The first bike I remember owning was the Desert Rose. It had a lilac banana seat with lilac and white streamers. The bike after that was a Mongoose replete with pegs on the back for doing tricks and carrying a friend around.
If you think about it, my Gary Fisher Tiburon hybrid is a perfect blend of these two bikes. It’s a kick ass tough as nails bike that can go anywhere and do anything, and a bike that makes actually riding a bike smooth and enjoyable. When I decided that I wanted to buy a new bike, I was living in Brooklyn at the time and needed something to get me around. My Dad had given me an old yellow Columbia English Racer that he had gotten for free. It was ancient. I think a whole can of WD-40 went on the chains just to get the thing moving again. Needless to say, when I tried to ride it around town, it was like pulling a boulder up a steep hill. That, and the fact that the tires would go flat after one afternoon of riding around limited its usefulness although I did make a few deli/grocery runs with it. Oh yeah and eventually the seat was stolen off the bike as well. When the seat was gone, I knew it was time. Time for a bike that could handle pot holes and curbs, could maneuver around pedestrians, and something that would last. Because let’s face it. A city bike is prone to getting bumped, bruised, scratched, knocked over, etc.
So I went with my Dad to Brands in Wantagh. The place was packed with bicycles. I didn’t know where to start. Thank goodness my Dad was there to help me narrow down the options. We wanted something with some suspension, so a “Mountain Bike” was the frame style we wanted, but this bike will probably never see the trails so we wanted it set up for comfort on the streets. Dad had researched out some of the offerings on the internet and the Gary Fisher Tiburon seemed like it would fill the bill! The price was certainly right for someone “just starting out.” So we went for it.
Soon, the time came to test it out on the rough and tumble streets of Williamsburg Brooklyn. My mission: bring home bagels with cream cheese and some coffee for Saturday morning breakfast. My destination: The Bagel Store on the corner of N4th and Bedford. The ride wasn’t all that long but all the obstacles of the city streets were there. I set out from my apartment on Maujer St. and was amazed at how easily the bike took the bumps and lumps of the road! The bike just flew over all the pot holes, and sink holes, and debris. And most importantly with a city bike, the brakes were real responsive. I could stop on a dime when that lady decided to jump out in to the road. Getting to the bagel shop was smooth. The seat felt forgiving and my butt appreciated it. The streets of Brooklyn really brought out the “mountain” side of my hybrid.
The next test was Central Park. The bike is light weight enough to make carrying it up and down the subway stairs less of a real chore. The bike could be lighter, but again, for the price, the heft isn’t all that bad. Now, we get to Central Park and for the first time I am really changing gears with the bike. After getting use to the idea of changing gears (remember, the bikes I had before this didn’t really have gears, and although the yellow bike had three gears they didn’t work, so it doesn’t count), I was really seeing the “road” side of my bike. I never found a situation in which the bike didn’t have a gear to match my needs. I found the bike confortable with its erect sitting position, and I found the pedaling easy and the ride comfortable. It is a perfect casual, fun around town commuter.
Overall I rate this bike a 9 out of 10. Especially for someone who needs an “urban assault” bike.