Getting closer

I was in Big Shark the other day, having something else fixed on Penny’s front wheel, when Awesome Tech Guy mentioned something veerrrrryyy interesting – that they offer a 6- or 12-month 0% financing option on new bike purchases.


BIG uh-oh.

But also big :-D.

And now, after consulting with ATG and the shop’s other experts, we’ve figured out a bike that should meet – and even surpass – all my needs:

  • it’s versatile – will work for commuting, weekend rides, running errands, random adventures, and who-knows-what-else.
  • it’s capable – has 8 speeds, and can easily be fitted with fenders, a rack, &etc.
  • it’s relaxed – I can ride upright and comfortably, and it’s available in “small” to fit my 5’2″ frame 🙂
  • it’s stylish and classic looking but also kind of sporty, and super cute!  (especially after I add on the aforementioned accessories)
  • (most importantly) it’s within my rather limited price range

So what, you ask, is this magnificent bicycle?

It’s the Raleigh Calispel i8, 2010:

It’s got 8-speed internal shifting (no pesky derailleur!), an easy step-through frame (a must for me, what with the skirts and all), comes with a chain guard (according to ATG, it’s harder to add a chain guard later than it is to add fenders, so we chose a model that comes with the chain guard), and best of all it’s NEW and will be RELIABLE and NOT A PIECE OF CRAP.

No offense, Penny.  ❤ ya bunches, but you’re about to go live in the basement except for weekend joyrides.  I’m sure you understand.

Now imagine the above hotness, outfitted with one of these:

(Brooks B67s)  Everything I’ve read is that they’re rather hellish to break in, but once you do you’ll never want another saddle ever again.  Also, Big Shark will give me a credit for the Raleigh saddle and put that against the price of the Brooks one 🙂

And a pair of lovely chrome fenders.

And a nice big basket on the front (my current one will suffice, for now).

And a rear rack, maybe with fold-down baskets or a pannier or two.

Sounds pretty perfect, right?

I really like it, and in all my online research I haven’t yet seen anything else that comes close to meeting my needs so closely.  I’ve found invaluable resources in Lovely Bicycle! and Bikes For the Rest Of Us, as well as the many, many other awesome cycling blogs out there, which have helped me learn what to look for in a good bike, and which features I need and which may largely be just gimmicks.

I’m not quite ready to pull the trigger yet, but unless something else fantastic comes along I may soon be the proud owner of the lovely Raleigh above! 🙂

Poor Penny.

I should really stop anthropomorphizing inanimate objects, shouldn’t I?

(now let’s just see if I can actually bite the bullet and order this thing, eh?  I hope it rides as pretty as it looks! :-))


8 responses to “Getting closer

  1. nice. i like the cream color 🙂

  2. Oh this is perfect! Love the bike. I think you too are going to be very happy together.

  3. I still say the pink/purple one in storage is your best bet.

    Beige? No blue?

  4. Yes, sounds perfect!

    My B67 broke in very easily, no more than two weeks, and it IS the most comfortable saddle ever. My B17s, on the other hand, is still working on breaking in after more than a year.

  5. I agree, the creamy goodness of that bike is sweet!!!

  6. Oooh, awesome. I drool over those B67s. I wish you could get more of the women’s saddles in green leather, though.

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