I am though, developing my very own box-bike that is being prototyped by a frame builder as soon as he gets all the tubes. Because my design, in all modesty, shits over anything else on the market, I plan to wheel mine around to some trade shows and put them into production. Look out for the world's greatest box bike in your town real soon!
In other news, I am also slowly coming around to the Velorbis brand of Dutch Style city bike. At first I was somewhat put off by the company's self consciously fashionable brochures and web site, and the sense I had for a while that these bikes were accordingly priced like T-Shirts by Gucci. They're not though! Their two standard men's bikes, with gen lights, with hub brakes and gears, WITH Brooks leather grips and brooks seat and brooks mudflap, WITH German made lugged cro-mo frames, WITH stainless steel rims and handlebars, with everything basically, including no plastic or stickers, is still under AUD$2000, from a shop here in Sydney. I mean, frickin' hell, that's pretty hard to ignore.
So really, screw the workcycles cross frame in my first post, that would have cost me as much to freight here as the bike was worth anyway. The only question is whether to go with the "Churchill Classic" pictured above, with 700c wheels, or the 26' brown balloon tire version pictured here:
This is the bike I plan to leave in my office at uni, for heading out for midday coffee, or for crossing campus for meetings or to give lectures. The small balloon tires would be good for going up and down all the gutters and bumps that litter my wheel-chair unfriendly campus, or even for taking short cuts via the bush. However, the balloon tire version does look kinda kooky, whereas the classic version is masculine, and would match my suits better (I wear regular suits, not safari suits with pith helmets to work). Perhaps the high fashion air of their brochures is exactly what I was looking for all along :)
The down market, pure workhorse counterpart to the swanky Velorbis, is the WW2 Issue Kronan utility bike.
These things weight about as much as a Mercedes, and cost $1100 for a 3 speed ($110 extra for a cool rack on the front, for returning boxes of marking, or doing that thing where you pick up cheap assortments of fruit and veg from those people who buy truck loads at the markets and share it around). I hear Swedish girls love being doubled on them as well. Yes, this is Sweden's own bike, redolent with imaginings of saunas, flavoured butter milk poured over everything, blonde people and blonde timbers, salty fish.... I guess I could always buy a new Brooks saddle for it online?
Oh, but there are just so many cool bikes in this category. I note with big decisions studies show going with ones own gut instincts will more often yield better longer term outcomes—or so I heard some author type say on the radio, no doubt to sell more of his books. The small decision, to actually go out and buy this book with these studies, I have declined, based on a reasoned assessment that I heard all the best bits for free.