Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Renting the KHS Green

Earlier this spring, I was delighted to discover that the KHS Green can be rented from our local Cambridge Bicycle. The cost is $25 per 24 hour period. My darling Co-habitant and I rented a men's and a ladies' and took them along the Charles River, as well as through some streets of Cambridge, Somerville, and the center of Boston. We went to some of the places we usually frequent, to see what it would be like to get there by bike (it was great!). And I intentionally wore a skirt, to determine whether this would present any problems (it did not!).

Renting a bicycle similar in style to the one you plan to purchase is something I very much recommend. It has certainly helped me hone down my preferences. For one thing, the 3 speeds were just barely enough for Boston, and we did not even go to the particularly hilly areas. So now I know that 3 speeds are a minimum for me, and that a single speed bike is out of the question.

I have also discovered that I love the coaster brake. Despite never having ridden a bicycle with this braking system, I got used to it immediately and found that, especially when riding through the city, it gives me the optimal degree of control. It is also somehow less stressful to use than the hand-brakes, especially if you are a person who panics easily when other bikes or cars are close to you. Though it was comfortable to have the front-wheel handbrake there, I barely used it and relied mostly on the coaster brake.

Another pleasant discovery was that, after 12 years of not touching a bicycle, I was not as out of practice as I feared. I had tried other bicycles in bike shops over the past year, but did not feel sufficiently comfortable with any of them to ride them on the street. The KHS Green is the first bike I've tried that has made me feel okay with actually riding it "for real".  And as soon as I started riding the bike, it all came back to me naturally. The upright sitting position was an absolute joy, as we breezed past the ridiculously picturesque blossoming cherry trees.

After riding the KHS Green for an entire day, I would describe it as a good bike. When going over cobblestones, the ride can be a little bumpy and it is missing some components that my bike would ideally have, such as the dress guard and a full chain enclosure, but for the price it is a great deal. If my budget does not allow me to splurge on the likes of Gazelle, the KHS Green may be my bicycle of choice.

3 comments:

  1. I am glad you like the green, so much, as I brought it to the US market. I have a shop in Salem, MA and saw the a simialr bike available at KHS Japan and talked with the Vice-President and we brought in 1 container load the first year. It has now become one of their best selling models.

    www.salemcycle.com

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  2. Thank you for your comment! I hadn't realised that Salem Cycle played such a starring role in this bicycle's US career. Next time I am in Salem, I will stop by the shop.

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  3. I enjoyed your review of the KHS Green. Our local bike shop bought a fleet of them to rent during the World Equestrian Games(2010) then cut the price in 1/2 when he sold them! Good for us. My wife and I each bought one and have enjoyed using them for pleasure riding and commuting to work. It has made bike riding fun again.

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