Bobbin Monsieur

By | 20 May, 2013

On Friday evening I collected my new Bobbin Monsieur from cyclebike in the city centre, and so far I love it!

Bobbin Monsieur

Bobbin Monsieur

I’ve been on the lookout for a good quality Dutch-style bike for about a year. The rise in cycling in Dublin has seen an influx of Dutch upright bikes into the city, as cycling becomes more ‘normalised’, and we gradually move away from the lycra-clad road warriors that dominated the cycle scene a few years ago.

However, when I was doing my research into traditional sit-up-and-beg bikes, it seemed that the vast majority of them available in Ireland were women’s bikes, with step-though frames and front baskets. I suppose that’s because it’s the ladies who are leading the charge (or should that be ‘ride’) towards biking in normal clothes. And so I was very pleased to read about the Bobbin brand of bikes, which caters for both men and women.

Brooks B67 Saddle

Brooks B67 Saddle

At present Bobbin Bikes, who are a company based in London, have five different men’s bikes available, and the Monsieur is the highest spec’d and most expensive one in the range. Having said that, at £570 (€680) it still represents good value for money when you look at what you get.

Included as standard is a Brooks B67 leather saddle (which if bought separately would cost €95) that is comfortable to ride from the outset – and believe me, once you’ve ridden on a leather saddle, you will never go back to plastic! Take a look at touring bikes that are used to cross continents, and they all have leather saddles!

5-speed Hub Gears

5-speed Hub Gears

You also get Sturmey Archer 5-speed hub gears. Hub gears are incredibly useful for the stop-go reality of city cycling. Regular dérailleur gears are a pain if you’ve forgotten to change down before stopping, whereas with hub gears you change up or down when waiting at lights, and they also require a lot less maintenance.

The Sturmey Archer gears don’t seem as smooth in operation, when compared to the 8-speed Shimano Nexus hub gears on my other bike, and the Sturmey Archer trigger is a little unusual and takes some getting used to.

The gear ratios are also a little high for my preference, and needed a bit of tinkering from the bike shop to set up correctly. Ideally I’d prefer a slightly lower and closer ratio between gears, because after all this bike is not design for fast cycling.

Shiny Bell!

Shiny Bell!

The Monsieur has a steel frame and matching painted steel mud guards. The mud guards themselves seems a little on the flimsy side, and occasionally rattle on bumpy roads, but do look very nice. The cream coloured tires are also rather attractive, but don’t seem to be terribly robust – and only time will tell how puncture resistant they turn out to be. There’s also a two-tone chrome bell, and front and rear reflectors included in the price. I got the bike shop to add the chrome rack, as that’s not included with the bike.

Generally, despite a few little niggles I mentioned, I’m delighted with my Bobbin. It’s a beautiful and comfortable ride, and the upright seating position makes me feel about 10 feet tall! It’s well made, and there’s good attention to detail – and as I said before, I believe it to be good value for money. I’ve also had a lot of people (men and women) comment on how nice it looks!

Bobbin Monsieur

Bobbin Monsieur

As far as I know, the only people stocking Bobbin bikes in Ireland are Cycle Bike in Dublin, who are located next to the Luas tracks on Mary’s Abbey just off Capel Street. Ask for Terry.

Author: Richard Bloomfield

Richard is the founder of Dublin Bike Blog. He commutes to work every day by bike, come rain or shine, on his Dutch city bike. You can read more from Richard on his blog richardbloomfield.ie.

One thought on “Bobbin Monsieur

  1. Richard Bloomfield

    One month in and it was obvious that the Bobbin needed a quick tune up, and so I dropped it back to expert mechanics in Cycle Bike. A few bolts needed tightening, and the gears needed to be adjusted. However it’s now riding sweetly again.

    Reply

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