Beautiful Bicycles: Kate Spade for Adeline Adeline Abici

Whew. That is a mouthful of a name.

So I just call her “Kermit Allegra.”

The first thing you need to know about Kermit Allegra is that, despite being one classy lady, she fits in pretty much anywhere. And she’s especially at home with me in Nashville.

I had ridden an Abici before and dreamed of one pretty much ever since. But superstitiously I feared getting one, because of Nashville’s hills and because reality seldom lives up to memory/dreams.

Well, the Abici ended up being one of those exceptions that proves the rule. Thank goodness. Despite being a single speed, this bicycle’s light weight and sporty geometry make it a pretty solid hill-climber and a joy to ride. The Kate Spade for Adeline Adeline Abici is a Granturismo Donna that has been customized by Kate Spade. Customizations are minimal, but include a rear rack, a front headlight with a vintage look, a special logo and, of course, the signature Kate Spade green color. The bicycle is priced at $1,100, vs. the $995 price tag for the non-Kate Spade Donna, which is a fair additional amount to pay for the addition of a rack and front light (although I have minor issues with both of these components).

The front light has a vintage look. It is battery-powered, which doesn’t bother me—but the fact that the button to turn it on, which is on the back of the light, is jammed up against the front fork (shown in the photo above) does. Perhaps this design flaw will be corrected in future iterations? There are plenty of attractive lights with a side switch.

I take consolation from the creamy ivory grips in marbled plastic and the classic ding-dong bell.

And the Brooks B17 saddle, which was comfortable for my 20-mile ride, the longest for the two of us yet.

The KS Abici’s rear rack is not the Pletscher that is shown on the product page, but something different and curvier. With the addition of rack straps, it is quite functional despite the delicate lines, though unfortunately there is no good place to attach a rear light.

The frame is lugged, with a delicate swoop to the top tube that is oh-so-Italian. The fenders and enclosed chain case make this an all-weather ride, while the coaster brake and front handbrake allow you to keep your hands free to sip a drink. (Drink holder is after-market.)

Kermit Allegra offers you a sweet treat

Kermit Allegra offers you a sweet treat

Despite my single-speed qualms, so far I have ridden this bike everywhere that I have ridden my Peugeot or Batavus—and then some. As someone who prefers to use strength over rapid spinning when it comes to pedaling, I haven’t found the single speed to be any more challenging than my geared bikes, even on the toughest hills. Sure, I’m not speeding up them, but I wasn’t doing that on my other bikes, either.

The reasons for this remain something of a mystery to me, since I have spent more time enjoying the effect than investigating the cause. I have read that there is some loss of power due to the friction between the chain and derailleur  when you’re riding a geared bike, but the reported loss percentages vary between 5% and 20% (and some claim it’s complete BS).

What I know for sure about this bike is that it suits me perfectly in myriad ways. The 47.5 cm frame makes all my other bikes feel too big. The bright, cheery color makes it impossible not to smile when you see it. The single-speed makes riding feel carefree and easy. The drawbacks: less than perfect lighting solutions; rack is not functional without the addition of straps.

If you, too, are looking for your bicycle soul mate, I recommend giving the Kate Spade Abici a whirl. At the very least, you’ll have fun.

Trisha on Rolleiflex

{If you couldn’t tell by looking at them, all photos were taken by Dottie.}

Kate Spade Abici for Adeline Adeline, as reviewed here.

MSRP $1,100 includes:

47.5 cm lugged steel frame
Front caliper brake
Rear coaster brake
Enclosed chain case
Ivory marbled plastic handgrips
Brooks B17 saddle
Front battery-powered headlamp
Rear rack

Add-ons by me:
Rack strap
PDW Bar-ista

This bicycle was given to me in exchange for ad placement on this site. However, the views expressed in this post are completely my own.

  • Cathy

    That is such a pretty bike.

  • Stuart

    The bike looks pretty! You should dip your light though, it seems to be pointing far too high and will only light up the air, instead of lighting the road… as a bonus, it will also make the switch more accessible :)

    • Trisha

      Ah-ha! Didn’t think of that. Although the light actually illuminates the road pretty well. Thanks to you (and the commenter downthread with instructions).

  • Gordon Inkeles


  • Jazzboy

    The headlight seems to be pointing up too much. Things would be much improved if you release the locknut at the bottom of the headlight a bit until you’re able to move it, rotate the headlight so that it points slightly down and tighten the locknut firmly while holding the headlight in position (or have it done by a bike shop if you’re not comfortable with this).
    As Stuart says above, not only the light beam will be better positioned but you’ll also have better access to the light switch.
    For the rear I think a fender mounted taillight would look very nice.

    • Trisha

      Yeah, I’m probably going to have to do that for the tail light.

  • Eco Mama

    Beautiful photographs, love all that color!
    Eco Mama

  • Kara

    This is beyond fab. Fabbity fab. You guys are quite the pair. And I heart this photo shoot so much.

  • Will

    Have you considered adding a dynamo hub to hook up to the front light? With an LED lamp that won’t burn out and doesn’t create much noticeable drag, you’d never have to fiddle with the improperly placed switch on the headlight.

    • Trisha

      Honestly? no. It doesn’t seem worth the trouble. Maybe I’ll feel differently once I’ve had to change the battery!

      • Will

        Ha! Good point. And that’s another one of the reasons I’ve fallen in love with dynamo hubs and/or other non-batteried lights: no buttons, no batteries.

        • Gordon Inkeles

          Dynamo hubs are only bright if you pedal fast. Every time you slow down the light dims.

  • Steve from Sydney

    Trisha, I must know how long it takes you to ride 20 miles in Nashville!! Please tell.

    • Trisha

      I wasn’t really timing myself and we made a few stops. I’d say, though, it probably took close to two hours of riding. It was a hot day. Generally my average speed is 10-15 mph.

  • northwest is best

    Thanks for the review… my concern with ‘fashion’ bikes like these is that they’re all style and no substance.

    • Trisha

      Yes, I am not a huge fan of fashion bikes when buying one means paying for the name. But the Abicis are great bikes and the add-ons here are functional — and basically what you are paying for with the increased price. So this is a fashion bike you can respect. :)

  • Maureen

    LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! the bright, cheery green – it fits your bubbly smile! I think the graceful design probably makes riding a single speed easy and fun. And how could a day go wrong when riding around on her?
    *Noticed the boots immediately – super chic!

  • Amy

    I’ve been obsessed with the Abicis since I first saw them, and I love this version! The green is so beautiful. Which photo would you say best represents the color?

    • Trisha

      The lollipop one. It’s a pretty bright green.

  • Katrina

    That is a beautiful bike! And a beautiful photo shoot! The last picture is my favorite. It’s hard to contain bike-joy. :)

  • Lauren

    such a pretty bike! and i love the photos!

    randumb question: do you find it difficult to ride while wearing boots? i have been apprehensive about wearing my cowboy boots while riding because i was afraid it would limit the amount of motion i get with my ankles (uhh if that even makes sense). i’m one of those people who stands on their tippy-toes a LOT when stopped. what say you?

    • Trisha

      No, I don’t have a problem with that (although this is the only bike I have where my toes touch the ground while in the saddle — more on that in a future post). But my feet/legs do tend to get really really hot wearing boots, so I mainly save them for winter riding.

  • Scott

    Vibrant … Stylish … Stunningly beautiful! And the bike’s not too shabby, either … :-)

  • Lovely Bicycle!

    I think this bicycle suits you very well, you just look so happy!

    I am with you 100% re single speeds and hills, and the mystery on it. On the right bike I can go uphill in a single speed much easier than on other bikes with the monstrous 8-speed hubs. This is a huge can of worms and people tend to disagree with me when I say this stuff. But whatever; when you experience something you know it’s real.

    Headlight placement is problematic on both Abici and Bella Ciao. Their head tubes are unusually steep and the back of the light sits too close to it. It is actually easier to get around this issue by replacing the bracket with a longer one, then finding a different light. A longer bracket will get the headlight further forward and away from the head tube, if you see what I mean.

    Anyway, looking forward to further reports. The size looks just right for you – great!

    • Trisha

      I was hoping you would weigh in on the single-speed issue! But if it’s a mystery to you I’ll probably never figure it out. :) I will be reporting in more depth on that and the fit of the bicycle in future posts.

      • kfg

        The “mystery” disappears when you relieve yourself of the presumption that variable gears are some huge advantage. It certainly isn’t BS that they confer certain advantages, but they come with certain disadvantages as well, to the extent that the more gears you have the more you need, just because you have gears.

        In short, as you have empirically experienced, the advantages of variable gearing are grossly exaggerated and for most people, most of the time of little advantage at all unless the size of your paycheck is measured with a stopwatch. YOU are variable, by default; a wondrous biological process of far more complexity and adaptability than a gearbox.

        The next step, of course, is to realize that your back wheel is broken and get it fixed, but we’ll leave that can ‘o worms for another day. :)

  • Alice

    I just bought that cup holder, never thought to use it for lollipop! :)

  • L

    Thank you for your review.
    Have a nice day! ;)

  • Julianne

    I also ride a single speed Italian bike–mine is a 1974 Lygie (HERE and HERE ). It’s much faster than my 3 speed IGH bike, not least because it’s so much lighter. Sometimes I think about how fun it would be to have a 10 speed roadbike, but my lightweight Lygie is perfect for my short commute as well as longer rides at the beach. Hooray for single Italian ladies!

  • kfg

    My Ariat ropers (haven’t been able to find proper cavalry wellies) are my “go to” cycling footwear when the weather isn’t too steamy. Standing on tippy-toe at a light or off for a quick 50 mile spin is no problem at all; and I’m used to those old school, Italian “gloves with soles on ‘em” cycling shoes.

    Ride ‘em, cowgirl.

  • welshcyclist

    You just look fantastic Trisha!

  • sara

    I was curious how your relationship with this bike was progressing. Thanks for posting this review.

    And yes, I, like others was immediately drawn to your boots. I do like the look of the Abici a lot, but those boots…. Ahhhhhhhh!

  • KathyLu

    Nice bike :)

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  • Lauren

    Are those Frye boots? I’ve got a pair that look like a wider version of yours.

    Kermit Allegra looks like a great bike, and I’m surprised and happy to hear that the single speed isn’t a problem (though I’m sure that if you ever suddenly decided that you needed gears, a internal hub would be easy to install on a SS).

  • Trisha

    Nope, they’re Target knockoffs. :) But I love ‘em.