Last month I was in Toronto and walked by a shop called “Beater Bikes“. An interesting concept I thought – perhaps fixed-up used bikes? Then I noticed the rack of bikes on the sidewalk.
The bikes are new, not used – but come with a reasonable pricetag: $310 $260 Canadian (on sale now). Sure, you can get a bike cheaper at a department store – but this one was designed in Toronto, and manufactured in the EU.
The bikes are made “to be used and abused” and are designed to be practical to get around the city. They aren’t a racing bike and aren’t going to be great offroad, but they come with practical commuting accessories such as fenders and a rack. They have larger 700C wheels that will help you maintain a higher speed and give you options for faster tires. They don’t have a sealed bottom bracket, which to me is a drawback. They also only have 6 speeds, and the women’s model is sold out, but I still think this is a great deal for someone looking for a cruiser/commuter bike. Now if only they sold some in Windsor!
Review on Bikeroo: http://bikingtoronto.com/bikeroo/2010/03/19/beater-bikes-review/