Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Public Bikes at Kimpton Hotels

An elegant hotel loaner bike. Courtesy: Kimpton Hotels
Two years ago, Kimpton Hotels teamed up with Public Bikes to offer loaner bikes at their hotels.  From a marketing standpoint, this was a win-win for both Kimpton and Public.  But it also has turned out to be another victory for bikesharing.  The best way to see any city is by bicycle, and now Kimpton invites you to do that when you stay at their hotels.

As we've discussed before, Public produces colorful and classy mixtes and diamond frames that come with fenders, chainguards, and rear racks. They look nice lined up at any hotel, and they all but guarantee a memorable experience for any guest who takes them out for a spin.

Here's a youtube video promoting the bikes at the Hotel Monaco, a Kimpton hotel in Washington, D.C. And more marketing:


Borrow a bike while staying at a Kimpton Hotel. Courtesy: http://blog.publicbikes.com

Are any other hotel chains considering this? And if not, why not?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Trek Steel District and Chelsea 9

The Chelsea 9 (top) and Steel District (bottom) have an MSRP of $790.  Photos courtesy of trekbikes.com.
Trek is offering these steel bikes as part of its urban collection.  According to Trek, "District elevates the urban bike to a new level of refinement with a sexy mashup of style and function."

Whether or not they're a "sexy mashup," these models definitely represent an evolution from the Trek District we featured here seven years ago.  That bike was a belt-driven single-speed and Trek touted its "clean" look.  David Hembrow commented: "I question the practicality of a bike which is claimed to be 'clean' yet which has no mudguards (fenders)."

These 9-speed models retain the clean look but offer gears and Hembrow's desired mudguards.  The clean look is made possible by the 1x9 gearing, a set-up that I personally like (your mileage may vary).  The front basket and disc brakes are nice touches.

Here are the specs for the Chelsea 9:

Colors: Canary Yellow; White Gold
Frame: Trek Custom Steel Mixtie w/inboard rear disc brake mounts, rack & fender mounts
Fork: High-tensile steel
Sizes: 49, 53, 56cm
Front Hub: Formula DC20 alloy
Rear Hub: Formula DC22 alloy
Rims: 32-hole double-walled alloy
Tires: Bontrager AW1 Hard-Case Lite, 700x32c
Shifters: Shimano Acera M390, 9 speed
Rear derailleur: Shimano Acera
Crank: Forged alloy 3 piece, 45T
Cassette: SRAM PG-950, 11-32, 9 speed
Pedals: VP city-style alloy
Chain: KMC X9
Saddle:Bontrager H1 WSD
Seatpost: Bontrager Alloy, 2-bolt head, 27.2mm, 8mm offset
Handlebar: Bontrager Urban, 31.8mm, 25mm rise
Stem: Bontrager Race Lite, 31.8mm, 7 degree
Headset: 1-1/8" Threadless
Brakeset: Hayes CX Expert mechanical disc, 160mm rotors brakes, Tektro CL520 alloy levers
Grips: Custom District, lock-on
Extras: Front basket, chain keeper

And the specs for the District 9:

Colors: Blue Grey Metallic
Frame: Trek Custom Steel w/inboard rear disc brake mounts, rack & fender mounts
Fork: High-tensile steel
Sizes: 50, 54, 56, 58, 61cm
Front Hub: Formula DC20 alloy
Rear Hub: Formula DC22 alloy
Rims: 32-hole double-walled alloy
Tires: Bontrager AW1 Hard-Case Lite, 700x32c
Shifters: Shimano Acera M390, 9 speed
Rear derailleur: Shimano Acera
Crank: Forged alloy 3 piece, 45T
Cassette: SRAM PG-950, 11-32, 9 speed
Pedals: VP city-style alloy
Chain: KMC X9
Saddle: Retro Urban Saddle, Brown w/ Rivets
Seatpost: Bontrager Alloy, 2-bolt head, 27.2mm, 8mm offset
Handlebar: Bontrager Urban, 31.8mm, 25mm rise
Stem: Bontrager Race Lite, 31.8mm, 7 degree
Headset: 1-1/8" Threadless
Brakeset: Hayes CX Expert mechanical disc, 160mm rotors brakes, Tektro CL520 alloy levers
Grips: Custom District, lock-on
Extras: Front basket





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.



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Electra Loft

Loft 7D, top, and Loft 7i, bottom, are nice-looking, affordable modes of transportation. Courtesy: electrabike.com
Electra, which calls Encinitas, California its homebase, describes the Loft series as "modern day classic."  The 7D, so named because it has a 7-speed derailer, goes for about $550.  The 7i, which has a 7-speed internal gear hub, is around $710.

We've already talked about Electra's Ticino series, its Amsterdam 8i and Fashion 3i which you can get with dynamo hub-powered lights, the Townie Balloon 8i, and of course the Amsterdam Classic. Needless to say, you can count on Electra to produce attractive and useful bikes for the rest of us.

The Loft series offers comfortable, upright rides with aluminum frames.  In fact, the 7i is brushed aluminum, a pretty cool look.  The 7D has a Shimano Acera rear derailer; the 7i has a Shimano Nexus IGH.  Both have caliper rim brakes. The rear racks, chainguards, and fenders (also on the 3i) complete the bikes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Virtue Truck


An affordable cargo bike. Courtesy: Virtue Bike
Virtue's Truck can haul up to $110 pounds. Accordingly to Chris Baskind (h/t), a Truck can be purchased for less than $600.


We wholly endorse Virtue's mantra: "It's not a sport; it's not a hobby; nor is it recreational. It's lifestyle."

Back in 2012, when we reported on the Virtue 6, owner William Mulyadi told us that Virtue can keep its prices low because it actually owns the factories. So that may be one reason its cargo bike is so affordable. But Virtue also cut costs by skipping the disc brakes, which have become a standard feature on cargo brakes. The Truck has Tektro v-brakes.

Here are the specs:

2014 Virtue Truck Green
AVAILABILITY: IN STOCK
SKU: 30037
COLOR: GREEN
SEAT TUBE SIZE:
C-T = 52 CM
C-C = 48 CM
TOP TUBE SIZE:
C-C = 60 CM
SPECIFICATION:
HANDLEBAR: PORTEUR Alloy, Silver (Width: 50 cm, Clamp: 25.4, Tubing: 22.2)
GRIPS: VELO Stitch, Brown
HEADSET: NECO Threadless, 1-1/8”, Silver
STEM: 90 mm, Threadless, Silver
SEATPOST: 27.2 Polished Alloy, Silver
SADDLE: VELO Suspension Comfort, Brown
SHIFTER: SHIMANO SIS 7 SPEED Thumb Shifter
FREEWHEEL: SHIMANO MEGA RANGE MF-TZ31, 7 Speed, 14-34T
REAR DERAILLEUR: SHIMANO ACERA
CRANKSET: ALLOY, 38T, 170MM, Silver
CHAIN: KMC Z72, Silver
BRAKE LEVERS: TEKTRO CL720
BRAKESET: TEKTRO 839-AL V-BRAKES, Silver
FRONT RIM: 20”, MSW, 36H, Polished Alloy, Silver
FRONT TIRE: KENDA K-RAD 20X2.125, Black
FRONT HUB: 36H, Sealed Bearings, Silver
REAR RIM: 26”, MSW, 36H, Polished Alloy, Silver
REAR TIRE: KENDA K-RAD 26X2.125, Black
REAR HUB: 36H, Sealed Bearings, Silver
PEDALS: WELLGO B087, Platform, Silver
BOTTOM BRACKET: Sealed Bearings
EXTRAS: KICKSTAND, CHAIN GUARD, BELL
RACKS: TIG Welded Steel, Heavy Duty Flat Crate, Dimension (WxL): Front: 20" X 14.5" Rear: 14.5" X 20"
CARRYING CAPACITY: 55lbs per Rack, 110lbs total.
*Components are subject to change without notice. Product specifications (weights, dimensions, and colors) may vary slightly.