Wednesday, July 21

Dutch Treat

Friendly Mechanic Installs the Topeak Rack
We Paid MUCH Less than that Price Tag
While I can hardly be accused of being a fanatical, obsessive, extreme Dutch bike advocate, I recognize their usefulness, utility, and rider-friendly aspect. What I didn’t fully realize was that our family contained a subversive element that coveted these bikes that are very unlike my own. We're talking crazy bikes, with their non-drop handlebars, their pedals with no shoe retention, and those severely down-sloped top tubes, not to mention kickstands with multiple legs.

Well, a step through bike, inspired by Dutch and Roadster bikes now resides at our house. My eldest daughter, Erin, is a happy camper. I have to admit the bike, the “Simple City 8” by Gary Fisher (owned by Trek), DOES have a certain charm. One thing that puzzles me is why this bike, unlike the Civia Loring, and other competition, gets little attention from those that follow practical, short-range utility bikes closely. It is a modern incarnation of the traditional roadster such as those that are ubiquitous throughout the world. What's more, it is well thought-out, well constructed, and available almost everywhere.

  • Drivetrain – Shimano Alfine 8-speed internal hub with chainguard
  • Double-leg kickstand
  • Front basket and matching fenders
  • Attractive grips and matching unsprung saddle
  • An out-the-door price between half and 2/3 that of the competition

  • No lighting provisions
  • No matching rear rack
  • No integrated cupholders
  • No integrated lock or anti-theft wheel nuts
  • No bell
First Test Ride - I Thought the Rider Was Headed for Mexico!
This bike does roll very nicely. I think my daughter made a wise choice. When she’s away, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the saddle get raised and the bike visit local coffee joints – just so I can be sure everything mechanical is working right. Maybe we’re turning Dutch just a little, but I’ll be DARNED if I’ll wear those wooden shoes! Anybody know where you can get a full chaincase for a Gary Fisher Simple City bike? Personally, I think Fisher deserves credit for thinking out of the mainstream bike box.

No Fancy Cycle Shoes in THIS Shot!
Bike is Entirely Stock Except for the Topeak Rear Rack


Rat Trap Press said...

Cool bike! I like the Fisher city bikes and I've heard nothing but good things about the Alfine hubs. Your daughter made a good choice. Velo-Orange sells chainguards. You might also check the SKS stuff.

twister said...

That is a nice bike, very attractive and it looks like a wonderful way to pedal up to the local coffee bar on a summer evening after the sun has set. She should learn safe locking techniques from her father, it would be a shame to have to buy it again.

cycler said...

Funny- it seemed like everywhere I went earlier this week I saw one of these. (near work, at the grocery store, next to the library) It was like it was stalking me. (although the one that was stalking me was grey and cream). Something about the proportions are just very eye catching

It's too bad that Trek is folding the Gary Fisher brand, because I'm afraid they'll lose their particular viewpoint and become just another bike. And it is funny that they don't get a lot of hype- I think they were a little ahead of their time.

Kudos to Lisa for getting the bike she wanted, it's a lovely one!

cycler said...

Why can't I edit this thing! Erin, not Lisa. not sure what I was thinking.

Anyway- ERIN Hope you love your bike! I'm sure it will give you many miles of happiness!

Apertome said...

Very cool! I see one of these parked outside work frequently, it seems like a very nice bicycle. I think you answered your own question. The people who are into Civia bikes think the Fisher is just a toy, because it's inexpensive. To me, that just makes it more practical ...

Tracy W said...

Cool! I'm like you. I have no use for one personally, but it's nice to see people out on them. Every little bit (or every new rider) helps us all!

dickdavid said...

That's a really good looking bike.

Chuck Davis said...

In the same vein, juan of the more attractive and functional bikes I saw at InterBike last year was the Soma Buena Vista

Chris Cameron at the Ortlieb/Tubus booth showed off his gf's Beuna Vista

Chuck Davis, Tulsa

Steve A said...

The Soma IS a very attractive bike; albeit quite a bit more than the Fisher. BTW, the Simple Cities are getting closed out now, so there are some very attractive prices. None on eBay or Amazon, however.

whareagle said...

I've logged several hundred hours on mine, and my wife and I love these bikes. They do what they're advertised to do, and you can add panniers to the back and sides. I've had more fun riding these bikes all over Dallas, and get more waves and smiles, that sometimes I wonder if the type of bike alone couldn't go a long way towards improving awareness and attitudes out on the road.

Steve A said...

Of course, the little dog riding in the basket doesn't hurt, either...

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