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Buy a Bike, Burn Your Metrocard: The Right Wheels Will Save Your Wallet and Sanity

Image via @NBKC Instagram

As L train commuters were reminded earlier this week, the MTA is one wicked, bitch mistress. But for anyone who spent hours trapped underground sandwiched between disgruntled strangers, there’s a simple solution to your struggle: get a bike.

You don’t have to live like this. As Gothamist reported, subway service is only getting shittier and more expensive. For about what you’d spend on a monthly Metrocard, you can find a decent and reliable bike. Imagine if the only service changes you had to deal with were iced coffee detours on the way to work.

“With the trains shutting down in April, the need for a bike has never been greater,” said Max Cohen, owner of North Brooklyn Cycles, a full service bike shop near the corner of Flushing and Knickerbocker Ave. “Biking is one of the fastest and most efficient ways of getting around.”

If you’re interested in getting some wheels but don’t know where to begin, Max can help. He and his staff specialize in finding the right bike for every customer. It’s all about assessing your needs.

Image via @NBkC Instagram

Commuting

If getting to and from work is your main concern, look into a single-speed bike. According to Max, these make great entry-level options because they’re efficient, affordable, and easy to customize.

“We recommend single speeds for the beginning rider in the city,” he explained. “They’ll be able to get over the bridge really easily and they’re easy to maintain.”

Cruising

If you’re looking for something colorful to whimsically pedal around your neighborhood, a vintage beach cruiser may be the right match for you.

Without gears, these bikes are primarily suited for the comfort of a casual rider, or, as Max puts it: “Cruising and the boardwalk.”

A Little Bit of Both

Are you serious about getting around but find the idea of hunching over a road bike uncomfortable or intimidating? If so, hybrid bikes may be just the ticket.

More comfortable than a road bike and more practical than a beach cruiser, Max explained that the hybrid combines the best of lifestyle and function.

“It’s got more of an upright setup,” he said, “but with gears so you can still get over the bridge.”

Feel free to bring all of your questions over to the team at North Brooklyn Cycles and check out their great selection of bikes. They’re always getting new shipments, so if you can’t find what you’re looking for one day, they will likely have it the following week.

North Brooklyn Cycles (121 Knickerbocker Ave.) is open daily, 11 AM - 8 PM. Spring tune up is  $40 for a single speed and $45 for a multispeed bike. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

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