CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Interesting bicycles, some electric, one like a retro motorcycle

All of the bikes in this video are way out of my budget but it is interesting to see some of the modern bicycle designs. As for me, I still occasionally pedal along on my classic Schwinn cruiser I got for Christmas as a kid in 1968. It has one gear, pedal. And coaster brakes. :slightly_smiling_face:

I think I should have the three wheel or more variety. The last bike trip we took the wife gave up about a mile from home and couldn’t go any farther. I had to go home and get the trailer to haul her bike back. So they’ve been hanging in the garage ever since.

When I was a kid I had a winter bike and I used to tie rope on the wheels for traction in the snow. Oh to be kids again.

1 Like

I’ve been into bicycles since the 1970s, tried my first electric bike at a sports rental place in a resort town in northern Wisconsin last summer. It was a Specialized brand, about $4,000. Wow. I can see myself owning one in the not so distant future, now that I am 70. Meanwhile I still buy and repair and sell bikes and have about 3 or 4 keepers for my own use.

1 Like

$4000 huh? I think I’ll pass. I paid $90 in 1970 for the bike I used for commuting and still have it hanging in the garage. Perfectly good but need new unrotted tires. Then I bought a Corvair for $125 which was better in the rain and snow. I think I paid $250 for the bike for the wife, but it’s nicer. Maybe it’s time though for that $500 mini bike at Ace? Two can ride at the same time and it has a motor (IC so needs oil changes), fun.

1 Like

I also have a ten-speed bike I got talked into getting a few years ago. I’ve never liked it nearly as well as my old cruiser. For one thing, I don’t like hand brakes; my arthritic hands don’t like squeezing the hand brakes and, frankly, I’ve never gotten the hang of using them without darn near flying over the handlebars. I like my old bike’s coaster brake. :grin: (Except the time as a kid when the brake failed on a steep hill and I had to do a controlled lay it down on its side crash landing to avoid running uncontrolled in front of an oncoming car in an intersection. :roll_eyes:) I’m planning to probably sell the ten-speed.

Since my first stroke my lack of balance prevents me from riding a bike, but if I could, it would be a Schwinn cruiser.

1 Like

Still riding my 10 speed I bought in 78, had it customized, went to the bike store a few years ago looking to upgrade, min $600 then up. Guy is like your nishiki is a classic like you, aluminum frames will never hold up like yours, keep it. Did a paint job, polished the chrome and on we go. Had some guy buying my triumph motorcycle that saw the bike rims for sew up tires I used to use for racing for the bike, he bought those also, not like I will be spending the money on sew up tires anyway. Nice Campagnolo hubs, the guy had an eye. He also bought the art deco type light from my 65 sea ray boat, an old fuji bike and my daughters Yamaha with a seized engine. Glad to be rid of the stuff.

Had to look up what sew up tires are. Learned something new! :slightly_smiling_face::+1:

Sew up tires. It is like an all in one tire that you glue onto the rim. 110 lb psi I think. Saved weight for the rim and tire, the best tires were actually silk thread.

1 Like

Interesting bicycles, some electric, one like a retro motorcycle

I have 7 bicycles here in FL and 7 at my northern outpost. (I usually ride an older GT 21 speed there).

Here, I ordinarily ride a 700c Giant Transend EX every day, going 15 to 25 miles, occasionally a 35 mile ride. My wife rides a 700c Specialized Cross Town, but goes a little slower and stays closer to home, but we’re working on that. Those bikes are 24 speed.

5 of the bikes are 20" Dahon aluminum Mariner and Helios models (2 of them here in FL), folding bikes, perfect for condo life where storage space is more limited.

If we want to ride from another location, I can easily place 2 Dahons in the trunk of the Grand Prix without folding down the rear seat and still have room for other things in the trunk. They weigh just over 20 pounds each. These bikes are 8 speed.
Dahons (named for inventor David Hon) are Awesome!


The pioneers and leaders in Folding Bikes since 1982. Small enough to fit under a train seat and big enough to fill your ambitions of freedom.

Here, in a condo storage locker with 2 Dahons, I have two full size 700c Montague Paratrooper folding bikes, 21 or 24 or 27 speed, whatever (I’m not going to look, doesn’t matter). (4 bikes in a small storage locker cage and beach chairs and golf clubs)
Montague bikes are awesome!
“Montague Corporation (commonly referred to as Montague Bikes) is an American company that designs, manufactures, and sells full-size folding bicycles. It is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.”

Anyhow, I use bicycles often, in place of driving a car. They provide fun and exercise and are much easier on my old joints than running and I can cover more ground and see more sights. They carry groceries, too.

From my perspective, I wouldn’t worry too much about whether a bike is a 10 speed, 30 speed, or whatever speed, at all. I can go as fast on a 20" Dahon 8 speed as I can on a 24" full size 700c 24 speed bike and charge up the only hills here, bridges, with any of them.

One does not use all the gears on a bike with multiple sprockets on the front pedal crank and 7 or 8 in back. I stick it in one front one, usually “high” and usually leave it there. I only shift the rear. The Dahons have 8 in the rear and only one in front. It all comes out in the wash, doesn’t matter, trust me.

The Dahons will out accelerate the bigger bikes, but seem to take about 15% to 20% more energy to ride distances (kinetic energy?).

I use a Garmin Bicycle GPS on every ride. I upload the rides when I get home and can view them on google earth. I log them into a book I keep.

There are no E-Bikes in my future, just as there are no power golf carts in my future. I participate for some cardio.

Oh, and speaking of cruisers, beach cruisers are quite popular here.
CSA
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

Are you sure balance issues prevent you from riding? Lots of cycle riders have limitations. Have you searched for “special needs bicycles” or “bicycles for disabilities” ?

Some of these “bicycles” have more than 2 wheels (tri-cycle or quad-cycle).

I see all shapes and forms of human powered vehicles on my bicycle outings. Often the folks on these special “bikes” are riding with folks on conventional looking bikes. Some people with no disabilities or limitations ride very different looking cycles.

I’d talk with somebody at local bike shops. Since some of these modes of transportation are pricey I’d check “Craig’s List” where I see quite a few for sale at very reasonable prices.

There is a young woman on a trike I see going by our condo building nearly every morning and I always say, “Hi”. She doesn’t go fast, but looks like she’s enjoying her ride.
CSA
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

I’ve always been a fan of bicycles. Anything mechanical mind you, but I had a soft spot for bikes early. I did the pedal car thing sure, but its days were very limited and I got onto a bike as soon as possible. After a decade or more of BMX and freestyle I calmed down and now just ride a mountain bike…or beach cruiser…the place dictates the bike you see and i have a bike for every type of place.

Still have my Mongoose BMX (late 70’s)(…My GT Pro BMX (mid to late 80’s)…and many a beach cruiser including my Metallic Green Schwinn Tandem (72’)… I also still have my Uni-Cycle… and several bikes that I have Frankensteined using my welder and many other bikes as cadavers (Think high riding stacked bicycle clown act in any circus) I can also still ride backwards as well… I do this from time to time to stay sharp and freak people out…sitting on the handlebars and pedalling the bike really turns a head or two in this day and age of knee pads and helmets. I would wear a helmet if the speeds and terrain dictate however, but we wont go too deep into my macho ways and leave it at that. I can still recall which day each hole in my shin bones mark and they mark a great many days…days with sharpened Bear Claw pedals and freewheel hubs, 3 piece cranks and a lot of blood. Back then you could tell a serious BMX’er by reading his shin bumps…like braille…my shins still bear those braille marks. Ouch! Only one thing worse than getting “shinned” by those pedals and it involves the top bar of any boys bicycle…I will leave it at that, I’m sure many out there know what I’m talking about. My Lord the number of bikes I’ve loved and known over the years. Still love them…the normal you-pedal bikes…not these electric jobs where you lose the basic tenant of why you are on a bike to begin with…its for exercise and fun…if I don’t want to pedal…I have a selection of motorized 2 wheeled transports to suit any condition should I not want to pedal. Those are called motorcycles.

NOT a fan of anything hubless like the first bike in the pic…it should be called “hopeless” not hubless imho. Many people trying to re imagine the bicycle are just doing it for fun I would think as the bicycle was fairly bare bones to begin with…not that many unnecessary components on a bike usually.

Its a very tall order to try and reinvent the wheel but that doesn’t stop people from trying…

We love our electric bike. I also love my hybrid (non-electric) street bike. I am getting back to bikes after being a convertible car nut. I get some of the same satisfaction. My next bike may be a fast e-bike, sort of like a street-legal dirt bike but without the license and motorcycle helmet requirement.

Specialized was the brand I tried at that resort in northern Wisconsin. The store manager had worked at Trek (based in WI) and had good things to say about them, but said he thought Specialized was the leader of the pack in electrics. Back in the 1970 and 1980s I worked at bicycle shops that sold both those brands.

1 Like

You will wear a bicycle helmet though, right? If you ride on the road, it isn’t a question of if you will be hit, but when. If the e-bikes get up to 40 or more, you might consider the motorcycle helmet anyway.

1 Like

ABSOLUTELY. I’m a safety nut. There is my helmet in the picture in fact. I just don’t want to have to wear a motorcycle helmet. I’m not going to ride my e-dirt-bike on the road anyway.

1 Like

Interesting to see how many of you are bicycle enthusiasts along with your interests in cars and motorcycles, basically fun wheeled vehicles. :slightly_smiling_face:

My first electric bike from 1997:
www.evalbum.com/popupimg.php?4492
Added a Currie kit to a Cannondale touring bike.
Upgraded from lead-acid to nickel metal hydride battery.
Stolen in 2012, so started over with a Schwinn Frontier chrome moly mountain bike, Currie bits, and lithium battery.
Pretty much better in every way than the last project.
Take that lousy thieves!
Ride it to work most days for 8 years (except last month).

Considering an E-Bike (electric bike)?

Weigh (no pun intended :grin: ) that decision very carefully!

I understand that some E-bikes can be pedaled like a conventional bike and a motor is integrated to “assist”. I get that, but why bother assisting?

To me it makes more sense to tough it out and build strength and endurance. Then the assist is not necessary. Leave the motor behind and save weight (on the bike and on you) and become even healthier!

Is speed a factor? Do you need an E-bike because you cover great distances and don’t have time? I can ride a conventional bike fairly fast and a long ways, but if it’s a really long ride, and time is an element, I leave earlier! I consider it an exercise opportunity.

When I see somebody riding an E-bike I figure that they have a disability of some sort, and for those folks they’re great. I’m afraid that some people without any disabilities will consider one for convenience, the same reason they might go to a fast food joint.

I’m afraid too, that with our children and teenagers more out of shape than ever (It is said that many exercise only their thumbs.), and having heart attacks, etcetera, some will be turning to E-bikes.

https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2019-09-19/obesity-in-america-a-guide-to-the-public-health-crisis
" While researchers say the obesity epidemic began in the U.S. in the 1980s, there has been a sharp increase in obesity rates in the U.S. over the last decade. Nearly 40% of all adults over the age of 20 in the U.S. – about 93.3 million people – are currently obese, according to data published in JAMA in 2018. Every state in the U.S. has more than 20% of adults with obesity, according to the CDC…"

“Obesity is a chronic disease. It occurs when an excessive amount of body fat affects a person’s overall health.”

“Obesity occurs when a person takes in more calories than he or she burns through normal daily activities and exercise, according to the Mayo Clinic.”

If you’re not disabled and you can multiply your actual waist measurement by 2 and have that value exceed your height then I’d really hesitate before buying an E-bike.

A healthful diet, practicing portion size control, and getting lots of exercise, are steps in the right direction. Take the stairs, not the elevator and keep turning those pedals! Don’t become a statistic! :biking_man: :biking_woman: :biking_man: :biking_woman: :biking_man: :biking_woman: :biking_man: :biking_woman: :biking_man:
CSA
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

Yesterday morning my wife and I took our bicycles and went island/key hopping, walked our bikes onto a beach and swam in the Gulf. It was a might warm (87* F) and I knew we’d be going slow and therefore riding for a while, so I wore a long sleeve dri-fit shirt to protect my arms from sun and I fashioned a cloth neck cover to hang out the back of my helmet. I really need to order a Da-Brim Sporty today. My wife was proud that she pedaled up each bridge and did not walk her bike.

I let my wife lead and set the pace because she rides much slower than I do and I didn’t want to keep looking behind and waiting. We were only going 9 or 10 mph and it’s amazing what you can see from a bike going slow and looking around.

Crossing over a bridge on a branch of Palma Sola Bay (which we partially circumnavigated) where it cuts into a neighborhood a few miles from home, we spotted spotted turbulence in the calm water. We pulled up and stopped at waters edge and for several minutes watched 3 manatees swimming around and got within just a few feet of these large, 1,000 pound plus, animals. Awesome.

There’s lots to see here, especially from bridges, and I doubt that we would have noticed as much while driving by in a car or any faster vehicle.

My wife was proud because she rode over 22 miles and said her legs weren’t even tired after this exercise and I believe it was her longest ride to date. Now, she’s ready for another ride, perhaps a longer one.

The governor has declared bicycling an “essential activity” and we were happy to do our part.
CSA
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree: