09 September 2009

Parallel Parking

blonde on her bikeShe was looking summery as she parked her bike in front of the café. I think of this as an "extreme step-through" frame, is there a more technical term?

13 comments:

Filigree said...

It's funny how living in Europe earlier in the year, seeing these frames was such a novelty. Now back in the US, they are beginning to pop up here as well. I think it is a good design for city cycling.

dr2chase said...

That is most likely a Biria. Quadcycle in Arlington carried them, at least last time I looked.

Useful for long skirts, stiff joints, and mermaids. I'm not quite sure how strong that joint is -- it looks like a small person could almost stand on it.

Yokota Fritz said...

That's a Biria Easy Boarding bike. Sun Bicycles has a similar ultra low step through bike called Streamway.

Charlotte said...

Filigree, I would have sworn they arrived here first - my husband's 86 year old aunt got one while we were living in Paris, we had never seen them before seeing hers at Christmas (~2005).

DrChase, in the case the 86 year old she's perhaps 80 pounds soaking wet, 4'10" in her heels, nearly blind (that's why she's not driving anymore), and going about my walking speed when she's riding. I wouldn't be able to ride this bike but it's just PERFECT for her, and I'm thrilled for that. I like the idea of a mermaid on a bike!

Anonymous said...

I believe the technical term for that bike would be, springy. Or perhaps, boing.

The term for the model would be, rrawr!

PJDodge said...

Biria calls it the EasyBoard. I like the idea and will probably get one when I can no longer swing my leg over a standard frame bike (hopefully many years from now).

P-

FlyFixie said...

ummm... yes. Ugly.

Filigree said...

Charlotte, you might be right and I simply had not noticed. I'd been in Austria on and off since 2007, and it seemed like every other bike there had this construction. In the US I did not see them until this year.

She Rides a Bike said...

Even the chainguard is elegant.

kfg said...

Biria is a small German company that did not introduce this model with a huge, international advertising blitz.

Thus they are already quite popular in Germany and Austria, but only just starting to filter in the barbarian hinterlands such as the USA and Paris.

I noticed my 80ish mother getting on her bike the other day. She did it by laying the bike on the ground, standing over it and then lifting the bike upright underneath her.

It's a mixte, but she said she was having trouble stepping over. I'm thinking about getting her one of these.

Anonymous said...

Call it an U-frame, perhaps?

kfg said...

Well yes, it's a U frame, but a "modified" U frame. I think the distinction is relevant to make, especially as Biria also makes conventional U frames (they call them "Personal" bikes).

I think it is also relevant to note for those considering buying one of these (as I am) that the company makes a really, REALLY big deal about the fact that they are German Engineered and that their factories are in Germany, BUT . . .

The Biria family are Iranian immigrants and the "factories" ASSEMBLE the bikes from Chinese and Indian parts (my own experience with Indian parts is "Jaysus Key-riiiist! Couldn't you have found something decent from China?) onto Chinese made frames.

There is certainly nothing inherently wrong with this and it is what allows them to offer the bikes at prices so much lower than those actually built in Germany, but if you are looking for a *German/European* bike, this isn't it. Except for the Easy Boarding design they are actually generic, middling quality Asian bikes - with everything that implies.

So if you don't specifically want the Easy Boarding low step over, you may be better off buying a generic U frame and taking the time, money and trouble to outfit it to your taste yourself. You may actually end up money and trouble ahead.

The Torker T-300 impresses me as a solid Plain Jane steel platform (all the current Birias are aluminum) for such an enterprise and is available through any shop with a Seattle Bike Supply account (which in North America is virtually all of them). They also offer high end Gazelle knock offs that really aren't all that bad if you're into the aluminum boingy bike sort of thing.

berenike said...

I see someone cycling round here on a similar, but much much better-looking, bike.