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Summer City Bicycles

Five bikes for touring town

by Graham Hiemstra in Design on 27 July 2012

Midsummer may very well be the season of the bicycle. With a steady schedule of backyard BBQs, concerts in the park, afternoons at the beach and general meandering about, it's crucial to have the proper warm-weather transportation. To accommodate such adventures we've compiled a short selection of city-ready bicycles, all under $800.

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Heritage Bicycles

Handmade with durable American steel in Chicago, Daisy is a beefy rig that's likely to put up with more than a bit of abuse. The unisex bike combines the classic women's step-through and men's diamond frame designs with a coaster brake for a timeless aesthetic. Further enhancing its appeal to all shapes, sizes and sexes, Daisy comes in two sizes as a single-, three- or seven-speed and can be outfitted with multiple fender options. Find it at Heritage exclusively for $695—an essentially unbeatable price for a domestic-made bike.

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Erenpreiss

Brought back to life through European import company Baltic Bicycle Company, Latvian manufacturer Erenpreiss and their classic women's bike Greta find themselves in production once again after being shut down during WWII. Unlike most retro-inspired bicycles Greta is lightweight and efficient—the practical single speed, chain guard and coaster brake make for a hassle-free ride requiring minimal maintenance. To learn more about the history behind Erenpreiss and to find one for yourself visit Baltic Bicycle Co. where Greta is available for £375.

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Playdate

The one-of-a-kind city cruiser Cherry Darlin' fuses old school looks, sized-down frames for maneuverability and giant sweeping bars for a relaxed riding position. An East Coast High-Rider as Playdate calls it, the curious style makes for a mellow ride suitable more for weekend rides than hardcore commuting. If the "standard" design isn't unique enough for you, Playdate offers customization across every component from saddles, grips and pedals to bells, cranks and even chains. Readily available in NYC, the Cherry Darlin' is also available online from Playdate for $650.

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GT

The stealth Meatball takes the ultra-sleek aesthetics of a track bike and subtly slips in a two speed, automatic shifting internally geared hub and coaster brake. Set to drop from GT towards the end of summer, it's the clever, almost cheeky combination of leisurely gearing hidden behind an aggressive looking track frame that really has us excited for this bike. Plus, with horizontal dropouts, all you have to do is drop in a fixed cog rear wheel if you want to give it a proper try. Look to GT in October, when the Meatball will sell for $780.

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Tern

Let's face it, it's difficult to make a folding bike appealing when the market is flooded with perfectly minimalist track bikes and historically accurate cruisers. But Tern's Joe makes a sound case for such a model by blending function with solid design. With wider tires to tackle cobblestones and weather-beaten paths, a "doubletruss" rear frame for stiffness and 24 speeds, the utilitarian bike can tackle most commutes while allowing the option of being packed up for the train or bus instead. Meanwhile, the improved four-bar joint ensures your bike remains in one piece even on the roughest rides. The Joe sells for $650. See Tern directly for dealer locations.

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