One of the top stories on Yahoo! News this week was the onslaught of bicycle sales in the wake of $4 per gallon gasoline. Adults are buying bikes for the first time since they were children and bicycle shop owners couldn't be happier, many of them doubling their monthly sales projections. Re-born riders are finding that bikes have evolved quite a bit since they last rode; they're way more fun and with sharp designs and functionality, the new breed of bike is irresistible. Here is a glimpse of what's out there.
The Chainless Bike
The bicycle chain, which allows you to shift gears, is the weakest point of the bike. It needs all sorts of maintenance, it's always dirty and when it consistently breaks down, it takes all the joy out of riding. Chainless bikes use a drive shaft mechanism rather than a "hub transmission", so they still have different gears to choose from. Amazon.com has seven models of chainless bikes to choose from.
The Folding Bike
Yeah, we've all seen folding bikes before. There is usually some video of a Japanese businessman in a suit riding his folding bike with teeny-tiny tires to work and folding it up under his desk. They look ridiculous, and with little wheels I can't imagine they go very fast. BikesAreCool.com is one of the leading internet bicycle retailers and they rank the Dahon folding bike as one of the best. With two standard 26" wheels and 21 speeds, this folding bike collapses down to 14" x 27" x 36".
The NuVinci Bike
Back in the 15th century, Leonardo da Vinci invented a transmission for small vehicles based on tilting spheres allowing for seamless gear shifting. Ellsworth's "The Ride" bicycle uses this technology on a sleek looking street bike with lots of customizable fittings.
The Cruiser Bike
I love the retro look of cruiser bikes. They're simple to use, usually just one or three gears, old school back-pedal brakes like when we were kids, and gorgeous designs. PhatCycles.com has loads of different cruiser bikes to choose from. They're perfect for a beach roll and look great with baskets and bells and all sorts of fun accessories.