Category Archives: Beautiful Bicycles

Beautiful Bicycles: Velorbis Mobii Trike

When I visited Copenhagen Cyclery this weekend, I also test rode the Velorbis Mobii Trike. Yay, trike! I’ve been wanting to test ride a three-wheeled beast for some time now. When I wrote about the WorkCycles Bakfiets a couple of months ago, I mentioned that I could not know for sure how I felt about it without riding a trike for comparison.

The Mobii (love the name!) comes in one size and two powder-coated colors: orange and gray. Designed and handmade in Denmark, this thoroughly modern, steel-framed stunner has the power to erase whatever old-fashioned connotations the word “tricycle” has.

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Beautiful Bicycles: Velorbis Studine

Today I met a new beauty in town, the Velorbis Studine at Copenhagen Cyclery, a “younger” and more affordable version of the Velorbis Classic bikes (which I reviewed here). The differences are subtle – fewer gears, painted rims and no lights or leather grips.

Designed in Denmark and handmade in Germany, these stylish steel bikes are chic and cheeky at once. The Studine aka Student comes in three colors (red, green, black) and four sizes (51 and 56 cm for step-through, 54 and 59 cm for diamond frame). If cream-colored Schwalbe tires are not luscious enough, these ones are coupled with powder-coated rims to match the frames. The classy and comfortable Brooks B67 sprung saddle tops the design off perfectly.

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Beautiful Bicycles: Bakfiets (a real S.U.V.)

There are two types of bikes that look so odd, I had a hard time imagining how they worked: folding bikes and bakfiets. I experienced the magic of the folding bike while riding the Dahon, and now I have experienced the feat of engineering that is the bakfiets.

Since Mr. Dottie and I sold our only car in January, I’ve never missed it or needed a car for any purpose. Recently, I encountered a challenging situation: hauling a folding table and folding chairs for a fundraiser I helped organize. The bakfiets came to my rescue. I borrowed the folding table from Dutch Bike Chicago and, knowing that I am car-free, one of the owners offered me the use of his personal bakfiets. Yesss!

On the way to the event: me with a folding table

On the way to the event: me with a folding table

The bakfiets carried the folding table and the eight folding chairs perfectly – as two different loads, although if I really wanted to push it, I could have piled it all on together. Each load also included several bags of supplies.

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Beautiful Bicycles: Gazelle Toer Populair and Chamonix Pure

A new Dutch bicycle brand has arrived in Chicago, and you know I was all over them faster than you can say “Dottie is freakishly obsessed with pretty and utilitarian city bikes.”  The Gazelle Toer Popular and Gazelle Chamonix Pure are now at Dutch Bike Chicago. The names are unweildy and hard to pronounce, but everything else about them is lovely.

The Gazelle Toer Popular is a super traditional Dutch bike with gorgeous looks, a sturdy steel frame and all of the expected features.

Gazelle Toer Populair

Gazelle Toer Populair

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Beautiful Bicycles: My Workcycles Azor Oma

One year ago I purchased a Workcycles Azor Oma, and that decision has changed my life for the better. I already cycled to work daily, but with Oma I was able to integrate cycling more easily and fully into my life. I no longer needed to coordinate my outfits around grease and chains. I was able to cycle through the harsh Chicago winter with no worries about frozen drivetrains. I left behind annoyances such as falling chains, deflating tires, and compromised braking. Now I simply get on my bike and go. It’s really a lovely way to travel.

7-18 profile 9-4 outfit

3-21-dress-bike29-1 oma dress

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Electra Bicycles: Townie and Amsterdam Sport

Electra makes bikes well-suited for city cycling, but Trisha and I knew them only by reputation, advertising, and second-hand sightings. Today we stopped by a bike shop to take a closer look. Unfortunately, the shop recently sold its only lady’s Electra Amsterdam, so we were left with a Townie and diamond-frame Amsterdam Sport.

Trisha and the Electra Townie

Trisha and the Electra Townie

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Beautiful Bicycles: Pashley Sonnet Bliss

My new bike crush is the Pashley Sonnet Bliss.  I’ve discussed the Pashley Princess Sovereign previously, which is very similar except the Bliss is different colors and does not have a full chaincase.  I seriously conisdered buying a Pashley last year, but the Azor Oma Dutch bike won out based on its incredibly sturdy and smooth ride. Recently I’ve been wanting a Pashley again – not instead of Oma, but in addition to Oma. Is that bad? If loving Pashley is wrong, I don’t want to be right. I can’t buy another bike at this time, anyway, so it’s only imaginary.  For now I will be satisfied with my recent test ride at Boulevard Bikes in Chicago. This was the first time I saw a Sonnet Bliss in real life and she is quite blissful :)

Test riding the Pashley Sonnet Bliss

Test riding the Pashley Sonnet Bliss

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Beautiful Bicycles: Abici Granturismo Donna

Though we’d altered Oma, she still wasn’t a perfect fit for long rides with lots of stops and starts–so for the cocktail ride, the nice folks at Copenhagen Cyclery in Wicker Park agreed to give me a loaner. The shop’s manager, Phil, and owner, Brent (who was on the Cocktail Ride with us looking quite dapper) set me up with the elegant red Abici Granturismo Donna.

Abici Granturismo Donna

Abici Granturismo Donna

This sexy red single-speed with a rear coaster brake and a front handbrake was easily the most attention-getting bike I’d ever ridden, so it was lucky I had a few of Copenhagen Cyclery’s cards to give out to curious passers-by.

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Beautiful Bicycles: Sweetpea JJ Fantastic Mixte

JJ sure looks happy, with good reason! She is the proud owner of the first Sweetpea Mixte, which has taken its place in Sweetpea’s Love Line as the JJ Fantastic. What a gorgeous bicycle! And how fabulous to have a badass bike like this handmade in Portland by a woman! Natalie Ramsland, the builder, and her husband Austin operate Sweetpea Bicycles to “build bikes for women” with the idea that “Every woman is different. Every bike should be too.” By the look of their finished products, that line easily could be “Every woman is beautiful. Every bike should be too.” Check out JJ’s mixte and then check out Sweetpea Bicycles if you are considering a custom bike and have been squirreling away the cash for a long while.

JJ and Her Sweetpea!

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My Batavus Entrada Spirit

Now that I’ve had my Batavus Entrada Spirit for nearly a month, it’s time for the review.  The short and sweet version: I love it. Buying a bike I’d never ridden was a risk that paid off.

On our way to work

On our way to work

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Beautiful Bicycles: Velorbis Dannebrog – Victoria

Way back in January I started a “Beautiful Bicycles” series, wherein I discuss the beautiful bicycles that I came across during my intensive research leading up to purchasing my Azor Oma. Although the first in the series is consistently one of the most viewed posts on this blog, I had yet to do a second in the series. Until now. I present the Velorbis Dannebrog, very similar to the Velorbis Victoria Classic.

5-23 velorbis plate

Earlier this week I briefly discussed the Velorbis Dannebrog in the context of my visit to the new Chicago shop, Copenhagen Cyclery. I decided that this gorgeous bike definitely deserves its own post.

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Dahoney

Because I’ve never met a pun that I did not like, Dahoney (n): girl about town on a folding bike.

5-10 dahon dP10704925-10 dahon w5-10 dahon

I visited Nashville this weekend for our friend Erin’s bachelorette party and Trisha had the Dahon ready and waiting for me. Our friend Wanda from San Diego also took it for a spin. This funny alien bike has always tripped me out and I have a hard time wrapping my brain around how it works. But it does. The spindly creature provides a shockingly quick and comfortable ride that feels oddly similar to a regular bike. Granted, no one will take little D on endurance rides or racing (although an all-folding-bike race would be adorable), but it’s a sensible choice for shorter utilitarian rides. A major benefit is fitting a wide range of riders, going from me (5’7) to Trisha in the few seconds it took to adjust the seat. The only issue I had was the slight squirrely feeling down hill and even more so up hill, but nothing extreme. I also felt more vulnerable next to cars and trucks, but that’s mostly in my head, since I’m used to big weighty bikes.

And now I want a folding bike. Such is the danger of riding new bikes. What a neat trinket to carry around on plane and train trips, so that I’d always have a bike with me. You never know when you’ll need a bike! It’s not cheap, though, so it will remain a twinkle in the fairy’s eye for now.

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Up Close and Personal

Batavus Entrada Spirit

Batavus Entrada Spirit

A few of those details I was mentioning yesterday . . .

Dynamo headlight

Dynamo headlight

seatpost1

Seat tube decals and "hammered" reflective fenders and built-in Trelock

 

dutchbikesticker

Dutch Bike Shop

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Retroveloing: Trisha

This bike only weighed a little less than Pinkie, so I figured it couldn’t be *that* different…a bike is a bike, right? Not when one bike is a Retrovelo, apparently. The Paula was so fun to ride — and fast! Biking seems so much easier in Chicago, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. Is it the lack of hills? the company? the quality of the bikes I end up riding when I’m here? Could be all of the above. Since we don’t have a Dutch Bike Shop in Nashville, I guess I will never know for sure, but you can tell I’m having fun in this video (courtesy of Mr. Dottie, who somehow managed to go running through an alley carrying two purses and a camera without being tackled by a would-be Good Samaritan).

more about "Retroveloing Trisha ", posted with vodpod

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Dahon Debriefing

I kind of slacked off with the Dahon D7HG Vitesse reporting thing toward the end of last week. It’s been an interesting ride. For what it’s worth, here’s my overall assessment. But first, little bit of context here that probably won’t surprise most people: I don’t know a ton about bicycle mechanics. It is entirely possible that I am not giving enough weight to the marvel of engineering that is a folding bike, or the quality of the gear hub, or some other mechanical component…

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Beautiful Bicycles: Pashley Princess Sovereign

My Pashley Princess Test Drive

My Pashley Princess Test Drive

Key to integrating cycling into my daily life is possession of a beautiful and functional bicycle.  Nearly everyone in America thinks of bikes as sports machines that require specialized or casual clothing.  With a certain type of beautiful and functional bicycle, this is simply false.  When I first started shopping for bikes, I did not know that such bikes existed – those with skirt and chain guards and dignified seating positions.  Last year I spent a lot of time researching and test riding beautiful bikes before finally choosing my Azor Oma from Dutch Bike Chicago.  This will be the first post in a series about the beautiful and functional bicycles I found.

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