Now, several weeks and over a hundred miles later I’ve changed my mind. There is nothing amazing about this bike. There is nothing very wrong with this bike. It is what it is, a cheap all-around good bike.
The biggest adjustment for me was the straight handlebars. Being a wanna-be bike snob I’ve always gone with drops for road bikes, but my 53 year-old back really likes the new position. While I can’t corner as aggressively as before, I have a much easier time on the bumpy stuff.
Next come the mountain bike type thumb shifters. Awkward at first but I’ve come to love not having to move my hands to shift. I also like the one step above the cheapest Shimano drivetrain. It shifts ever so slightly smoother and quicker than the cheapest Shimano drivetrains that I’m used to.
Speaking of drivetrains, The gearing on this bike is great for the varied hills of San Francisco. All the rear gears, third and above, are very close in size, so you’re always able to find just the right gear. Theoretically it looses a bit on top speed, but since I’m not strong enough to hit anywhere near top speed except on steep descents, not a problem.
The one hesitation I had was buying a store brand bike. Seriously, this thing could be made anywhere out of anything. The reviews swayed me though and at $299 it was less than half of similar named bikes. So far so good and according to a guy in the park who claims to know about such things, what I’m riding is an exact copy of a discontinued Trek model. Who knows.
In summary, this is a good cheap bike for people like me who need more comfort but aren’t yet ready for the cruiser lane mosey.