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a bike for me

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about getting better at riding my bike.  since I’ve been living in Portland, which will be two years this August, I’ve ridden my bike four times.  total.  once to work and three other times for fun around the city.  I’m a bit afraid when it comes to riding so close to cars on the street, even in the bike lane.  however lately I’ve really been thinking that riding my bike would make it easier to do more things like going to yoga on my lunch break, not having to drive or park my car around the city, or even trips to grab coffee and breakfast on the weekends.

since my bike is a hand-me-down from dlb’s brother, it’s a boy bike, pretty rugged and pretty beaten up.  so, along with this desire to ride my bike more comes… you guessed it, dreaming about a new bike.  I’ve had my eye on these two particular beauties for quite some time now, especially the Electra Amsterdam.  it just looks and sounds like an amazing bike.  the vintage silhouette, skirt guard and pinstriped fenders are enough to have me swooning.  anyone have experience with an Electra Amsterdam or recommend a good, comfortable city bike?

30 Responses to “a bike for me”

  1. Becky said:

    I’m not familiar with the Electra, but it looks like it has the features you need for a city bike. You want durability, security and comfort more than anything. The aesthetics are just a plus :-)

    My husband got me a new city bike for Mother’s Day and I’ve been taking it everywhere, even loaded with stuff. The city tires are good for riding on asphalt and bumpy terrain (I’ve gone over tree roots growing under bike lanes and over cracks in the asphalt without even feeling it), pumped up inclined streets simply by changing speeds (you want lots of different speeds) and the gel seat makes riding very comfortable.

  2. chelsea said:

    Love the ELectra!! Well, I’ve never ridden it but I think it’s adorable and the price point is perfect.

  3. Hannah said:

    I just got myself a Trek Allant WSD and it’s been so comfortable and smooth, I love it! The handle bars and the seat adjust… and it comes with a front rack. I looked at the Electras but this one was so comfy, I had to buy it.
    Good luck!

  4. Sarah said:

    I don’t have experience with either of those bikes but my one recommendation if you’re going to use your bike as a mode of transportation is to make sure it has multiple gears. Hills can be very difficult with a one speed.

  5. Jane Flanagan said:

    The Electra Amsterdam is my dream bike too. It’s the perfect price and timeless looking. I need to take one for a test-ride yet though!

  6. Kelly said:

    so, so pretty! i love the aqua colored one :)

    xo
    Kelly

  7. erin said:

    what a beauty! my own bike is getting very old, but james got a breezer (the *freedom*, i think!) last summer, and he loves it! it’s very solid and easy on the eyes, too!

  8. Lindsay said:

    Yay! I get so excited when people ride their bikes more often :) I have a Dutch bike, an azor secret service that I bought from clever cycles in Portland (since at the time no one sold them here in chicago!) I love Otto bits and pieces, plus it gets a lot of “oohs” and “ahhhs” from people I see while out and about. Dutch bikes in general are perfect for riding in the city. Super comfortable, and the encased chainring means no rolling up your pant leg, no grease on your jeans, heck I even wear a dress occasionaly. One thing to note though is the weight: unless you live in a ground floor apt or have a big elevator, it’s Cadillac size and weight can get pretty cumbersome. I wound up building a nice light little fixed gear bike to ride whenever I didn’t feel up to the task of hauling the Dutch bike out of my 4th floor apt :) good luck finding your bike, and I really can’t recommend clever cycles enough!

  9. susan yee said:

    I test road the Amsterdam when I was looking for bikes, but I’m a shortie (5ft) so it was out of the question because of the seat height. Even all the way down, it was too tall for me. :( The Fisher looks like a Felt bike I was drooling over – and rode like a dream. http://www.feltracing.com/09-catalog/cafe/cafe-series/09-cafe-24-deluxe-w.aspx Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get that one because I already had credit at a different store that didn’t carry it. I ended up getting the Electra Townie Euro 8i, which had the euro feel like I liked, rides wonderfully, I FIT it, had more than 3 speeds (which I needed for my area) and I looove the color (I got Cadet Blue).

  10. Jai said:

    This bike is SOOO totes CUTE! I want to make out with it after band practice. I might even let it touch my butt.

    LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

  11. Alice said:

    I saw a similarly constructed bike on portland’s craigslist! I am looking for a burlier mountain bike style, but it was just yesterday I was browsing!

  12. tiffany said:

    Those bikes are ADORABLE! Just add a basket and you’ll be all set!

    One word on riding with the traffic — it really takes just takes time to get used to it. You might want to see if Portland has any bicycle coalitions that offer biking classes, etc. The one here in SF offers FREE bike safety classes where they explain traffic rules and do a day where you actually ride around the city. That might help you feel more comfortable riding around amongst the cars.

    Good luck! Not having to depend on a car is awesome. And it’s fun to have a super cute bike!

  13. SuzyCat said:

    I have an Electra Townie and I just love it to pieces!! It’s cute and it’s perfect for a short person like me. I never feel like I’m going to lose control because I can easily put my feet down and still be sitting. And Electra in general is awesome, so I don’t think you can go wrong with the Amsterdam.

    If there was no Electra, I’d go for a K2 bike. My husband designed their website and always spoke highly of them and their bikes are real cool too.

  14. tastymoog said:

    I thought Portland was pretty bike friendly? I live in Philly which is supposedly bike friendly, but I freak out on the reg when riding around the city. :/

  15. tastymoog said:

    oh, I ride a Bianchi milano parco (2008) and I LOVE it. Just put a basket on the front. :D

  16. mia said:

    i have the gary fisher simple city and could not be more happy with it. i had originally purchased the amsterdam electra, but it is really large and bulky, really not ideal if you are carrying it up and down streets ever. the simple city is also faster, and has three speeds which is great. enjoy whichever you get!

  17. Kaitlin said:

    my understanding is that the electra amsterdam is only one speed, which makes it okay for city trolling, but if you ever plan on going up a hill (are there hills in portland? there are in ottawa), then multiple speeds have use.

    otherwise, i think it’s soooooo cute.

  18. paula said:

    How I would love to have one! I dream of bikes with baskets.

  19. Brandi said:

    I love love love LOVE these bicycles. I have no idea if the city I’m moving to is bicycle-friendly though, nor do I really know what the terrain is like (San Diego seems steep in some areas). I partly want to move to Amsterdam just so I can own and ride a cute bike.

  20. lyn said:

    i have had the bianchi milano parco (women’s bike) for about 5 years now and love it! getting around the city by bike is the best thing ever. lived in boston prior to san francisco. the cars take a little getting over, but once you do you’ll become addicted.

  21. amelia said:

    Don’t know if you’ve made up your mind yet, but as a longtime bike commuter I’ll throw in my two cents… I too wanted a beautiful bike and in the end chose a Bianchi Milano, which I’ve had now for a long time with no issues and which I do love. BUT! I often which I had just gotten a cheap old Peugeot ten speed hybrid from Craigslist instead, for a couple of reasons… I would worry less about it getting stolen (in Montreal this is a big deal), I wouldn’t have to carry the easy release seat and wheel with me whenever I lock the bike somewhere, and it probably would have performed nearly as well for a lot less money. The main thing that’s important in a city bike is utilitarianism, I think. How much can you carry on it? Can you ride it in the rain (fenders are a must!)? Can you ride it anywhere you want to go, ie will it be able to get you up hills? Will you be able to carry it up the stairs to your apartment? Do you feel safe and comfortable on it? If you figure out these things, I’m sure you’ll wind up with a cycle you love!

  22. Courtney said:

    Alyson! I did SO much research when buying my bike, and I went with the Electra. I am head over heels in love — even shipped it to KL with me! It’s the most comfortable ride and has 3 gears, which will make cycling those hilly streets MUCH easier! Houston is even pretty flat and I still changed gears a good bit. I love the pedal-powered light on the front, so it will never run out of batteries leaving you stranded at dusk with no light. And I think for the price, it can’t be beat. Let me know if you have specific questions though. xx

  23. jones said:

    This is a little late, but I got an amsterdam for my 30th birthday last year and simply love it. It is a fantastic ride, quite comfortable and the three gears get me through most hills!! My only complaint is that it it’s a little heavy and since I live in an apartment, I have to lug it up and down some steps. Can be tricky…Enjoy whatever bike you choose.

  24. Jenny said:

    Don’t get a Kronan. They look really nice, but they’re way too heavy to be any fun.

  25. jenny said:

    that bike is PERFECT. i wish i didnt have a horrific dental bill… or else…

  26. jenny said:

    i love my amsterdam! it’s darn cute and rides well.