Lately I’ve been wondering about what would happen if I decided to upgrade Florence. I seem to want a bike that doesn’t exist, though.
Rack and fender mounts, front and rear
Long enough chain stays that the rear rack is useful
Steel, with steel fork
Small enough to fit someone 5’3″
Not more than 30 or 35 pounds, built
Pleasant to ride, with good-quality parts (or available frame-only)
At nearly 50 pounds, traditional city bikes are just too heavy. A compact geometry touring bike would work, but they tend to be very over-built to take the loads. I’m not going to run 75 pounds of gear on a regular basis, which means the bike would probably ride like a log wagon. The modern mixte market is very underwhelming, with most of the offerings being at best a similar quality to what I already have.
Yellow. The exact color of a stick of organic butter.
Less than $2500, built. More than that is too hard to lock up and leave. (Significantly less has its own problems.)
Very nice steel
Clearance for wide tires
Girly enough, but not hearts and flowers girly
The price is, as so often happens with bikes, the stickler. I’m sure I could be quite happy with a Co-Motion Nor’Wester Tour, but $3200 is a lot for a grocery-getting bike even if you believe in owning nice bikes. Same is true for a SweetPea A-Line, which is in the same price range, or any number of custom bikes. One price solution is to buy a vintage bike, but my husband (who is my primary bike mechanic) would rather eat our coffee table than do vintage restorations. They also often don’t meet the “must-have” specs with regards to weight.
I’m glad I don’t need this bike for a while. In the meantime I’ll be keeping my eyes open.