Friday, May 20, 2011

Bike Heartbreak

Look at this beauty!

Yes, that bike (a CCM Catalina - mid 1960s) was mine for...about 2 weeks. I just fell in love with it and grabbed it from a guy on kijiji. I rode it to work a few times and it was generally fine until I got a flat. Knowing nothing about bikes, I took it to Rachel's husband's shop to get a new tube and possibly a tire (I could see it was going to need one). Unfortunately the tires on this baby were some outdated size and would need to be special ordered form Europe and would cost me more than the bike was worth. Plus the frame was on the large side for me, so I sold it.

I want to use it to and from work (a couple of very minor hills which I was able to do on the CCM single speed), for general tootling around, and for pleasure rides with the family. No triathlons on my horizons!

So here's my dilemma: do I buy another vintage bike which might have some stuff go wrong or get a new, commuter bike?

Here are my options with pros and cons (that I have thought of):

Vintage English 3-Speed Bike
(flickr 3-speed Bicycle Lovers group via camp comfort)

  • VERY cool looking
  • Cheap (around $100-150)
  • Can get replacement tires
  • Internal hub
  • Sturdy
  • No one would want to steal it
  • Heavy
  • Stuff could go wrong (and I don't know how to fix it)
  • Don't know what I am buying so I could buy a lemon

Electra Amsterdam
 (image from Electra Bikes)

  • New and (hopefully) reliable
  • A lot of style
  • Easy to get parts if need be
  • Fenders are standard
  • Internal hub (I think is a good idea for me)
  • ...did I say it looks cool?
  • Expensive ($700+, depending on model)
  • Potentially a theft target (I would steal it, at least)

Electra Townie

  • Cheaper than the Amsterdam (starts around $579, I think)
  • New/Reliable
  • Fenders and rack not standard
  • Not the most stylish bike (but ok)
  • Derailleur scares me - does it mess up often?

Fuji Crosstown
(pic from Fuji)
  • Good value for a new bike (starts around $500)
  • Practical and no nonsense
  • Rachel has this bike and loves it (plus her husband wouldn't have her ride something that wasn't good!)
  • a fairly generic looking commuter bike
  • Fenders and rack not standard

So...which should it be?

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