Need An Errands / Light Commuter

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by drewdle, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. drewdle

    drewdle New Member

    Sep 25, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Hey everyone. I'm as new as you get around here. :) Thought I could ask your advice for a road bike.

    My first cycling experience not too long ago was unpleasant, at best. I purchased a decent bike (Norco BushPilot, which for those of you not in Canada, is your standard MTB with 21 speeds and disc brakes on knobby knees rubber) which was not particularly well suited for my uses, i.e. the ones I'm once again in the market for. My knowledge was so poor, in fact, that I figured there were mountain bikes and there were speed bikes, and that about all there was.

    I've been looking to do light errands and get to school on a bike, as my car is costing me a fortune. I live in a fairly hill-dense area, albeit none of those hills are horrendously steep, there's just not much that's flat around here. I looked at first at cruisers, because I like the style, but think they're pretty impractical for my needs, and way too big, heavy, and unwieldy.

    I then came across the Kona Africabike Three at my campus today. I'm pretty stoked about the bike, as it is on sale presently (2009 model clearout), has cruiser-like style, is built like a brick you-know-what because of the steel, and is mechanically simple. I also can't find much bad said about it online. My only concerns are thus: how will the coaster brake hold up in moderately hill-infested terrain? I've read about coaster brakes in general "burning out" on long downhills (which I won't see much of, but regardless), and only having a front brake should that occur makes me nervous as I was always taught to use the rear brake more, lest one inverts themselves. My second concern is gearing. From all I could tell on a very brief hands-on, the gears seemed nicely spaced even for moderate hills, but there is of course the possibility that it won't be optimal some of the time with so few speeds. Does anyone know if the potential to swap out the Nexus 3 with Nexus 8 is there?

    Anyways, thanks for reading. :) Hopefully I can find some answers, as I'm pretty sold on the bike and it's price point unless there's something better out there.