Saturday, May 24, 2008

Change of heart?...

I knew I wanted to go for a long ride this morning, but was not sure where to go. Hub suggested checking out the new bridge and then the new Freewheel Bike store on the Greenway. I thought that sounded great! So, I'm enjoying the sights, feeling like a tourist in my own backyard, and get to my turnaround spot after 9+ miles, Freewheel. Hub had told me to try and figure out what those Dutch-style bikes were he saw in the window the other night - sounded like a good thing for me to do. I couldn't really see anything in the window, so I peeked my head in, and low and behold they had an Electra Amsterdam sitting on the sales floor (Mpls. siting #2...).

I've been trying to find one around town but no luck and here I wasn't 100% looking and had pretty much given up on the Electra and my heart skipped a beat (heart skips a beat at the site of a white Electra Amsterdam #2...). So I asked the guy working if I could taker her out for a test ride, he set me all up by adjusting the seat (super nice folks at Freewheel!), and off I went.

It was a blast!!!! I must have been a site all done up in my Saturday lycra and helmet riding the Amsterdam, but I didn't care I was finally taking one of these puppies out.

So now my inner voices are battling each other. I have this in the back of my head from Alex:
i have owned three electra bicycles, most recently an amsterdam. if you are looking for dutch-inspired riding and plan to ride here and there, it would serve you well. however, if you plan on using your bicycle year-round and will be riding 10 miles/day, don't do it. seriously. the crank tweaks under heavy riding. in addition, the chain can clank against the inside of the chaincase. it can be a noisy beast for frequent, heavy riders. pretty? yes. durable? not so much.
Then I think about how much fun I just had with the Electra. Granted, I didn't put it to much of a test on the flat path in front of the shop, but.... A few observations - I still like the looks of it up close, I would not get a 3 speed, I do not like coaster brakes. Sitting upright was comfortable for me and my back and I liked it. Yeah, the back fender looks cheap and there is an odd gap where the lock would go on the real deal - but whatevs. I may want to ride my new casual/fancy bike to Freewheel on the Greenway - that's nearly 20 miles round trip, not sure if this thing can do that and do it well....Would I really do that or would I just take the Cannondale? If you want a nice looking ride instead of a bike from the local big box store - I say go for it, why not? But then, my inner voice comes back - is this cheap piece o' going to end up in the landfill in 2 years? Am I being very responsible about the consequences of this possible decision? Will I be mad that I went cheap? Oh....darn having taste and standards!

Well, I'm not going to decide today (though for awhile I thought I'd throw caution to the wind and just get the damn thing). I'm going to go to Sweden, and then worry about all things bike when I get back. Hmmmm....