Inspiration: Beautiful Bikes for Living Car-Free

82808_bikesroundup.jpgFor those of us living without much storage space, there's something magical about finding a bike that highlights your home decor. Especially since reader Whitney asked us how to convert her bike into a grocery-getter, we've been checking out all sorts of basket-ed bikes that would look right at home inside the home, without detracting from the decor. Which leads us to a roundup of our favorites (so far). These are the bikes we'd design our home around. Jump below for more photos and links. First, the Commuter 2 from Vanilla Bicycles. Ahhh...what a beautiful bike. This puppy was custom-built in Portland, OR, so don't quite get your hopes up to score one by Christmas: the wait list for Vanilla bikes is half a decade. Yep. They're not even accepting orders this year. And we couldn't nail down a price, but we're guessing they're not cheap. But look at the craftsmanship.

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Who wouldn't want either the Vanilla Commuter 2, or this--the Vanilla Randonee 2--hanging out for all to see?
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Then, we come to the more available, less custom Gary Fisher Simple City 8 and Simple City 3. We've had the pleasure of seeing these (and sitting on one) in person, and they are a dream of a bike. The Simple City 3 can come with a basket, too. Just imagine the neighborhood biking possibilities.
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And, finally, we leave you with our personal favorite...the Sweatpea Farmer's Market. Isn't she a beauty? Sweatpea Bicycles custom-crafts bikes for women, and they say this pic is their "most stolen" photo. No wonder--this bike is amazing. It looks like it is made for the country life, but fits perfectly into a city setting. Plenty of places to stash all the farmer's market finds.
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Sweetpea has about a nine-month waiting list, and they only build custom for women. But that's plenty of time to prepare your car-free life, and save up the cash to put down for the bike.

We'd happily wait and pay out for any of these bikes--and how cool would the look securely fastened to one of those David Byrne bike racks?

Send us more links for custom bikes so we can daydream, or share your own.

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