Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Electra Townie Commute 8D

Electra Townie Commute 8D in "aubergine." Courtesy: electrabike.com
The Electra Townie Commute 8D is a steel 8-speed that goes for about $770 (available in the Washington, DC area at Spokes Etc., Revolution Cycles, The Bike Lane and other fine stores).

In its Townie Commute series, Electra offers 8-speed or 27-speed bikes that have all the essentials for commuting or utility cycling: 2-inch wide Schwalbe Frank tires, integrated front and rear racks, fenders, chainguard, and dynamo-powered lights. It even comes with a bell!

Specs


Frame: Townie Commute 6061-T6 Aluminum w/Patented Flat Foot Technology
 
Fork: Hi-Ten Steel Uni-Crown, Straight/Tapered Leg 
 
Headset: 1 1/8" Steel Threaded/Semi-Integrated 
 
Rims: Alloy 700c x 32h w/Machined Sidewall 
 
Spokes: 14 Gauge Stainless/Brass Nipples 
 
Front Hub: Shimano Nexus Dynamo 32h 
 
Rear Hub: Alloy Low Flange 32h w/QR 
 
Tires: Schwalbe Fat Frank 700 X 2.0" Balloon w/Puncture-Resistant Kevlar® Guard Casing, 67TPI 
 
Crankset: Forged Alloy 170mm 
 
Pedals: Alloy Platform w/Non-Slip Rubber Tread 
 
Shifter: Shimano Acera Rapid Fire Plus 
 
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Tourney 8-Speed 
 
Cog: SRAM 8-Speed 11-32T 
 
Chain: KMC 1/2" x 3/32" Anti-Rust 
 
Brake Levers: Alloy Reach Adjustable
 
Saddle: Ergonomic w/Shock-Absorbing Elastomers 
 
Seat Post: Alloy 27.2mm X 300mm 
 
Handlebars: Alloy Custom Bend 24.8" Width/3.5" Rise 
 
Stem: Forged Alloy 25.4mm Quill 
 
Grips: Ergo-Shaped Hand-Stitched Leatherette 
 
Extras: F&R Spanninga Dynamo Led Lights, Internal Cable Rounting, Rust Resistant Hardware
 




Sunday, May 7, 2017

Bobbin Hummingbird


2017 Bobbin Hummingbird. All photos courtesy: Bobbin Bicycles Facebook Page

Bobbin has introduced two new 8-speed models for 2017: The Hummingbird (pictured above) and the Kingfisher, a diamond frame model.  It's available for preorder for £645 (about $839).

Bobbin, based in London, was founded 10 years ago and is cocky enough to call itself a "utopian brand."  Bobbin offers many attractive and practical bikes, and most come standard with racks, a chainguard or full chaincase, and fenders. 

The Hummingbird and Kingfisher come with front and rear battery-powered lights, Shimano Nexus 8-speed internal gear hubs, and hydraulic disc brakes. The frame is made from an alloy that Bobbin claims (in an instagram post) is a "MUCH lighter alternative to those serious German/Dutch commute bikes.").  Apparently, that means it's slightly under 30 pounds.  In "midnight blue sparkle," this is a beautiful bike.

The gears are inside.

The specs aren't available on Bobbin's website yet, but you can requeest more information by emailing Bobbin at info@bobbinbicycles.co.uk




Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Heritage


The Chief from Heritage Bicycles. Courtesy heritagebicycles.com

The Heritage Chief "City Edition" goes for $1,000.

The idea behind Heritage was to combine handcrafted bicycles, bike repair, apparel, and good coffee all in one shop located on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago.  By all accounts, it's been a hit.  In fact, according to CNN, fans of Heritage bicycles include Beyonce, Jay Z, and Jack Dorsey.

Most Heritage bicycles have a simple, utilitarian design.  My pick is the Chief "City Edition", which is available as a singlespeed or with a 3-speed Sturmey Archer hub. It comes with a Wald rear rack.

Here are the specs:

Frame: Heritage Chief
Fork: Crowned Chromoly
Headset: FSA Duron X, ISO
Bottom Bracket: Sealed alloy, 68 x 110.5
Crank: Alloy, 44t
Pedals: Wellgo City
Rims: Alex DM18
Spokes: Sapim Leader
Tires: Schwalbe Delta Cruiser, 700 x 32c
Front Hub: sealed alloy, 36-hole
Rear Hub: KT Coaster, 36-hole
Chain: KMC 410
Stem: Alloy, 25.4mm
Handlebar: Velo-Orange Milan, 25.4m
m
Grips: Natural Cork
Brake levers: Velo-Orange City
Brake Calipers: Tektro R559
Rear Rack: Wald Chrome
Saddle: Velo-Orange Plush
Seat Post: Alloy, 26.2mm

Monday, January 30, 2017

Soma Pescadero

The Soma Pescadero all built up and ready to roll through the woods. Photo credit: The Soma Blog


Soma plans to start selling its Pescadero frameset in March 2017.  The price has not been announced.

The Pescadero is Soma's update to the Soma E.S. ("Extra Smooth") road sport frame.  As we said back in 2009, the Soma E.S. "is a quality steel frame for someone who wants to build their own commuter or touring bike. It has a relaxed geometry, which should make for a comfortable ride."  David even snapped a photo of his sister's Smoothie and posted it here.

So why is Soma fixing something that ain't broke?  According to the Soma Blog, the primary reason for the update is that the new Pescadero can run wide, supple 42c tires.  To accommodate the tire width, the frameset fits 67mm long reach brakes.

On the topic of brakes, Soma Blog had this to say about the Pescadero:


Some people feel that long reach caliper brakes just aren't quite responsive enough.  I can't say that I agree with that, since I've been riding them for years, but to those people I'd say you have two options to consider:

Option 1 is to just go for the disc brake friendly Fog Cutter and embrace the future, man.  But if you're the wool wearing, pipe smoking, Robert Burns reading type of cyclist consider...

Option 2. Centerpull brakes! Remember those? Mafac, Weinmann, Dia Compe? Even Shimano used to make them. Anyway, Paul Components up in old Chico, CA makes some and they are just bitchin. Great stopping power, tons of fender clearance, stiff as a metaphor, and boy-oh-boy do they look nice.  We even included a special cable hanger in the back so you don't have to use one of those dangly ones.

Nice. This is some of the best bicycle product writing since Grant Petersen was at Bridgestone.  That line about the "wool wearing, pipe smoking, Robert Burns reading type of cyclist?"  It's like they really know us!  And speaking of Petersen, the Burns mention is the best literary reference used in conjunction with a new bike release since Rivendell came out with the Betty Foy, a mixte named for a character in a Wordsworth poem.

Here are the specs for the Pescadero frameset:

- Tange Prestige heat-treated butted CrMo steel front triangle; butted CrMo rear end
- Road sport geometry (inbetween road race and cyclo-cross bikes in handling responsiveness)
- Rear rack, front mini rack & fender mounts
- Designed with Paul Racer center mount, center pull brakes in mind. Also fits 57-73mm reach dual pivot caliper brakes.
- Lugged crown CrMo steel fork included
- Stiff and light Breezer-style dropouts
- 1-1/8" size headtube
- 27.2mm post size
- 6 sizes: 48, 51, 54, 56, 58, 61, cm
- 4.25 lbs. (51cm)
- In Colonial Blue


And here's some Robert Burns, circa 1786:

Lines To An Old Sweetheart

Once fondly lov'd, and still remember'd dear,
Sweet early object of my youthful vows,
Accept this mark of friendship, warm, sincere,
Friendship! 'tis all cold duty now allows.
And when you read the simple artless rhymes,
One friendly sigh for him -- he asks no more,
Who, distant, burns in flaming torrid climes,
or haply lies beneath th' Atlantic roar.