One of my close friends and colleagues text messaged me yesterday:
I have something very important to tell you… Related to a bike
Of course, my ears perked up immediately. I had to know more. We chatted, and, apparently, during her recent trip to Peru, she had heard David Byrne speak about bicycles. His presentation inspired her to finally make the purchase. She went on and on about how a bicycle makes you completely independent — you don’t have to pay for gas, be limited by traffic, etc. I was glad that she had finally seen the light. She also flattered me with:
And, I have the perfect friend to help me choose one!
Somehow, I have become the go-to-gal within my female friend circle for any bicycle related matter, and I’m a-O-K with that! I told her that she should come visit me after work, we will have a new bicycle consultation.
First, I wanted to take her to my LBS, Skate Escape, to see what type of bicycle she would be drawn to. She had mentioned wanting to use a bicycle primarily for short trips around town and running errands, such as shopping for groceries. Amid the multitude of cruisers, I was delighted to find that the Schwinn Jenny was the first and only bike in which she took an interest.
Typically, when I hear “Schwinn,” I think of Wal-Mart bikes, with their sub-par componentry, and miss the glory days of fairly decent lugged steel frames such as the Schwinn Le Tour (not to say that I was even alive the time…). The only lugs that I could find on the Schwinn Jenny were on the fork crown.
The Schwinn Jenny, however, seems to be a very aesthetically pleasing throwback design. Something like a remake of an old 70s to 80s model. It even has the iconic “S” embroidered into the sprung saddle.
At $400, being a starter bike, the price point was also very appealing to her. This is the first time I had even encountered this particular bicycle, so I could not speak to the quality of the ride or the components.
However, a step-through steel frame, with 7 speeds, a rear rack (with a “mousetrap”), matching fenders, a partial chainguard, and a very nice color scheme of eggplant, caramel colored tires, and cream accents, it looked like a well-thought-out bike.
If you can tell by the photos, it was fairly late, and the sun was about to set. The shop was closing, so we were only able to look at the bike, and not actually test ride it.
We proceeded to a nearby coffee shop, so that I could show her some other options on my laptop. After seeing my Belle many-a-times, She seemed to be very adamant about buying a Mixte, as opposed to a diamond, loop, or step-through frame. She was not gung-ho about bike-commuting and averse to buying anything used. I explained the basics — derailleur gearing vs. internal hubs, steel vs. aluminum, and the like. I showed her several options that may suit her, and we were able to narrow her favorites down to:
Stay tuned to see what she ultimately ended up with!