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Special coverage of Shimano Coasting

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A close-up look at a Coasting bike

Posted by on March 20th, 2007 at 1:21 pm

Trek Lime Light Coasting
The bike for the other 161 million?

Yesterday I got my first, hands-on look at the fruits of Shimano’s new Coasting product initiative.

Only three manufacturers (Raleigh, Trek and Giant) are licensed to make bikes with Coasting and I gave Trek’s offering, the “Lime Light” a closer look.

The bike I rode was a more manly-looking version of the green Lime model I’ve shown pictures of before. This one, a Lime Light model ($469), was black and gray and is a pared down (and $80 less) version of the Lime.

First thing I noticed were the bulbous, futuristic looking, Jetsons-inspired hubcaps.

Trek Lime Light Coasting
Trek Lime Light Coasting
Trek Lime Light Coasting
Trek Lime Light Coasting

Besides that, on the surface, the bike looks like a standard cruiser (albeit with a smaller frame). But once you start pedaling you notice something very different…it shifts for you!

With power generated from a front hub dynamo, the system smoothly changed gears as necessary. On a mild grade in front of the downtown Bike Gallery (going south on 10th Ave), I pedaled hard and cycled through all three gears. The shifting was quiet and smooth.

Here are the brains of the system:

Trek Lime Light Coasting

Belying its cruiser appearance, the bike had a lively feel (my 18.5″ tester weighed in at just over 31 pounds). The seat tube is relaxed and the bike has a comfort feel, but the top tube is noticeably shorter than some of the more tankish cruiser/comfort/city bikes on the market.

The coaster brake left a bit to be desired, it seemed like too long before it engaged.

It was raining, so I kept my test ride short. Overall it was a solid, easy to ride, good looking bike. Will it (along with a massive marketing campaign) help get the 161 million non-cycling Americans back in the saddle? That remains to be seen, but after riding it, I think Shimano’s marketing push will be just as (if not more) important to its success.

Check out the complete gallery for more photos. And for more coverage, view my Shimano Coasting archives.

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Comments
  • Todd B March 20, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Too bad Trek did not spec it out with retro aluminum fenders…it would compliment the design and accents well…plus your trial ride might have lasted longer. At least there looks to be room enough for aftermarket fenders.

    Jonathan…did you have a chance to look at the rear hub consmetic cover? I was wondering how a mechanic would be able to repair a broken spoke? The cover looks to be in the way.

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  • Jim O'Horo March 20, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    A really clean-looking machine! I agree, fenders would really help – of course it never rains here.

    HMMM – coaster brakes. Convenient, but one of the criticisms of coaster brakes that I’ve heard is that they can fail on long descents. Would they overheat & fail for a 200+ lb. guy like me coming over the West hills headed downtown?

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  • brettoo March 20, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks for the review, Jonathan. Can you give us a breakdown on the relative merits (price, comfort, performance, etc.) of this Coasting bike vs. others aimed at a similar audience, like the Amsterdam, Townie, etc.? So if someone’s looking for a cruising-type bike for getting around town, they could make a direct comparison of several factors. thanks!

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  • ryan March 20, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    Okay, before anyone else starts pointing out how the Lime fails their needs as a serious commuter bike, I feel the need to point out that this bike is NOT for serious commuters. Coasting is Shimano’s attempt to tap a market that does not ride at all. If the Coasting platform is successful, it will represent a baby step in the direction of a larger cultural change in America.

    If you read this website, you are already too hardcore for this bike, unless you want a cool techy cruiser to ride to the coffee shop. The intended rider of this bike will not ride in the rain, nor will they descend from the West Hills. This is the bike that you should recommend to your non-cycling in-laws when they ask you what kind of bike they should get to ride on the bike path that is entirely separate from traffic, because they lack the confidence to ride in traffic, in the rain, or on steep hills. The whole point of this project is to get the folks who don’t ride as adults, but fondly remember riding as kids, to recapture that sense of fun that we the converted take for granted. If we’re lucky and Shimano’s intentions are brought to fruition, there will be more Americans riding for an hour’s workout instead of sweating on the treadmill in their basement. If we’re REALLY lucky, some of them will work their way up to biking for the typical two miles it takes to run a simple errand, and leave their SUV in the driveway.

    Let’s all cross our fingers that it succeeds in capturing the imaginations of the non-cyclists out there, and please hype it up to your relatives, co-workers, and acquaintances that are among them.

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  • Jonathan Maus March 20, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    thanks ryan, I agree with you about Coasting (but you might be surprised at the range of readers this site has).

    On that note, Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves said he was initially surprised to realize hardcore enthusiasts were buying the bikes…but then realized they were just buying them for their non-riding spouses!

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  • darren March 20, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Any word on if/when somebody besides Trek, Raleigh, and Giant will make a Coasting bike? I’d love to see a Coasting Breezer.

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  • Shawna March 20, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    I wonder how hard that back wheel is to take off, and whether or not civilians will be able to do simple repairs like changing out a flat without taking it in to a shop? I appreciate technological innovations (especially when they’re aimed at getting more people on bikes!), but I have to say this one leaves me pretty uninspired, if not just plain confused as to why this is even appealing. It’s not like shifting is, you know … difficult. A decent level of physical commitment is required to ride a bike in the first place … is someone who’s looking for it to get this much “easier” really going to want to ride anyway? Put some decent index shifters on most bikes and it doesn’t get much easier than that. I also think HEAVY bikes are one of the reasons non-riders end up feeling like biking is hard, and 31 lbs seems heavy to me. My love for bikes — and my commitment to riding — changed dramatically when I discovered lightweight road bikes.

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  • Jessica Roberts March 20, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    Yes, but how did the auto shifting work and feel? Did it interrupt your pedal strokes? Did it shift at about the same point you would have shifted? Did you find it annoying not to be in charge of the gear you’re in? And could you imagine it working for the totally non-cyclist?

    The auto-shifting is definitely the element of this project that seems riskiest and potentially disastrous.

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  • Jonathan Maus March 20, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    again, I didn’t spend a long time on the bike.

    but the shifting felt fine. I’m a skilled cyclist so of course I would rather shift exactly when I want. …but this bike is not for a skilled cyclist.

    the shifting didn’t interrupt my pedal strokes because it happens effortlessly and very smoothly. you barely even notice it except for in your muscles.

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  • N.I.K. March 20, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    The real concern with shifting mechanism, as well as just about everything else mechanical on the bike, should probably be focused on durability. I’d guess the bet’s probably on it not taking too much wear-and-tear as this is being targeted at non-cyclists who Shimano hopes to make into occasional recreational riders. Infrequent riding means everything should last a good long while if the bike’s stored out of the elements.

    I’m curious as to what Shimano’s going to be advising owners of the Coasting bikes in terms of frequency of maintenance, and what the best way of encouraging the market for bike flaunting mostly-sealed components to actually adhere to such a recommendation. Sealed hubs and such last a long time, but wind up needing work eventually. It’d be a pity to see these things ridden until they break beyond the point of basic rideability in and get chucked in the garbage.

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  • JeffH March 20, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    I have to be completely honest and mention that this bike and the “Coasting” product family bring three words to mind: Cheap Plastic Crap.

    This bike and its groupset effectively cripple the hands of the consumer and force them to rely on a third party, the dealer, for *everything*.

    I haven’t seen one of these bikes in person, so I can’t be entirely sure about this observation, but from the photos it looks like the parts are made out of flimsy parts that place a greater emphasis on cosmetic appearance than durability and longevity. I can’t imagine these “Coaster” bikes lasting longer on the road than any department store Huffy ever could.

    All of the flashy, fake-chrome stuff makes me sick, too. Once one of these bikes gets dropped on the pavement, all of that cheap plastic chrome stuff is going to scrape right off and the bike’s appeal will be substantially diminished. There’s a million different ways that they could have made this bike and its parts attractive and visually appealing, and it’s a shame that they had to rely on such poorly-constructed components to do it.

    This is NOT the bike for the sustainable future. This is NOT the bike to get people on two wheels. These bikes are going to break down and their owners will probably not buy another bike because of the poor experience they had with their “Coaster” bikes.

    Okay, I was a little too hard on it with that last paragraph, but Jeeeezus, I’m really irritated.

    Boo. Two big thumbs down.

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  • JeffH March 20, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    I really want to follow up my last comment with a couple of statements:

    1. I totally failed to consider that these bikes are being marketed to a group that I can’t identify with, who have different needs and values than I do.

    2. I value durability and craftsmanship because I demand a lot from my equipment. The people that Shimano wants to buy to these components aren’t going to put too many demands on their bikes… they’re just going to toot around town and have a nice Sunday ride.

    3. I often overreact :)

    Alright Mouth, meet Mr. Foot…

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  • Scott Mizée March 20, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    gosh… I think it was worth reading all of those comments just so I could read your last two posts, JeffH. You gave me a good laugh for the night.
    enjoy your foot. :)

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  • Paul Cone March 21, 2007 at 9:09 am

    I’ve read this post and all the comments and I’m still not even sure what a “coasting” bike is. Is is just like an automatic transmission in a car, or is there more than that? Also I noticed that the Trek website (which still doesn’t completely answer my question) mentions they have puncture-proof tires, which would seem to take care of the in-law fixing their own flat issue.

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  • Jonathan Maus March 21, 2007 at 9:13 am

    Paul,

    I have covered Coasting extensively. Check my Coasting archives for all the info.

    Essentially, “Coasting” is a component group and a marketing initiative by Shimano to get non-cycling Americans back on a bike.

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  • Kevin Moynihan March 21, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    I work at a bike store, and we’ve already had quite a few Limes come and go, hardly on the floor at all after they are built.

    By looks, its great. Trek offers a full line of colors, which is what bothers most people buying similarly priced bikes more than any one single thing. I don’t care about my own bike’s color, because it functions well, but this is a different market.

    By function, I think it works superbly. You notice the slightest clink when it shifts, and I couldn’t get it to miss a shift, sprinting out of the saddle as a 200 lb dude. The coaster brake works better than all the other cruisers in the shop, and the reason you may all have thought it was a bit delayed in braking is that we expect a lot from hand brakes, but at the same time, are use to a small amount of back pedaling while we ride, which explains the delay.

    By price, I can hardly make comments. People looking for a $200 cruiser have srpung for this more than once. I figured that iPods would be too expensive compared to all of the other brands of 128, 294, and 512 mb mp3 players, but the consumer will definitely go for the more appealing model with more features.

    As to maintenance, how many people on this site that have cars really go to the bother of changing thier own oil in thier cars, when a mechanic usually charges very little for the speed that the work gets done, and all with the right tools? It also saves the hassle of getting your hands dirty, buying oil, and recycling the old stuff, and if you need it, a fliter on top of that. For most non-cyclists, they feel the same way towards bikes.

    A person who will invest 500 into a bike of any sort see merit in having a shop perform the work, especially when it’s all hidden away. Even with 4-5 dollars to replace a tube, at the end of the day, its more money that gets put into bike stores, which means that its more money into the industry.

    As cyclists, the best thing we can do is promote this as much as we can. Ask people who don’t ride if they’ve taken a test ride, get excited when you see someone riding one, and treat them with respect and courtesy as you would any fellow cyclist. Its getting people on bikes that will make our coalitions and advocates that much stronger, no matter what the bikes are.

    For those of you at shops, its really important to treat these customers differently. They aren’t people who wander in looking for the cheapest bike in the store. They are people who are out of thier element in the first place by being in a bike store, and the last thing they want to hear about is your opinion on the way the technology works. Just convince them that here is a really fun bike, in any color, that just goes. No one sells cars by bragging about suspension design or VVT, unless its already to an enthusiast. Treat it like you are selling a new civic to an 18 year old, except no guilt about the accidents they might get into or the harm driving around for the next ten years will cause.

    Its a bike, you’ve gotta love it!

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  • N.I.K. March 21, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    As to maintenance, how many people on this site that have cars really go to the bother of changing thier own oil in thier cars…For most non-cyclists, they feel the same way towards bikes.

    If and only if they think along the lines of bikes needing any sort of maintenance at all.

    For all the born-again cyclists, my guess is that a good deal of them are going to see this bike and bite on the “it does everything for you and is easy; it just goes!” sales pitch. They’ve *never* been in a bike shop before, they’re getting treated differently, and they’re buying a different product. All well and good, this is what some people are going to need to cross the line and start biking again. Great! But how do you then turn around and convince them that if anything feels or sounds funny while riding, it’s time to bring this all-in-one system back to the shop to get it checked out? The problem is that they’re not going to be viewing the bike as a vehicle that might need service once in a great while, but rather a fancy toy for recreation, and a *simple* (or marketed and sold as such, at least) one at that. The idea doesn’t necessarily carry over because they’re going to think of bike shops as either 1) showrooms or 2) places where people who ride the complicated bikes -different from their “easy” bikes- go to get parts or service. This could be really, really bad…anyone who doesn’t bother stands a chance at getting hurt after substantial wear-and-tear, and their bike risks getting tossed away in the garbage because it’s “broken”, and it cost $500 instead of tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, so it’s time to buy a new one after the old one had a good two or three years.

    Kevin, you say your shop’s moved more than a few of these. What are you and your co-workers doing to address this, and has Shimano and the other associated manufacturers made any push of guidelines for selling to help address this issue?

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  • Claire March 21, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    How is this much-pontificated-on creature, the inexperienced adult cyclist, going to be marketed to? I think that by the time a person goes into a bike shop, they have made a decision already to buy a bike, or at least strongly considering it. How is Shimano going to convince anyone who currently isn’t even thinking about buying a bike to go out and get this thing, since that seems to be the type of person everyone’s talking about on here. I think we’re jumping the gun a little, unless someone who works in a bike shop is going to testify that suddenly masses of people are coming in to get a Coasting bike.
    The only way to get the millions of people who don’t ride to buy this fancy new bike is to advertise it like a car, a toy, or a fancy gadget- on network TV. Car ads are ubiquitous, but have you ever seen an ad for a bike outside of biking-related media? This paradigm needs to shift.

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  • N.I.K. March 21, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    Well Claire, we keep hearing about this big marketing push that has yet to materialize. I’m still giving it time, though mainly just ’cause I’m curious to see how they go about showing the idea of somebody tooling around on one of these things and make it look “cool” from a third-person perspective. The stuff on the Coasting promo site is way cutesy, so I’d guess we’re not going to see a Bruckheimeresque television spot with squealing guitars, conniving bandits, and explosions on the horizon…even though that would be insanely hilarious. :)

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  • Case March 22, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Hello all. I work for Raleigh here in Kent, WA and I can tell you I had many reservations about the introduction of this group by Shimano. I felt like this was another Shimano attempt to play the shell game and boost sales. I am a serious cyclist, (commuter, former messenger, advocate, racer) and I didn’t think I could really take this idea seriously. I was wrong.

    One of the reasons you haven’t seen a lot of the media blitz with the group is because they’ve been targeting places you don’t normally look. Has anyone flown with United or Southwest lately? There were extensive articles in their in-flight magazines. They’ve been hitting the daytime talk show circut (I believe Ellen D. just gave one away). They’ve been working on their website too.

    The thing about their website is it’s created to be largely dealer and consumer driven. Its content will hopefully be submissions by those folks. The idea is a bit of a community feel, a-la “Hey, this is a great little path to ride on and there’s Such-and-Such coffee shop along the way. Who wants to ride on Saturday?”

    I have, like Jon, recently tested the bike on the road. For all of the bikes I have, for all of the experience I have riding, I had fun riding this bike. I don’t know if it would happen if I weren’t working for Raleigh, but I am considering getting one.

    JeffH, I was instantly annoyed with your first post. But then you came back and called yourself out. Well done.

    Cheers!

    Matt

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  • Jonathan Maus March 22, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    If anyone’s interested in the in-depth Coasting coverage in Hemispheres magazine, I wrote a story about it here.

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  • Garlynn March 22, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    Yeah, where are the fenders?

    Also, I question the decision to use a coaster brake. My s/o is slightly afraid of the whole coaster brake thing. She likes the security of having something on the handlebars that her hands can squeeze to stop the bike when she wants to stop!! I wonder if Shimano did any research on the psychology of braking before deciding on the coaster brake as the only solution?

    Ease of shifting through automatic shifters — sure, that’s a no-brainer. She’d go for that. But the coaster brake? I don’t think that was such a hot idea.

    And… where’s the front basket?

    This should, IMHO, be the bike that gets average Americans out of their cars for the short trips to the local grocery/video store for a quart of milk, 6-pack of beer, bag of chips and DVD for the evening. There may be a slight hill en route. It does need to be a fully-functional bicycle. It also needs to be easy to use.

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  • Jessica Roberts March 22, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Good point about the marketing drive … I opt out of most mainstream media, esp. TV, so you’re right, what would I know if Coasting is doing a push there?

    I am challenging myself and all of you to a simple test: try this out on a non-cyclist friend. You know, the one who likes to be outdoors, thinks it’s cool that you bike, but never in a million years thinks they’d actually get in the saddle. See what they think of the idea. Take them to a bike shop and observe their reactions.

    I’m going to take my parents to the Bike Gallery next time they’re in town to see if they bite. They have these absolutely awful, cheap, rusted out, non-maintained, ill-fitting bikes and – surprise! – they don’t enjoy riding them. But they don’t make the connection, and they feel like it’s not “worth” getting new bikes since they hardly ever ride them. Note that my dad gets the new iPod almost as soon as it comes out, because it’s cool and fun and cute and easy to buy and use and comes in different colors…so I like that comparison for this bike as well.

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  • N.I.K. March 22, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    You’re right, Case: those are definitely places most people don’t normally look. What the heck’s the strategy here? I don’t understand advertising in places where people either don’t regularly focus their attention (who actually reads an in-flight magazine for more than two minutes, if at all?) or where the medium itself is dependent on people spending their idle daylight hours staring at a TV screen. This is very, very different from what Shimano’s been promising in terms of marketing. For their sake, I hope they’ve got a more impressive and engaging phase 2 up their sleeves.

    Garlynn, this *isn’t* intended to be the bike that gets people running short errands by biking instead of driving. The focus is on fun, not utility. Shimano doesn’t want to suggest these things being used for functional transport instead of weekend tomfoolery because it’s hard to sell the unconverted on bikes from a functional perspective. Don’t forget all those folks who will put time on the treadmill every week but will opt to drive seven blocks to pick up a gallon of milk. That’s who they’re gunning for here, and they don’t want to confuse these things with being work machines.

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  • Clinton Rider March 22, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    N.I.K. #20 et al:
    LOL…forget Bruckheimer…can you imagine the American Idol gang singing Queen’s “Bicycle Race” while glam-shotting with Coasting bikes. It would beat the heck out of those dumb Ford ads they do.

    oh sh**! I just admitted to watching Idol.

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  • N.I.K. March 22, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    I can’t decide whether to laugh my ass off or jam spokes into my eyes and ear canal at the mere possibility! But speaking of “Bicycle Race”, what with today’s so-called “intellectual property” lawsuit-happy media giants, at least we can be sure that Shimano won’t rip the idea from the song’s original promo film and just film a bunch of naked women riding the things. All kidding aside, we should at least be glad that they’re not resorting to anything too rockstar/Hollywood/perfume commercial…

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  • TCS March 28, 2007 at 9:47 am

    Hmmm. For $109 a current non-cyclist can buy a Next cruiser with a Sturmey-Archer 3spd coaster. For the extra $360 the Trek Lime Light shifts itself. Hmmm.

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  • chris April 1, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    Just blogged about the Coasting bikes in the UK – where bikes with only one brake aren’t legal!

    - so I may never get to see one!

    General conclusion – good thing if it gets more people cycling.

    http://cyclingedinburgh.info/2007/04/02/coasting-the-new-cruising

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  • bob April 11, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    I just heard about coasting and wanted to see what it was about. My homebuilt 3spd coaster brake will hop and skip all over the road if the rear brake is used alone. Add in the Weinmann front caliper and it stops faster and smoother than anything I’ve ever ridden. IMHO I think a front brake should be used on these bikes.

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  • Jessica Roberts May 6, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    I’m on a visit to my folks, and just now my dad was cleaning out the garage and took my mom’s (old piece-of-crap big box store) bike down off the hook and asked how much he could sell it for. I told him “not much,” and asked why.

    He said that ever since they heard about these bikes my mom has been talking about how she’s never felt comfortable on her bike and she assumed it was her (not the bike), but the truth is that she’s just not comfortable with shifting. She didn’t grow up with multi-speed bikes.

    I’ve been trying to get her to buy a new bike as well as ride for years now, but it took this idea to get her to act. So, I’d say Shimano is on to something. And anything that gets her riding more (and enjoying it more) is a good thing.

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  • ken May 10, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    I bought a Lime Lite a couple of weeks ago after a) cleaning the garage, b) taking a 7 year-old Specialized “Hard Rock” to the local bike shop to be re-assembled and tuned up, and c) deciding to buy myself a bike and my daughter a trailer mostly on a whim and after seeing Trek’s line of “comfort” and “cruiser” bikes.

    About 8 years ago, I was an aspiring cyclist who rode the Specialized (moderately tricked out thanks to some friends who were then employed at said bike shop) to work and school daily and (tried) to bomb trails on the weekend. Three things happened in quick succession: I graduated, got promoted and had to begin wearing a shirt and tie, and took a big spill on pavement that sent me to the ER to have a chunk of my face stitched up and left scars on my arms and legs. After that, I wussed out and got gun shy, gained some weight, and there went the bike riding.

    Fast forward to cleaning out the garage: my wife and I were ready to take the bike in to get it tuned up and re-assembled (hungry bike shop friends cannibalized it shortly after I quit riding). I took it in to the shop one day after work and saw all the new (to me) cruisers and comfort bikes. I was back in two days, smelling around for a trailer (ended up with a Burley “encore”).

    Insufferably long-story short, I’m loving my Lime Lite, pulling my daughter around residential neighborhoods and the local bike path. It’s been fantastic to work out the kinks in my legs, sitting upright and feeling like I’m on my old Schwinn Stingray.

    I was drawn to the styling, my geek radar freaked out at the Coasting dynamo and auto shift, and those hubcaps sealed the deal. Two test rides (the other serious contender: the Trek “Clyde”) and I was sold.

    I can change a tire. I would like to think I’m self-sufficient. But what got me was the Lime fit where I’m at right now. I’m sure I’ll end up with a commuter in the next year or so, but this was the thing that got me off my ass and back on a bike.

    BTW, this is by far and away the best review/gallery/info on the Lime on the whole internets.

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  • Jan May 14, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    I think they are marketed to me. I’m 47. Most of my adult life has been sedentary. Single Mom, raising children and working a full time desk job. I stopped riding bikes when I got a drivers license.

    I don’t consider myself “ancient” or fuddy-duddy, but age does have a way of sneaking up and slapping you in the face. It’s natures way of telling you to get moving and slow down all in the same breath. I’ll spare you the details and just say I need to move more but also more carefully.

    I’ve started watching what I eat, taking walks, and my Husband and I are touring fitness centers with a plan to join one by the end of the month. It’s a good start.

    My Daughter asked me about taking bike rides with her and her family too. I immediately said no but later decided what the heck, it might be fun! I don’t want to wear special clothes, and I don’t need a lot of gears. (I don’t know when to shift them anyway, and I don’t want to be distracted thinking about it.) I also don’t want to be hunched over all the time and I wanted a cushy seat. I just want to hop on and take it for a spin. The easier it is, the more likely I will get on it when I have other things I should/could be doing.

    After some research I found the Lime. I popped in and tried out a Lime Lite. I wanted to try the Lime but they didn’t have one in the size that seemed to fit me best. I was wobbly at first, but it wasn’t long before I was actually having some fun. Initially, the pedal brake was awkward, After all these years my hands automatically tried to squeeze the grips to stop the bike. The handlebars were too, they reminded me more of the ones that were on my pre-teen bike with the banana seat. I think I’d get used to them both though. It was really simple to ride, it seemed to shift seamlessly. I will probably test out Raleigh and Giant and maybe some of the simpler versions of the “comfort” bikes before making a final decision. It’s too much money for me to plop down without knowing I am making an informed choice, and who knows,maybe I will like something in-between better.

    You never know, but The way I see it…I’ll keep walking, but I will probably never jog. I’ll eat better but never totally give up my Mac n cheese. I’ll join the gym but never have 6 pack abs and I will ride a bike without needing the same things most bike enthusiasts need. I think the Lime works for people like me.

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  • Michael Nakata May 28, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    I think I understand “coasting”, but what if one actually wants to try and get a workout on one of these Limes? – like cycling on a bike path for one hour going 13-15 MPH. Would the gearing allow me to do this without putting too much stress on my legs? Also, would the gearing alow me to climb freeway ramps without tearing my quads?

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  • ken June 16, 2007 at 9:07 am

    i find that i can cruise along at just under 15mph comfortably. much faster, and it\’s pretty much useless.

    climbing inclines takes some getting used to, but isn\’t impossible.

    no question about it: this is a very limited biking experience. there\’s just no reason for a seasoned cyclist to get one.

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  • Cindy June 23, 2007 at 5:06 am

    Like Jan I am in the target market for this bike and I find it really appealing. I am 49 and I used to bicycle avidly. But the last time I took my old ten-speed in for a major tune up, years ago, I couldn\’t believe how expensive that was and also how expensive the new racing style bikes were. So I didn\’t get the tune up and I haven\’t ridden in well over 10 years.

    My husband and I are looking for bikes to ride in the park, on bike paths, around the neighborhood, and to take on vacation. I want the cushy seat and upright posture. I have no interest in having a pole up my butt and a kink in my neck from bending over. I just want a fun bike to ride around on, breath some fresh air, and get a little exercise.

    In some respects I both agree and disagree with Ken. I consider myself a seasoned cyclist, I used to take bicycling vacations in Vermont. But, for the currently avid cyclist who likes the racing posture, this bike is not designed for you. But as with everything, changes in lifestyle bring changes in needs and wants, and at this point in my life I want this bike!

    I just hope all of you jocks don\’t look down your noses at those of us who are out on our leisurely cruise.

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  • Lem in FL July 28, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    I dont know if I should laff or go on an angry, Starbucks fueled rant at the \’serious vs. non-serious\’ cyclist opinions expressed by a lot of people here. I only ride throw-a-way stuff…cheap Dept. store orphans usually found for 3.00 at a yard sale. I am the Fagan of Cheep-o bikes. I ride them extremely hard and put lots of miles on them. The bike I have now has logged a few thousand miles through the snows of Pennsylvania and Vermont for 2 years and now the wet salty air of the S. Fl. coastline. The Raleigh Coaster is probably the only new(Amsterdam,too), post 1978 technology bike this inexperienced and not serious rider would even consider purchasing out of all the bikes made today. I am of the opinion the more serious someone gets, the less they spend on a bike. To quote the last ruff tuff Harley do0d I engaged in petty social intercourse with….
    \” Nuttin matters when yer in da wind, mahn…its all da same\”
    Great work Raleigh and Shimano !!
    Keep coming out with stuff us non-real cyclists can use at a reasonable price and I might even go into a bike shop to check one out. There still are bike shops, right ??

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  • Mojo Reason October 8, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    Wholly crap! While I would not consider myself an elite cyclist, I have been an avid mountain biker for decades. My mountain bike is an expensive, trail tested beast with many of upgrades – and I can work on it myself in the garage without an issue.

    Now, my wife & I got Trek Limes and for some reason after only about a month (of which it mainly sat in the garage unused) the back tire was flat. Anyhow – so, we finally pick up a tube and I get to cranking and then I realize … there is absolutely no way that I can figure out without doing some serious dismantling that I can get that back tire off to change a freakin\’ tube.

    Wow! And I only found this site because of the quote above that asked curiously just how hard it would be to change the back tire. Well – - it\’s not an easy task and now I have to take it to the shop … to change a flat.

    GOOD GRIEF!

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  • Phip May 29, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Concerning marketing of these bikes and getting folks back on bikes, I just learned I won this bike tonight and will participate in a marketing campaign that will report on how these bikes have \”set me free.\” I expect to be an eager participant if only to help the cause. I think it\’s a brilliant strategy. I\’m already fit and have been using my decade-plus old KHS bike to do some commuting, but am still excited.

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  • Mike June 20, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    God forbid if people who aren\’t \”serious cyclists\” want a bike. The more the merrier.

    I would love to see this system on a long wheelbase recumbent.

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  • Pat Potter July 15, 2008 at 8:50 am

    I notice that many Trek users have problems with their tires. I have a multispeed Trek with handbrakes. I am 64 years old. I hate the thing. I just cruise along up town and look at things. Nice. Then I have to apply brakes and automatically my feet backpedal and nothing happens! Then, I have to shift at times and screw up the gears. There are gears on both sides of the handlebars. This was an expensive mistake. A tire went. I hope it rots!

    Someone told me the following all contain the self-shifting brakes:
    Giant
    Raleigh
    Trek
    K2
    Fuji
    Phat
    Schwinn
    Raleigh
    The Phat bikes look really nice, but I cannot tell if they have these brakes on the website. Other than that, I like the Giant. I suppose I am going to have to call local bike stores when I move to Seattle because none seem to answer emails.
    Yes, instead of my car I was thinking of taking a bike grocery shopping weekly.

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