Consumer Reports recommends bikes in June issue

I didn't know much about bicycles — I'm still not what you'd call a gear head — when I bought my first set of wheels back in 1977.

With $150 in my wallet and a copy of the latest Consumer Reports in my hand I marched into Big Wheel Bikes down by the canal in Washington DC and bought that year's recommended bicycle — the Fuji Dynamic 10. The Fuji survived more than a full decade of regular riding, including a 4,000-mile, cross-country, fully loaded bike tour.

Consumer Reports is still making its bicycle recommendations, although the choices are more complicated now. Instead of naming just the Best Bike, the researchers have to look at various bike categories. In the June issue, they rate “performance road bikes,” “fitness bikes,” and “comfort bikes.”

This would be a waste of time for many of you who know a lot about frames and components, but I'd recommend the article for those seeking to buy a bike off the rack for themselves or a family member.

Among performance road racers, the CR says the Klein Reve V and Giant OCR Composite 3 are “unsurpassed.” Slightly more affordable, the Giant OCR, Cannondale Synapse 4 and Raleigh Cadent 1.0 are recommended as Best Buys (the Raleigh lists at a very affordable $650).

Among fitness bikes, the Giant FCR 3 and Schwinn Super Sport GS were the top picks (all were priced in the $300 range). The Schwinn Sierra GS and Mongoose Switchback SX were top comfort bikes, costing $340 and $280 respectively.

Also visit the Consumer Reports the review on bicycle helmets (two Trek Anthem styles determined to be “not acceptable” have already been taken off the market).

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