by Christina Torres

Most cyclists share similar lifestyles. It's all about the bike, the rides, the climbs, the pain, and the company that pushes you to ride harder. It’s about two-toned razor sharp tan lines, why we would rather take the longer scenic back roads, have enormous appetites, and an obsession with France, espresso, and light gear. But ultimately the most important things are our shared love of adventure and nature, self-reliance, and seeking the simple pleasures in life.

Regardless of what cyclist culture trends are, our lifestyle is all about the dedication to the bicycle and the manifesto it holds as a machine for freedom. As we seek to live mindful lifestyles that have a positive impact on the people and world around us, cycling becomes so much more than a transportation alternative: it is a passion. Cycling has become a way to fully experience the places we love and all their details, finding true fulfillment in adventures on the road.

For many of us, the long to escape becomes restlessness if we don’t adventure often. Our wanderlust finds fulfillment in the outdoors and although it sounds romantic, it isn’t always a ride in the park. There are always great lessons to be learned in our expectations and harsh realities out on the trail. On many rides, I think about what it means to measure up to the grind of escaping and the grit that comes along with it. When I’m on the road, I feel that I'm searching for a balance between my body, my bike, and a longing to lose myself. The road is a mirror that reflects discomfort, obstacle, and doubt: it challenges you to sit up in the saddle and keep climbing.

The further you go the longer it takes to get back, and yet, stopping to enjoy the sound of a river or to watch the sunset on the horizon of a mountainscape is what we thrive on. Anything that reminds us of what we left behind is lost in these moments. The bike and the outdoors are great equalizers: they don’t care if you have success, money, or the finest possessions.

The pursuit of freedom in the outdoors comes with risks. Risks we test our limits and skills against, it’s why so many of us gravitate so strongly to adventure cycling. It offers us escape, exploration, and a way to see the world with new eyes. Adventuring by bike has become as much about the story as about the challenges along the way. Few things in life make me happier than combining my passion for cycling, travel, and exploration. For me, the journey on the bike is about the quality of life. Every time I get on a new road I bring with me a different challenge- mental, physical, and emotional- and the experience differs accordingly. Sometimes I feel physically strong, sometimes I feel my balance may be off, sometimes I’m just too exhausted to go any further.  In these journeys, there is always a new town, a bridge slept under, the howling of coyotes, the hunger, the cold, the saddle sores, and the incredible people you meet along the way.


Bio - Christina is the blogger of City Girl Rides, a women’s cycling lifestyle blog. Currently she resides in upstate New York in a cabin with her fiance and dog where she trails around the Hudson Valley woods. You can follow her stories and adventures at City Girl Rides and Instagram.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


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.