Cristina Martinez


We partnered up with graphic designer and artist, Cristina Martinez, on a tour of her home base of Madison, Wisconsin. Below are her recommendations to visiting this town:

Madison, Wisconsin might sound like a tiny little town out in the middle of nowhere, but it’s actually an amazing city and it’s incredibly bike friendly. I’ll be sharing my favorite spots and suggestions for exploring Madison by bike.


This coffee shop is nestled in my neighborhood and most mornings it’s my very first stop. Crescendo is an intimate espresso bar and music cafe. They make a delicious oat milk latte and blueberry matcha latte. I highly recommend their avocado toast.

Mystery To Me

Mystery To Me is an independent book store here in Madison. They carry a wide selection of books and it’s a wonderful little spot to pick up something new. Everyone who works here is incredibly knowledgeable and they’re always more than happy to give you a suggestion to help you find the perfect read.

Southwest Commuter Path

To get around the city, I usually take the Southwest Commuter Path which happens to be located within my neighborhood.  This paved bicycle path connects to the Capital City Trail which essentially means that you can get nearly anywhere in town on a bike.  

The Monona Terrace 

The Monona Terrace is a Madison staple and was designed by Wisconsin native, Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s a beautiful building with stunning views of Lake Monona and our capital building. It’s one of my favorite places to visit and sit with a cup of coffee and a good book (contingent upon good weather).

Madison Sourdough

If I have a day off, you’ll find me at Madison Sourdough at some point that day. They’re a modern communal oven bakery and patisserie who make the best Egg’s Benedict in town. At nearly any time of the day you’ll find a long line awaiting you inside, but I promise it’s totally worth the wait to get your hands on anything they make. You can even purchase some of their delicious breads at our local co-op.

Madison Greenhouse Store

Madison Greenhouse Store is my go-to spot if I’m in need of a new plant for our home. The staff is really knowledgable and helpful. They can even suggest specific products if you have pets at home and want to make sure your new plant is non-toxic.

Mad City Music

I love heading over to Mad City Music to add to my record collection. They carry some great indie records that you can’t find anywhere else in town.

Cafe Domestique

This coffee spot opened up at the end of last year and ever since it’s been one of my favorite places to go. Located on the east side of town, Cafe Domestique is a bike-centered coffee shop that anyone who loves bikes and coffee will throughly enjoy. They serve a carefully curated selection of coffee alongside delicious treats from Batch Bakehouse.

Pig in a Fur Coat

We end our bike tour of Madison with one of the best restaurants in town, Pig in a Fur Coat. This spot has a special place in my heart since it was the first restaurant my husband and I ate at when we were visiting Madison prior to moving here. Since then, it’s been the place where we go to celebrate our anniversary every year. If you go, I recommend ordering their poutine or chorizo stuffed dates.

Clearly I only mentioned a few great spots here in Madison, but as you can tell Madison is full of independent businesses that add charm and character to the city and are undoubtedly local staples.

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What Are the Differences Between the Franklin and Willow Step-through Models?

Looking at the Franklin and Willow, but not quite sure how the models compare? No worries – we get this question a lot, so we’ve put together a quick rundown on what sets these models apart!


#TLDR (AKA Too Long Didn't Read)? Here's a Quick Summary:





This is probably the most notable difference between our step-through models. With the Willow featuring our Swept-Back Handlebars. This means a much more upright (European-style) riding position (think sitting in a chair) that is well suited for leisurely riding.

The Franklin models feature our Relaxed Ride Handlebars, which are slightly more aggressive and ideal for both commuting and leisurely weekend rides.



The Willow comes with cream tires, whereas the Franklin sports black tires. Do note that regardless of color, all our tires offer an added layer of puncture resistance.



The Willow is our premium model and includes a rear carrier, as well as an upgraded sprung saddle and grip set from Selle Royal’s Royalgel™ line.

The Franklin features Selle Royal Vegan Leather saddle and grips. Please note that this bike does not come with a rear carrier. If you would like to purchase a rear carrier for this model, you will need a 26” carrier for the S/M Franklin and a 700C carrier for the Large Franklin model.

Both models come with color matched fenders and chainguard, as well as a kickstand.



As our signature model, the Willow has a few additional premium features including a rust-prohibitive coating on the chain and internal gearing resulting in less maintenance and more riding.

The Franklin 3 model includes internal gearing (just like the Willow), whereas the Franklin 7 has an external 7-Speed derailleur.



On a more technical note – the geometry on both frames is identical, however the Franklin and Willow models are made from different materials. Are you currently thinking “WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?! I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT BIKES!!”? Do not fret – we totally get it! Take a breath and read on…

The Willow frame is made with double-butted 4130 Chromoly Steel. We use a stronger grade of steel, which allows us to use thinner tubing resulting in a lighter frame.

The Franklin frame is crafted with specially engineered high-tensile steel. What does this mean? We are able to offer a similar bike of a more moderate price point. Our Franklin model is the most economical step-through model in our portfolio of bikes (as well as a team favorite)!

Still have questions on sizing (or anything else)? Email us or schedule a concierge call with our team. We’d love to help!


Don’t forget: All of our bikes include Free Shipping & Professional Assembly.