About to buy a city bike. Are urban cruisers as good as I've heard? Is a single-speed bike comfortable for commuting? Best brands of same in Canada?
Last year I tried to go cheap for a commuter bike and got a spectacular lemon from Canadian Tire. Having learned my lesson, I've picked out a reputable and reasonably priced bike shop, and I'm willing to spend more this time, but not crazy more - a max of $400-500 preferably. The low end urban cruisers fit this price range.
I'm a terribly out of shape older lady and don't need a performance bike, but I would like to be able to choose to challenge myself during the ride to work as my shape improves with the daily biking.
In case I'm using the terminology wrong, this is the sort of bike I'm talking about
1. I read an article saying that urban cruiser bikes - the sort used by Bixi et al - are actually the most comfortable and practical for commuting, especially for a more casual rider like myself. Do the experienced bike crowd here agree with this?
2. I also know they come with no gears (one gear?), three gears, or more. I'm thinking I'd like three gears so I can amp up the challenge of the ride when necessary; back when I was in shape I generally just kept my bike on the hardest gear. My commute is more or less level so no hills.
Single-speed are the cheapest though, and I'd like to hear from people who love them and people who hate them.
3. Brands. I see Norco, which is a name I know as good, but also Electra (no idea), Genesis (no idea). Is there a name you trust for an affordable but reliable commuter cruiser?