- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 22, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In last Sunday’s American Profile article “Choosing a Bicycle,” Mari S. Gold offers sound advice about buying a bicycle and recommends the misnamed “hybrid” bicycle for cyclists who want a versatile vehicle. A true hybrid would have been the offspring of two different “species” of parents, in this case the mountain bike and road bike. However, these particular “hybrids” were around long before their “ancestors,” in the form of the stylish lightweight bicycles — featuring three-to-10 speeds, comfortable seats, fenders and chain-guards — that we all rode in the 1950s and ‘60s.

In the ‘70s and ‘80s manufacturers foisted impractical and uncomfortable mountain and racing bikes upon the general public, and the more practical lightweights vanished from the streets. The more knowledgeable, European cyclists are mystified by Americans’ faddish choice of ugly and uncomfortable specialty bicycles for everyday use. Give me a ‘60s bike any day, but don’t double its price and call it a “hybrid.”

STEVE FAHEY

Kensington

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