I am getting sick of the godawful noise and stench of cars, and that my life relies upon the attention, IQ and goodwill of the common driver. Maybe I do not find the idea of going home to Ontario to 80km limit roads people drive 110km, which do not have paved shoulders.
I'm still well into commuting by bike... I am well finished with any notion of distance road biking in Ontario:What I have written about the bikes I'll buy keeps changing, not least because the J-wife doesn't think three-thousand a year on a new bikes is reasonable... Also because we're paying for a 'container' (actually a portion) to take all kinds of shit home in a year, so my road bike and fixed gear go back with me and won't be replaced as I'd planned.
- few paved shoulders
- fuckwit drivers
- straight paved roads
- safer 'rail trails' are dead straight and without hills
- uninteresting scenery
- 'roadies' are dicks
So here's my totally biased opinion, and plan, about which bikes to have in Toronto or N.American cities. Let's assume you are an aggressive cyclist, but not drinking all the kool-aid of any one camp. All frames steel. Don't even ask (see comments - someone did). I am listing the bikes from most to least useful, for a confident rider. You may not agree. That's cool.
A fixed gear for commuting: nothing better for navigating busy traffic. With brakes, fool.
A road bike, because you probably already have one, and sometimes you want a long ride on paved roads.
A 'gravel grinder', because sometimes the roads are rough, but not singletrack. These bikes can be anything from a touring bike to a randonneuring bike to a CX bike, but have to take tires wider than 32mm, with slower steering than the twitchier cousin the 'road bike'. You can use this on 'rail trails' to get away from cars; you can use it in the city on bad pavement; you can use it on gravel roads. If your tires are semi-slick down the centre, and knobby on the sides, this is the single most versatile bike.
If you have a brood, or the need to haul groceries or other, there are plenty of 'cargo bikes', but only the
Kona Ute comes at a reasonable price, in more than one frame size (well, two) and is not so large so you may still have some hope in hell of transporting it by vehicle.
If you're going to get a 'mountain bike', get a 29er so nothing can stop you. And why not go for 'passive-suspension', so there're no hydraulics to maintain? Maybe someday I will take a long off-road tour! And why not get tires with a big footprint, to 'keep the rubber side down' and rides in anything from sand to mud to snow? Seems like there's just one answer...
Most people could get by with any one to three of the first three bikes. One or two of the others of the first three are bonus. I already own all of the first three. I'm only looking to get two more... Will need to rent/buy a place with a garage I can secure...