May is National Bike Month in the US and we could not be happier. Many of our staffers in Berlin and New York choose cycling not only for fitness but more importantly as their choice for commuting. National Bike Month brings focus to the world of cycling — both casual and serious — and the benefits that it brings. To celebrate the month, we offer this quick guide to 10 rides that will get you exploring your city or town in no time. Please, remember to wear your helmet and use lights if cycling at night (we list a couple good ones here to get you started).
Architect Thomas Sandell and Swedish bicycle company Themocracy team up for an “Italy meets Scandinavia” rework of a Rossignoli Garibaldi 71. Chrome accents, a Brooks Saddle and custom grips make this one special. ($1,540)
James Perse’s activewear line Yosemite issued this special-edition single speed for urban riders. Available in a grey or raw steel frame, the bicycle features custom leather grips, a Brooks cambium saddle and a laid-back stem to make riding a breeze. ($3,800)
Stay an evening at the Greenwich Hotel and tour New York City on this Shinola Bixby bicycle. Guests of the hotel are also offered a custom lunch package to take along on their ride through the City. While this bicycle is not for sale at the hotel, you can buy one through Shinola here.
The Dutch know a thing or two about commuter bicycles. They inspired a class of bicycles under their own name as well as innovating on the compact bicycle front. Behave Bicycles have launched a new project under the Minute Bicycle name that looks to introduce lightweight and sturdy bikes to the streets. They take the traditional Dutch bicycle and strip it down to a more compact form. Minute is offering 100 of these bicycles on pre-order through the end of May. ($970)
Electric bicycles are quite the rage today. Popular in Asia and used by fast food deliverymen daily throughout New York City, e-bikes gain power through pedaling and allow for easy coasting when you need a pedal break. The Marton-E goes on sale next month through the big guns: colette, Isetan, Saks Fifth Ave., and online.
Based in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Victoire Cycles work with Italian leather masters Berluti on a custom frame and accessories that elevate an already fantastic frame to new heights. The bike uses age-old French techniques of fillet-brazing the steel tubes; a technique that is highly laborious and time-consuming, but yields the cleanest look possible on a bicycle. This special-edition is available at Berluti stores worldwide.
Amsterdam-based Atelier de l’Armée team up with Parisian bike-maker Smog Bicyclettes to produce a limited run of bicycles with an attachable backpack and roll-kit. A custom M90 camouflage frame paint finishes off the package nicely. The price is steep for a simple fixed gear but the love is in the accessories. ($2,507)
Estonia’s Viks delivers a play on the classic cafe racer motorcycle with their new stainless steel urban commuter that looks differently than most traditional bikes. The front fork and handlebars are fused as one unit; the seat post is fused to the top tube. Available in just about every color. A change from the norm. Order yours here.
CYLO Urban Bicycle
Like Viks, CYLO looks to reinterpret the geometry of commuter bicycles. The step-through (or mixtie) frame allows for the CYLO to work for men and women while integrating almost every necessary component into the frame set: check the rear fender with integrated lights. We like. ($2,200)
The title says it all on this one: San Francisco’s Mission Bicycle Co. delivers a 100% reflective frame and wheel set combination that really light up the road. While we rarely cover Kickstarter projects, this one is just too important not to share.
BICYCLE LIGHTS AND HELMETS
Safety always comes first, so please consider these extra bike lights and helmet recommendations for safe and sound riding while enjoying the roads and bicycle lanes.
Catlike Whisper Road Helmet
Spain’s Catlike is one of the more design-forward helmet makers out there. They are also some of the most lightweight. Their honeycomb design stands out as a unique look in the world of cycling, while providing lightweight protection and excellent air flow throughout your ride. We love the look of this helmet ($225)
An office favorite here: The KNOG Arc series offer some of the brightest front and rear bicycle lights around. A double-action rubber mounting strap keeps the light steady through all the bumps in the road and charging is done through a simple USB connector hidden under the light. ($79-119)