Showing posts with label bell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bell. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Electra Townie Commute 8D

Electra Townie Commute 8D in "aubergine." Courtesy: electrabike.com
The Electra Townie Commute 8D is a steel 8-speed that goes for about $770 (available in the Washington, DC area at Spokes Etc., Revolution Cycles, The Bike Lane and other fine stores).

In its Townie Commute series, Electra offers 8-speed or 27-speed bikes that have all the essentials for commuting or utility cycling: 2-inch wide Schwalbe Frank tires, integrated front and rear racks, fenders, chainguard, and dynamo-powered lights. It even comes with a bell!

Specs


Frame: Townie Commute 6061-T6 Aluminum w/Patented Flat Foot Technology
 
Fork: Hi-Ten Steel Uni-Crown, Straight/Tapered Leg 
 
Headset: 1 1/8" Steel Threaded/Semi-Integrated 
 
Rims: Alloy 700c x 32h w/Machined Sidewall 
 
Spokes: 14 Gauge Stainless/Brass Nipples 
 
Front Hub: Shimano Nexus Dynamo 32h 
 
Rear Hub: Alloy Low Flange 32h w/QR 
 
Tires: Schwalbe Fat Frank 700 X 2.0" Balloon w/Puncture-Resistant Kevlar® Guard Casing, 67TPI 
 
Crankset: Forged Alloy 170mm 
 
Pedals: Alloy Platform w/Non-Slip Rubber Tread 
 
Shifter: Shimano Acera Rapid Fire Plus 
 
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Tourney 8-Speed 
 
Cog: SRAM 8-Speed 11-32T 
 
Chain: KMC 1/2" x 3/32" Anti-Rust 
 
Brake Levers: Alloy Reach Adjustable
 
Saddle: Ergonomic w/Shock-Absorbing Elastomers 
 
Seat Post: Alloy 27.2mm X 300mm 
 
Handlebars: Alloy Custom Bend 24.8" Width/3.5" Rise 
 
Stem: Forged Alloy 25.4mm Quill 
 
Grips: Ergo-Shaped Hand-Stitched Leatherette 
 
Extras: F&R Spanninga Dynamo Led Lights, Internal Cable Rounting, Rust Resistant Hardware
 




Monday, July 11, 2016

GT Traffic 1.0

Traffic 1.0 is GT's top city bike.  Photo courtesy of  GT Bicycles.



The GT Traffic 1.0 is an aluminum 8-speed with disc brakes that retails for $660.

In a recent review, Adam Newman of the Bicycle Times sums up Traffic 1.0:

The Traffic is a solid platform for getting where you need to go and fun enough to take you a little bit beyond. While I will admit to being spoiled by some of the high-end bicycles we get to demo, I was impressed with the value of the build. Included are Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, full coverage fenders and even a bell. Add some lights and a lock and you’re off.

I would add that the Traffic 1.0 is built for wide tires.  It comes with 700 x 40c Schwalbe Roadcruiser tires that feature reflective sidewalls and puncture resistance.  These are quality tires -- I think they go for about $25 apiece -- and they should offer a cushy, flat-free ride and last for a long time.

Here are the specs:

Sizes:

XS, S, M, L, XL
Frame: NEW GT Traffic Triple Triangle 6061 series alloy, smooth welded, and hydroformed (TT,DT), forged drop-outs, chainstay disc mounts, all utility braze-ons
Fork: GT Traffic fork with hydroformed alloy raked legs, Disc brake tabs, rack and fender eyelets, steel steerer.
Chain: KMC Z72
Crank: SR Suntour XCC 48/38/28t
Bottom Bracket: Cartridge sealed
Pedals: New GT high impact nylon platform
Front Derailleur: Shimano FM-191
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Altus RD-M310 8spd
Shifters: Shimano Acera 8spd
Cog Set: Sunrace CSM55 8-spd 11-32t
Rims: Alex R500 disc specific aero profile
Tires: 700x40c Schwalbe Roadcruiser w/ puncture protection and reflective sidewalls
Hubs: F: Formula Disc 32h; R: Formula Disc 32h Freehub
Spokes: Stainless steel 14g
Nipples: Brass CP
Brake: Shimano BR-M355, Hydraulic Disc, W/ 160mm Rotor SM-RT56
Brake Levers: Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brake Lever
Handlebar: All New Melt forged Alloy Ahead type
Stem: New GT 3D forged Alloy Ahead type
Grips: GT Wing design
Headset: Threadless Ahead
Saddle: New GT Traffic saddle
Seat Post: Alloy one bolt seat pillar
Seat Clamp: Bolt type
Extras: Polycarbonate full wrap front & rear fender

*All prices and specifications subject to change without notice.
 


Monday, November 30, 2015

Breezer Downtown 8

Breezer Downtown 8. Photo courtesy of breezerbikes.com
The Breezer Downtown 8 has a MSRP of $609.

We've talked a lot about Breezer's Uptown models.  They are fully-dressed aluminum commuter bikes that come standard with a full chaincase, fenders, rear rack, internal gear hub, and even dynamo lights.  So it would be hard for Breezer to top that.  Unless...

Unless you really like the feel of steel.  Downtown is Breezer's classic chromoly steel town bike.  It comes with a chainguard, fenders, rear rack, bell, and Shimano Nexus 8 IGH.  The only thing missing is the lights.  It would be even better with lights, but you can add your own battery-powered lights.

Here are the full specs:


Specifications
SizesS (48 cm), M ( 52 cm), L (56 cm), XL (60 cm)
Color(s)Gloss Red w/ Cream
Main frameBreezer Chromoly Steel, Dual Water Bottle Mounts
Rear triangleBreezer Chromoly Steel
ForkBreezer Steel
CranksetBreezer Aluminum, 38T
Bottom BracketVP-BC73C Cartridge-Style
PedalsAlloy Body, Chromoly Axle
Front derailleurna
Rear derailleurna
ShiftersShimano Nexus 8 Revo-Shift, 8-Speed
CassetteShimano, 18T
ChainKMC
WheelsetBreezer Aluminum Front / Nexus 8 Rear 36H Hubs, Vera DPM18 Aluminum Double-Wall GSW Rims
TiresVera CityWide, 700Cx35 w/ Puncture Protection
Brake setBreezer Aluminum Linear Pull, Cold-Forged, Stainless Hardware
Brake leversBreezer Aluminum, 4-Finger Ergonomic w/ Kraton Grip
HeadsetFSA Sealed, 1 1/8", Threaded
HandlebarBreezer North Road Aluminum, 25.4, 26mm Rise, 590mm Wide, 33° Sweep
StemBreezer Aluminum, 25.4, Quill-Style
Tape/gripBreezer Perforated Comfort
SaddleBreezer Comfort
Seat postBreezer Aluminum, 27.2mm
FendersSteel, Stainless Hardware
Headlightna
Taillightna
Rear CarrierBreezer Tubular Aluminum w/ Spring Clip
AccChainguard, Kickstand, Bell
Weight, kg/lbs15.37 kg / 33.81 lbs

*Spec subject to change without notice
Geometry

Sizes

S (48 cm) M (52 cm) L (56 cm) XL (60 cm)
Seat Tube / Center To Top A
480 520 560 600
Top Tube - Effective C
590 600 610 630
Head Tube Length D
140 155 170 190
Seat Tube Angle E
72.5° 72.5° 72.5° 72.5°
Head Tube Angle G
71.5° 71.5° 71.5° 71.5°
Chainstay Length H
457 457 457 457
Wheelbase I
1071.1 1081.8 1092.5 1113.3
Bottom Bracket Height J
271 271 271 271
Fork Offset K
45 45 45 45
Standover Height O
774.8 791.8 824.6 851.2
Stem Length

80 80 100 100
Handlebar Width

590 590 590 590
Crank Arm Length

170 170 170

Monday, August 17, 2015

Momentum Bicycles (by Giant)


Giant's Momentum Street bikes: double-diamond model at top, mid-step at bottom. Photos courtesy momentum-biking.com

Momentum Street models are available in 5 colors, as a double-diamond or mid-step, and sell for just $425.

Giant, the world's largest bike manufacturer, is making low-cost bikes for the rest of us. They're 7-speed aluminum bikes that come standard with fenders, rear racks (with bag mounts), nominal chainguards, integrated cup holders, and even a frame-mounted u-lock carrier.  At $425, this is a highly utilitarian bike and a really good deal.


Outside Magazine has a positive review (as well as some discussion about Specialized's now-defunct Globe series).

Specifications

SizesSmall, Regular, Large
Colors Double Diamond:
 Black/White
 Blue/Bronze
 Matte Green/Orange
Mid-Step:
 Blue/White
 Red/Pearl White
FrameALUXX-grade aluminum with integrated rear carrier and cup holder, double diamond and mid-step options
ForkHigh Tensile Chromoly Steel
HandlebarAlloy, Mid rise
StemAlloy Quill
SeatpostAlloy, 30.9
SaddleRiveted Retro-Classic Comfort, coil spring
PedalsAlloy/Anti-Slip Platform
ShiftersShimano Revo, Twist
Front DerailleurN/A
Rear DerailleurShimano Tourney
BrakesAlloy, Direct Pull
Brake LeversAlloy Comfort
CassetteShimano TZ31 14x34, 7-speed
ChainZ51KMC Z51, Nickel Plated
CranksetAlloy, 42T
Bottom BracketSealed Cartridge
RimsGiant Alloy, Double wall
HubsAlloy, 32h
SpokesStainless Steel, 14g
TiresKenda Kwick Roller, puncture protection, 700x32
ExtrasChainguard, Kickstand, Bell, Integrated Rack with Straps and removable bag mounts, Integrated Cup Holder, Frame Mounted U-Lock Carrier

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Swobo Novak


Swobo Novaks are internally geared three-speeds. Photos courtesy: shop.swobo.com

The Swobo Novak is a steel 3-speed with an internal gear hub that costs around $650.

We haven't talked about Swobo since the days of Tim Parr and Sky Yaeger.  If you're unfamiliar with those names, I'll wait here while you get acquainted through google.

Back in 2008, we discussed Swobo's Sanchez, Folsom, and Otis models. Since then, Parr got bought out by Santa Cruz Bicycles, which is best known for making gnarly mountain bikes like the Tall Boy.  Santa Cruz was co-founded by a guy named Rich Novak, so it wouldn't surprise me if this model is named for him.  (By the way, Santa Cruz was just bought by Dutch cycling company Pon Holdings BV, which also owns Cervelo.) In any event, Swobo still offers updated versions of its Sanchez and Folsom.

And now they also have the Novak, the 3-speed models pictured above, as well as the 8-speed Fillmore models that go for about $900.  The Novaks and Fillmores come with Shimano Nexus internal gear hubs, hammered fenders, and a bell. They come in 5 sizes, ranging from a 48 cm seat tube to a 60 cm.  You can see the Novak in action in this youtube video.

Additional Novak specs:

  • Frame and fork: TIG welded Swobo Chromoly
  • Crankset: Samox outboard bearing with chainring bashguard
  • Hubs: Swobo branded (F)/Shimano Nexus 3spd (R)
  • Wheels: 700c/36 hole/Alex DA22 rims/14g Stainless spokes
  • Tires: Kenda Kwick Trax/700x32c/Puncture resistant with reflective sidewall
  • Brakes: Tektro forged dual pivot caliper
  • Seat/post/stem/bars/grips: Swobo branded
  • Extras:  Brake lever integrated bell, fenders.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sun Fritz and Skylar






The Fritz 5 and Skylar 5 have internal gear hubs and go for about $540.  The Fritz 8 and Skylar 8 have rear derailers and are around $480.  Photos courtesy of www.sun.bike


Miami-based Sun Bicycles offers the Fritz and Skylar as its "Dutch-inspired" models. They have upright handlebars, fenders, a rear carrier, and a bell "for a true Dutch experience."

Sun makes a wide variety of fun bikes, including cruisers, tandems, recumbents, and even unicycles.  They also offer a cargo bike that we've previously discussed.  They've apparently discontinued two solid models that we've featured here: the Cayne Uno and the Cayne Cykel.

The Fritz and Skylar are tig-welded steel bikes.  The Fritz 5 and Skylar 5 have Sturmey-Archer internal gear hubs and twist grip shifting.  The Fritz 8 and Skylar 8 have Shimano Acera 8-speed rear derailers.

Here are the specs for the Fritz 5:

FrameHigh Tensile Steel w/Chromoly Main Triangle, TIG Welded
Fork1' Hi Tensile Steel, Curved Legs, Double Eyelets
HeadsetSteel, Caged Bearings, 22.2 x 30 x 27mm, Sealed, CP
HandlebarAlloy, 610mm Wide x 66mm Rise x 25.4mm Clamp City Bar
StemAlloy, 22.2 x 180mm Quill x 80mm Ext. x 25.4mm Clamp, 30� Rise
GripsClassic Style, 128mm L, 92mm R, Custom Stitching
Brake LeverAlloy, 4-Finger Lever
Front BrakeAlloy, 61-78mm Reach, Dual Pivot, Nutted
Rear BrakeAlloy, 61-78mm Reach, Dual Pivot, Nutted
Rear ShifterSturmey-Archer TSC50 R5, 5-Spd Twist Shifter
SprocketSturmey-Archer 18T 1/2" x 1/8" for RX Hub
Seat ClampAlloy, 28.6mm I.D., with Bolt, Silver
Seat PostAlloy W/Integrated Clamp, 25.4 x 300mm, Silver
SaddleClassic Style, Coil Spring with Chrome Rails
Crank Set3-Piece Alloy, 170mm x 46T
ChainwheelSteel, 46T x 1/2: x 1/8", (5-Bolt x 130mm BCD)
Bottom BracketSealed Cartridge, 68 x 118mm
ChainK.M.C. Z410, 1/2" x 1/8", 102 Links
Chain GuardSteel, Painted
PedalsAlloy, 9/16", Slip-Resistant Top, Blk
Front HubAlloy, 36H x 14G x 3/8" Bolt-On Axle
Rear HubSturmey-Archer RX-RF5, 5-Spd Internal W/Freewheel, 36H x 14G
Rims700c x 36H x 14G, Alloy, Double Wall, CNC
Front Wheel700C x 36H x 14G, Alloy-Commuter, Bolt-On
Rear Wheel700C x 36H x 14G, Alloy-Commuter, W/Sturmey-Archer RX-RF5spd
Spokes14G Stainless Steel with CP Brass Nipples
Tires700 x 35C, Black Wall
KickstandAlloy, Center Mount, Silver
Fender SetSteel, F&R, W/Single Struts, Painted
Rear RackCustom Alloy
AccessoryBell, Alloy, Chrome Plated
Weight33 Lbs.
Weight Limit250 Lbs.



Monday, April 14, 2014

Batavus Flying D

Unfortunately, Batavus bikes are no longer being regularly imported to North America. But for a period in the mid 2008's they were available through several local bike shops. I became the second owner of a Batavus Flying D, after my first good city bike, a Breezer Uptown 8, was stolen.

Batavus is a dutch company from the Netherlands, but the frames are made in Taiwan or China. The Flying D model has a traditional "Dutch Bike" geometry and appearance, but is made with thick aluminum tubing and modern "29er" wheels.


The wheels have deep rims that are laced in a modern-looking pattern, paired with huge 2-inch thick city tires. This can make it difficult to hang up on a bike hook in a train, but it certainly gets attention. The front hub is a Shimano dynamo plus roller brake, the rear is a 7-speed SRAM hub with coaster brake, with the chain inclosed in a full plastic chaincase with futuristic styling. The bike came standard with a leather Brooks saddle and matching vinyl grips, rear wheel lock, and dynamo headlight.

I later added a dynamo taillight and rear rack to mine, which made it much more useful. The standard metal fenders are a little short, and need rubber mudflaps to be added for full protection. The 7-speed hub is a little finicky, making it difficult get the shifting to work smoothly when the rear wheel is removed and replaced for repairs, and you have to let up on the pedals while shifting, as with most 3-speed hubs (but unlike the Nuvinci and Shimano 8-speed hubs).

The riding position is very upright even with the handlebars at the lowest setting, and the large heavy wheels make acceleration and hill climbing feel slow. But this also means it rides right over potholes without a shudder, it feels like riding on a full suspension. The upright postion feels regal, as you loom over cars and other bike riders, and a tail-wind feels like a magic carpet ride. Just watch out for headwinds and hills, the aluminum frame does not make this bike light-weight.

If you want a "Dutch" bike, I would recommend looking for a Gazelle or Workcycles bike, instead of a Batavus due to the better build quality and looks of those bikes. But this was an affordable option in the used market, which came along at the right time. It originally retailed for about $1100 in 2008 to 2009, and now would be worth about $500 to $600 used.


Specifications:

Frame:  Aluminium
Fork:  Aluminium
Rims:  Deep-section 700c ("29er"), black with silver sides
Tires:  Chinese imitation of Schwalbe Big Apple tires 29x2.20 (52mm x 622 mm); reflex sidewalls
Spokes:  Stainless, 36
Front hub:  Shimano dynamo plus roller brake
Rear hub:  SRAM 7-speed with coaster brake
Shifter:  SRAM twist shifter
Handlebar:  Cruiser-style, riser bar with swept-back grips
Stem:  Alloy
Grips:  Vinyl, leather-look
Bottom bracket:  Sealed
Rear Cog:  18 (I recommend changing to 21t for lower gearing)
Chain:  
Pedals:  Rubber block
Front & rear Brake:  Shimano rollerbrake (front), Coaster brake (rear)
Brake levers:  Right (front) only
Saddle:  Brooks B67 brown leather with springs
Seat post:  Alloy
Chainguard:  Full chaincase, thermoplastic
Kickstand:  Long alloy plus rubber single kickstand
Fenders:  Metal (black painted alloy?)
Rack:  Not included (added on mine)
Lights:  Halogen B&M (replaced on mine with LED headlight and taillight)
Extras:  Bell
Colors:  Matte black

Monday, September 16, 2013

Linus Scout

The Linus Scout. Also available in navy blue. Credit: Linus bikes
Linus offers this steel 7-speed for $545.

Linus calls this "the bike for everyone."  I prefer the phrase "bike for the rest of us," but certainly this is the bike for everyone seeking a comfortable upright ride with fenders, a chainguard, and a decent gear selection.  This looks like an update of Linus' Duchi 3-speed model, with some nice touches like double-walled rims, leather grips, and a bell.

Here are the specs:


  • Durable Hi Tensile steel frame with Chromoly down tube


  • Shimano Acera 7 speed derailleur w/ MegaRange cassette


  • Tektro dual pivot caliper brakes


  • Forged aluminum crank


  • Chainguard w/ enclosed crank


  • Double wall alloy rims with stain-less steel spokes


  • Linus Elysian tires w/ gum wall


  • Genuine leather grips


  • Mid-century alloy bell


  •  Available in 48 cm with 26" wheels or 56 cm with 700c wheels
  • Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    Torker T-800

    Torker offers these 8-speeds with internal Shimano Nexus hubs for $650.

    Let's note everything that Torker got right here: comfortable, upright ride; fenders; chainguard; bell; and rear rack with bungee.  I'm not going to quibble.  For $650, this is an affordable, useful bike.

    Here are the specs:

    FRAMETorker 6061 Alloy Twin Top Tube Design
    FORK700c Steel Rigid
    Sizes14", 17", 19' / Step Thru 14”,17"
    HEADSETThreaded 1-1/8
    SPACERSAlloy (2-10MM, 2-5MM)
    STEMAlloy  Quill 
    HANDLEBARSteel Comfort 610mm, 26mm Rise
    GripKraton/Gel 92mm
    SADDLEComfort W Dual Density Foam
    SEAT POSTAlloy 27.2mm x 350mm
    SEAT POST ClampAlloy 31.8 
    RimsG2000, Twin Beam Construction, 36H
    Front HubAlloy 
    Rear HubShimano Nexus 8 spd Internal Geared Hub
    Spokes 14 G Stainless
    TIRESKenda 700 x 38
    CranksetAlloy 38T
    Bottom BracketSquare Taper 68mm
    Shifters/Brake LeversShimano Nexus Revo
    CASSETTE16T
    CHAINKMC Z410
    BRAKESV-Brakes
    ExtrasAlloy Rear Rack w/Bungee, Integrated Bell, Fenders, Custom Chain Guard
    PedalsAlloy City Pedal

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

    Kona Doctor Good

    2013 Doctor Good. Credit: konaworld.com
    Kona's Doctor Good has a 7-speed internal gear hub and an aluminum frame.  It retails for about $900.

    Another porteur bike?  This one looks like it could work. Kona says it went with short chainstays and seat stays for stability.  It gives the bike a nimble, compact appearance.  Comes with a bell conveniently located near the brake lever.


    Frame Material Kona 6061 Aluminum Butted
    Sizes C46, C49, C53, C56, C59, C61cm
    Rear Shock N/A
    Fork Kona Project Two Aluminum Disc
    Crankarms FSA 316BT
    Chainrings 38t/Bash
    B/B FSA 7420
    Pedals Wellgo C169
    Chain KMC Z610 RB
    Freewheel Shimano 18t
    F/D N/A
    R/D N/A
    Shifters Shimano Revo 7spd (rh only)
    Brake Calipers Avid BB5 (fr) Shimano Roller Brake (rr)
    Front Brake Rotor Avid G2 Cleansweep 160mm
    Rear Brake Rotor N/A
    Brake Levers Tektro 4 Finger w/Bell (fr)
    Headset TH ZST No.10
    Handlebar Kona Handplant
    Stem Kona Commuter
    Seatpost Kona Double Clamp w/Offset
    Seat Clamp Kona Clamp
    Grips Velo Ergo
    Saddle Kona Comfort
    Front Hub Formula
    Rear Hub Shimano Nexus 7
    Spokes Stainless 14g
    Rims Freedom by WTB Cruz Disc
    Front Tire Continental CityRide 700x32C
    Rear Tire Continental CityRide 700x32C
    Paint Color Green w/Grey
    Extras Front Rack, Fenders, Front Stabilizer Spring

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

    Kona Roundabout

    The 2013 Kona Roundabout. Credit konaworld.com
    The 2013 Kona Roundabout has an MSRP of $1,000.

    Kona introduced the Roundabout in 2012.  This year's model has longer fenders and an integrated rear rack.  It's great to see Kona making such a nice-looking lugged steel bike.

    Here are the specs:


    Frame Material Kona Cromoly Butted
    Sizes S, M, L
    Rear Shock N/A
    Fork Kona Retro Road
    Crankarms FSA Tempo City
    Chainrings Bash/39t/Bash
    B/B FSA 7420ST
    Pedals VP 198
    Chain KMC HG53
    Freewheel Shimano Acera 11-32t 9 spd
    F/D N/A
    R/D Shimano Alivio
    Shifters Shimano Acera
    Brake Calipers Hayes CX6
    Front Brake Rotor N/A
    Rear Brake Rotor N/A
    Brake Levers Tektro FL540
    Headset TH 848
    Handlebar Kona Handplant
    Stem Kona Commuter
    Seatpost Kona Double Clamp w/Offset
    Seat Clamp Integrated
    Grips Velo Ergo
    Saddle Kona Comfort
    Front Hub Formula
    Rear Hub Shimano M475
    Spokes Sandvik Stainless 15g fr /14g rr
    Rims Freedom by WTB Racine Elite
    Front Tire Continental UltraSport 700x28C
    Rear Tire Continental UltraSport 700x28C
    Paint Color Matt Silver w/Rust, White & Grey
    Extras Rear Rack, Fenders, Kona Bell

    Monday, March 18, 2013

    Kids Bikes

    While we're on the subject of kids' bikes, I thought I'd jot down a few of my ideas on the topic. 

    1.  Skip the training wheels


    Like-a-bike "mountain" bike. Courtesy: LIKE-a-BIKE USA.
    The Big Day has arrived!  Your little one, who has been riding around like a pro on her training wheels, is ready to try riding without them.  You'd better take her to a soft grassy field, because she's about to take some falls.

    Here's the problem: A child who learns to ride with training wheels does not learn the most fundamental of bicycle fundamentals: How to balance. 

    That's why I like Like-A-Bike.  Kids learn how to balance first; then they're ready for pedals. Like-A-Bikes are well-crafted and safe. They are, however, a bit pricey. 

    There is an inexpensive alternative.  You know that Toys R Us bike you bought?  Take off the training wheels and the crankarms/pedals. Let her scoot around on that for awhile, and soon she will have mastered balance and will be ready for you to put her cranks and pedals back on.

    2.  Introduce new concepts gradually

    As discussed above, start with balance.  Then braking. Then turns. But don't expect your 4- or 5-year-old to know how to shift.  Once the basics have been mastered, the next bike can have more bells and whistles.


    My 8-year-old's six speed. With bell.
    Actually, by bells and whistles, I mean handbrakes and a few gears.  But a bell or horn is a good idea as well, so long as your young rider is not getting too distracted from the basics of bicycling.

    3.  Buy used

    I'm not big on spending money in the first place, but why would I want to spend it on something that will be mistreated and quickly outgrown?


    My 11-year-old's bike.  It has a kickstand, yet he's let it drop to the ground on the drivetrain side.


    There are many used  kids' bikes for sale that have hardly been ridden.  I've had great luck finding cheap, tough, functional kids' bikes at the local co-ops. When your child has outgrown her bike, donate it back to the co-op.

    4.  Spend lots of time teaching

    This is a big deal.  I'm not just talking about teaching your child how to ride a bike.  I'm talking about bike safety issues like seeing the whole road, being visible, and being consistent.

    I often see kids riding on the left side of the road, riding in the center of the road, or riding back and forth between the sidewalk and the road.  These are future car drivers. Take this opportunity to teach them the rules of the road. 

    There are lots of bike rodeos and other kids' safety programs - enroll your kids.  They'll have fun, learn stuff, and maybe get a free helmet or some stickers for their bike.

    ***

    These are the four suggestions I share most often with other parents.  As always, feel free to disagree with me or add your own thoughts in the comments.

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    Yuba Boda Boda

    Boda Boda stepover and stepthrough. Credit: Yuba


    The Yuba Boda Boda cargo cruiser is available at Bikes at Vienna and other local bike shops.  The typical price appears to be about $1,000.

    Yuba had already perfected the long-tail cargo bike in the form of the Yuba Mundo, which is capable of replacing your car for most local errands.  For urban apartment or condo dwellers, however, the heavy, bulky cargo bike presented of challenge in terms of storage and just getting the thing up the stairs.  Boda Boda appears to be Yuba's solution, a lighter (35 lbs.) shorter cargo bike with a handhold for carrying it up a flight of stairs. 

    The Boda Boda has an integrated rear rack and is capable of carrying an impressive amount of weight.  It's available both as a step-through and a "step-over."

    In October 2012, Outside Magazine named the Boda Boda the best utility bike for $1,000.  There's also a review by Cyclelicious.

    Here are the full specs as of June 27, 2012:


    FRAME

    BODA BODA FRAME, AL 6061


    FORK

    26"X2.125, CR-MO, OLD:100W, 400.5 LENGTH, 40 OFFSET,

    DYNAMO BRAZE ON


    WHEELS


    FRONT RIM 26" X 26MM, DOUBLE WALL, 32 HOLE, NO DECALS

    REAR RIM 26" X 26MM, DOUBLE WALL, 36 HOLE, NO DECALS

    FRONT HUB MODUS NUTTED, 32 HOLE, CRMO AXLE, LOOSE BALL, DOUBLE SEALED, GROUND RACE, DUAL LOCK NUTS
    REAR HUB MODUS NUTTED, 36 HOLES, CASSETTE, CRMO AXLE, LOOSE BALL
    SPOKES 2.0MM, 14G, STAINLESS 3X FRONT AND REAR
    SPOKE NIPPLE 2.0MM X 12MM BRASS, INCLUDED WITH SPOKES

    FRONT TIRE KENDA 26" X .1.95", WIRE BEAD, 30TPI
    REAR TIRE KENDA 26" X .1.95", WIRE BEAD, 30TPI
    INNER TUBES CST/KENDA SHRADER VALVE (A/V), 1.2MM THICKNESS
    TRANSMISSION
    CRANK SET LASCO 170MM, JIS, 4-BOLT

    CHAINWHEELS LASCO 38T, W/ GS0 STEEL OUTER GUARD, INCLUDED WITH CRANK SET

    BOTTOM BRACKET VP JIS, CARTRIDGE SEAL, W/ CAPLESS STAINLESS STEEL BOLTS
    CHAIN KMC 1/2"X3/32", APPROXIMATELY 125 LINKS
    REAR DERAILLEUR SRAM MEDIUM CAGE, 7-8 SP, 1:1 RATIO
    REAR DER SHIFTER SRAM 8SPD,

    TRIGGER SHIFTER, RIGHT


    CASSETTE SRAM 8 SPD, 11-32, STEEL


    COCKPIT

    PEDALS VP NYLON PEDAL, LOW PROFILE

    HEAD SET VP STEEL, 1-1/8", THREADED

    STEM PROMAX LARGE = 100MM, SMALL = 80MM EXT., 25.4MM QUILL DIAMETER, ALUMINUM
    HANDLEBARS PROMAX FRENCH CITY BARS, >600MM WIDE, 70MM RISE, >196MM GRIP AREA TAPE / GRIPS VELO CORK, REQUIRES GLUE FOR INSTALLATION SADDLE CIONLLI WITH SPRING
    SEAT POST PROMAX ALLOY, 30.2MM,

    LARGE = 500MM, SMALL = 400MM
    SEAT CLAMP PROMAX QR

    BRAKE

    FRONT BRAKE PROMAX DIE CAST ALLOY V BRAKE, 125MM ARM, 60MM 1PC PAD
    REAR BRAKE PROMAX DIE CAST ALLOY V BRAKE, 125MM ARM, 60MM 1PC PAD
    BRAKE LEVERS PROMAX TRIGGER SHIFTER, SILVER LEVER, ED BLACK BODY

    OTHER

    DECK 8MM THICK, BAMBOO,

    KICKSTAND MASSLOAD YUBA SIDE STAND

    BELL YWS DING DONG BELL, 60MM, STEEL

    Monday, June 18, 2012

    Pilen Lyx

    Lyx in red and in black. Courtesy: Pilen
    The Pilen Lyx, available as a step-through or diamond frame, is about $1,230 at J.C. Lind Bike Co. in Chicago.  It is not sold online.

    Pilen Cycles, founded in 1999, develop and assemble their bikes in a family-run factory in Sweden.  According to their website, "a Pilen is a bike for those who need a reliable friend in life that you can always trust. If you cycle to work, to a picnic with your children, or enjoy touring, then we believe Pilen is the best choice for you."

    Lyx has become one of Pilen's most popular models.  There have been plenty of reviews to check out:

    Portlandize

    Velocouture

    Lovely Bike

    LGRAB

    Here are the full specs:

    ColorsYou can choose between 4 colours. Black, red, green and blue.
    FrameHeight: 56 cm. Chrome molybdenum steel. Powder coated.
    ForkChrome molybdenum steel with cast crown.
    MudguardsStainless Steel. Black powder coated.
    Bearing and Chain WheelThe bearings come from Kinex and require no maintenance. Aluminium crankshafts.
    Chain and chain guard108 links. Anti rust processed chain. The chain guard has a layer of Zink before powder coating.
    Rear hub
    Transmission44:20
    Rear hub alt. 1Shimano zero-gear. Coaster brake.
    Rear hub alt. 2SRAM Automatix 2. Coaster brake. Automatic Shift.
    Rear hub alt. 3SRAM T3. Coaster brake. Handlebar Gripshift.
    Rear hub alt. 4SRAM P5. Coaster brake. Handlebar Gripshift.
    Rear hub alt. 5SRAM S7. Coaster brake. Handlebar Gripshift.
    Rear hub alt. 6Shimano Nexus Inter 3.Coaster brake. Handlebar Gripshift.
    Rear hub alt. 7Shimano Nexus Inter 7. Coaster brake. Handlebar Gripshift.
    Rear hub alt. 8Shimano Nexus Inter 8. Rollerbrake or Coaster brake. Handlebar Gripshift.
    Rear hub alt. 9Shimano Nexus Inter 8 with rollerbrakes. Handlebar Gripshift. Front and rear brakes on handlebar.


    Front hubShimano DH-2R35-E-with rollerbrake and hub generator.
    Gear shifterHandlebars Grip shift (except Duomatic 2).
    TiresSchwalbe Citizen 47-622 with Puncture Protection. For heavy persons (+85) kg, we recommend Schwalbe Big Apple.
    Wheel28 inches (47-622) double bottomed aluminium rims, targeted spoke holes, eyelets and strong spokes in stainless steel. The rear wheel have reduced spokes.
    SpokesStainless steel 2,36mm. Reduced in the rear wheel.
    CarrierStable carrier made of steel tubing with stainless steel clamps. Painted black.
    LockABUS high security lock (class 8).
    BrakesCoaster brakes or rollerbrake (rear rollerbrakes only on Shimano Nexus Inter-8).
    SadelBrooks B66 leather with springs. Available in colors: Black, Brown and Honey.
    Front lampBusch & Müller with 2.4 watts H3-lamp. Excellent light for even the darkest road.
    Rear lampLED. Automatic light activated by low light and movement. From Spanninga.
    ReflexesReflex sides on the tires, in the rear and front lamp and on the basket (ladies model).
    BellStainless steel.