Bike fashion is different in San Jose than the City. Bikes are more rugged. You see a lot of mountain bikes with beaucoup de suspension. I ride in San Jose too, and the roads I use are smooth. So, the explanation is either differences in fashion, differences in routes or people are using their bikes for off-road recreational fun as well as commuting.
The following photos support the fashion theory. This guy souped up his regular mountain bike with crazy handlebars, fenders and a purple velvet seat. Yowza. I'm wondering if Elvis is lurking nearby.
Who knew you could commute by unicycle:
I like this photo because it shows the unicycle, a skateboard and the sign about where to put your bike. It goes to show you how resourceful people can be.