“How many back squats does it take to make it to the top of the hill? I wondered as my pink Paul Frank beach cruiser crept up East Broadway Street and boob sweat pooled. Between heavy breaths I planned weighted lunges and extra spin classes to help the cause… before noticing the lean hipster boy speeding by me on my right.
Within seconds his leather backpack became a speck in the distance as his skinny legs effortlessly pedaled past in sweat-free, pressed khaki pants. WTF.
Sundays Spent Biking
“If I die, just make sure to renew my GoDaddy hosting for the next 50 years, k?!” I shouted over the sound of Ubers and pedestrians to my friend, Laith, at a busy intersection in Venice Beach on Saturday. Despite 25 years of bike riding experience, I still feel like I might fall over and/or be run over by a pissed off driver by no fault but my own.
However, I now have one thing in my favor.
The day that pink beach cruiser was stolen from my apartment complex was a sad but bittersweet day – perhaps divine intervention by the bicycle gods.
Finally I would have to assess the right bike for me, but I had no idea what that might be. All I knew was:
- I wanted to ride my bike to the beach, work and the gym.
- I wanted a cute basket to carry groceries.
- I wanted to sit upright.
- I wanted to conquer that damn hill without spin class and boob sweat.
Therefore, I looked to Laith to help me decide which bike to buy. And assemble it. And adjust the seat. And install the accessories. And help me survive busy intersections every weekend.
How to Choose the Right Bike for You
Because it was far too hard to find solid bike choosing advice via a quick Google search, below is Laith’s advice, plus my personal picks, for choosing the right bike for you.
Note: Laith’s ‘tooling around’ means riding leisurely, i.e. my favorite way to ride.
Bike Descriptions & Examples
- Hipster, cult-level, a lifestyle
- Brands: Critical Cycles, Project Custom, Sole, Purefix
- Example: Critical Cycles Harper Single-Speed/Fixie, $199.00
Single Speed Commuter
- Offers flexibility; versatile
- Geometry is nice because you can tool around
- Light enough and quick enough
- Can purchase for less than $250
- Easy to use, sleek
- Brands: Public, Sole, Raleigh
- Example: Public Single-Speed Dutch Bike, $315
- Best for flat and less than 2 or 3 miles
- Good for tooling around
- Great to put a rack or basket on
- Brands: Electra, Sixthreezero, Nirve
- Example: Sixthreezero Classic Beach Cruiser, $299.99
Multiple Speed Commuter
- Great for longer distance, uphill and/or exercise
- Makes running errands easy
- Still put a rack and basket on for groceries
- Requires more maintenance and pricier
- Brands: Public, Townie, Marin
- Example: PUBLIC V7 Bike, $384
Multiple Speed Road Bike
- Ideal for riding distance
- Aerodynamic, meant for speed
- ‘Spin class on a bike’
- Brands: Trek, Cannondale, Felt
- Example: Giant Seek 1, $1100
- Perfect for off-roading on dirt paths and non-paved roads
- Can tackle steep hills, steep descents
- Great for mud, dirt and rough terrain
- Brands: Cannondale, Felt, Giant
- Example: Surplus 70 Felt Mountain Bike, $1399
- My bike: PURE CITY STEP THROUGH BIKE, $429 (That I purchased with a 40% off discount code via my last coffee date..*cough* BARAJAS *cough*)