I’m a minimalist when it comes to bikes. I don’t need the latest and greatest, just reliable transportation and proven technology, the rallying cry of two young bike companies I came across at Interbike – Linus and All-City.
Linus, started by South Africans Adam McDermott and Chad Kushner in Venice, Calif., is a company after my heart. Their website describes their philosophy of how they see the bike in our high-tech world. It takes a page out of my cycling manifesto:
“Inspired by French bicycle design of the 50’s and 60’s we have created a bicycle that preserves the simple elegance, and pure form of that golden era but has all the benefits of modern comfort and reliability.”
In other words, bikes with relaxed geometries, steel frames, 36-spoke wheels, three speeds or single speed meant for urban riding.
Several models have the “Dutch” look minus the top tube, while the Roadster Sport and Classic have the traditional diamond frame. At this time they have two frame sizes for the Roadster Sport, and one frame size for the Dutch style bikes.
Their excellent website has all the details about their bikes, and check out all the great press they’ve been receiving: Today Show, Harper’s Bazaar, LA Times, and more. Impressive.
All-City on the right track
All-City reflects its origins in Minneapolis, Minn., where bike racing tracks can be found nearby. It’s reflected in the design of their two frames – Big Block and Nature Boy – both of which have rear track dropouts.
This description of Nature Boy tells you where their sentiments lie: “The Nature Boy is your new best bro (or brah if you’re from Colorado, where they take cyclocross seriously). Race the crap out of it, ride singletrack, gravel, or commute until your heart’s content. Woooooooooooo!”
I was impressed by the attention to detail given the chrome moly frames. The rear dropout triangle has a nice artifact that looks like a bridge. The badge is nice too.
Big Block is meant for the track, but could be an around-town bike as well.
I met Jeff Frane, who handles Sales and Marketing for this small company. His web page is about as sincere a statement as you can get for why All-City bikes got started. He sees the day when big bike companies will turn a blind eye to track bikes, and he wants to be part of something that will be around when that happens.
Cycling is a quirky activity to be sure, with enough niches to fill the Grand Canyon. I don’t see that niche going away any time soon, thanks to people like Jeff and companies like All-City.
Something I noticed about both companies is their superb websites. The owners understand that the website is the face of a company. They shout out – “cycling is fun, cycling is hip.” Way to go. Linus Facebook.