The Back to School season is intense in so many ways. At Vie we’ve spent that time obsessing over literal tiny parts; we took on a bunch of customer projects that involved needing the exact combination of specific small, often hard to source, parts (often unknowable until we were deep into the project), and lots of problem solving in general. We’ve also had to do a lot of field services and deliveries in far flung places, which has meant a lot of long frustrating hours behind the wheel. So there hasn’t been a lot of time or mental space to think about the big picture. But there are in fact a lot of product changes on the horizon, so I’m happy to finally be able to sit down and share.
- Classic: Long may she reign! The classic Bullitt frame continues to be an unbeatable smash hit. To that end, we’re selling our current Bullitt test ride bike to make space to bring in a version that will be built up with a current version of the BionX kit, and the new standard component build.
- Shimano STePS: The current version of this bike, with the STePS e6,000 is phasing out. We won’t be receiving any more of this build going forward. So we will be selling our current Bullitt Shimano STePS test ride bike to make room for the anticipated new Shimano e8000 version of the bike. You can see photos of the prototype and details on the specs here. The new system promises even more torque than the current version, and a number of other changes. (But hey, I still absolutely love riding the current version of this bike and always will.) We’ll have more information about pricing and other important details later in the year. And we should expect to begin carrying it for test rides in the Winter.
We started getting inquiries about the new version of the MK1E now advertised on the Butchers & Bicycles web site many months ago. One of the challenges of carrying bikes imported from overseas is that there is often a delay in availability, and that some specs that are available over there are not available here. This is all true for this bike. Inventory is now depleted and our supplier is figuring out what version(s) of the bike will be available going forward. We’re keeping our fingers crossed to have this conversation resolved in a timely way. We have wonderful suppliers, and think the world of the Butchers team, so I’m sure things will be resolved in time.
- Edgerunner 10E: We’re happy to be carrying this bike at long last. The relatively upright posture, top of the line brakes and floaty Bosch motor are all wonderfully useful, elegant ways to make your commute responsibly fun. Going forward, though, this bike is going to get even cooler. The 2018 model will be called the Edgerunner eClassic, and will feature a Bosch Performance CX system, a choice between the 400Wh or 500Wh battery, and the option of a dual battery.
- eSwoop: Some folks nonetheless find the Edgerunner is too big for their body. So Xtracycle in their wisdom will also be offering an electrified version of their new Swoop frame. The eSwoop will have all the same great specs as the Edgerunner, just in a truly step through frame. We look forward to offering these options alongside the awesome and very popular Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch. It’s such a pleasure to see Xtracycle and Yuba both putting out increasingly wonderful options that work really well for the Bay Area. Both companies have worked hard for many years to get to this point, and it shows in the current high high quality of the offerings.
Our Fleet in General
We of course continue to carry and j’adore! the Douze, and are excited to be offering test rides on the superb Cleary Hedgehog. The Hedgehog is a wonderful first pedal bike for the preschooler in your life. My daughter has wailed (literally and figuratively) on this bike for a few years; I can’t recommend it enough. I have my eye on a few other bikes, likely front carriers, that we may also bring into our fleet in the new year, depending on how things shake out. Cargo bikes are just so much fun. I am so happy to be able to share all these bike options with people! And test them with my own kids, who have suddenly become enormous.
There’s been a lot of hype about a couple of other bikes that will be coming out in 2018. While we remain hopeful that they turn out to be as amazing as the breathless media coverage reports, we have learned well over the last few years to be skeptical about miracle new bikes. One of the hyped bikes in particular has a marked lack of child carrying accessories for kids too big for Yepp seats, and a worryingly small area for rider-kid foot clearance. We encourage those of you eyeing these bikes as the solutions to all your child carrying problems to ask the hard questions (as you should of any bike or any purchase). If the company doesn’t have a history of designing for child carrying, it may be a long time before these problems are solved. Or you may be on the hook for a lot of retrofitting with products that may not be compatible. We’ve had people approach us for help retrofitting accessories to cargo bikes they’ve purchased from companies that have no history in the child carrying market, and unfortunately the solutions were either nonexistent or painfully complicated. (Also, note to these companies: people still need to carry kids that outgrow Yepp seats! Please don’t think of family-izing your cargo bikes as a “stick a Yepp on it” moment.) If these new bikes are able to solve these problems, we will absolutely bring them on board for test rides. But in the meantime, we’ll wait and see and advise you to use caution.
Happy almost Halloween! How many pumpkins can your bike carry?