Find Your Style

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With all the choices out there, we decided to speak to a few of the New Amsterdam Bicycle Show exhibitors to prepare you for the April 30 event.

ANNE-MARIJ BERENDSEN, GAZELLE BICYCLES

What styles of bikes do you specialize in? Anne-Marij Berendsen: Royal Dutch Gazelle’s product line ranges from the most innovative city bikes, award-winning Innergy bikes, road, mountain and kids’ bikes, to the one-and-only original Dutch bike and oldtime favorite the Tour Populair.

Are there any sorts of specs or details a new cyclist should be aware of? With a true Dutch bike, it’s all about ergonomics and comfort. You can sit upright and be a safe participant in traffic while having the perfect posture for your back and body. Being Dutch and getting around on Dutch bikes like my Gazelle all my life, I never really realized this, while now living in the U.S., and hence, trying out some American bikes, I couldn’t but notice the huge differences.

What are a few of the things that an urban cyclist should keep in mind? You’re a participant in daily traffic, so make sure you see what’s happening around you, like you would when driving a car. Make sure you can do this comfortably on your bike without hurting your neck. Practice good “seamanship” on the road. Getting around on your bike should be easy, after all: Only then will you do it every day.

Any changes you’ve seen in the last few years about the needs of cyclists in New York City or the country as a whole? We need quality bike infrastructure and legal protection for cyclists in America’s great cities. There is a movement and it’s taking shape, little by little. We’re very happy to see all improvements made for cyclists in New York with the Bloomberg administration. It’s a shame to know that a different administration can potentially reverse all of this. More bikes on the road is a win-win for every citizen in New York. It will not only improve the air conditions, moreover it will, in the end, make the whole city’s traffic more safe then it is now. In all respects it’s a numbers game.

LEE JONES, B-CYCLE

What types of bikes do you specialize in? Lee Jones: Here at B-cycle, we are focused on developing bicycles specifically for use by both public and private bikesharing systems.

How’s the bike share business? Any changes you’ve observed in the past few years? Bike sharing is exploding all over the United States. Since B-cycle launched in Denver on Earth Day 2010—with 500 bikes at 50 stations—Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Des Moines and San Antonio have all recently added bike share systems.

Are there any sorts of specs or details that a new cyclist should be aware of?

Just that bike share
bikes are quite different than the bike you may have at home. They are
designed to be kept out of doors. In some areas of the country that can
be up to 365 days a year. Bike share bikes are very adaptable to people
of varying size and typically come with some cargo capacity.

What are a few of the things that an urban cyclist should keep in mind?

Riding a bike in an
urban environment is a great way to not only see a city but to really
experience what that community is all about. I always pay extra
attention to the traffic patterns when I am in a new city and make sure
that I get a local cycling map that gives me preferred routes and some
of the local rules of the road. I also love to ask local cyclists about
what to be aware of in their home town.

Any changes you’ve seen in the last few years about the needs of cyclists in New York City or the country as a whole?

I am seeing a ton more
people of all walks of life on bikes just about everywhere I travel. It
is an exciting time to be in the bicycle business as people are turning
to bikes not only for transportation, but also for exercise and just
plain fun. The bike really is a simple solution to so many complex
problems.

MARK LAINO, COOPER BIKES

Tell
us more about the bikes at Cooper. Mark Laino: Cooper bikes were
inspired by the classic styling of the 1960s track bike, while keeping
in mind comfort for a leisurely rider. The Sebring, Monza, Spa and
Championship 50 models are single speed with a flip-flop hub for
freewheeling or fixed-gear style riding. The Zandvoort is a three-speed,
the Reims and Aintree are five-speed models.

Are there any sorts of specs or details that a new cyclist should be aware of?

Cooper bikes uses Brooks
Saddles and Sturmey Archer drive lines on all the models, as well as
Reynolds 520 Tubing in the T100 line and Reynolds 531 Tubingin the T200
line.

What are a few of the things that an urban cyclist should keep in mind?

These bicycles offer
crisp handling and comfort for the commuting rider. Also, they have a
clean and minimalist style to them and they have quality components—like
the Brooks Saddles—that are not found in most bicycles.

MIKE FLANIGAN, CO-OWNER OF ANT BIKE

Tell us a little more about ANT bikes. Mike Flanigan: ANT specializes in bicycles for transportation, such as City Roadsters.

Are there any sorts of specs or details that a new cyclist should be aware of?

I would suggest to a
new cyclist to become aware of having a good lighting system, a bell and
a way to carry your gear: basket, racks etc…

For an urban cyclist, what are a few of the things that they should keep in mind?

Safety comes to mind first. Make sure your bike fits right, is in good working order and has good tires and brakes.

Any changes you’ve seen in the last few years about the needs of cyclists in New York City or the country as a whole?

I feel the main need
for cyclists is safe roadways to travel in. Either separate paths or
lanes. These need to be put in place— not taken away.

MARIE PASQUARIELLO, CO-FOUNDER OF FOLK ENGINEERED

Tell
us a bit about the types of bikes you specialize in. Marie
Pasquariello: We make handmade steel bicycles, both custom and
production. Our custom builds are made-tomeasure with the rider’s
purpose and habitat in mind. Most of our custom builds have been of the
touring and commuting sort, but we’ve also dabbled in road, track and
mountain. Whenever possible, we love incorporating out-of-the-ordinary
details like integrated racks and carved lugs. The Marsupial is our
production bike and is based on the geometry of a sport touring bicycle.
It comes in many sizes and colors and is adaptable to fit your bike
style. All of our bikes are handcrafted in Newark, New Jersey.

Are there any sorts of specs or details that a new cyclist should be aware of?

Don’t be afraid of modern steel. It’s not nearly as heavy as an old
Schwinn Varsity. We can make a steel bike lighter and more comfortable
than an aluminum bike. Also, steel is repairable and affords the builder
artistic liberties that other materials simply do not offer.

What are a few of the things that an urban cyclist should keep in mind?

In an urban area, a bike is often more practical than any other
vehicle, for commuting, groceries, errands, a night on the town, etc. If
you’re going to use a bike that much, it should suit your needs. Maybe
you need racks and panniers to carry groceries, a place to keep your
lock while riding, various anti-theft features, a bike that fits you
perfectly, or a head-turning paint job. Figure out what you need. Make
it happen. Your life will be easier.

Any changes you’ve seen in the last few years about the needs of cyclists in New York City or the country as a whole?

In
the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of new framebuilders. These
artisans are supported by cyclists who need something unique and special
not off the shelf. Whether the bike’s special because of its component
selection, geometry and fit, artistic touches or country of origin,
cyclists feel the need to push bicycle design instead of it pushing
them.

JAKE HANSON, RALEIGH BIKES

What types of bikes do you specialize in, Jake?

Jake
Hanson: We specialize in everything from carbon race bikes, commuter
hybrids, classic steel frames and urban single speeds to beach cruisers,
kids’ bikes and more. Raleigh is approaching its 125th consecutive year
in the industry in 2012 and, while they have a broad range of bikes,
Raleigh has remained true to its heritage of classic road bikes. What
are a few of the things that an urban cyclist should keep in mind? For
an urban cyclist, many factors play out in bike selection, such as
weight, easy maintenance, riding position and gearing. For many urban
riders in the New York area, no more than one gear is needed, with the
city being so flat. This is why single speeds and fixed gears have
become so convenient. We also see the rising demand for folding bikes,
especially with commuters going in and out of the subway or working with
other minimal transportation.

Another
thing to keep in mind is riding in traffic, which will affect your
desired geometry. This is why you’ll see many more flat bars and risers
on setback frames, allowing riders a more controllable ride for weaving
in and out of traffic, and it also is easier on your body throughout the
day, as opposed to a race frame. We’ve also started to integrate Gates
Carbon belt drives into our line, which require essentially no
maintenance, and are much more durable and smooth-pedaling than
traditional chains.

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