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I want to ride my bicycle February 24, 2014

Posted by bettyjoan in Cycling.
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So, I have always had a…tortured relationship with cycling.  I know it’s good for me AND low impact (which is a nice change of pace from running), but other than in a triathlon setting, I have never felt particularly comfortable on my road bike.  Especially in DC, I feel like I need something a bit more stable and with a lower center of gravity, since there is a lot of stopping and starting and you are battling cars (and buses, and taxis…) for space on the roads.

I enjoy my Bikeshare membership, of course, and the bikes definitely make me feel more safe out on the roads.  The downside is that they are HEAVY, which means I work three times as hard to go the same distance.  Also, they only have three speeds, so I am hesitant to travel in the hillier areas of town.

With all of that in mind, hubby and I headed to The Daily Rider this past weekend to check out their selection and ask some questions.  I took a few bikes out for test rides, and the one I liked best was the Breezer Downtown 8:

Downtown8ST

This bike felt sturdy but comfortable, and it was so easy and pleasant to ride (and I didn’t feel like I was sitting on the couch, like some of the other step-through commuters).  At $699, I think it is worth the price.  However, I have never had internal gears before – do the pros (cleaner, smoother, less maintenance) outweigh the cons (heavier, more expensive, tougher to change tires)?

There is also a 5-speed version of the Downtown step-through that is cheaper ($569), but I wonder if I would miss the additional gear options if I’m doing a longer or hillier ride.  Also, there is an 8-speed Downtown that has external gears that is the least expensive of the three ($449), but I didn’t get to test ride it, and I’m not sure how the ride/shifting would be impacted by the external derailleur.  Then again, I’ve had the external stuff on my road bike for years, and it really didn’t bother me (my issues with my road bike were more about fit and weight).

Does anyone have any advice?  I’d love to get an order in before the spring weather arrives for good.

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1. Bike rhymes with LIKE!!! | The Hungry Triathlete - March 30, 2014

[…] when I was thinking about buying a bike?  Well, I bit the bullet and got the Breezer Downtown 8 ST (from The Daily Rider on H Street […]


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