I have a short cycle to work and back every day (under 30mins each way.) Because I could quite feasibly walk the journey, I've always wanted a bike that needs as little tinkering with as possible, as if I have to do much of that, I may as well just walk. I also much prefer the traditional "sit up and beg" riding position, because I find for my kind of cycling, performance is unimportant and I would rather be comfortable.
I currently have a Sparta Atlas (Dutch bike), which is almost perfect. 7-speed hub gear / brakes / dynamo hub, enclosed chain, and I've fitted it with LED lights and Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres that seem unpuncturable.
However, where it is not perfect is (a) it is very heavy, I think mainly due to the 7-speed hub, (b) it seems to get through bottom brackets very fast. First one went after two years, and the second one I think is about to go. But worse, last time I found it hard to track down the part in the UK. The shop I bought it from (Cambridge Station Cycles) no longer deal with Sparta, and I tried various other local bike shops who said they couldn't get it. In the end, I got an electric bike dealer to order the part, which I then took to another shop to have fitted!
I am wondering if it is time to get something else, because we are about to move to Birmingham, and am figuring if I struggle to find these parts in Cambridge I may struggle a lot more in other places. Also, the heaviness of the bike is not an issue here where it is very flat, but may become more of an issue depending where exactly we move to.
But I cannot justify spending lots of money when I will probably still only have a short commute. So I could just get the Sparta fixed and see how it goes - or I could try and find something second-hand to replace it with. I thought about an old British 3-speeder perhaps. Or I did once try a Giant Expression N3 and liked it, but not sure if either of these options would be any more hardy than the Sparta in the long run (which, when it comes down to it, is a good bike, just seems to have an achillies heel.)
Any suggestions would be very welcome. Thanks in advance.