Blame it on the Bossa Nova

or maybe the neighbor. My wife had a perfectly serviceable bike. She’d won it in a raffle. With a steel step-through frame, matching steel fenders, and a kickstand, it was ready for anything…but was a bit of a tank.

It was Bike-O-Rama, the big bike sale that takes up a large building on the fairgrounds. Several major manufacturers would be represented. We took a quick look at a couple of websites first and had an idea of some bikes to look at. I suggested an e-bike might be appropriate and was quickly shot down. No way.

We got to the sale with two parameters: the bike was to have a lower step-over height (the old one while having a step-through frame, had double down tubes and that gave her some trouble) and be lighter than the 33 pounds of the old bike.

We tried a couple of bikes. While the sales clerk went to make an adjustment on one (it had an adjustable stem and someone had tightened it way too tight so he couldn’t adjust it), he suggested we check out a few more on our own. Since my wife had been pretty wobbly when she mounted the bikes, I suggested a trike. She tried that and it was quickly rejected. Then we ran into our neighbor.

While I was returning the trike to the next room, the neighbor was presenting her sales pitch.

When I got back, the parameters had changed. The next test ride was on an e-bike. By the time we walked out, they were twins – the same bike, same rack, handlebar-mounted water bottle cages (since there were no bottle bosses on the frame and the battery is in the downtube) – and we were nearly $3K lighter and 40 pounds heavier. The frame is easier to step through and has a small horizontal reinforcing tube just above the bottom bracket. I soon discovered that tube is actually a lifting handle. Without it, it would have been a wrestling match to get it into the van. It was still a match, but at least I won. It is a very tall bike so took some doing to get it through the doorway.

I guess it’s time for the women to ride their new e-bikes together, and the men to find a tour to take their old bikes on; after all, we’re two of the four in the group picture that sometimes tops this column. 😉