Friday, February 29, 2008

A.N.T. Boston Roadster

A.N.T. Boston Roadster. Available directly from A.N.T. for $1,995.00 plus shipping. Also available, completely assembled, at Hiawatha Cyclery in Minneapolis (call 612-727-2565 for price).

A.N.T. (Alternative Needs Transportation), founded and run by a guy named Mike in the Boston area, makes handcrafted, custom bikes. Certainly, a bike from A.N.T. costs more than a mass-produced, factory model by a name brand. Mike's idea, however, is that you will spend more time riding your commuter bike than any other bike you own, so why not invest in a well-crafted bike?

Specs:

Frame: True temper butted steel (23 sizes avail. between 46 - 63 cm).
Handlebars: Nitto north road bars
Rims: Salsa
Tires: Panaracer 70 x 32 mm
Front light: Halogen, powered by hub
Shimano nexus premium 8-spd hub with 21T cog (can be built as SS instead)
Chainring: 38T
Pedals: MKS touring
Saddle: Brooks B-17 (black or honey)
Fenders: Planet Bike plastic
Myricle brass duet Bell
Chrome chainguard
Rear rack

If you have any feedback on the Boston Roadster, please leave a comment.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Van Dessel Country Road Bob


Country Road Bob by Van Dessel Sports. MSRP is $900.

Bicycling.com has a review of the Country Road Bob, with video, here.

Customer reviews on amazon.com .


2008 Specs:

Frame: 7005 Alloy; fender/rack ready with large tire clearance
Sizes: 50, 53, 56, 59, 62
Brakes: Tektro ORYX
Handlebars: Ritchey BioMax
Chainring: 38T
Freewheel/fixed flip-flop hubs: 15T
Tires: 700 x 32c slicks

If you have any feedback on the Country Road Bob, please leave a comment.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Schwinn Coffee Cruiser

Schwinn Coffee Cruiser. Available at Performance Bikes for $250. May also be available at your local Wal-Mart.

2008 Specs:

Frame: 700c Schwinn Classic Sport
Crankset: One piece, 46T
Pedals: Schwinn Bowtie cruiser
Freewheel: 22T
Rims: Alloy 700c 36H
Hubs: SRAM I-motion, 3-spd with coaster brake
Handlebar: Low rise sport
Saddle: Schwinn sport saddle
Chainguard
Rear rack
Fenders: steel

If you have any feedback on the Schwinn Coffee, please leave a comment.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Masi Speciale SoulVille


Masi Speciale SoulVille. Available at City Bikes (in both colors) for $770.

Masi, famous for its racing bikes, appears to be reaching out to the everyday commuter.

Some online commentary about this model:

Masi Guy

Bicycle Retailer News

Bike Hugger

2008 Specs

Frame: Double-butted ChroMo steel w/ rack & fender mounts (14, 16, 18, 20)
Color(s): Gloss Black; Antique Beige
Chainring: Alloy 46T
Freewheel: Shimano 20T
Hub: Shimano Internal 8-spd
Chain: KMC Z610H
Pedals: Alloy cage / Kraton insert
Handlebar: Masi ARC 540
Saddle: Masi retro leather w/ springs
Wheels: Ritchey Girder XC
Tires: 40C Kenda Kourier

If you have any feedback about the Masi Speciale SoulVille, please leave a comment.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Masi Speciale Commuter


Masi Speciale Commuter. Available in some sizes at City Bikes for $679.99.

Masi, famous for its racing bikes, appears to be reaching out to the everyday commuter.

Some online commentary about this model:

Cyclelicious

Commute By Bike

2008 Specs

Frame: Double-butted ChroMo steel w/ rack & fender mounts (49, 51, 53, 56, 58, 60)
Color: Root Beer
Chainring: Alloy 42T
Freewheel: Shimano MX30 16T
Hub: Flip-flop, sealed w/ track nuts
Chain: KMC Z610H
Pedals: Alloy cage w/ clips & straps
Handlebar: Masi radonneur
Saddle: Masi SLS w/ steel rails
Wheels: Ritchey Girder XC
Tires: 32C Kenda Kwik Trax w/ reflective sidewalls

If you have any feedback about the Masi Speciale Commuter, please leave a comment.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sun Cayne Uno

Cayne Uno by Sun Bicycles. Photo by Richard Masoner. Retail price unknown.

Sun Bicycles of Miami has already carved out several niches for itself with well-crafted, affordable cruisers, adult tricycles (don't mock it unless you've tried it), tandems, folding bikes, and even unicycles. Now it has come out with its "Cayne" line of "urban" bikes that includes this fixed gear/single speed commuter.

Here are the 2008 specs:

Frame: TIG-Welded Double Butted 4130 Chromoly (50, 53, 56, 59)
Fork: Alloy
Chain ring: 46T
Chain: KMC Z410 1/2" x 1/8"
Chain Guard: Smoked Clear Plastic
Brakes: Tektro RL576
Handlebar: 6061-T6 Alloy, Bullhorn
Saddle: Origin-8 Custom, brown
Hub (rear): Formula TH50 Track Hub 32H
Cog: 18T fixed, 18T freewheel
Rims: Alex DC19, 700c x 32H
Tires: Kenda Kontender (K196), 700 x 26C

If you have any feedback about the Cayne Uno, please leave a comment.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sun Cayne Cykel


Cayne Cykel by Sun Bicycles. Photo by Richard Masoner. According to Richard, the Cykel retails for about $450.

Sun Bicycles of Miami has already carved out several niches for itself with well-crafted, affordable cruisers, adult tricycles (don't mock it unless you've tried it), tandems, folding bikes, and even unicycles. Now it has come out with its "Cayne" line of "urban" bikes that includes this 3-speed.

Here is the Interbike preview by Commute By Bike.

Here are the 2008 specs:

Frame: Lugged steel (52, 54, 56)
Fork: Lugged steel
Chain ring: 46T
Chain: KMC Z410 1/2" x 1/8"
Brakes: Chang Start Alloy Lever w/ resin body
Handlebar: Classic Alloy Scorcher bar
Saddle: Classic with coil springs & brass rivets
Shifter: SRAM T-3
Hub (rear): SRAM T-3 internal gear hub, 36H
Cog: 21T
Rims: Weinmann ZAC-19 Alloy rim, 700C x 36H
Tires: Kenda K-198 Eurotour 700 x 35C

If you have any feedback about the Cayne Cykel, please leave a comment.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Kona Ute

Kona Ute. Available at Big Wheel Bikes or Oasis Bike Works (Fairfax, Va.).

I haven't been able to obtain a price from an LBS, but these appear to go for around $900. Another option would be to convert your existing bike into a long tail via xtracycle.

The long tail concept is perfect for those who are car-free or who simply want to replace car trips with bike trips. You can load up with groceries or even give your kids a lift to school.

Here's a review from Bike Hugger.

2008 specs:

Frame: 1 size fits all; 7005 aluminum
Chainrings: 36/26
Pedals: Xerama Sp-500
Freewheel: Shimano Alivio (11-32, 8 spd.)
Deraileurs: Shimano Deore
Handlebar: Kona Riser
Tires: Continental Town & Country 700x47c
Saddle: Velo Comfort
Color: Green
Extras: 2 sidebags included (holds 4)

If you have any feedback about the Kona Ute, please leave a comment.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Raleigh One Way


Raleigh One Way - $709.99 at Laurel Bicycle Center

Give Raleigh credit for spotting potential in the market. They must have noticed all the city folk getting around on beat-up fixed gear and singlespeed conversions.

This is not a track bike like the Bianchi Pista. The One Way is designed for the streets - fenders, wider tires - not for the velodrome. And with high quality steel, it's built to last.

Here's a review by Fritz at commutebybike.com.

Some photos from the Raleigh Commutes blog.

Photos and the inside scoop from Brubaker on Flickr.

Also, the Cyclecommuter has been sharing his experiences with the One Way.

Of course, another way to go is to buy a used Raleigh 10-speed from the 70's or 80's and convert it into your own, customized fixie. If you're into that type of thing...

2008 One Way Specs:

Frame: Reynolds 520 steel
Sizes: 50,53,55,57,59cm
Fenders: SKS
SR Suntour Single Speed w/CNC Guard, 42T
16T Freewheel, 15T cog
Alex AT-400, 700c, alloy double wall,machined side
Tires: Vittoria Randonneur Cross 700x35c w/reflective sidewalls
Road Pedals w/clips and straps

Here's a comment from Fritz: That reminds me that I need to post an update about the bike.

I'm surprised to find that this has become my favorite commuter bike -- it's the bike I ride almost every day. The tires are bullet proof: I've ridden over glass on purpose just to see if I can make them puncture, but nothing. The 700x35 tires handle road debris with aplomb. I even smacked a big 2 inch limb on the road that I didn't see in the middle of the night, with no damage resulting to wheel or tire. The highly raked fork and relaxed geometry on flexy steel means a smooth, comfortable ride. An added rack makes this the perfect getting around bike.

You should see the 2008 One Way -- that bike is a work of beauty. Brooks leather saddle and bar tape, and forest green frame makes this a beautiful bike that's also very practical.


If you have feedback on the Raleigh One Way, please leave a comment.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Electra Amsterdam

Electra Amsterdam Classic - available at Big Wheel Bikes.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: THIS BIKE HAS BEEN RECALLED!


Electra calls the Amsterdam “style and speed running hand in hand through a field of tulips.”

These photos are from bikeportland.org, which also has a review of the Electra Amsterdam.

2008 Specs:

High-tensile steel frame, lugged fork
Saddle: retro leatherette with steel springs
Shimano Nexus Internal 3-spd rear hub
coaster brake
pinstripe fenders including front mudflap
Built-in generator headlight and rear LED tailight
Platform with resin, non-slip pedals
Rims/wheels: aluminum
Chainwheel 38T; rear cog 19T
Chainguard
Tires: 700 x 38c

Some comments I’ve received about the Electra Amsterdam:

Fritz: Electra's ride like your typical Euro junk. They're heavy clunkers that will rust out and fall apart, but they do have a fan base and excellent marketing. They're made of hi ten steel and the cheapest no-name Chinese components they can spec. Their vaunted "flat foot" design means more pressure on your peritoneum. They're great for a few blocks to the coffee shop, not so great for actual utility use.

Michael: The Electra Amsterdam is a beautiful machine, a classic Euro bike. It has two fatal flaws from my experience: coaster brakes, and a very light "tinny" feel.

I like a bit of heft to the bikes I ride around town. No racing, no sew-ups, no superlite.


If anyone else has feedback on the Electra Amsterdam, please leave a comment.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Breezer Uptown

Breezer Uptown 8-speed - $899 at Big Wheel Bikes or $999 at City Bikes.

Breezer is a company that specializes in utility and commuter bikes. The Uptown is one of its more upscale models.

2008 Specs

Sizes: 17” (S), 19.5” (M), 21.5” (L), 23.5" (XL)
Shimano Nexus 8-spd Premium
Frame: 7005 aluminum
Tires: CST Europa 26 x 1.6 w/ reflective sidewalls
Front light (halogen); rear light (LED) & Senso Auto
Light generator: Shimano Nexus 3N30 (hub-driven dynamo)
Chainguard
Suspension Seatpost


Here's an upbeat review from Bicycling.com.


Some comments I’ve received about the Breezer Uptown:

Locus: I had a Breezer Uptown I commuted with for the last four years. It was a complete tank of a bike. I never needed to put anything new on the bike but tubes (DC has a lot of broken glass). I purchased the model because I wanted a fire-and-forget option--it came stock with the works (lights, fenders, susp. seatpost, theft-resistance, etc.) However, I've traded it in for a Jamis Coda Comp one month ago. Despite the steel frame on the Jamis, I think I still dropped ten pounds with the new wheels. I don't begrudge my Breezer, but I've been commuting solid for the last four years straight and I wanted something faster. Still, it's been a pain getting it spec'd for city commuting. It's also been an adjustment switching to the skinny 700cc tires.

If anyone else has feedback on the Breezer Uptown, please leave a comment.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Breezer Citizen


Breezer Citizen 3-speed - $559 at Big Wheel Bikes or 579.99 at City Bikes.

Breezer is a company that specializes in utility and commuter bikes. The Citizen is one of its most affordable bikes.

2008 Specs

Sizes: 17” (S), 19.5” (M), 21.5” (L)
Colors: Midnight Blue; Emerald Green
Shimano Nexus 3-spd
Frame: 7005 aluminum
Tires: CST Europa 26 x 1.6 w/ reflective sidewalls
Front light (halogen); rear light (LED)
Light generator: Basta Quattro (tire driven dynamo)
Chainguard
Suspension Seatpost


Some comments I’ve received about the Breezer Citizen:

Fritz: Breezers are fun and good to ride. They're quality bikes that are thoughtfully designed, well made (mostly -- a lot of them have problems with the lighting), and look nice.

Michael: I went through the process of deciding on a new "Town Bike," and decided on the Breezer Citizen, for several reasons.

I like a bit of heft to the bikes I ride around town. No racing, no sew-ups, no superlite.

The Breezer is made in the US, in California, in fact, within 100 miles of my home. [Actually, Fritz reports that they’re made in Taiwan]. It's solid, classy looking, practical, and consequently, a joy to ride! There's no dealer here in town that stocks them, but they do have a relationship with a local bike shop to order and ship them. I called the Breezer folks, ordered the bike and was riding it home in less than a week.

Happy as a clam at high tide!


Crotach: As a present to myself last year (for my one year anniversary of full-time bicycle commuting) I bought myself a Citizen. Lord do I love that bike. I live in a mountain town with a lot of hills on my commute. Yeah, there is a little drag when I have my lights on, but not anything like I thought there would be. The first night I had it out I was going up the third of four hills going home, I was in second gear and had my light dynamo on, and I was shocked at how little of an effect it had. I ended up picking this bike out because of the light dynamo, the heft of the bike, and amazing comfort when I took it out for a test drive. On a gorgeous sunny summer day or in two feet of snow, this bicycle feels great and handles very well for me.

If anyone else has feedback on the Breezer Citizen, please leave a comment.

Friday, February 1, 2008

WANTED: Bikes For The Rest Of Us

Sometimes I wish Greg Lemond never won the Tour de France in 1986.

At the time, in the excitement surrounding the first American win at Le Tour, there was talk of a “renewed interest” in bicycling. As it turns out, there was a renewed interest in the sport of cycling, but not in building a real, pervasive bike culture here in the United States.

In fact, bike shops across the country began putting aside their single speeds, 3-speeds and cruisers to make room for expensive, lightweight, “high-end” racing bikes. In other words, bike shops lost interest in selling regular bikes to regular people.

We need a bicycle industry that pays attention to people who bike as a means of basic transportation, instead of focusing solely on roadies and mountain bikers.

We need bikes that you can hop onto at any moment without putting on spandex or special cleats.

We need bikes with wider tires and more comfortable saddles. (The kind that don't exert pressure where you’re most sensitive, increasing the likelihood of erectile dysfunction among male riders).

We need bikes that can carry stuff.

We need bikes that are fun to ride.

We need bikes with function and style.

We need more bikes like this Velorbis (via cycleliciousness):



My hope is that higher gas prices will not only change the way Americans think about bicycles but also the way the bicycle industry thinks as well, so that we can finally have bike shops selling bicycles designed for regular folks who just want to ride from point A to point B and aren’t interested in paying a fortune.

Or winning the Tour de France.

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