As cycling enthusiasts we always appreciate a great high-performance bike, but naturally we're always on the lookout for a clean design aesthetic too. What follows is an assortment of the models that recently caught our eye and satisfied our penchant for well-built bikes. Stay tuned for a feature on hand-built and custom options later this week.
PK Ripper Fixed Gear
Fixed-gear fans, your heart's all aflutter for good reason. DC Shoes and SE Racing's just-released PK Ripper Fixed Gear bike features several aspects from SE Racing's seminal PK Ripper BMX, but with a ride more suited to chaotic streets than competitive dirt tracks. The partnership between the two companies isn't actually new; their history goes back to 2007, when they put heads together to re-release the original PK Ripper bike in homage to 30 years of BMX history.
Named after Perry Kramer, a pro racer active in the '70s who co-founded SE Racing in '77, the bike's aluminum frame—rare for that type of bike in those days—caused a sensation because it was the first of its kind in the sport.
In its latest incarnation the 24-inch Ripper features Floval tubing, a Looptail rear-end and Landing Gear fork. It comes in the same two colors as its progenitor, Matte Black and Ball Burnished, and in a variety of sizes from 47-61 centimeters. Only 2,500 are available (check your local indie bike shop) and they retail for $1,000.
BauBike's geometric shape and straightforward design cut a profile as clear as the cultural movement from which it draws. Danish designer Michael Ubbesen Jakobsen sees its raw form as a symbol of the bike's fundamental nature as an object of design. Contact Jakobsen through his site for pricing and availability.
Eliminating oil and grease, Veloheld's Path uses a belt drive system in place of a chain. A universal city bike, the light and limber Path makes quick reactions easy. (Pictured above left, click image for detail.) Buy the Path from Veloheld starting at €1,350.
Built for multi-activity function, Jango bikes use a plug-and-play system, going from commuter to off road with a simple change-up of accessories, of which they offer many. (Pictured above right.) Stylish and user-friendly, riding the utility bike over the past few months, I've found it to be perfect for everyday use. Check the Jango site for a list of distributors.
Simple, classy and relatively inexpensive, French bicycles from the '50s inspired the design of Linus bikes. Meant for cruising, the three-speed Dutchi model (above left) provides ultimate comfort while riding around town on its retro frame. At $408 it's one of the more affordable options too. Contact Linus directly through their site to order.
Seemingly a standard fixed-gear bike, the Cannondale Capo stands out for its simplicity. Easily disassembled and repaired with only a few tools, the Capo hardly needs any maintenance in the first place (pictured above left). The Capo runs $940 from Cannondale.
Similarly on point, the GT Gutterball's unique frame shape forces a slightly more upright posture, which—when combined with its extreme lightness—makes it great for city maneuvers (above right). It's $770 from GT.