Puma Nevis Lady bicycle

We found seven of the sweetest-looking city bikes under $1000. Are they any good? We sat down with a local bike guru (who wished to be identified only as the Phantom Mechanic) to get his expert views.

The Phantom Mechanic's guide to buying a bike:

Buy your bike from a real bike shop, not online. Not only will you support the local economy, but the bike you're buying will be put together the right way. Though buying online might save you a few dollars in the short term, it'll cost you in repairs later on.

Buy a pretty bike. Design is important, and if you don't like the way your bike looks, you won't get out and ride it.

Take your time when choosing a bike. Test-drive as many as you can to find the one that's the most comfortable for your body

Think about what posture you want when you're riding. Want to be upright? Get a Dutch-style cruiser. Want to aggressively lean over the handlebars? Get a Surly.

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