Saturday, September 15, 2012

Opus Ivan

I first spotted Opus Bikes in a small shop in Canada.  The Opus Ivana, the loop-framed version of the bike above, appears on an ad on the back of Momentum Magazine this month.   The Opus Ivan, pictured above, is an Aluminum-framed city bike with upright geometry and a large front basket.  I think you'll agree it has a unique style that's somewhat contemporary while honoring the classic lines of a city bike. 

The really exciting news is that Opus bikes are coming to the USA! They have a large selection of practical transportation bikes.  Most of them have an Aluminum frame, which helps keep down the weight for those who have to carry their bike or climb hills.  As someone who rides a traditional city bike that weighs north of 50lbs, I find it appealing to have all of the city bike features in a more lightweight package.

Opus Ivan specs (provided by Opus):

Meta 10
Shimano HBIM40 & SG7R46
Alex Z1000 26" Black
SS spokes
Dark Silver
ORA Urban
45mm - 1-1/8
CH-918TW integrated sealed
ORA Urban 70R X 50S
ORA 158, 80o, TIG,  25,4
VLG617 Synth. leather - Brown
7 speed
Tektro CL330 BL - LF
Shimano Nexave BR-IM50
Roller brakes
Bottom Bracket
Wellgo LU-206T Flat
Front Derailleur
Rear Derailleur
Shimano Inter 7 Nexus
Internal gear
Inter 7 Nexus
7 speed
Innova 218 - 26"
Black 26 X 2.0
Ora Voyage
Ora 242 Aluminum
Micrometric 27,2
Miscellaneous Parts
Fenders/rack/chain cover/kick stand

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Virtue 6

Virtue 6 out and about. Photo courtesy of Virtue bikes.

The Virtue 6 sells for MSRP $ 399.

Special thanks to Robert W. for letting us know about Virtue bikes. Here is what Robert had to say after a test ride:

I took a Virtue Six for a test ride today. It’s a sweet bike, but not quite right for me. I love the look and it was a fun, smooth ride, but it weighs 28 lbs [with fenders] and is a 6-speed. I want a lower low gear to get around in San Francisco. I’m also of two minds about the lack of quick release wheels. They’re less likely to get stolen, but I’d need to carry a wrench. I also wish it had a chain guard. But the price is hard to beat — $425 for the one I tested. 

Virtue 6 with rear rack. Courtesy: Virtue Bikes.
I contacted Virtue and got the inside scoop from owner William Mulyadi.  He said he designed Virtue's first bike, the Virtue One, which came out in the mid-2000's, after asking bike shop customers about their ideal bike.

"It seems Pashley Guv'nor is the winner," William said.  "Knowing that many like the character and feel of the bike but quite limited on the budget, I designed the bike with that idea in mind. Then many requests came for gears [which led to the] Virtue Six; then ladies versions Curve 1 and Curve 6, etc."

Virtue Curve 6.  Courtesy: Virtue Bikes.

William explained that Virtue can keep its prices low (the 6-speeds are $399 and the 1-speed is $299) because they actually own the factories.

Here are the specs on the Virtue 6:

Gloss black full chromoly frame and fork (sizes: 52cm, 56cm, and 60cm)
Fender clearance
Alloy porteur handlebar
Alloy riser stem
Brown Velo stitch grips
Brown Velo riveted saddle
Silver alloy single crankset 46T 170mm
Silver alloy chain guard
Tektro CL530-RS brake levers
Tektro V-Brakes
Wellgo road pedals
Shimano SIS thumb shifter
Shimano Tourney rear derailleur
Shimano 6 speed freewheel 14-28T
Double wall black rims
700x32C Cream Kenda Kwest tires
Silver KMC chain
Front and rear fenders
Silver brass bell
*please note that size 52 and 56 come with quill stem, silver rims, and rear rack
*previous batch of Virtue Six with brown/white 700x32 Kenda tires and wide townie handlebar are still available
William has given me a preview of some other interesting models -- including a cargo bike -- that Virtue will be coming out with soon.