I’ve been trying to get a good friend of mine back into riding, though it hasn’t been easy. She’s got a beautiful Bianchi road bike with carbon fork and carbon rear triangle, but the speed and handling of the bike are a bit too much for her to feel comfortable on our pothole-laden urban roads. I took the bike to our local shop and had them swap out her road bars with straight bars and yesterday she got on it and giggled like a child. “I forgot how good it feels to have the wind in your face,” she said after her first ride on the modified bike.
What wouid have been better would have been starting off with a bike like the new Specialized Source, which comes in either this derailleured version or with a belt drive. Disc brakes, fenders, a bell, a dyno-powered light—this is a serious commuter or a serious fun bike, and it looks like you could kick the shit out of it commuting too and not take a beating.
For my money the belt-drive version is the one to have though not terribly practical here in the hilly suburbs of New York. This is the sort of mixed-modal rides we’re looking to see come out of companies over the next few years.