Once the word got out locally that I am the “bike guy”, I have started to get more and more general inquiries. In particular from people looking to commute, or get around town, carry stuff on their bikes etc. One of the most frequent questions I get is “what type of bike should I get?”. I like this much more than the customer that comes in with a strong notion about a certain bike or set up. I usually respond with the question, “what do you want the bike to do”? Surprisingly this catches most people off guard. The thing is, while a bike like our Rambler can be a 80% or more car replacement, go fast as you want, carry the average load, etc. it is a bit more than the casual rider may want. Particularly if new or coming back to cycling after a long break. Luckily the bicycle market place is starting to shift a bit from the race and extreme categories, with more practical offerings. Many a bike snob would turn their nose up, but in reality these bikes are what will be helping to widen the pond for the transportational cyclist.
Today I had the chance to help a friend of a friend (see above for word getting out) with the assembly of an Electra Amsterdam. This bike is honestly a refreshing build in a world of race and fashion bikes.
Many of the details you would expect to see on fancier bikes are all there and well addressed. Out of the box, it comes with full coverage fenders, a full chaincase, wide comfortable tires. The seat and controls are comfortable and stylish. Front and rear brakes, 3 speeds. This bike is honestly all that the average commuter will need. Particularly in a small relatively flat town like ours. Just about anyone who can walk could use this bike to replace their car for all trips under 4 miles, and still get around in business attire without breaking a sweat
With a rack and some panniers, this could be the 80% car replacement for plenty of riders. I believe strongly that the world needs more bikes like this, particularly in the US. The tide is shifting, and I am happy to be part of the wave helping get riders on bikes like this.