Sweet Bikes

I’ve always been different from other girls…

Sweet Bikes

So perhaps I have a different perspective. I’m planning to replace my everyday commuter bike this year and I’ve been test riding several bikes to feel out my options. However some of them seem to be marketed to some other audience…

Sweet Bikes

Yet sales people seem eager to push me in this direction as if there’s no doubt this is what I’m looking for. After all, I’m a girl, right?

I like cupcakes, but I don’t intend to ride one around the city. However, if I could somehow get a bike with this personality:

Sweet Bikes

Now that would be a sweet bike.

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  • Wandering Woman on Wheels May 24, 2012   Reply →

    I am so with you on this! When I went to look at bikes last year, they tried to sell me a “girl bike”, but once I spoke to the Sales Manager, he immediately “got it” and showed me something more my speed (21 speeds, to be exact!). Which is why he got the sale there on South St.

    That being said, in the hot, humid weather coming, I will, on occasion, be wearing a dress…over my new gel bike shorts!

    I’m glad you tagged the pannier as “able to handle weight in the rear” and not “able to handle junk in the trunk”. 😉

  • Sheilia Scott May 24, 2012   Reply →

    YES ! A VERY sweet bike ! ‘WAY sweeter than cupcakes !

  • Ron W May 24, 2012   Reply →

    I’m going to be the radical dissenter here and cast a vote in favor of “Sex Kitten Posture”.

    Why are sales people in bike shops so unwilling to listen to what the customer says they want?

  • Sean May 24, 2012   Reply →

    Have you checked out Linus Mixte’s? Very fun bikes to ride with lots of personality!

    Love your site!

  • Dan K May 24, 2012   Reply →

    Note to bicycle manufacturers: begin styling and naming your bikes based on spirit animals.

  • JP Gal May 24, 2012   Reply →


  • Sarah May 24, 2012   Reply →

    You should check out the Soma Buena Vista mixte! I have one and it is definitely more along the lines of the panther! I have mine built with an 8-speed internal hub but it is pretty common for people to build it as a singlespeed. It’s light and responsive and fast, but still feels city/transportation-bike-ish rather than road bike-ish. I love mine – I got it in Feb. 2011 and still feel so happy every time I get on it!

    • Dave May 24, 2012  

      I’ve seen that Soma mixte frame in person, and I have to say, it is quite a looker, and seems pretty solid, too.

    • Keith May 24, 2012  

      Oo, those Buena Vista builds I just googled are niiice…

    • cyclotourist May 25, 2012  

      I was going to mention the BV built up as a singlespeed with drops.
      Would be a sexy panther of a bike!

    • somervillebikes May 31, 2012  

      My wife has a Soma BV, also built up with an 8-speed internal hub, but definitely built up more as a city/transport bike than a fast road bike (it may not be a “cupcake” but it can easily carry a box of them!). But the frame is very versatile and can be built up as a really light and quick bike!


    • Erin B May 31, 2012  

      I’ve said it before… I love the way you build up that bike! I would have picked the white frame, but I still love the components you used.

  • Vocus Dwabe May 24, 2012   Reply →

    Here in England the cycle trade lumps all female-oriented bikes and accessories together under the contemptuous heading “Pink Stuff”.

    Often in front of women customers.

  • Erin B May 24, 2012   Reply →

    Sadly, the gender stereotype people would say something like: That girl has a kitty cat bike!

  • cycler May 24, 2012   Reply →

    I dunno, I have a pretty relaxed geometry bike, and I don’t think it stops me from exerting myself if I want to, nor do I think it puts me in a sex kitten position. Not unless you consider sitting upright as if in a chair to be a sex kitten position :)
    It’s not a race bike, but I’m rarely racing to get to work!

    I do think it’s possible to have a upright position bike that’s not accessorized in a super girly way, and that that’s a good option to have available. Not everyone wants to ride a panther in traffic, but as long as you do, it’s good to have that option.

  • Dan May 24, 2012   Reply →

    And that’s how I became a framebuilder. The desire to own a very specific bike.

    • Claude May 25, 2012  

      Dan, I’m not a framebuilder (yet!), but I can totally relate to that sentiment!

  • Julie May 24, 2012   Reply →

    As much as I love the comedy of the drawings (cause let’s face it, they’re awesome!) I will never get the idea of using a road-bike for inner city commuting. It seems so wrong. ‘Sex kitten posture’ gives you a much better view over the traffic, and lets you keep an eye out for the traffic, rather than being curled up in your own little world of your bike.
    Which tyres survives the ever ongoing and horrifically annoying potholes the best – The thin tyres of a road bike or the fat tyres of a dutch styled bike?
    And then I’ll cite Michael from Copenhagenize – “Dress for the destination, not the ride”. To me it seems like the only sensible way to get around within the city, no distance within the city (London, in my case) will be long enough to have to put on special cycling gear. I get it if you have to travel 15 km or more for your daily commute, but anything less than that could easily be done in a dress and heels (if you’re more of a jeans and tshirt type of girl, that actually works out very well also – who knew!) – if your bike allows for that sort of action. And with the poor infrastructure of most cities located anywhere away from Denmark or the Netherlands, the speed by which you can actually drive on your bike within the city will never really peak enough for you to get sweatty – the constant traffic jams, cars parked on the bike lanes, red lights, etc. will keep you at a speed where a pretty little dress will do you just as good.
    Personally I wouldn’t know how to survive without my dutch style bike with its big wicker baskets and easy rideability. It get’s me from A to B on my daily commute much easier than any other bike I’ve ever owned. Only downside will be the weight when carrying up the stairs to my flat, but people could choose a more lightweight edition than my 25 kg green monster, that’s for sure!
    Before I moved to London I would have two bikes, one road bike and an urban dutch style bike, because if you do travel more than 50 km in a day, it gets a little heavy on a dutch style bike, I must agree on that. Although the other day I did a big bunch of errands on my dutch styled bike, which ended up at a total of more than a 100 km in a day, but because it was still city cycling it was actually great.

    That be said, all of the above could apply to men as well – I know nothing better than seeing a dapper man in tweed cruising next to me on this green retro Pashley. Oh, se THAT get’s my heat pumping :) A man all dressed up in cycling gear with a brand new carbon bike makes cycling look hard, unachievable and expensive – nothing I would wish to portray cycling as :)

  • Phil Miller May 24, 2012   Reply →

    They are way on the other side of the country. But their gallery contains what I think you are looking for, and their blogs describe what they were solving for. Select the ones closest to your desire, and take it to a local frame builder – you have so many to choose from in Boston! – like RH Cycles, or call Sweetpea.
    Epic Wheels in Portland makes awesome wheels, and if you get a complete bike from Portland, you should spec out her wheels.

    • el Timito May 24, 2012  

      I gave my sweetie the Sweetpea “A-Line” for her birthday a couple years back, and now she’s my fiance’e!

      She really likes the mixte frame for all her stylish outfits, but she’s a steel-willed biking gal if ever there was one. The bike has a nice balance of upright posture, but lightweight and ready to roll.

      (Myself, I ride the family station Xtracycle to work most days. Great for bringing home the kitty litter.)

  • Opus the Poet May 24, 2012   Reply →

    I’m a big fan of the crank forward upright posture also. That is the way Blue is set up, with a pair of 40 pound capacity kitty litter buckets bolted to the rack for cargo capacity. Also a set of huge polished stainless steel fenders to keep the muck off my legs. I was able to quit shaving my legs when shorts weather came because I quit having to treat all those little cuts in my legs from trash that was picked up and thrown from the front tire. Of course all this hanging off the bike and the upright posture means I have a cruise speed of barely 15 MPH on a good day, and I plan trips based on a 10 MPH average speed with stops.

  • Saddle Americana May 24, 2012   Reply →

    As always, great illustrations, and I love the characterizations of the different bikes! As far as I’m concerned, anything by Surly is a solid bet for a bike that is practical, well built, and intended to be used on a regular basis. Give them a try—plus, since most of their stuff is sold as frames only, you can build it up however you’d like.

  • Kara May 24, 2012   Reply →

    Yup, I like you. Another awesome post!

  • Scr33d May 24, 2012   Reply →

    Instantly reminded me of this:
    “He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat.” (Manhattan(1979))

  • Steve May 24, 2012   Reply →

    Another mixte option: the She-Devil from Handsome Cycles: http://www.handsomecycles.com/bicycles/she_devil.php.

    Like the Soma Buena Vista, it’s available as a frame-set only, but that just makes it easier build it up (or have it built up) just the way you like it.

  • Erin B May 25, 2012   Reply →

    Snort! Actually, that comment originally came from my three year old daughter who wants a kitty cat bike too!

  • MK May 26, 2012   Reply →

    It’s hard to find bikes with just the right combo of upright posture for looking around in city commuting with some lean forward so I feel like I’m pedaling more efficiently and have some go-fast. I think I’m looking for a unicorn bike: lustrous, pearly, and doesn’t actually exist except in my imagination.

    • Claude May 27, 2012  

      I similarly love riding with drops, whether on the top flats, corners, hoods or drop parts, but I’ve been test-riding bikes with upright handlebars like North Roads and Albatross and, though they give you a completely different riding attitude, I’d like that option once in a while.
      So, I’m now looking into supplementing my drops with handlebar extensions installed on the outside of the top flat area of my drop bars, just at the start of the corners, so they extend back toward me, approximating the feel and functionality of an upright riding position. Has anyone tried that?

    • dr2chase May 27, 2012  

      Other choice is to get V-O Montmartre, and put hoods on them: http://dr2chase.wordpress.com/2009/09/21/goldilocks-and-the-three-bars/

      Or maybe find a way to add those bars (pretty narrow) to your existing setup. Perhaps something like this: http://sheldonbrown.org/thorn/index.html

    • traffic cyclist May 28, 2012  
    • Claude May 28, 2012  

      Wow! What a collection! Not sure whether to be impressed or a little scared…

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