Just when we were about to give up on the bicycle search for the day, the LBS owner showed us this electric blue bicycle: The Breezer Villager. It just so happened to be a step-through frame in an extremely small size. I know that Breezer is a reputable brand in the commuter biking segment (particularly, with the Uptown 8 model), so I told my friend to give it a go.
She only took it around the parking lot, but it seemed to be a darned good fit. She then asked me to give it a shot, again, for my “expert” (har har) opinion.
I gladly accepted the invitation. With the seat post all the way down, I felt like a clown riding an unreasonably small bicycle, but, all seemed to be well with the componentry.
Although it is an aluminum framed bicycle (not my favorite choice), it has a lot of other winning characteristics. This bicycle has a step-through frame, allowing for an easy mount/dismount, without having to swing your leg over anything.
It has a 7 speed (Shimano Nexus) internal hub within the rear wheel, good enough to conquer the hills of Atlanta. It also comes with a plastic chainguard around the drivetrain; not only does this mean that the drive-train is protected from the elements, but also that her pants will seldom encounter the dirty/greasy chain. The internal hub also has the perk of allowing her to shift without having to pedal, and requires less maintenance in the long term. The kickstand, of course, doesn’t hurt. (Aside: my Belle hates missing a photo op, so she just jumped right in, behind the Breezer).
Aside from the protected drive-train, additional practicality was found in the rear rack, fenders, a bell, and dynamo front and rear lighting.
This bicycle is a 2009 model, so being new-old stock, it was severely discounted at the price of $550, taxes included. Therefore, it fit right within her budget. Speaking of bicycle budgets, it is difficult to achieve the trifecta of the ideal bicycle: beautiful, functional, and cost effective. I believe we achieved the latter two, as she and I both realized we were compromising on the aesthetics. Of course, with my recommendation, she still made the purchase.
The girls were very kind and welcoming to my friend, and we all had a fabulous time! Since then, my friend has been riding her bicycle every day. Score! I hope to get her more involved in the Atlanta bicycling community, and empower her to even start commuting.
On a separate note, if you have been empowered by this blog post, and are in the Atlanta area and in need a new bicycle consultation, please feel free to reach out by leaving a comment. I’d be happy to help!