Nuts and Bolts: City
By Scott Stepp
To the cyclist, New York City
offers hundreds of miles of road in wildly varied conditions. Sprawling,
speedy stretches of avenue abound, as well as blocks patched with steel
plates, peppered with potholes, and rippled with uneven pavement. The best
type of bike for getting around on the street can vary from block to block. A
few strengths and weaknesses of three of the most popular types of bike on the
street are listed below.
Mountain bikes' fat tires, long frame and (if you can afford them) suspension
shocks help smooth a bumpy ride. Heavy treads, though, slow the tires down.
You can replace them with slick tires, but you'd still get there much faster
on a road bike.
Road bikes are unmatched for speed because of skinny, hard tires, a larger
wheel radius, and more speed-oriented gearing and frame geometry. The ride is
rougher than a mountain bike, though.
Cruisers are generally inexpensive and widely available used. Sine most
cruisers have coaster brakes and few gears, they're also easy to maintain.
Cruisers are less likely to be stolen than flashier road and mountain bikes.
They're also heavy and slow, making them bad getaway vehicles.