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Shinola Runwell Di2

Classic styling meets top-of-the-line electronic components in the Detroit manufacturer's latest bicycle offering

by Hans Aschim in Design on 19 September 2013

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In less than two years, Detroit-based consumer goods manufacturer Shinola has raised the bar in quality and innovation for American-made goods. While the Detroit-based company's watches and retail spaces continue to impress, their bicycle program keeps turning heads in both the cycling and design world. The American manufacturing powerhouse is going all in with the newest limited edition version of its French Porteur-style urban bike—the Runwell—which features a Tour de France-worthy electronic shifting system, hydraulic breaks and built-in lights that are powered by the very wheels beneath them.

The Runwell Di2 may look similar to its predecessor at first glance, but the inner-workings of the bike reveal unprecedented advancements in urban cycling machines. "We wanted to spec the bike with the latest electronic shifting, which is a flat-bar version of what is used on the highest level of race bikes," says director of bicycle product development Sky Yaeger. The Shimano Di2 electronic shifter allows for seamless, nearly instantaneous gear-shifting between the bike's 11 gears—all housed from the elements in the Shimano Alfine internal hub—helping to keep it running longer while maintaining clean lines free of a rear derailleur and cassette.

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While the electronic shifting will get riders up hills faster than ever, the hydraulic braking system—which is engaged by a fluid rather than a cable—allows for "a more effective ratio of lever pull to braking power," according to Sky. The hydraulic system further protects the Di2's components from the elements and helps stave-off wear and tear. Further adding to the safety and convenience of the bike, rear and front lights are integrated into the fender and front rack respectively and are even powered by a Alfine Dynamo hub in the front wheel. The Di2 blends classic styling and handmade craftsmanship with the latest in high-end bike components for a remarkably sturdy and high-performing urban ride.

With its electronic shifting system, hydraulic breaks, self-powered lights and rock solid foundation, the Runwell Di2 is perhaps the most premium non-racing bike in the world and it has a price tag to match. At $4500, the Di2 is at the top of the urban bike market and only ten Di2 Runwells will be produced. Still with its maintenance resistant design, craftsmanship and classic styling, the Runwell Di2 will have riders reaching their destinations in comfort and style for generations. Visit Shinola online for more.

Images courtesy of Shinola and Shimano

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