Thursday, October 18, 2012

Papillionaire Bicycles

Papillionaire Classic.  All photos are courtesy of Papillionaire Bicycles.

Papillionaire Bicycles was founded in Australia, but is now offering its chromoloy Dutch-style bikes in the United States and has opened a retail shop in Red Hook, Brooklyn. 

Papillionaire's Classic and Sommer models feature internal 3-speed Shimano hubs, fenders, chainguards (they describe them as "half chaincases") and leather saddles. Both bikes sell online starting at $549, currently with free shipping to celebrate their USA launch.

Specifications: Classic

Frame and Fork: Lugged chromoly (CRMO) steel
 
Frame size: 52cm (20.5″)
 
Gears: Nexus Shimano 3 speed internal hub.
 
Brakes: Tektro dual-pivot front and rear caliper brakes
 
Tyres: Kenda Kwest 700 x 35c (cream or gumwall)
 
Protectors: Mudguards and half chaincase
 
Finish: Crafted, durable leather saddles, grips, toe clips and other accessories

 

Papillionaire Sommer




Specifications: Sommer

Frame and Fork: Lugged chromoly (CRMO) steel
 
Frame size: 43cm (16.9″)
 
Gears: Nexus Shimano 3 speed internal hub.
 
Brakes: Tektro dual-pivot front and rear caliper brakes
 
Tyres: Kenda Kwest 700 x 35c (cream or gumwall)
 
Protectors: Mudguards and half chaincase
 
Finish: Crafted, durable leather saddles, grips &am other accessories


The new Papillionaire shop in Brooklyn.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Who Lights Up Your Life, er... Bike?

Lezyne's mini-drive is small, but puts out up to 100 lumens.  Credit: Lezyne.
Is it true that Debby Boone was singing about her bicycle?

It's hard to keep up with the latest bicycle light technology these days (see my updated, yet already outdated, Bright Lights post), so I'm not even going to try.  Instead, why don't you tell us, in the comments, how you're lighting up your bike these days.

UPDATE: Last January, Mountain Bike Reviews did a great job reviewing and rating bike lights. If you're shopping for lights, it's a great place to start your research.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bianchi Strada Metropoli

Metropoli Alivio

Metropoli Acera

Metropoli Acera Dama
The Strada line from Bianchi USA includes the three Metropoli models pictured above.  The Metropoli Alivio has 24-speeds (triple chainring + 8-speed rear cassette) and hydraulic disc brakes. The MSRP is $900.  The Metropoli Acera and Acera Dama are both 21-speeds (triple chainring + 7-speed cassette) with V-brakes.  The MSRP is $700 for an Acera.

Robert W., who told us about Virtue bikes, wrote us again recently about the Bianchi Cortina he was checking out.

Turismo Cortina.  All photos courtesy of Bianchi USA.
The Cortina is a nice enough bike, but it doesn't have the fenders and rear racks that the Metropoli models have, and it doesn't look like the Cortina is designed so that you can easily add racks and fenders.  Hopefully, Robert W. will send us a review of the Cortina after he test rides it.

The Metropoli and Turismo models are all Bianchi Strada bikes, which are Bianchi's "comfort bikes."  I've never been comfortable with the term "comfort bike."  I mean, who wants to ride a bike that's not comfortable?  But if "comfort bike" means an upright riding position with wide tires, then knock yourself out Bianchi, churn out more comfort bikes!

The Metropoli Alivio seems to be built for hilly country, or maybe San Francisco.  It has lots of gear combinations to get you up the steepest of hills, and powerful brakes so you can avoid hitting a streetcar at the bottom.  Here are the specs on the Alivio:

MODEL Metropoli Due Alivio 24sp Hydraulic Disc
CODE Y2BB8U
COLOR Black
SIZES 43-47-51-55
FRAME Metropoli Triple-Hydroformed, Butted Aluminum
FORK Bianchi Aluminum 1 1/8"
HEADSET FSA ZS4 Custom
SHIFTERS Shimano Acera
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Alivio
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Alivio
CRANKSET Shimano Tourney 48/38/28
CHAIN KMC Z72
CASSETTE Shimano Acera 8sp 11-32T
BRAKES Shimano Alivio Hydraulic Disc
WHEELS Alloy double-wall, 32H
TIRE Spectra S-Amber 700 x 37
STEM Bianchi alloy
HANDLEBAR Bianchi alloy, 20mm rise
BAR TAPE / GRIPS Herrmans Primergo Flite DD22B ergonomic
SEATPOST Tec Obvius alloy
SADDLE Selle San Marco Elba Arrowhead
PEDALS VP-516A

The Metropoli Acera models have sufficient gear range for most terrain, and V-brakes have powerful-enough stopping power for most riders.  Here are the specs on the Acera Dama:

MODEL Metropoli Uno Dama Acera 21sp
CODE Y2BB0U
COLOR Gray
SIZES 43-47
FRAME Metropoli Triple-Hydroformed, Butted Aluminum
FORK Bianchi Aluminum 1 1/8"
HEADSET VP-A42E
SHIFTERS Shimano Altus
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Acera
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Altus
CRANKSET Shimano Tourney 48/38/28
CHAIN KMC Z51
CASSETTE Shimano Alivio 7sp 12-32T
BRAKES V-Brake
WHEELS Alloy double-wall, 32H
TIRE Spectra S-Amber 700 x 37
STEM Bianchi alloy
HANDLEBAR Bianchi alloy, 20mm rise
BAR TAPE / GRIPS Herrmans Primergo Flite DD22B ergonomic
SEATPOST Tec Obvius alloy
SADDLE Selle San Marco Elba Arrowhead
PEDALS VP-516A

Your thoughts?