ours do. So if I get tired, I just jump on the bus and put the bike on the bike rack. I can also do that if it’s raining on the way home, or sometimes I don’t feel like riding home because it’s almost all uphill.

  5. I went with the Marin; picked it up Wednesday night. Dawn was right (on FB) when she said I really wanted the Breezer but thought the Marin was more practical for my needs. I went back twice to look at them both again before buying the Marin Monday night. It helped that they didn’t have the Breezer anymore – they could have ordered it, but I needed a new bike for the 19-mile ride this weekend.

  6. I think you’ll be glad you got the Marin….and have FUN on the 19 mile ride! That’s an accomplishment in itself!!! Sounds fun!

    PS: You can get the Breezer at another time in your life when it fits with your lifestyle a bit more.

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