Betty Foy in Spring 2009, in conjunction with the diamond frame Sam Hillborne model. Inasmuch as a hand-built, niche-market bicycle can "sell like hotcakes" I believe the Betty does. She is charming, comfortable, and tough - and the ladies love her for that. The price of the frame alone is $1,000 and a fully built up bike starts at $2,200 or so, depending on the options. To see how this bicycle compares price-wise to other lady's frames in its class, please visit my new Semi-Custom Options page (now linked in the upper left-hand corner).
mixte frame: What starts out as a sloped single top tube splits into two stays at the seat tube and continues (at a slightly different angle than the slope of the main top tube) all the way back to the rear dropouts. The frame is lugged, with custom-made lugs in the shape of hearts and elaborate filigreed designs.
with drop bars, but the upright set-up is more typical. This floor model was fitted with black rubber grips and "thumbie" shifters, though some prefer cork grips and bar-end shifters.
In my view, the Betty Foy's greatest asset is her versatility. If you combine the feeling of a vintage 3-speed with that of a derailleur-geared touring bike, she handles like a union of the two: a fast, comfortable bicycle that feels safe and pleasant to ride. I can imagine riding her around the city for transportation, as well as 20 miles over some hills to the next town over. The ride is soft over bumps and potholes (not as soft as on my Sam Hillborne with 42mm tires, but I would need to ride Betty with equally wide tires to compare). Maneuverability in traffic is good, but the handling is not aggressive. I did not ride her on any serious hills, but with the derailleur gearing, the light frame, and the somewhat leaned-forward posture, I imagine it should hardly be a problem. She is what Rivendell says she is: an "all around" bike. If you plan to have only one bicycle for both urban commuting and long distance cycling, this seems like the closest thing on the market to that ideal.
twin lateral stays and proportions that resembled the original French constructeurs. The Betty Foy is not that kind of bicycle. Additionally, I must admit that I find Betty's femininity overwhelming. All the hearts and the bright colours - it's very American 1950s, whereas I am more of a European 1920s kind of girl. This is not a criticism of the bike, but a commentary on personal preferences.
this to have been done here instead. I recognise how nit-picky and obsessive this quibble is, but little details like this are very personal.