In which I blab about bicycles and my indecision

So, I've been trying to decide on a new bike for a few years now, but have recently gotten more serious about it since I sold my beloved Hoffman Rhythm BMX bike this past spring. I figured at 24, I should probably get something a little more grown up/ not so tomboy-ish. Living only about 5 miles from Venice Beach & Santa Monica pier has really put the pressure on me to get something soon. Also not having a car, it'd be nice to have some form of transportation. I had a second interview for a job yesterday that's just about 3.5 miles away. Totally bike-able (although bike safety on my particular route might be an issue). I'm having the hardest time trying to figure out exactly what I want right now. Let's face it, I'm a pretty indecisive person. In the coming weeks I should be doing some car shopping as well, which will most likely prove to be an even harder decision. So, let's see if I can decide on the less important of the two, shall we?

I am fairly certain that I want a beach cruiser. They are very popular right now, especially in LA, and there are a ton of super cute styles. I have an idea in my head of what I'm looking for but it doesn't seem to exist. I've found a few that I really like but are over my budget for what I'd like to spend on a bike. I've also had my eye on the custom fixie/single speeds over at Republic Bike/UO. I like the option to design it yourself. They do have a Dutch custom shop, but I'm not a fan of their choices. I've been thinking about it a lot over the last week, and I think I've decided that I'm going to start with a cruiser and then if I have some spare cash in the future, I'll also get the bike at Republic. My boyfriend has been looking at getting a second bike as well, partially so that we have spares for our guests to ride when they visit. Not a bad idea.
Now, here are the cruisers that I've been looking at:

The 26" SixThreeZero. I've read some reviews on this bike and it sounds like you get what you pay for. It's definitely on the cheaper side of cruisers, at about $220. I like the simplicity of it. I'm not crazy for the bikes with all the flowery details. If I choose this bike, I would also get a brown wicker basket to carry all my stuff in easier when I ride around.

Another bike I've had my eye on for the last 3 years or so is the Nadine from Phat Cycles. On the east coast, these bikes are virtually impossible to come by. I don't know why but I'm totally drawn to the argyle pattern. I test rode this bike a couple of weeks ago and was slightly disappointed with the overall look. It actually appeared somewhat cheap for a $440 bike. I'm also not a fan of the glossy paint job. Still, I've been lusting over this one for so long and it rode smoothly, so I've kept it on my list.

The next bike is one I recently fell in love with. Another one from Phat Cycles, but a cheaper option at about $310. I like both the blue and the yellow frames (sensing a pattern in my color choices here?), so I'm not sure which I'd choose in the end. I think the yellow goes better with the green rims.

These last two are way out of my price range if I'm planning to get a second bike eventually, but I'm going to post photos of them anyway because I really love them. One other thing about these is they are 3-speed. I really don't like having gears, I think it looks sloppy, so I've really only been considering single speeds. These are both from Electra Bikes.

And just because, here is the bike I plan on building from Republic Bikes sometime in the future. It's not quite the same- both rims would be yellow on mine, but this is the general idea.
Phew. So as you can see, I have some options. There is not really one in particular that I totally love (except for that second to last one I posted- the Electra. I'm totally digging that one right now. If only it were $200 cheaper and single speed). I love the Republic Bike as well, but I'm not really sure it's my riding style. I can be a lot more relaxed on a cruiser and they are perfect for the beach which is what I'm really looking for at this point. I am forcing myself to make a decision in the next week. I want to have a bike picked out by next Friday at the latest.

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