The one thing to keep in mind about cruisers or other hub-geared bikes with a Freeradical mounted on them is that the extra load can do in a hub gear fairly quickly, in my experience. I had my first build on a Bianchi Milano, and it turned crunchy within the first year. I could have been a fluke, but I'm pretty sure I've heard similar stories from others.
And hub gears are more expensive and more hassle to replace than derailleurs when they do go.
> I have a Raleigh "girl bike" It's only a 7-speed cruiser but I do love it.
> My commute is only 3 miles each way and I had a very limited budget when I
> it and the xtracycle at the same time.
> Without riding during the rainy month of January, and now riding again,
> hills are pretty difficult and I found myself daydreaming about something
> easier to get up the hills as I was feeling ready to keel over yesterday!
You've gotten at the issue with chain guards: they're pretty easy to get
(or put) on bikes that don't have a lot of gears. Lots of gears generally
mean multiple front chainrings, and the more effective kinds of
chainguards don't get along with front derailleurs. If you don't need to
climb steep hills with cargo, there are plenty of bikes that would
accommodate calico-skirted riding. Kipchoge rides an Electra Townie at
least some of the time: I'd provide a direct link if Electra's site
weren't done in link-hostile Flash (sigh). Some Townies come with
few-enough gears to come also with chainguards.
Would it be acceptable to wear leg coverings under the dress and hitch the
dress up enough while riding to keep it clean? Something like bloomers:
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ride to believe.
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