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

Monday, August 10, 2015

Detroit Bikes


Detroit Bikes offers an A-Type (top) and B-Type (bottom). Photos courtesy detroitbikes.com
Detroit Bikes A or B models go for about $700 + whatever accessories you choose.

Two years ago, after we did a post about Shinola, I received an email recommending that we check out Detroit Bikes.  And so, a mere 2 years later, I checked out Detroit Bikes.  I found two simple, attractive cruisers that come with fenders, chainguards, and internal gear hubs.

Detroit Bikes says its "mission is to encourage cycling by making an accessible, enjoyable bicycle while continuing Detroit’s legacy of quality manufacturing and design."  In a recently-released video, they state an additional goal: to double the number of bikes made in the USA.  It's hard not to root for these guys, especially when they create jobs with a livable wage and health care benefits.

A few specs:

Frame: 4130 chromoly, tig-welded
Brakes: coaster
Gears: Shimano Nexus 3-speed internal gear hub
Tires: Kenda Kwest 700 x 32
Rear rack: 35 lb capacity





Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Salsa Marrakesh


2016 Marrakesh with drop bars (top) and flat bars (bottom). Courtesy: Salsa's Culture Blog
New for 2016, Salsa Cycles is offering Marrakesh for around $1,600.

The Marrakesh looks like a really nice touring bike, at least the version with the Salsa Cowchipper bars (I can't imagine touring with flat bars, even if they do have a slight bend - you need multiple hand positions).  I like touring bikes (my main ride is a Miyata 1000 LT) because their ability to haul a heavy load over long miles necessarily makes them useful and versatile bikes.  It's why I'm a fan of Surly's LHT/Disc Trucker.

The LHT now has some serious competition.  The interesting thing is that both Surly and Salsa (as well as Civia, All-City and others) are owned by Quality Bicycle Products (QBP).  I can just imagine how that QBP board meeting went down:

QBP Head Honcho: OK, let's talk 2016 products.  Surly, go ahead.

Surly: Fat, fat, fat, fat. As you know, we're all about the fat bikes.  And we just keep getting fatter.  Like land-on-the-moon fat.

QBP Head Honcho: Fantastic. People love those fat bikes. OK, how about you Salsa?

Salsa: As you know, our slogan is "Adventure by Bike." So, new for 2016, we're putting out a touring bike called the Marrakesh.

Surly: Wait... what?

Salsa: It comes with disc brakes, room for wide tires (700 x 40 mm) and fenders, and includes a rear rack.

Surly: We already produce a touring bike with disc brakes. The Disc Trucker.

Salsa: We know!!! Where do you think we stole the idea from?  Anyway, we're "Adventure by Bike." That certainly includes touring bikes.  And you're... you know, fat.  Like, Ice Cream Truck fat.

Surly: This is starting to get insulting.  

QBP Head Honcho: Salsa has a point. Adventure by Bike is not just about riding trails.  It's also the open road.  OK, anything else?

Salsa: Yes, we also have this whole fat bike line-up we call Bear Grease. Because nothing says "Adventure by Bike" like fat bikes! Fat, fat, fat, fat.

Surly: *face palm*

End scene.

Of course, I'm not sure if that's how it really went down. Maybe QBP Head Honcho can provide us with some clarification.

Here are the specs on the 2016 Marrakesh:







Monday, August 3, 2015

Giant Simple Three W

For 2016, a "lifestyle" cruiser from Giant. Courtesy: http://www.giant-bicycles.com
Giant offers the Simple Three W, an aluminum 3-speed cruiser, for around $490.

Here's a large bicycling company, truly a giant in the industry, marketing to women. This is something we've seen again and again (for example, the Trek Cocoa ad campaign), because women are the bicycle industry's major untapped consumer market.  Some women-specific models have been successful, like Giant's Suede, others a bit ridiculous, like the Trek Lime (discussed here).

Giant's "Liv" campaign (on twitter it's @Livgiant) features images of competitive female athletes, as well as regular women riding "lifestyle" bikes like the Simple Three W.  The "W" is apparently there in case you had any doubt that the model was being marketed toward women.  By the way, if you'd like to read a fun rant about women-specific bikes, here's a good one by Amanda Batty.

Marketing is one thing; bicycle design is another.  As Velouria, the Lovely Bicycle blogger, put it: "We are women, we are wonderful, and we need bicycles designed for us." I think the industry needs more women designing bicycles.  Sure, there is Sky Yaeger (of Bianchi, Swobo, and Shinola fame), but "bike designer" remains a male-dominated profession. 

The Simple Three is inexpensive and basic.  In short, it's cheap transportation, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that!   Comes with chainguard, fenders, kickstand, and a front basket.  Here are the specs:

FRAME

SIZES One Size Fits Most
COLORS White/Blue, Red/Purple
FRAME ALUXXgrade aluminum
FORK Chromoly
SHOCK N/A

COMPONENTS

HANDLEBAR Women's Steel Cruiser
STEM Alloy quill
SEATPOST Alloy, 27.2mm
SADDLE Liv Comfort Cruiser, w/ SuperSoft foam
PEDALS Nylon, Antislip platform

DRIVETRAIN


SHIFTERS Shimano Revo, Twist
FRONT DERAILLEUR N/A
REAR DERAILLEUR N/A
BRAKES Shimano, Coaster brake
BRAKE LEVERS N/A
CASSETTE Shimano 22T, 3speed internal
CHAIN KMC Z410, Rustproof
CRANKSET Giant alloy 3piece, 44T
BOTTOM BRACKET Threaded, Sealed

WHEELS

RIMS Giant Alloy
HUBS [F] Alloy, [R] Shimano Nexus, 3speed
internal, 36h
SPOKES Stainless steel, 14g
TIRES CST Cruiser, 26x2.125

OTHER

EXTRAS Front Basket, Fenders, Kickstand


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Simcoe Bicycles





From the top down: Simcoe Step-Through Classic; Simcoe Roadster Signature; Simcoe Roadster Classic; Simcoe Step-Through Signature. All photos courtesy http://simcoebicycles.com

The Toronto-based Simcoe Bicycles makes European-style upright steel bikes that include fenders, chaincases, rear racks, and internal gear hubs. A 7-speed Classic goes for about $900; a 7-speed Signature for around $1100.

Simcoe calls itself "the renaissance of the everyday bike in North America."  Momentum Magazine included Simcoe in its gear guide as one of "21 City Bikes for 2015."  Lovely Bicycle tested the Signature Roadster in 2014 and observed that it had "that intangible 'vintage bike feel' in a modern machine."

There's so much to like about Simcoe.  The 7-speeds, whether Signature or Classic, come with a rack.  The Classic is also available as a singlespeed (MSRP $580)  or a 3-speed (MSRP $700), and in a 20 inch or 22 inch frame.  The major difference between Classic and Signature is the brakes. The Classic has caliper rim brakes; the Signature has Shimano roller brakes (which should please David Hembrow). The Signature also comes with a Brooks B68 saddle.

Here are the specs for the Roadster Classic:

Frame Mixed chromoly frame absorbs road vibration and reduces weight. Includes clever braze-ons for Dutch-style rear wheel lock to deter theft.
Paint A four-step paint process, including a phosphate base layer and ultra-durable polyurethane clearcoat, create a highly chip-resistant finish with a rust-resistant undercoat.
Fork High-tensile steel legs with a chromoly steerer tube that naturally absorbs road vibrations.
Headset FSA sealed bearing keeps steering smooth and protected from rain and snow.
Brakes Tektro dual pivot brakes give brand-name stopping power.
Brake Lever Tektro brake levers blend clean lines with excellent power.
Front Hub Bolt-On alloy front hub discourages theft.
Rear Hub One speed hub features a coaster brake while three and seven speeds feature low maintenance, weather resistant Shimano internally geared hubs.
Spokes 13 gauge (14 gauge for 7 speed) rear, 14 gauge front spokes provide lateral wheel stifness and superior stability.
Rims Extremely strong touring-grade rims with double wall construction, 36 spokes and stainless steel eyelets.
Tires Kenda EuroTrek tires have a puncture resistant lining and a reflective side wall for added safety.
Shifters Ergonomic Nexus rotary shifter on three speed and high-tech Rapidfire shifter on seven speeds.
Crankset Samox alloy cranks with fluted details.
Pedals Alloy with boron axle. Rubber top keeps shoes in good shape
Bottom Bracket FSA sealed bearings keeps things running smooth and protected from the elements.
Chain Tough KMC chain for durability.
Stem Kalloy 25 degree rise stem on the Step Through model puts you in an upright position for comfort and control. Zero rise on the Roadster model for a more powerful and agile position.
Handlebar Alloy with a 35 mm rise and Classic Japanese style 50 degree backsweep bend for perfect ergonomics.
Grips Velo grips offer great shock absorption.
Seatpost Kalloy 375 mm seatpost with elegant swan neck.
Seat Durable vinyl saddle with extra springs for added comfort.
Chainguard Alloy chainguard resists rust and provides total clothing protection.
Rack Features on seven speed models the 16 mm rack is extra strong (up to 55 pounds) and features a plate for permanent, theft-resistant light installation.
Fenders Fenders are made of a lightweight alloy and painted to match making them extremely rust and chip resistant. Added features include a fluted silver tip, single alloy stays, and leather washers.
Kickstand The Classic single arm design is both durable and handsome.