We get tons of questions from readers about whether affordable, stylish bikes exist. Some of them haven’t ridden bikes in years and are reluctant to plop down two weeks’ salary on something that may be a passing fancy. Others are simply unable to afford to spend that much money on something that is a secondary form of transportation. Some are just plain looking for a bargain. Though I am not among the crowd that believes that bikes like the Pashley and Oma are overpriced, I can certainly understand all of those impulses—after all, I was on a tight bike budget and scoured the globe to get the best deal on my Batavus.
Which brings me to Linus Bikes. The specs and price seemed too good to be true: how could a bike with a 3-speed Nexus internal hub retail at a mere $559? Could it possibly be a quality ride at that price? Well, my limited experience with the Linus Mixte I test rode at Adeline Adeline indicates that the answer is yes indeed.
I hopped on the Linus after my Pashley test run, and switching between the two bikes reminded me of switching between my two bikes at home. The Linus was nimble, sporty and fun. Dottie was supposed to take pictures of me riding, but she says I got away too fast. That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?
The Linus Mixte comes with painted fenders, and the steel/Cro-moly frame is partially lugged. The model I rode had three speeds and was very light, with leather handgrips and a basic rear rack. No lights, although that’s typical in a bike in this price range—and of the basic commuter components, to me this is the easiest thing to add to a bicycle. Same goes for the generic saddle, which is serviceable—but this bike’s looks beg for a Brooks.
When Dottie asked me how the Linus compared to Le Peug, I said, “it was so quiet” (though this speaks more to my procrastination when it comes to routine bike maintenance than anything else). The two bikes weigh about the same, though I think the Linus has a slightly more aggressive riding position. Certainly any true bargain-hunter out there could probably scour craigslist for a vintage mixte and eventually come up with something cheaper than the Linus that is very similar—but with a vintage bike, there’s always the risk of unseen issues like rust, or difficulties finding replacement parts if something does go wrong (Portlandize had a great post on this over the summer). If you are not mechanically inclined and on a limited budget, the Linus Mixte is worth checking out.
I know a few of our readers ride Linus Bikes (they also make a Roadster and a Dutchie)—please share your experience in the comments.