Brooklyn Bicycle Co
Words by Anna Maria Diaz-Balart, Photography by Rob Gullixson
I remember trying to buy my first commuter bike and having the manager of a shop tell me that ultimately it didn't really matter what the bike looked like, because I wouldn’t be able to see it when I was riding it. Needless to say, I didn’t buy a bike at that shop.
Commuter bikes occupy a particular niche in many a city riders repertoire. They must be stylish since you are seen on them often. They must be reliable and durable to take a beating on city streets, but, above all, they must be inexpensive, since they will spend a lot of time locked up outside. This tiny sliver of a Venn diagram is hard to find. Retired road bikes often do the trick, but are still so delicate and covered with easily stolen parts. A vintage beater works, but down tube shifting and clunky performance isn’t the most comfortable way to navigate city streets. I think what happens to many of us who place a high importance on aesthetics is we get a semi custom build, with runaway prices, and end up with a bike too precious to lock up. I speak from experience, I have built two such bikes.
Fortunately for style conscious city riders, options continue to grow and grow. One of our favorite brands to recommend is Brooklyn Bicycle Co. While there are many brands racing to make the least expensive bike out there, Brooklyn Bicycle is committed to making a bike that balances price, durability and style. They use best in class materials and components, and still focus lots of their sales through local bike shops. Locally, in NYC, you can pick up a stylish commuter at one of our favorite shops, Silk Road Cycles. And we are really looking forward to their pop up shop at this years Art Basel in Miami.
Recently we teamed up with Brooklyn Bicycle Co for the launch of their Wythe model. More than any other bike, this particular model embodies the Pretty Damned Fast commuter. It's light and fast with clean lines and a low profile look. It is easy to lock up, or throw over your shoulder and hike up a few sets of stairs. It comes as a single speed, but easily can be set up as a fixed gear. At $499 it’s a gorgeous bike straight out of the box. Adding wheel locks and a bit of bike chain around the saddle rails won’t break the bank.
For anyone who needs a more relaxed commuter, Brooklyn Bicycle still offers a few step through styles, the relaxed commuters they were first known for, and geared bikes, often for under $500, to ferry you from home to work to the grocery store and a bar in style. On trend neutral colors, understated and affordable accessories, and quite possibly the best head tube badge we’ve seen in ages, there is plenty to love about these bikes.
We cant recommend these bikes strongly enough. They are a perfect first urban bike, a great reliable commuter, and a lot of style at a truly modest price point. It's an ideal way to transition out of a bike share to full time riding.