The Portland Bicycle: Gearing

A few weeks ago we introduced the idea of “The Portland Bicycle”, an entry-level commuter bicycle that would appeal to folks first entering the bicycle commuting realm, designed and manufactured here in our region.

The discussion identified the need for commuting bikes at a variety of price/feature points, but we’d like to focus on the entry-level model. To recap, this is a bike that can be ridden for short trips, or put on a bus for longer trips, and is aimed at someone who is not an experienced cyclist. It should be ridable in street clothes, and the target price point is $300 or under.

So with those parameters in mind, I’d like to have some additional discussion about specific features, starting with the gearing.

How many gears do we need? 3, 4, 7?

What are the pros and cons of an internal hub versus a traditional derailleur?

What style of shifter would be best?

Other considerations?

Share your wisdom!

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