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
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.
Dahon Mu Uno
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.
Mercier Kilo TT
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).