|Schwinn Jenny 7 Speed 2011 model.|
(With another in the background!)
|Pashley Princess Sovereign in Buckingham Black.|
When bicycle shopping, my physical requirements are not too difficult to satisfy. I prefer to stay on the saddle and toe-touch stabilise the slightly tilted bicycle when at a stop rather than hopping off and standing astride as some people do. I am injury free from the middle down (some neck and shoulder problems) with reasonable strength in my legs thanks to life as a pedestrian. I am 175cm (5ft 9inches) tall, which is either average height or tall depending upon where you live. In Western Australia particularly, I am firmly average so it was very easy for me to find bicycle frames in my size. The Pashley is a medium 20" frame which was also the only available size in Perth. Being on the line between average and tall, I could also fit a 22.5" Pashley frame if it was offered. Some people prefer their bicycles to feel large, Dutch bikes are very good at this but the Pashley strikes me as being designed more compactly and I don't really have a preference in relative scale. Distance between seat and bars matters less in an upright bicycle as you're not stretching your torso forward to the handlebars so I'm happy with the medium. The seat post adjusts to fit my leg length and the bars also raise accordingly so the overall feel of the 20" Pashley for me is 'neatly tailored' rather than tight.
The Schwinn Jenny is a size S(Small) frame and was also the only size available in that particular shop. However, many Schwinn dealers in Australia offer bikes from XS to L so if your requirements are more specific, be sure to check bikeexchange. A sticker affixed to the seat post declared me at the very upper limit of suitability for the small size (It read 'Up to 175cm'.). Again, the seat is high enough so I don't feel cramped. It also has a handy quick adjustment lever which makes it great for lending to bikeless friends of most heights when on social jaunts. The handlebars stay at my preferred height as they require a spanner.
|Ginger poses outside of Toast Café East Perth,|
a popular non-lycra clad rider bicycle destination.
|'Trek 1.2' 2011 model, 18 Speed Aluminium frame Men's Road Bike.|
|Schwinn Classic Al 3 Speed 2009 model aluminium cruiser.|
Pictured at Burnie Beach. (Storm Trooper helmet not included.)
Ginger's Schwinn cruiser is officially a men's frame but has a one size fits most construction thanks to the crank forward (aka 'flat foot') positioning of the pedal to seat post relationship. This means that at rest your feet are both firmly touching the ground, making it excellent for nervous cyclists and yet another flexible bike for lending to friends of different heights.
|Australian Giant 'Via 2W', 8 Speed 2012 model, XS frame.|
All Giant Via for women frames are slender steel with attached basket and an elegantly
swooping, mixte inspired split top tube. American models differ in features and colours.
|Boo and Bike, a match made in very short heaven.|
|Mystery Cruiser, Mystery Hippie.|
Despite differences in bike type, dress and riding style within my own circle of friends, all of our bicycles are compatible because the riders are compatible, willing to stick with each other on social rides no matter how relaxed the pace. Regardless of personality, height, leg length or comfort level there is a bike to satisfy all of us. Do the research, try as many as you can, add some pleasant people and you can't go wrong either.