Getting a Bike in Manhattan

One of the reasons that I moved to West Village recently is that it provides me with an opportunity to bike to work. The west side of Manhattan has a long bike road that offers a safe, flat route for people to get up and down the island. I’ve been a little obsessed with single-speeds (not fixies) lately and here’s what my research has come up with.

Aristotle by Republic Bikes

http://www.republicbike.com/

Wow. That. Is. Pretty. With completely custom colors on components made-to-order, these bikes are a pretty cool way of expressing yourself. The reviews on the bike forums haven’t been stellar, citing a heavy frame and gummy hand grips, though at least the crank set is decent. I have seen a couple of these walking around Williamsburg (surprise, surprise), and they are stunning to behold. For $400, not a bad deal, though the recent collaboration with Urban Outfitters severely reduces its street cred.

Republic Bike

Dahon Mu Uno

http://www.dahon.com/us/muuno.htm

As far as folding bikes go, this is the only one that I’ve come across that I wouldn’t be totally self-conscious about riding. Aesthetics matter to me, and I really don’t want to be skating around on  a clown-cycle. I love the minimal styling on the Mu Uno, though the coaster brake is slightly disconcerting. It’s like I am in third grade again. The form factor allows me to carry it into the office with me, so would not have to worry about it being stolen while I am at work, and it will also pay dividends during my daily treks up and down the 6th story walk up in which I currently reside. At over $500, it’s definitely on the expensive end of my budget.

09_mu_uno_jpg

Mercier Kilo TT

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/kilott.htm

I think when it comes to value, this guy takes the cake. It’s a well reviewed bike for $350 shipped to your doorstep. It looks decent, rides smooth and will last forever. If I was living in California still, I think this decision would be a no-brainer, but I live in the land of style obsessions, tiny apartments and maurading hoards of bike thieves (and I love every minute of it).

ktblk_600

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