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The Citizen commuter bicycle from Breezer.

I think we can safely count this among the day's major events. Today's Wall Street Journal is running a lengthy piece on the growing trend of bicycle manufacturers making bikes for people to use as "actual transportation."

After decades of pushing models designed for recreation, from full-suspension mountain bikes to ever-faster road bikes, industry heavyweights are now moving into commuters -- rugged specimens made for riding to work. Nearly every major manufacturer has a new or revised commuter model for 2007. They may look like 1940s Schwinns, but materials like aluminum and carbon make the frames lighter, while technological advances mean better brakes, shock-absorbing seats, smoother shifters and even electric power. The models usually come with practical accessories, like racks for carrying briefcases, fenders for splash protection on wet roads, lights that turn on automatically at dusk and big chain guards to keep legs and clothing away from chain grease.

Read on.

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