Let me cut straight to the chase: I bought a from the Brooklyn Bike Company. The bike’s name is Willow (I didn’t give her that name; she already had that name, and I like it). As I wanted, it has an internal gear hub. The bike company shipped the bike to their partner assemblers. Fortunately, my local bike shop is one of their partners.
Now that I’ve cut to the chase about what I bought, it’s time to yammer on about the how, when, and why I bought it.
Out with the Old
In my last post, I shared how my old bike told me our relationship was over. Apparently, the seat had watched several episodes of Beany and Cecil (you young folks look that one up) and wanted to be the topper on Beanie’s cap. I’ve decided to let it go and become the cap propeller, while I looked for a new bike.
Image by Bob Clampett
I started my bike research shortly after purchasing the last Schwinn. That’s when I found out about internal gear hubs. In the US, we are a need-for-speed type of country, and internal gear hubs aren’t so popular. They offer fewer gears and are heavier, thus not suitable for racing. In Europe, however, where commuter biking is more prevalent (the Netherlands leads the way), internal gear hubs are plentiful.
In Search of Bikes with Internal Gears
I never had the pleasure of riding a bike with internal gears, so I brought my US mentality to the buying process. Most of the internal hub bikes I saw were either three or seven gears. Because I live in a rather hilly area, I wanted more gears than less. I’m sure three gears would have been sufficient, but that US thing came to the forefront, and I chose one with seven gears.
In my search, I came across three internal hub bike manufacturers.
- Linus: Nothing available without having to drive two states away.
- Priority Bikes: They ship the bike to you, but you must assemble it. That was a hard pass.
- Brooklyn Bicycle Co: This company ships bikes throughout the US to their partner assemblers. Fortunately, my local bike shop is one of their assemblers. So, Brooklyn Bike it was.
I spent time on the Brooklyn Bicycle Co. website comparing the internally geared bikes. After comparing their inventory, I chose the Willow 7i Disc Bike in black. I ordered the bike and waited for it to be shipped to my local bike shop. They sent it within a couple of days.
Brooklyn Bike notified me when the local bike shop received the bike and advised me that I should be riding it within 14 days. However, I called my bike shop seven days into the waiting period only to find that my bike was assembled and ready, but no one alerted me.
NOTE: If you order a bike from Brooklyn Bicycle Company, stay on top of things to get your bike as soon as possible.
Bringing Willow Home
I drove over to the shop, picked up my bike, and I’ve got to say, I’m satisfied. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and quiet. The leather seat and cushions on the handlebars make for a comfy ride. To test out the speeds, I rode around the neighborhood using the higher gears. My house is on a hill, so I tested the lower gears while riding uphill. Everything was smooth!
I’ve only had the bike for a few days, but I think I’ll be very happy with it. After all, it only took one ride with my old bike to know that our relationship would be short-lived. I didn’t like it from the start.
Words of Advice
If you buy a bike from Brooklyn Bike Company, let the bike sit in your cart for a few days. They’ll send an email encouraging you to buy the bike. They’ll even sweeten the deal by offering a discount. Unfortunately, I purchased the bike before I was aware of this little tactic. Having said that, I don’t mind paying full price for the bike because it’s worth it.