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URBAN BIKE STYLE: FOUR URBAN BIKES, FOUR SPRING-READY KICKS
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 | By Heather

Our friends at Cycle Couture in Toronto posted some killer Instagrams from a recent joyride on our BKC Franklin model, and we couldn’t help but notice how great owner Jeff Scullion’s classic kicks looked on those pedals. The Spring/Summer season is all about staying comfortable and on-the-go. Lucky for all of us, sneaker trends are booming in 2014. We took a moment to check out the latest rubber soled options that have editors willing to go casual at least a few days a week. Whatever you’re riding this year, there’s a pair to (ahem) kick your bike style up a notch…

 

Bike Style, Sneaker Trend Match
BKC Model: Denim Driggs
Roll In: Nike Blazer Mid Vintage Liberty

The Nike x Liberty collection (available April 26) offers a full range of Denim Driggs x Warm Weather compatibles — serious shades of subdued blues, spot-on-season florals and, of course, the added panache of a Liberty London signature design right there on your feet. And high tops with the double top? Yes.

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Bike Style, Sneaker Trend Match

BKC Model: Matte Grey Bedford
Roll In: Alexander Wang’s Asher High-Top

White sneaks are a his’n’her “do” this year, as is mixing your neutrals. Double score. Both bike and high-top are clean and classic examples of how complex simple can be — Wang’s white leather and Espadrille-style detailing speaks directly to our white BKC branding and stitched leather grips. Hot stuff for keeping cool.

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Bike Style, Sneaker Trend MatchBKC Model: Cardinal Franklin
Roll In: Via Spiga Galant 2 Slip-Ons

Slip-ons, check. Laser cut leather, check. 3/4 inch lift, check. This is the sporty styleista’s dream kick. On-Off step-through frame, check. Means-business colorway, check. Down and dirty derailleur, check. And Franklin, their dream bike. A full match in the looks and attitude departments.

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Bike Style, Sneaker Trend MatchBKC Model: Tangerine Willow
Roll In: Vans Sk8-Hi Slim

A Tangerine (or Columbia Blue) Willow is a bright and flashy statement in its own right. If you want your footwear to pop with it, best bet is a crisp, ultra-vibrant white. Vans are having a serious comeback moment this year, and this slimmed down version of the brand’s trademark Sk8-Hi makes for a subtler silhouette, which means more styling options from the ankle up (another Willow rider trait, if ever).

 

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URBAN BIKE GEAR: FIVE FINDS AT ANTHROPOLOGIE
Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 | By Heather

Whether you’re due for a fresh ride or not, the start of bike season is a green light for new things cycle-related no matter what. We all have our go-tos when sourcing the urban bike gear that makes peak riding season look and feel tops, but sometimes it pays to think outside the box. Case in point — Anthropologie’s Spring 2014 online gifts section. How’s this for one-stop bike love:

Pedal-Push Bike Mirror & Nostalgerie Bike Bell by Fuuvi Charly

Pedal-Push Bike Mirror | photo: anthropologie.com

Pedal-Push Bike Mirror | photo: anthropologie.com

Aside from obvious safety advantages, there’s the bonus ability to check yourself out (or whoever might be behind you in the bike lane, priorities depending) when stalled at a stop light. Available colors either match or complement our favorite frame shades of the season.

Nostalgerie Bike Bell | photo: anthropologie.com

Nostalgerie Bike Bell | photo: anthropologie.com

There’s nothing we dig more than vintage-meets-modern, and these smart grey tones are super in-season (see also: Bedford). Having the means to signal a heads up never hurts, either.

Surfside Bike Basket by The Nantucket Bike Basket Company

Surfside Bike Basket | anthropologie.com

Surfside Bike Basket | anthropologie.com

We have a fairly documented appreciation for pedaling by the waves. So of course we’d fall for a weavy carry-all fit to handle all your beach-camp essentials — towel, sunblock, water. And landlocked riders? Think picnic.

Printed Bike Seat Covers by Neoprene

Printed Bike Seat Cover | anthropologie.com

Printed Bike Seat Cover | anthropologie.com

Spiffy graphic prints and easy slip-on, slip-off elastic might just mean that even though your saddle might already be weather-resistant… another layer of good look is needed. (And, yes, they’re element-safe too!)

Handpainted Bike Helmets by Danielle Baskin for Belle Helmets

belle-helmets

Handpainted Bike Helmets | anthropologie.com

It’s no secret how we feel about Danielle Baskin’s Belle Helmets. Art and smarts. What else is there?

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URBAN BIKE GEAR: BOOKMAN’S CUP HOLDER
Friday, April 11th, 2014 | By Heather

Urban Bike Gear: Bookman's Cup Holder

Osloh Bicycle Jeans brought Bookman’s latest and greatest to our attention today, and wow it is! We’re talking a super smart (and smart clip mounted — no screws, no glue) Cup Holder for refreshments on-the-go.

As take-out coffee/lemonade/insert-any-refreshing-beverage-here lovers, and friends of those who also go in for a daily ride and sip, this brilliantly designed contraption is just what bike season needs — more style-conscious convenience.

The best parts are many — it’s constructed to stay so firmly put, no bump in the road will rattle its grip. It flattens for easy transport, post-ride. And it flips so you can make use of either the smaller or larger ring, so no limiting your ounces, thirst at will!

Urban Bike Gear: Bookman's Cup Holder

And, of course, it’s Bookman, so… those colors! We’re feeling Ghost White on a Matte Grey Bedford, Shamrock Green on a Denim Driggs, Raging Red on a Columbia Blue Willow, and Pitch Black on a Cardinal Franklin. Make your own choice here!

Urban Bike Gear: Bookman's Cup Holder

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On Bike Frames & Sex: Bikes For Life Know No Gender
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 | By Heather

Bikes For Life. Yours Included.

We’d like to weigh in on a topic oft found debated in the Comments section following bike related posts, typically those addressing step-through frames. And we’d like to go on record agreeing with the following:

“There’s no such thing as a Girl Bike.” (Or a “Boy Bike,” for that matter.)

As an urban bike brand designing for the public at large, there is one way we approach and view all of our frames: As unisex objects of design, transportation and (cyclists, you know…) freedom. Why get wrapped up in misconceived gender assignment when you could make your choice based on a far more sound basis of judgement — What looks good on me? Kidding. Mostly.

Cheek aside, some of the best moments to come from stalking our own hashtags on Instagram are those when we happen upon killer ladies and gents rolling out on double top tubes and step-throughs respectively. Interacting with a ridership confident enough to make their frame decisions based on lifestyle, priorities and needs (and who don’t think of our Willow and Franklin as “the girl bikes”…) — that’s cool as hell.

We noticed a major uptick in females rolling out on Driggs and Bedford models near the end of 2013. Gotta say, it’s a good look. We can’t wait to see all the diamond frame Bedford snaps to come in 2014. From both the ladies and the gents. Because that’s who it was made for.

#brooklynbikeco

Courtesy (L – R, Top – Bottom): @cyclecouture, @skyseasoning, BKC Archives, Jesse Ross Photography, @tommytoofurred, @mindyyyotto

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Brooklyn Bicycle Co.’s Ryan Zagata On The 2014 Season
Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 | By Heather
rz-bedford-post

Brooklyn Bicycle Co. President Ryan Zagata + Bedford | Greenpoint, Brooklyn 2014

With a new bike season upon us, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of our amazing customers who are always willing to share their lives and their own unique spins on bike love with both us and the rest of our ridership. As a lifestyle brand, the story we’re telling is yours, from the minute you hop on one of our city bikes. We couldn’t do that without you.

It’s taken us three years to get to this point, and we couldn’t be more ready to proudly introduce our long imagined and fully realized model line-up, the 2014 BKC Series. This year’s bikes include upgraded takes on our signature wheels (Driggs and Willow), an overhaul on our roster’s cornerstone (Bedford), and a brand new step-through (Franklin) — the whole point of this expanded range is to promote accessibility, to offer a bike for all, be it a street-ready derailleur or a pop-colored seven speed. And It doesn’t get any better than for our bikes to roll into their first season with an early nod to achieving just that.

One thing all of our BKC models have in common with every prior iteration is our focus on combining solid design, a good look, and sustainable value all larger than the sum on the pricetag. We’ve never compromised quality in the past, and our promise to you is in our Lifetime Guarantee — We never will.

We’ll have our eye on the #BrooklynBikeCo tags this year and we can’t wait to see how you ride.

Have a great season, all!

Ryan Zagata
President

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FOUR URBAN BIKES, FOUR FASHION TRENDS
Thursday, March 6th, 2014 | By Heather

One thing about our all new BKC series bicycles that hasn’t changed? They’re still ready-to-ride bikes designed to complement all the ready-to-wear bike style interpretations of the biggest runway trends. Find your style match here….

Fashion trends, Bedford, Brooklyn Bicycle Co., urban bike

photos: vogue.co.uk, brooklynbicycleco.com

BKC Model: Bedford
Trend Match: Modern Mono & Neutral Layering
Color Match: Matte Grey, Ivory, Matte Black (not pictured)

Bedford’s colorways are the pinnacle of modern sophistication, much like wearable neutrals. Whether you’re into tonal dressing or layering a bevy of shades, pair those ensembles up with an equally clean bicycle and that’s what you call a double threat. Add to that the elegance and simplicity of a classic diamond frame and, you’ve pulled a serious style trifecta.

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Fashion trends, Driggs, Brooklyn Bicycle Co., urban bike

photos: vogue.co.uk, brooklynbicycleco.com

BKC Model: Driggs
Trend Match: Blue, Jean + Blue Jeans
Color Match: Denim

Denim of all worn-in variety is being touted as the Spring/Summer staple sure to give you that “rugged, street-smart” air. (Well, of course.) Our favorite warm weather denim? The Driggs. And just like any good ready-to-style piece, our wash wins the versatility vote: Driggs denim is a deepened shade of royal navy blue with multidimensional effect —  dark and mysterious in the shadows and all dazzle and flash in the light (just like the best warm weather days…)

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Fashion trends, Franklin, Brooklyn Bicycle Co., urban bike

photos: vogue.co.uk, brooklynbicycleco.com

BKC Model: Franklin
Trend Match: Sporty Chic
Color Match: Cardinal Red, Ivory, Gloss Black (not pictured)

Franklin is an upgrade on your basics — fun and functional and, as we’ve said before, sass with class. Whether running errands, heading gymwards, or approaching lifestyle as sport, this powerhouse-disguised-by-its-own-poise-and-polish gets it done. Franklin’s color palette offers up a traditionally bold trio, and each one strong enough to accompany your most active looks. We like Cardinal to pack a punch, Ivory to highlight your “wears,” and Gloss Black for all the ninjas out there.

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Fashion trends, Willow, Brooklyn Bicycle Co., urban bike

photos: vogue.co.uk, brooklynbicycleco.com

BKC Model: Willow
Trend Match: Technicolorvibrance
Color Match: Tangerine, Columbia Blue

For the fashionably adventurous, nothing says “I’ve arrived” like rolling up on a vivid ride, crown fork and cream wheels to boot. If your daily style is off the hook, Tangerine and Columbia Blue are another punch in the palette. And if your wardrobe is a subdued mix of neutrals, make your mode of transportation the pop of color every good achromatic collection deserves.

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THREE REASONS TO BIKE UP YOUR COMMUTE
Thursday, February 27th, 2014 | By Heather

 City Bike Commute

As we impatiently wait for Spring to break, there’s at least comfort in it’s inevitability — any day now, we will be able to wheel out into the day less several layers of bundle and less the threat of another late breaking polaricestormvortex interrupting our daily commute. The countdown to another full season of open air is on and, if it’s not part of your plan already, here’s three big reasons to make a city bike your companion about town.

Relearn Your Landscape
Best way to know your neighborhood? Be in it. Not under it in the subway. Not skimming over it from within the confines of a car. Actually moving with it, surrounded by it. Believe it — you’ll notice shops, cafes, side roads, shortcuts and the commonly unseen views that come along with the ability to navigate right up to all of them on a street level.

Daily De-Stress
Fact: The blood of a city driver gets pumped full of stress hormones every time they’re behind the wheel. The Phew After The Fact: City dwellers are already at an advantage with options like mass transit, walking and cycling, depending on where your daily grind takes you. The Reality: Commuting by bike means keeping your blood free of “nerves pollution,” getting your daily cardio in, and promoting your body’s natural need for mobility. (Pro-tip: We’d never knock walking, but when time matters, truth is bikes are faster.)

Smile Stats
By now, you’ve probably run across the research — the world’s happiest cities attribute that title to urban design. The shorthand being: more bike paths, more outdoor green space and more time spent making use of both. That’s right —your bike is actually a tool in aesthetically attractive disguise, building some serious quality of life. Sure it looks good. It’s also promoting curiosity and discovery in your environment, assisting your longterm health though effortless routine, and all but carving the path to a pretty significant goal everyone shares: happiness.

Ready to ride? Before you city bike shop, read up on what to look for in an ideal city bike companion.

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Five Things that Matter on Bike Frame Geometry with Grant Petersen
Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 | By Heather

It’s always been our honor to have Grant Petersen of Rivendell Bicycle Works on our Board of Advisers. His contributions to our bicycle design have been the very reason we’re able to offer such a unique ride to anyone who’s up for the lifestyle cycling experience.

“Bike frame geometry” is an all-out mystery to a lot of urban cyclists. It’s just too easy to check out the curves, lines, angles, colors… Imagine how they’ll complement your own vibe… how they’ll look chained outside the local watering hole…  Before you know it, you’ve completely missed the architecture behind the eye-candy. Thing is, it matters.

With a new fair-weather season upon us, Grant offered to walk us through the ever-elusive (and all-important) aspects of frame geometry in a way we can all understand. Of course, “yes, please!” was our answer, and here’s what he had to say…

Grant Petersen on Bike Frame Geometry

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“Frame geometry” refers to the design of the frame, specifically the tube’s lengths and angles. It’s a term that pops up often among the spandex set, but even so, it’s good to know something about it. If you read and understand this, you’ll know more than they do.  It’s easy…

Seat Tube Angle
The seat tube angle affects your seated pedaling position. Most seat tubes are between 71 and 75 degrees (from horizontal). If the seat tube is 74-degrees or more, it’s considered “steep,” and if it’s 71 to 72-degrees, it’s “shallow.” I prefer shallow seat tube angles, so that’s what the BKC bikes have. It helps you sit further behind the pedals and, to me, feels more natural and relaxing. There are zero drawbacks, unless you’re a triathlete.

Head Tube Angle & Fork Rake
Head Tube Angle refers to the steepness of the head tube. All else equal, shallower head tubes (70 to 71 degrees) make the steering less reactive; steeper ones (74-75 degrees) make it more reactive.

And Fork Rake is the amount of forward bend in the fork — how much it curves or angles forward. It’s usually 1 ½ to 2 ¼ inches.

A combination of Head Tube Angle, Fork Rake, and the front wheel size influence a bike’s steering feel and stability. Think about it like… Sports car or truck? On city bikes like the BKCs, you want something normal-feeling and not so reactive that if you hit a pothole while steering with one hand, the bike topples over.

I consider all of those things in the steering of Brooklyn Bicycle Co. bikes, so that the end result feels instantly familiar and unremarkable, which is how it should be.

Top Tube Length
The length affects how far you have to reach to grab the bars, but it’s just one of many factors that do (along with the seat tube angle, stem, and handlebar shape and height).

On Brooklyn Bicycle Co. bikes, I designed a top tube that “reads” long to somebody accustomed to starting at bike frame geometry spreadsheets, but it doesn’t feel long; and it doesn’t feel long because the bars are high and sweep back toward you. Meanwhile, the longer wheelbase (which comes of a longer top tube) makes the bike ride better over rough ground.

Chainstay Length
Chainstays are the tubes that run from the crank to the middle of the rear wheel, and the range (from short to long) is 16 to 17.5 inches, typically. Personally, I like chainstays that push 19 inches. It contributes to a longer wheelbase, a smoother and more comfortable ride, and a better ride over rough pavement better. There are no negatives, only positives.

The BKC chainstays are just under 19 inches, longer than those on most (maybe all) other city bikes.

Drop and Bottom Bracket Height
Drop is how far the crank sits below the wheel centerline, and along with the wheel diameter and the seat tube angle. It affects how high your saddle is above the ground, which in turn affects how easy it is to touch the ground with your tow when you’re half-sitting on the saddle at a stoplight. It also affects how likely you are to hit a pedal on the ground when you lean your bike and pedal around a corner. Drop is always a compromise that favors one thing (touching the ground easily?) over another (pedal clearance?).

When I specify the drop on a BKC bike, I look at all of these things and where the bike will be ridden (on pavement, for the most part). There is a little more drop on a Brooklyn Bicycle Co. bike than there is on most urban bikes. I think it is the best balance of toe-ability and pedal clearance, but it is also the most easily overlooked contribution to a really great frame geometry.

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Want more Grant Petersen? Check out his Blug

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