Loving & Living with Bicycles

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I just spent a few minutes following a social media conversation where a newcomer to the city asked what’s the best way to secure their bike outside their home rather that bring indoors. The comments were a resounding “do NOT lock up outside overnight. Bring your bike inside!” I agree with this wholeheartedly. The only exception being some cargo bikes. Their weight and width can be prohibitive to bringing into the house. But I’ll save that conversation for another time.

You love riding your bike so why not learn to love having it in your home. I’ve heard way too many people scoff at the idea of bringing a bike in the house: it’s dirty, not enough space, it looks ugly, my partner doesn’t want it inside. Valid excuses perhaps. Unfortunately, bike theft is a reality. It can happen anytime of day but the most opportune time to steal a bike is at night when no one’s awake or around. Storing it on a balcony or in backyard or gated passage way is not a good idea either unless you have it locked down like it’s Fort Knox. The safest storage solution will always be to bring your bike inside. Sometimes this means getting a little creative, rearranging furniture or re-purposing a room or underutilized space to make room for the bike.

bike hanging

 

Have tall ceilings? Store them on the ceiling with a pulley system. Or hang vertically and perpendicular on a wall. Maybe you never actually eat in your dining room. Make it  your bike garage instead.

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Try looking at your bike as a piece of sculpture. The shelf/bike display above is ingenious. It not only keeps it out of the way but elevates the status of the bike to a work of art. And it works for any style of bike frame (step-over or step-through.) That cat looks pretty cool too.

bike in dining area

The set up above of the living/dining room is pretty typical of a Philadelphia row home or apartment. Here again the one bike hung up and flush against the wall becomes a piece of art while there is room for another bike on the floor against the wall.

Their are a myriad of ways to store your bike in your home. For some other ideas check out our Bicycle Storage page on Pinterest. And if you absolutely must lock your bike outside, consider installing an ABUS Granit Floor Anchor and a heavy duty ABUS lock. Once the ground anchor is in place it’s pretty impossible to remove so renters check with your landlords first. While using a heavy motorcycle chain or u-lock will minimize your chances of theft, because of their heft you may want to get a lighter weight lock for when you’re on the road. A shop favorite is the ABUS Bordo 6000. It folds up compactly, is mountable to your bike frame, and has the flexibility of a chain lock with the rigidity of a u-lock. You’ll want to secure your wheels too with either an additional lock or wheel locks. Also, it’d be a good idea to cover your bike, one to protect it from the elements and two to make it less noticeable.

Just remember no bike lock is infallible. Securing your bike with a better than average lock, locking it correctly, and bringing indoors as much as possible are the best ways to keep your bike for a very long time.

https://www.transportcycle.com/

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Urban Arrow Family Cargo Bike

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From the land where bicycles out number people and automobiles politely give way to cyclists comes the Urban Arrow Family cargo bike. This electric pedal assist bakfiets or box bike could change your life. Created in the Netherlands but enjoyed by folks around the globe, the UA Family is that bike you get because you want to get rid of your car, because you know there’s a more efficient and practical way to get you and your family around town.

Ok, I know what you’re thinking: that couldn’t possibly happen here! Where are the cars and why aren’t the kids wearing helmets? You think the Netherlands is anomaly, that they’ve always been a bike-centric country. But that’s not really true. While they certainly have had a love of the bicycle since the 1890s (just like us) it wasn’t until the early 1970s when they realized that a car-centric society was the wrong path. They saw that cars were polluting, endangering lives, and simply not getting anyone anywhere quickly with all the traffic jams. That’s when they decided to change their world. And it didn’t happen overnight. I won’t go on about the Dutch and cycling but if you want to know more about that story you should read Melissa & Chris Bruntlett’s book, Building the Cycling City: the Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality. It’s an eye-opener and truly inspiring.

Even the family bakfiets cargo bike is a relatively new idea. It evolved from the utilitarian freight carrying bike the long-john.

Long_John

So you agree that the bicycle as transportation is the way to go. Your next question is probably, “do I really need an electric motor?” Well you don’t necessarily but here’s why it makes a lot of sense. No pain no gain might be the reason one rides a bike for fitness but your not getting this bike for sweaty workout, your getting it for practical reasons. And don’t worry, you still need to pedal the bike for it to move. These are big bikes that are heavier than a standard bike. A bakfiets on flat roads rides easily enough and adding weight to the bike actually improves the handling but on longer trips and where you encounter hills that electric assist motor will make your ride a LOT easier. Easier equals more enjoyable. Since it’s not always easy to convince people of this, we encourage them to test ride the Urban Arrow Family. Take it for a weekend to get a real world experience.

https://www.transportcycle.com/

 

 

Zig-zagging through the city streets on an Xtracycle Edgerunner Swoop

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Congratulations! You’ve finally come to the conclusion that a cargo bike will benefit you and your family in a big way.  Once you came to the realization that driving a car is neither cost effective (insurance, fuel, maintenance, tickets, etc.) nor time effective (traffic and parking) the decision wasn’t difficult. Now the question is what kind of cargo bike and if you should get one with electric assist or not.

Let us introduce you to the Xtracycle Edgerunner Swoop long tail cargo bike. Because of the size of this bike it can be a little intimidating at first to some people. But after one test ride the first comment we often hear is “It feels just like a regular bike!” Comfort and ease of riding go a long way in making your cargo bike choice. Other pluses, it’s not too heavy for it’s size. It’s easy enough to lift up a couple steps if you want to store it inside your house. It’s extremely stable when carrying a couple kids and/or stuff because of the 20″ rear wheel in the back that brings the center of gravity down low. And the low step through frame makes it easy to hop on and off the seat.

Now for the bigger question: should you get it with an electric assist motor? In cities like Philadelphia where the terrain is pretty flat e-assist isn’t crucial. But just because there aren’t any hills in the center of town doesn’t mean you wouldn’t want to consider going electric. If you’re riding across and around town a lot, fully loaded, an electric boost can make all the difference. Because this bike is a little heavier than one with out a motor, having it on the lowest setting makes it feel “normal.” Up the power a notch and riding five miles seems effortless. Nudge the power some more and hills are barely noticeable. While the price can give many sticker shock compared to a car, even a used one, it’s much more affordable (remember the added costs associated with owning and driving an automobile.) Plus, the bike is built to last and the Bosch motor is reliable and easy for a certified mechanic to maintain.

Which ever way you go, all the Xtracycle add-ons will allow you to configure the bike the way it will work best for you. Read more about customizing your Xtracycle here.

  • Super-stable and comfortable to ride.
  • Easy to mount and dismount even with kids or groceries on the back.
  • Available as a human-powered mechanical cargo bike or with the powerful and efficient Bosch electric-assist drive system.
  • Fits a wide range of riders.
  • Customizable and built to grow with you for life.
  • Fun, yes, but also life-changing.
  • Built to last—a very long time.

Come to the shop to test ride both the Xtracycle Edgerunner Swoop and eSwoop and let us order one for you. Or, don’t even wait. Our in stock bikes are ready to ride home. And until December 23rd all new, not already reduced in price, in-stock bikes are 10% off!

https://www.transportcycle.com/

 

 

Bicycle Profile: Pure Cycles Coaster

You need a bike but you don’t want it to be too complicated and you don’t want to spend too much money. That bike exists. Pure Cycles’ single speed coaster brake bike is cycling at it’s simplest. No gears, let your legs decide how hard you want to ride. No hand brakes, push back on the pedals to stop. Just like the bike you had as a kid. Easy and minimal, all packaged up in a cool retro-y look. It’s available in three sizes and several color combos. Don’t see the size or color you want on our website or at the store? Let us order it for you.

https://www.transportcycle.com/

Junto: Philadelphia’s E-Bike

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You know and we know that riding a bike is fun. Some people, though, will disagree. Wait……..whaaaaat?? Hard to believe but it’s true. They think it’s exhausting, they don’t like to sweat, and that getting up hills is impossible. Well, naysayers, let Junto change your mind about cycling. Junto is Philadelphia’s premier e-bike, designed with love in our fair city.  If you’ve never ridden an electric assist bicycle you are in for fun when you test ride a Junto.  The bike “combines the mountain bike stability with a touring bike utility” and with a range of 30 to 60 miles (depending on your setting) urbanites and suburbanites can commute in and out of the city with ease and dependability.  AND can conquer those menacing hills without braking a sweat. How is that possible?!

“Junto E-bikes use state-of-the-art torque sensors that know exactly when you’re working hard, and intuitively add power in seamless cooperation with your effort for a super-human-feeling ride.”

That’s how.

We have all three size options of Junto E-Bikes in the shop for test rides and for rent.

https://www.transportcycle.com/

 

 

New rental bike fleet

Friends in from out of town? Why not show them the city via bicycle. We’ve just revamped our rental fleet with these good looking and practical bikes from Pure Cycles. All are three speed, plenty of gears for flat Philly streets. There’s the step-over Bourbon and step-through Elliot in various sizes. A bike to fit everyone. In the market for a new bike? We sell the Pure Cycles city bikes. Rent one for the afternoon to get a better idea of how the bike will feel. We know you’ll love it. And we’ll deduct the rental fee from the sales price. We know you’ll love it.

https://www.transportcycle.com/

Sac it to me: carrying goodies on your bike with style

Back in stock and just in time for bike riding season, an armful or two of Linus Sacs. These bright color-blocked pannier tote bags are made of wax coated canvas to shed water and come with a shoulder strap and small security lock. We think they just scream summer.  If you stick your head in the bag you can almost hear the roar of ocean waves. We don’t recommend you do that but we do recommend you clip it to the rear rack on your bicycle. Don’t have a rack AND looking for a new bike? Many Linus bike models like the Dutchi three speed come equipped with a rear rack. Rack and bike problem solved.

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https://www.transportcycle.com/