If you are looking for a basic bike, one on which to run errands, one to run to the coffee shop or cruise on the bike trail with, sometimes walking into the bike shop can be daunting. There are so many bikes! So many different kinds of bikes! Where do you begin? Well, just knowing that you want something simple and uncomplicated, something for short trips or commuting, is helpful. A new bike by Origin8 (get it? “originate”?) could be what you are looking for.
The $325 Origin8 Cykel is one of the most unusual bikes in the shop right now. It’s simple and basic, but it’s also classy, retro, and practical. For starters, it has a lugged steel frame and a flat crown steel fork. When was the last time you saw a lugged steel bike for $325? Maybe 1985? Both the men’s and women’s models feature horizontal dropouts (if you ever want to convert it to a fixie, trade the rear wheel and you are set to go) and the men’s model features a brazed- on derailleur hanger (in case the standard 3 speeds aren’t enough, add a derailleur, shifter, and a new rear wheel).
Every part I bolted onto the bike had me saying, “Hey Tony! Come here and check this out!” It has a Sram internal 3 speed hub with 700c Weinemann aluminum rims. It has a nice-looking chrome plated steel stem and steel cruiser bars. It comes with Shimano cantilever brakes, not cheaper knock-offs. It has a retro Brooks-Like (notice I said “like”) riveted saddle. Even the grips caught my attention. They are rubber, but with a leather-like (there’s that word again) wrap pattern.
For $325, the Cykel is hard to beat. Fender it, put a rack on it, and commute to work. Put a wicker basket on it (or a durable Wald steel basket!) and ride to the florist or to get some baguettes at the local Patisserie. Oui, oui, c’est magnefique! Sorry, but that remark was uncalled for and most likely, grammatically incorrect. My apologies to all French people or French speakers reading this. The bike looks more English than French anyway, but baskets should have flowers or loaves of French bread sticking out of them. I can’t help myself! But, neither should you. For simplicity, practicality, and style, check out the Cykel today, Mon Ami.