Sunday, May 22, 2016

Raleigh Superbe

The 2016 Raleigh Superbe.  Courtesy: Raleigh USA

The 2016 Raleigh Superbe is a 7-speed that comes with fenders, a chainguard, and a rear rack and has an MSRP of $450.

Last we checked, the Raleigh brand was owned by a Dutch conglomerate after being sold and resold several times.  So it's not the same company that was founded in Nottingham, England in 1887 and once dominated the bicycle industry in terms of quality and performance.  The old Raleighs, like our friend old Binnie, have held up to the test of time.  If you're feeling nostalgic, you should check out this promotional film made at the Nottingham factory.

Nevertheless, the Raleigh brand rides on, and the names of the most famous old Raleigh models are being recycled: first, with the Clubman model and now Superbe.

According to the late, great Sheldon Brown, the Raleigh Superbe model "was always the super-deluxe version of [Raleigh's] top-of-the-line bike."  Sheldon Brown's Superbe looked like this:

Sheldon Brown's 1954 Raleigh Superbe. Courtesy: sheldonbrown.com

The 2016 Superbe is a poor imitation of the real thing.  That sounds harsh, but compare the 2016 model with Sheldon's 1954 model:

The 1954 model came with a dynohub light system.  The 2016 model does not include lights.

The 1954 model had an internal gear hub, protecting those gears from rainy English weather.  The 2016 model comes with a plastic derailer.

The 1954 model had a full chaincase, shielding the chain from moisture and the rider's pants from the drivetrain.  The 2016 model has a chainguard.

The 1954 model came standard with a leather Brooks B-66 sprung saddle. The 2016 model has a synthetic sprung saddle.

The 1954 model came with a pump and pump holder.  The 2016 model comes with neither.



The 2016 Superbe is a useful, functional bike.  It's just not superb, like the Superbe of yore.

2016 Specs:

Frame MaterialSteel
Bike Wheel Size700c
FrameRaleigh Classic Steel, Twin Tube Low Step-thru
ForkSteel 1" Threaded w/ Brake Bosses
CranksForged Alloy, 170mm w/ 42t Heron Chain Ring
Bottom BracketCartridge Steel w/ Oversize Bearings, Chromoly Spindle
Rear DerailleurShimano Tourney 7spd
ShifterShimano 7spd Revo Shifter
Brake LeversPromax Alloy
BrakesPromax Alloy V Brake, Silver
CogsetShimano Tourney 7spd 14-28
RimsWeinmann 700c Alloy 36h
TiresKenda 700x35 Skin Side Wall
PedalsVP Classic Steel Cage
HandlebarAlloy Silver 640 Width 60mm Sweep
StemSilver Anodized 1" Quill
SeatpostAlloy Micro Adjust 25.4x300mm
SeatRaleigh Comfort Saddle w/ Springs
HeadsetSilver, 1" Threaded
ChainKMC
Front Hub36h Nutted
Rear Hub36h Nutted,
Spokes14g Zinc Plated Steel
GripsVelo Black Cork
ExtrasRack w/ bungee cords, Metal Fenders, Silver Kick Stand


http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/city/classics/superbe

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/org/superbe54.html






Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Scott Sub EVO 20

The 2016 Scott Sub Evo 20. Photo courtesy of Scott Sports.
The Scott Sub Evo 20 is currently on sale at Big Wheel Bikes for $800 (the MSRP is $1,000).

The first thing we need to do is add this to Edwin's list of bikes that come with lights. The front headlight is a Busch and Muller Eyc, which is powered by Shimano Deore dynamo hub.  The rear light is also from B and M.

Scott calls this a 30-speed.  It comes with a cassette with a range from an 11-tooth cog up to a mountain-tackling 34-tooth large cog.  The Sub Evo has an aluminum frame and fork and is equipped with Shimano disc brakes.  Overall, my impression is that this bike can handle a mix of terrain and climates.

The Sub Evo comes with fenders and a Racktime rearcarrier.  Racktime is a complete system which works with "snap it" accessories, as depicted in this youtube video.

Overall, this looks like a well-designed and thought-out bike.  There's a review of the Sub Evo 30 bike on youtube (a similar, but not the same, model).

Specs:

Frame


SUB Evo 6061 Tig welding




Fork
Sub Evo Alu Rigid Forged




Headset
VP-A41AC Semi integrated




Rear Derailleur
Shimano RD-T610 SGS 10 Speed




Front Derailleur
Shimano Deore FD-T610




Shifters
Shimano SL-T610




Brake Levers
Shimano BL-M355




Brakes
Shimano BR-M355




Crankset
Shimano FC-T611 Black 48x36x26 T




BB-Set
Included with crankset




Handlebar
JD-MTB 25AF




H'stem
JD-ST57A




Pedals
VP-615




Seatpost
JD JD-SP68T.1.




Seat
Syncros Urban Solution 2.5




Hub (Front)
Shimano Deore DH-3D37 Dynamo 32h




Hub (Rear)
Shimano FH-M615 CL 32h




Chain
KMC X10




Cassette
Shimano HG62 11-34 T




Spokes
Pillar Steel 14G




Rims
X12 Disc, 32h




Tires
Continental City Ride II




Lights
Front B&M EYC and Rear Integrated B&M Ilu Jr




Rack & Fenders
Racktime Standit w/ spring clamp
Curana C-lite D45 with integrated Rear Light




Approx weights in KG
15




Approx weights in LBS
33.07



Sunday, May 8, 2016

Republic Bikes

Republic's Plato Dutch Step-through available through Urban Outfitters. Photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Republic Bikes' Plato Dutch diamond and step-through 3-speeds are advertised for $499 at Urban Outfitters.  The singlespeeds are $399. They can also be ordered directly from Republic.

Republic Bikes jumped on the fixie/singlespeed bandwagon in the late 2000's.  Republic fixies were quickly derided by bike snobs as cheap and heavy.  They were, after all, made from tensile steel (*gasp*).  There were also grounds to mock Republic fixies based on the partnership between Republic and Urban Outfitters.  In 2009, the world's funniest bike snob commented:

You can certainly continue to enjoy something after it's received the Urban Outfitters treatment, though you can no longer tell yourself that the fact that you enjoy it makes you special.

Bike Snob was talking about fixies and hipsters, but the same sentiment can now be applied to "Dutch bikes" and the city dwellers who love them.  Yes, we know these are not *real* Dutch bikes.  But will Dutch bikes ever hold the same allure after receiving the "Urban Outfitters treatment"?

The Republic Bikes/Urban Outfitter "treatment" includes a web page where you "build your own bike," by which they mean you get to choose a color scheme.  I'm not going to make fun of this.  Urban Outfitters sells fashion, and "Dutch" bikes have long been considered a fashion accessory.

Republic has built a fleet of these "Dutch" bicycles for Google employees to cruise from building to building at the Googleplex campus in Mountain View, California.  These are useful bikes, even if they are tanks designed as fashion accessories.

Specifications

Total assembled weight: 40 lbs (18.14 kgs)

Frame: Custom lugged design in hi-ten steel. Adjustable alloy seat tube clamp. Front and rear pipe carrier racks included.

Forks: Crown Lugged, hi-ten steel.

Gearing (1-speed): 36T chainwheel, 18T freewheel

Gearing (3-speed): Shimano Nexus 3-speed internal hub, 36T chainwheel, 18T freewheel

Grips: Custom stitched comfort grips.

Saddle: Custom two-tone button saddle with Republic logo plate.

Chaincase: Fully covered PVC chain protector

Skirt: Clip-on PVC skirt nets attach to rear fender.

Wheels: Alloy 26 x 1.5". Nutted axles to both front and rear.
Tires: 26 x 2.25" custom hue balloon tires

Rear hub (1-speed): Coaster brake hub with 18T freewheel.

Rear hub (3-speed): Shimano Nexus 3-speed Coaster brake hub with 18T freewheel.

Front hub: Shimano Nexus roller brake.
Chainset: Steel 1/2 x 1/8 x 36T with 165mm Alloy cranks

Handlebars: Alloy, 600mm wide semi-raised.

Pedals: 9/16 PVC with reflectors.

Brakes: Rear coaster brake, front Shimano roller brake.

Seat post: Alloy 28.6mm x 400mm.

Center kickstand included.

Front, rear and wheel reflectors included.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Biria CitiClassic Series


Biria Classic i3 (top) and Sport i3 (bottom). All photos courtesy: www.biria.com


These 3-speeds from Biria's CitiClassic series go for about $615.

Biria is... different.  Biria produced the only shaft-driven bike that you will find on these pages. The flagship Biria model is the Easy Boarding, which looks like it's half bike, half scooter.  And Biria puts out a road bike with 20" wheels.

A few years ago, however, Biria noticed that American cities were actually putting in bike lanes, so they produced a really nice, functional city bike, which Joseph wrote about here. The CitiClassics are basically the same model, but look at all that sleek nickel chrome.  The CitiClassics come with fenders, chainguards, rear racks, and internal gear hubs.

Here are the specs for the Sport i3:

Frame:
Chromoly and Hi-ten Steel
Fork
Steel Crown
Rims
Double wall aluminum
Tires
700 x 35
Gear
Shimano Nexus 3, free wheel, with grip shifter
Stem
Aluminum
Handlebar
Aluminum
Brake
Aluminum Tektro Caliper
Standard
Fenders, Aluminum rear rack, chain guard, kickstand
Size and Color
46 cm (18"): Nickel Silver
55 cm (21.5"): Nickel Silver



















Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Priority Eight


The Priority Eight is a belt-driven 8-speed. Photo courtesy of http://www.prioritybicycles.com

The Priority Eight has a "pre-sale" price of $800.  Priority anticipates that the bikes will be available by April 1.

According to Priority, the purpose of their bikes is "to make cycling more simple." Their first models were belt-driven "Classic" 3-speeds offered in a  diamond or step-through aluminum frame. Priority marketed these models as "low-maintenance" bikes available in black or white.

Since launching those classic models, Priority says it has received overwhelming demand for a bike with more gears, hence the Priority Eight.  The Eight, like the Classics, has a Gates carbon belt and an internal gear hub for a clean, low-maintenance ride.  It also comes with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.





There has been some hype about the release of the Priority Eight.  You can read about it at Gizmodo and Bike Rumor.

The Priority Eight is available in three sizes: 17", 19" and 21.5". Here are the specs:

Component Description
Frame Ultralite 6061 T6 Aluminum
Fork Ultralite 6061 T6 Aluminum
Rims Double Wall Alloy, 36h
Front Hub Priority Alloy Sealed
Rear Hub Shimano Nexus 8 Disc
Spokes Black Stainless Steel
Shifter Shimano Nexus 8 Twist
Brakes Tektro HD-M330 Hydraulic Disc Dual Piston
Crankset Gates by FSA
Front Chainring 50t Gates CDN
Rear Cog 24t Gates CDN
Pedals Alloy
Bottom Bracket Sealed Cartridge
Seat Post 27.2 Alloy Microadjust 350mm
Belt Gates Carbon Drive, CDN
Saddle Velo dual density
Handlebar Stem Alloy
Handlebar Alloy, 31.8, 6 degree rise, 630mm
Headset Neco Alloy
Tires Continental Puncture Resistant 700x32
Fenders Alloy Paint Matched
Color Matte Charcoal Grey
Sizes 17", 19" and 21.5"
Weight Approx. 26lbs