Every kind has its advantages and disadvantages, and every rider’s needs are different too.
It’s that time of year when people are buying stuff for going back to school, and for many, a bike is on the list. But there are so many kinds of bikes; what’s the best, particularly if one is riding in the city? In our family, we have had just about every kind of bike, so this review is going to show a fair bit of personal bias; your needs might be different.
This is where it all started for many people, with bikes modelled after racing bikes. I rode this Norco for close to 25 years after buying it for fifty bucks at a police auction and it rarely let me down.
PRO: Light and fast. The riding position keeps the low profile against the wind, so there is less resistance. You get the most out of your riding effort.
CON: Not very good for carrying stuff; you really feel the weight if you put stuff in the carrier. The riding position can get painful, and the pressure on the narrow seats can cause, um, problems. The riding position can limit visibility. The narrow tires can get stuck in all kinds of things, from sewers to streetcar tracks. Clipping into pedals can be dangerous in the city; I once had a pedestrian walk right in front of me, I slammed on the brakes and fell over on my side, unable to unclip in time. Terrible in winter on snow and ice. Lots of flat tires.
Also, as I moved from travelling in the road with cars to being in bike lanes, I discovered that you really don’t want to go so fast. it is more important to go with the flow. I became less and less comfortable riding the road bike in the city.