Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Perfect Bicycle for Personal Transportation

It seems to me that we Californians have suffered from never having bicycles that are appropriate and efficient for daily transportation. Here's my evidence:

1) Cruiser bikes. Overweight toys rather than transportation.
2) 10-speed bikes of the 70's. Cheap imitations of racing bikes. Poor ergonomics.
3) Mountain bikes. The ones I see being used for serious transportation are poorly designed heavy and inefficient dual suspension models sold by discount chain (haha) stores.

Now this is a bike I'd buy for riding to work:

The Trek SoHo is a modern update of the bicycle I rode to school. I rode a Raleigh with 3-speed Archer internal gears, full mud guards, chain guard, upright riding position, and a rack on the back for my books. It served me well, and never ate the cuffs of my school uniform pants during my 5 years of high school (yes, I was in the upper 6th Form).

The SoHo has improved on the old design with an aluminium frame, 8-speed hub, roller drum-brakes, and braze-ons for the rack. And Trek chose to use belt-drive to keep it clean. $990.

Update 9/7/2008:
Be sure to read Mark Stosberg's excellent article on Recreation vs Transportation Bikes from his Bikes as Transportation Blog.

Thanks Gizmodo


Anonymous said...

Plus it's a belt drive bike. Very cool stuff that's ninja quite, no grease and super-long life.

Mark Stosberg said...

My ideal bike would add a generator in the front wheel to power front and rear lights and a built-in lock-and-key system, and possibly a more upright riding position, all somewhat common on European commuting bikes. More here:

The belt drive I'll wait-and-see" about. Perhaps it rarely ever breaks and has a long life, but I can't see my local bike shop stocking replacement belts if I needed one in a pinch. (I suppose I could keep a spare in my bike shed myself... )