The first shop I chose to visit was District Hardware - The Bike Shop near Foggy Bottom and GW University. I called Friday about testing a Public Bikes step-through bicycle. I've been eyeing the C7 model, but the M8 was the bike in stock.
|Public Bikes M8|
My next stop was BicycleSPACE near Mount Vernon Square and across from the Convention Center. I planned to test ride a Linus Dutchi 8, but what was on the floor was a Dutchi 3. Eh, it should handle the same as the 8, just minus five extra gears, I supposed. The ride itself was pleasant enough, but not as smooth as the Public. I was surprised by how high up I was on this bike. I could see over the tops of vans and SUVs. I think I was seated higher than I am in the Highlander!
|Linus Bikes Dutchi 3|
The last stop on my bike shop tour was City Bikes in Adams Morgan. I've wanted to test a Globe Daily 3 Step-Through for ages. While Spokes, Etc could order one for me, since they're a Specialized dealer, none of the stores have had a model on the floor. But this store had eight of them! Choirs of angels sang. Well, at least until I got to the shop. There was a medium Daily 2 step-through and a small Daily 1 step-through. The guy "helping" me decided that the Daily 2 was too big for me (without adjusting the seat down for me and despite my Ariel being a large. Instead he set me up on the single speed, small Daily 1 and told me to follow the bike lane down the street, turn right, turn right again, and ride back up a hill that I'd just pushed my 21-speed Ariel up.
"You want me ride up that hill on a single speed bike?" I asked, incredulous. "It'll handle it," he replied. "Watch out for traffic and don't fall."
|Globe Daily 1|
Okay. Now, I recognize that letting this go on so long is partially my fault because I was being too polite instead of telling him to stuff it and demanding he retrieve my license and credit card from the register. In fact, I should have demanded those the moment I asked him if we could go back into the shop while he was explaining "metal welds" because my skin was burning and he said that I should have put on sunscreen (I don't ride without at least SPF 45, by the way)... But again, too polite. He then rang up another customer before giving back my ID and card. So. Not only can I NOT recommend a Globe Daily, I DO NOT recommend the Adams Morgan City Bikes.
So. I didn't get to ride the bikes I've been looking at online, but I got to ride what I think are fairly decent analogs. I resumed lusting over the Public Bikes C7 until I realized that the handlebar backsweep is a different angle from the M8 and the C7 has a rear derailleur unlike the M8's internal hub. Now I just need to find a Civia dealer so I can test a Twin City Step-Through. There's supposed to be a dealer near the French Quarter and I'm going to New Orleans this weekend...
(Impression of the Civia Twin City is here.)