“lighter footstep”

http://lighterfootstep.com/2009/08/12-urban-bicycles-ready-to-replace-your-car/

They review a dozen “urban bicycles.”  Actually, the fact that there *are* that many is exciting… as well as the idea that these guys really are suggesting that people invest in them for transportation as opposed to making a beater bike do, which too often means riding with those groceries dangling from teh handlebars and wondering how “they” do it every day.

Their alphabetical listing put theXtracycle ‘way down the page… and yes, this is a 21st century “review” — almost all plugs and positives.  To their credit, they did notice that one of the offerings would need a lot addedto it for more than a light commute.  This is a shift — used to be they’d stick a “commuter” label on a road bike with braze-ons and market, since I suppose none of ’em actually would stoop to using a bike for something so menial on a regular basis.  Now, the offerings are more likely to have fenders at least… a little cargo room… maybe even some chain protection and hoo-yah, sometimes internal brakes and/or gearing which is nice for riding in slop.

From the article:

“Why such expensive bicycles? Our philosophy in picking this bunch is that we’re looking for automobile replacements. Even the most expensive of our choices is a bargain compared to a scooter, motorcycle, or used car. You’ll be getting quality components and a great frameset, which is the heart of a bicycle. Most models come with accessories which would cost more, if purchased separately. With reasonable care, any of these bikes could last a decade or longer — even under heavy use.

We’ve also stuck to bicycles from manufacturers with strong reputations. Most of these models should be available wherever you live, or can be purchased online. Any will make a great road companion. We’ll list our choices alphabetically. Let’s ride!”

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