XYZ Bike — Overview: My Foul Weather Friend

I’ve had several opportunities to ride the XYZ Bikes Men’s Beach Cruiser since my initial ride in late December, and for a $100 bike — I’m happy with the results. It certainly would be an inexpensive way for people to find out if bicycle commuting is for them.

First, the down side:

  • There are a few soft rattles when I hit bumps — but not as many as I’d expected, and not bad for a $100 bike.
  • The handle bars seem a bit loose. It may be that I’ve not cranked down hard enough, although I thought I had.
  • Long, steep hills can be a challenge.
  • At 6′ 5″, I may be a little tall for the bike, but it is workable.
  • It weighs in at 35 lbs. per the scale at work. My longest one-way ride was 7 miles in the snow. I can imagine I’d be fine for about 10 miles in the snow, maybe 15 without, but I don’t think I’d take it on rides longer than that.
  • Here’s what I liked:

    The weather this winter has been pretty lousy and I quickly found out that the wide tires that come on this bike work great in the snow. I tried ridding my hybrids last winter and I slipped around on the ice — a lot. The XYZ bike worked like a charm on snowy and icy streets and paths with the only slipping I recall occurring on a long sheet of smooth ice. I have to admit that the drive train got a little sluggish when the temperature got down to ° F. Riding in snow, slush, ice and road salt coated the bike in grime that was quite easy to clean up. Having this bike available allowed me to ride to work 12 days over the last two months that I know I would have skipped before. This WILL be my snow and rain bike from here on out.

    A few weeks back, Tim asked what we can do to get more people out on their bikes – and what are some good options for cheap bikes. This bike fits the bill. It’s a fun ride for round-trips of less than 10 miles. The retro look catches people’s eyes and I’ve gotten some nice comments about how cool the bike looks.

    This would make a nice errand bike. On Alan Snell’s blog (which is unreachable at the moment), he wrote:

    My bicycle friend Jim Shirk, a local Hillsborough County guy who is a big bike advocate, event volunteer and all-around supporter of all things cycling, is trying to get every household to have an errand bicycle. Great idea. We all take ultra-short trips in our car that could easily be done by bicycle. So Jim is suggesting you have an errand bike to run, well, errands.

    This fits in nicely with the Cliff Bar 2-Mile Challenge.

    * In the U.S., 40% of all trips are 2 miles or less.
    * 90% of those trips are by car.

    With gas prices around $3 a gallon, the cost of this is the same as a little over 30 gallons of gas. Why not spring for a beach cruiser along with the fenders and basket. If you’re looking for an inexpensive, good, fun bike, check out all the bikes at XYZ Bikes.

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