Times Promotes Beater Bikes, Misses Some Downsides
The Times is informing its public that they can get bikes for $50 or less if they're willing to buy from street and flea market vendors. While it's nice that they acknowledge the existence of readers who cannot afford a Trek ("Up to $2800 Off Select 2009 Madone and Fuel Ex Models"), and acknowledge that a competently overhauled bike will ride better than a piece of junk bought from a skeeve, they fail to mention that many low-priced street bikes are the bicycle repairman's best friend, and will sooner than later require a new chain, axels, brakes, etc., till one has spent a few times over the original cost of the vehicle in modifications, as we have with our Schwinn Varsity. Also, it is left to the commenters to mention that many street bikes are stolen (60,000 get swiped every year in the city), an indignity to which even journalists are not immune, and which has been the subject of many flyer campaigns on Bedford Avenue.
Nonetheless we are happy the Times hipped us to Bike Snob NYC ("now that the sheltered bike lanes of New York have their own bike-specific traffic signals, cyclists get the opportunity to awkwardly disregard two red lights for the price of one"), and will treasure it always.
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