Friday, April 24, 2009

Fuji Cambridge

The Fuji Cambridge offers a steel, lugged frame with a Shimano Nexus internal 8-speed rear hub. It also includes a rack and fenders. For all this -- well, let's say the price is quite a bit steeper than the Palisade -- the MSRP is $1,250.


Sizes 52cm, 56cm, 60cm

Color(s) Black/Chrome

Main frame Fuji Double Butted Cro-Mo, Lugged

Rear triangle Fuji Cro-Mo Custom Taper, Lugged

Fork Fuji Crom-Mo Steerer, Cro-Mo Custom Taper, 1" Threaded

Crankset Fuji forged alloy, Square taper, 38T

Bottom bracket Sealed Cartridge Bearing ST

Pedals Fuji Alloy Platform

Shifters Shimano SL-8S20 for internal 8spd.

Cassette Shimano KSMGEAR16S, 16T

Chain KMC Z-410 RB

Front hub Fuji Sealed Alloy, 32H, QR

Rear hub Shimano NEXUS, KSG8R56VSA, 8spd Internal, 32H

Spokes 14G Stainless Steel

Rims Jalco DM-27 EN, Double Wall Alloy, 36H

Tires Kenda K-193, 700 X 38c

Tubes Kenda Schrader

Brake set Tektro R556, Dual Pivot

Brake levers Tektro RX 1.0

Headset Tange SE-32DX 1" Threaded

Handlebar Fuji Classic Mustache 22.2 Alloy

Stem Fuji Forged Alloy, Classic Quill

Tape/grip Fuji Classic Stitched Comfort

Saddle Fuji Classic w/Spring & Rivets

Seat post Fuji Micro-Adjust Alloy, 27.2, 250mm

Fuji Custom Rack and Fenders

Fuji Palisade 1.0

Fuji has a lot of interesting models out right now, and its Palisade caught my attention as a BFROU candidate.

Fuji deserves credit for paying attention to details on this "low-end" bike and not producing a lame hybrid with flat bars that has become the generic "city bike" offering of its competitors. Instead, Fuji outfitted this with a classic mustache handlebar that allows many more hand positions, and a front rack that has a built-in beverage holder. Just beautiful. The MSRP is $470.

Here are the specs:

SIZES: 15", 17", 19", 21", 23"

COLOR(S) Emory Blue, Gun Metal Gray, Cranberry

MAIN FRAME Fuji Altair 1 Alloy w/Tear Drop down tube, Double water bottle mounts

REAR TRIANGLE Fuji Altair 1 custom tapered Alloy, Fuji forged road dropout with replaceable derailleur hanger

FORK Fuji 1 1/8" Hi-Ten Aero w/eyelets and forged dropouts

CRANKSET Fuji Alloy Forged 28/28/48T Chainrings

BOTTOM BRACKET Sealed Cartridge Bearing ST

PEDALS Fuji, Black Plastic Platform


REAR DERAILLEUR MicroShift 7spd, RD-M35

SHIFTERS Microshift TS70-7

CASSETTE Fuji W4770D, 13-34T 7sp.

CHAIN KMC CNM54-Y, 7-speed

WHEELSET Fuji Sealed Alloy, 36H B.O. / Fuji Sealed Alloy, 36H B.O. / 14G Stainless Steel / Weinmann CN520 Alloy, 36H

TIRES Fuji, 700 x 32c
TUBES Fuji Schrader

BRAKE SET Promax-V, Forged Alloy, Linear Pull

BRAKE LEVERS Promax Alloy RA-320D

HEADSET Fuji 1 1/8" Standard Semi Cartridge

HANDLEBAR Fuji Classic Mustache, 25.4, Alloy

STEM Fuji Forged Alloy

TAPE/GRIP Fuji Comfort Rubber

SADDLE Fuji Sport Comfort

SEAT POST Fuji Micro-Adjust Alloy, 27.2, 300mm

SEAT CLAMP Fuji Alloy, 31.8mm, QR

OTHER Alloy Water bottle cage for hand bars / Front rack

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Soma Smoothie ES

Soma sells its Smoothie ES Road Sport Frame, constructed from tange heat-treated chromoly, for $400.

The frame has rear rack and fender mounts, and it will fit 32c tires with fenders. It comes with a carbon or steel fork, and requires long reach 57mm caliper brakes. The Smoothie ES is available in 11 sizes, ranging from 46cm to 66cm.

Basically, this 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.

Here's what it looks like built-up (via Velospace):

And here's two reviews from Smoothie ES owners:

Crosswrench: The good and the bad after hitting the 2000km mark.

Nooksack: How he built up his Smoothie.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dutch Bicycles

This week, the New York Times did a fashion piece in which it declared the glossy black Dutch bicycle "the new It object." Although still pretty rare, I am starting to see these on the streets of D.C., and apparently they have become common sights in Manhattan, Seattle, and Portland.

The Dutch Opa pictured above (Oma is the women's step-through model) is sold by the Dutch Bicycle Company in Seattle for $1589. They will ship it anywhere in the continental U.S., and they estimate that it costs between $330-365 to ship an Opa or Oma. According to the New York Times story, the Dutch Bicycle Company will soon open a store in NYC.

Dutch bikes, of course, have both style and function. Fenders, chainguards, rack carriers, headlights and taillights are standard. Here are the specs on the Opa:

Frame: Powder coated, hi-tensile steel, available in 57, 61, & 65 cm sizes

Hub: Shimano Nexus eight-speed, sealed, internally geared hub

Headlight: Shimano Nexus hub mounted dynamo powering headlamp and tail lamp
(no batteries needed - ever) 

Saddle: Brooks model B67, sprung leather

Brakes: Front and rear roller

Accessories: Center stand, fenders, mud flap, cargo rack and pump, rear wheel skirts/spats - spoke guards (keeps your skirt or suit clean), fabric and chrome chaincase cover, integrated rear wheel locking system

By the way, the Dutch Bicycle Company also sells German Velorbis models like the one pictured in the very first post on this blog.

In addition, Biria has come out with a Classic Dutch Series that includes this 21" Classic Dutch Men's:

The specs are similar to the Opa:

Frame: Hi-Ten Steel, 52 cm (21")

Fork: Hi-Ten unicrown

Rims: 28" steel black

Tires: 28x1.50

Gear: 3-speed Shimano Nexus

Brakes: Rear Roller and front v-brake, Alloy

Colors: black, dark red

Standard: full Chain guard, fenders, front and rear lights with generator, kickstand

Finally, don't forget the Dutch and Dutch-style bikes that we've already discussed on this blog, including the Batavus Old Dutch, KHS Green, and Electra Amsterdam.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A.N.T. Boston Roadster

Kirsten, originally uploaded by antbike.

This is a Step-Through version of the Boston Roadster, by Alternative Needs Transportation (A.N.T.). The frame and fork are handmade by Mike Flanigan in Holliston, MA (near Boston).

  • 5 sizes in diamond or stepthough style [48cm, 51cm, 54cm, 57cm and 60cm]
  • Your choice from ~20 colors for the frame, fork and rims.
  • frame, fork and front rack are made in Holliston MA.
  • wheels handbuilt and bike assembled in Holliston MA.
  • Delta bungee net included on front rack
  • WALD rear pannier rack [made in USA],
  • “Full Suit” chainring [made USA],
  • Chrome metal fenders [made in USA]
  • Front dynomo hub with front and rear lights,
  • Chain guard,
  • Sprung leather saddle, pre-softened, brown or black, your choice
  • Brass bell from VO Imports
  • Dual leg center stand
  • Rubber block pedals
  • Wheels are hand built with stainless steel spokes, powder coated alloy rims [in your color choice] with a
  • Shimano Nexus 8 speed internal gear hub
  • Cream [black if you want] colored Schwalbe 700 x 35mm tires.
  • Coaster brake (back pedal brake) in the rear and a roller brake in front. This braking system allows you to have powder coated rims, protects brakes from the weather, and your rims from abrasion by the brake pads. [If you don't like coaster brakes, which I don't, a rear hand-operated roller brake is available as a $100 upgrade.]
  • $1950. And money well spent. Please read on.

Clearly, the riding position and parts selections are designed for practical, comfortable use. For most bikes I've discussed here, that's all there is to it. Not so here. Mike thinks deeply about bicycles and has a strong commitment to principles that can grouped loosely under the heading Sustainability. As a result, he is one of the most innovative bicycle designers in the US.

Mike appears to re-evaluate constantly the principles and objectives that drive his designs, and how they are implemented. For example, the choices of TIG welded construction, flat stock instead of tubes in various frame locations, and the Ashtabula crankset (don't worry if you don't know what that means) increase the efficiency of construction time and material use, without sacrificing aesthetics.

Mike is also unique in his commitment to supply chain sustainability. In addition to local construction of the frame and rack, all of the raw steel tubes and frame fittings, and many of the other parts on A.N.T. bikes are made in the US. While all are good parts in terms of quality or cost, their use also supports domestic industries and local economies, and may reduce environmental impacts. I'm don't think of myself as a protectionist, but most bicycles made these days are made entirely and exclusively overseas, and this arrangement is part of a system that has some deep flaws. In comparison, most A.N.T. are distinctly multi-cultural, with three continents well represented. You can uncover a bit more about Mike's thinking here.

Obviously, he has a strong dedication to practical use, but his bikes demonstrate a deepening understanding of this principle, and a corresponding evolution of its implementation.

Follow this LINK to find out more about the Boston Roadster, by Alternative Needs Transportation.

UPDATE: On November 17, 2014, Mike announced that he was closing A.N.T.