Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Look at Kinn: the US-Made Midtail

Kinn
Before setting off abroad earlier this summer, I had a chance to glimpse the much talked about Kinn - a new midtail utility bike manufactured in Portland, Oregon. Today being the 4th of July, it seemed like a good time to share my initial impressions of this US-made machine.

Relatively new to the scene, "midtail" bikes are characterised by an extended rear end that is longer than that of a conventional city bike but shorter than that of a full-on longtail cargo bike. In 2012, Yuba released the Boda Boda midtail (featured here) and Kona introduced its MinUte midtail. At around the same time, following two years of prototyping, Kinn unveiled the Cascade Flyer. 

Kinn
Kinn describes its mission as to be "big enough for family and small enough for you." The company's name is a double reference: to kin, as in family, and to kinetic, as in motion. Designed by founder Alistair Williamson, the frames are manufactured in small batches (around 100 per year) by the Zen Bike Fab. The racks are fabricated at ADX. And the wheels are handbuilt at Sugar Wheelworks. All of these are Portland, OR establishments, so the company keeps it very local indeed. An interesting article on the development and prototyping of Kinn Bikes is worth having a look at here

Kinn
The Kinn's frame and fork are welded chromoly steel, designed around 700C wheels and up to 50mm tires with fenders. The geometry is characterised by 72° head and set tube angles, a low bottom bracket and a high trail front end. The frameset is available in the "robin's egg blue" colour shown and two sizes: The Small/Medium fits riders 5'3" - 5'9" and the Medium/Large fits riders 5'8" - 6'2". The standard component build includes Avid disc brakes, a choice of a 9-speed derailleur (Shimano Alivio) or 8-speed internal hub (Shimano Alfine) gearing, fenders, chainguard, city pedals, kickstand, and Velo Orange Milano handlebars with cork grips. Complete bikes are estimated to weigh 34lbs-38lbs, depending on size and build. Prices start at $1,950 for complete bike with derailleur gearing, and $2,200 with internally geared hub. Detailed specifications can be found here

Kinn
The integrated rear "multi rack" is rated for 130lb carrying capacity. The pannier rails are designed to fit two panniers on each side (or one on each side if the rack is fitted with a child seat). The rack features a long bamboo deck (21” x 5.5”), hidden lockable toolbox, a platform that integrates with the Yepp child seat mount, built in footpeg mounts. The child seat and little passenger bars (shown) are available as extra accessories.

Kinn Lock Box
The bamboo platform is modular: The front part swivels out of the way for the child seat mount. The rear part opens to access the lock box. 

Kinn
I have only done an introductory test ride on the Kinn so far: Around 4 miles, with a single pannier in the rear. Now, I do realise that Kinn's literature focuses largely on child transport. In fact, when Kinn offered me a test ride, I wondered whether I was the right person for the task. I do not have kids and do not plan to cycle with other people's children on board for the sake of a review. They still wanted me to try the Kinn and see what I think of it as personal transport - so those will be the parameters of my impressions. The bike is also available for other locals to try with their own kids on board (at Bicycle Belle in Cambridge/Somerville, MA), and I will later collect their impressions. 

Kinn Cascade Flyer
As far as my own first impressions: What I liked most was how the Kinn rides. It is distinctly un-cruiserish and un-cargobikish; a fast, responsive, "sporty" bike. Part of that is the positioning: The handlebars are intentionally set lower than those on bikes like the Xtracycle and Yuba, the stem is long, and the front end geometry is pretty tight (notice the way the downtube curves around the front wheel). I like the low bottom bracket and the quick, yet stable feel of the steering. The Kinn is not meant to be a relaxed city bike, but something a bit more aggressive. The ride quality over bad roads was great as well, even with the 35mm tires the demo bike was fitted with. It was simply a fun bike to ride that did not feel like a cargo bike.

Kinn Cascade Flyer
For a transportation bicycle, the Kinn's frame is a little tight for my taste. The sloped top tube is too high for me to step over (it is higher than the Xtracycle Radish, or a typical mixte frame), and my toe rubbed the fender a couple of times on slow tight turns. I would love it if the bike's ride characteristics could be retained while providing a little more toe clearance in the front and a lower standover height. An obvious solution would be to go with a smaller wheel size - though I understand that they went with 700C intentionally, aiming for a roadbike type feel. 

Kinn vs Xtracycle Radish
As far as cargo capacity, the Kinn is visibly shorter in the rear than a typical longtail (shown here next to the Xtracycle Radish). It does not come with any sort of dedicated carry system: You strap things directly to the rack as you would with a regular bike. The rear rack is an intricate design, with lots of rails and support stays onto which cargo could theoretically be strapped. One thing I wonder, is how two full-sized panniers can fit on each side of the rack, as claimed, since the one I used took up most of the dedicated pannier railing. I will experiment with this some more. 

Walking and parking the Kinn in the city felt entirely like dealing with a regular sized bike. When an extra degree of compactness is desired, the front wheel can be turned all the way around to fold into the frame (like so), making it compatible with bus and car racks. 

Kinn
The Kinn Cascade Flyer is an intriguing specimen that I look forward to examining further once I am back stateside. The compact design that still offers more carry capacity than a typical transport bike is of obvious benefit to city dwellers who do not want to lock up a cargo bike outside. The invertable front wheel is a useful feature for those who take their bikes on city buses. And for parents who like a sporty ride, the Kinn's rack is rated to carry a kid up to age 12. 

Finally, it is impressive that Kinn has managed to produce this bicycle locally at the current price point. They are soon planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign for Kin 1.1 (the next batch will have a few minor modifications)  to help fund the continued manufacturing of these bike in the US - I will keep you posted.

If you are in the Boston area, this bicycle (including child seat) is available to test ride at my neighbourhood's new bike shop, Bicycle Belle. I will post a detailed review in August. 

56 comments:

  1. IMHO, the Kinn looks lovelier with the leather(?) pannier than without. If someone hasn't already asked for pannier details, I will.

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    1. It's a vintage leather briefcase that belongs to Biking in Heels, pannierified with the addition of R&K hooks in the back. She has a DIY post up about this that I can't find - perhaps she'll post a link.

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    2. Here's that link:
      http://bikinginheels-cycler.blogspot.tw/2011/07/brown-bagging-it.html

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  2. So, what do ya think of Arvon Cycles, the original midtail?

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    1. Never seen one in person. Pretty sure there are a few builders who've made versions of similar designs before "longtail" or "midtail" were known concepts; I've even seen nameless vintage frames with extended rears.

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  3. If they are aiming for parents with children, they are, IMHO, making a mistake with this bike. You have already noticed that the frame has a bit too high step over to work well as a transportation bike. But the real deal-breaker for me would be the 700c wheel size.

    Occasionally, I transport my 2.5y old son on my Schwinn and, sure, it works. But it is far from ideal. The large wheel size means that he sits very high above the ground and the center of gravity is just too high to handle the load well. The situation is better with side panniers, but not with a child who has to sit on the top of the wheel.

    I just can't picture carrying a "kid up to age 12" on Kinn. This is why the new Xtracycle Edgerunner looks so attractive. It seems like a well-thought transportation bike, compared to all 700c-wheeled cargo ones.

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    1. Hi there,
      This is Alistair of Kinn, I understand your perspective (and I love the Edgerunner too) so let me share what I was aiming at when I built the first bike. It was me and the grandkids.

      But first to address your concern on center of gravity: the center of gravity of a kid in a Yepp/Peapod seat on a Kinn is lower or the same as the Big Dummy, Radish, Kona Ute/Minute or Boda Boda (but higher than Yuba Mundo or Edgerunner). That's because I built - with the approval of Yepp - the Yepp attachment mechanism into the rack, so no need for an adaptor. Also the center of gravity of the bicyclist is lower in these cases too (that's dependant on the bottom bracket height).

      Anyway back to the intent, 80% of the time and an hour or so each day it was me alone on the bike; commuting to work, having fun, doing errands. My bike had to fit in the elevator at work, and be easy to carry up the 15 steps to my home, and fit on the bus. Plus when the grandkids were around it needed to carry Natalie, Dylan or Max safely and comfortably. They had got to the age where their weight would tip up a regular bike with a kid's seat which compromised safe handling.

      So do I buy a longtail as a second bike(no mid-tails then) and cycle it to work instead of my regular bike when I'm picking up the kids (not that I always know when I'll get the call). Or could I have a bike that did both? I couldn't find one to buy so I decide to built one.

      Most of the first 30 bikes have sold to people with kids, sometimes it's the "second parent" who has occasional kid duties, where the other parents bike is a bigger transport bike. Some have sold to folks who want a nimble commuter bike that will do more.

      As for 12 year old on the back, the problem is not putting them on, it's trying to get them off afterwards! You can fit many things on the back of Kinn: a bale of hay, a chop saw, a consenting adult.

      Cheers, Alistair

      P.S. I really appreciate people perspectives, it won't get better without direct input.

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    2. Alistair, are you saying you carry all 3 kinds on this bike or am I misreading?..

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    3. Alistair, thank you for the explanation. If this bike is supposed to be the best-of-both-worlds, it obviously has to be a compromise.

      Have you thought about the future versions built with 26" wheels perhaps? This could help a bit - lower center of gravity for cargo, no toe overlap and still decent ride comfort of large(-ish) wheels.

      Having said that, the Kinn looks like a very nice bike. I like its line and the intergrated Yepp mounts and lockable box is just genius.

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    4. Dear bostonbybike,
      A 26” version does exist in my notebook, and there are many doodles of step-through frames in the messages pad by the phone. I actually see it as a slightly different bike, one optimized for frequent stops i.e. errands/pickup dropoff/café runs rather than longer faster commutes. It would therefore also have more relaxed handling too.
      But as to when – well that’s based on economics. Startups have limited means and we chose to offer an Alfine internal gear and dynamo options as well as derailleur. The benefits of changing gear while stopped are significant when carrying children (and most of the sales are Alfine versions). However that means we already stock 4 different wheels. Adding 26” would mean stocking 8 types. Yikes.
      Still, as we grow many things become possible …

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    5. >> Velouria asked: Alistair, are you saying you carry all 3 kinds on this bike or am I misreading?..

      Just my poor grammar I’m afraid, it’s one at a time. I have taken two before and the ride was good, however the grandkids arguing beforehand about who sits in front wasn’t. So for me two once in a while is an adventure but if I did two regularly I’d likely go xtracycle.

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    6. Nice. I would love to see the step-through design materialise, and I agree that they would be different bikes.

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    7. You guys are terrible - now I want one. That or the new Riv Lollapalooza.

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  4. What a nice concept - not quite a cargo - not quite a pure road bike. Practical? Absolutely. It'll be the bicycle you end up riding MOST of the time. I was delighted to see the bicycle stand. Although they aren't light the two-legged stands are exceptional adding to the utter practicality of the bike. Top it off with over 100 pounds of luggage capability and . . . now I want one!

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    1. Hi James,

      Thanks glad you like it, and on the kickstand point, I tested many stands using a "can it be knocked over by a rambunctious 6 year-old backing into it while your 2-year-old* is strapped in the kid seat" test. This Italian stand from Ursus was the only survivor.

      For cargo or older kids who climb on and off themselves or you can also use lighter double-legged stands like those from velo-orange.

      Cheers, Alistair

      * no 2-year-olds were injured during this testing though a lot of potatoes got badly bruised.

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    2. What is the kickstand? If it has a wider stance than the Velo Orange or Pletscher, I'd be interested in trying one; IME, the VO (at least that they sold five years ago) and the Pletscher didn't hold up my bikes with heavy lopsided grocery loads*; a cheap, left-rear-dropout-mount stand did better, though hardly perfect.

      *When shopping and quick loading, I don't want the bother of having to balance my loads left-to-right.

      As to the bike as a whole, from what Velouria describes, I'd be much more likely to like a Kinn than a longtail.

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    3. It's a Ursus Jumbo made in Italy
      It has a full 18" wide stance(outside edge to outside edge*), the VO and pletchers others range from 12" to 9". They are all good kickstands, but the Ursus is the most stable by a long shot.

      You can see comparison shots here:
      http://www.danielmoorephoto.com/Bicycle/Ursus-Jumbo-Double-Kickstand/
      And you can buy them direct from the distributer here.
      http://store.albabici.com/p/ursus-alloy-double-leg-kickstand-jumbo-black/

      Cheers, Alistair

      * Ursus actually spec their kickstands to the inside edge of each leg, which I measure to be around 14.5"

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  5. I like this bike, but the 700c is the wrong size IMO. You're never going to be happy with cargo bike step-through (neither am I but for Inglis' big red bike), the wheel size exacerbates the height issue.

    Your using the bottom rail- two ortleibs would fit side-by-side on the top I'll bet.

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  6. BTW I think it's a mistake for the head the to be so high on many heavily-rear laden bikes.

    Structurally great, now try to get off.

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    1. If I understand what you mean, this is only a problem if a lot of the weight is behind the rear axle though. One of the big benefits of longer tail'd bikes is that very little weight ends up behind, or at least very far behind, the rear axle.

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    2. I meant to write 'head tube'. A long stem alone means less rigidity - true the two ways the dog if laden behind the axle but steering positivity is what a lot of people are after now.

      I'd gusset an extended head tube with a dropped tt to support the steerer.

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  7. I would bet the bike was loaned to you in this colour for a reason. It resembles loosely your Royal H custom of old from an aesthetic point of view. They definitely wanted you to think "Lovely Bicycle !"...!

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    1. I doubt it, since this is simply the colour they offer. But the shade is more like last season's Surly XCheck, or the Rivendell Betty Foy; my Royal H mixte was greener.

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  8. Interestingly, the Kinn is the #1 commented on bike in the shop- everyone comments on its good looks- which I think has a lot to do with the color.

    The pannier-ization post for that bag can be found here:
    http://bikinginheels-cycler.blogspot.com/2011/07/brown-bagging-it.html
    And a similar conversion using Ortlieb hardware can be found here:
    http://bikinginheels-cycler.blogspot.com/2009/10/mamas-got-brand-new-bag.html

    I'll probably offer "pannier-ization" as a service at the shop for people who have a favorite bag that they want converted into a pannier.

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    1. I suspect that service will become very popular!

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  9. You do a great service giving practical transportation-type bicycles the attention you do. Thank you and a very happy 4th!

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  10. Huge fan of Portland ingenuity and culture...Go Kinn!!

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  11. Re; "I wonder ... how two full-sized panniers can fit on each side of the rack".
    As GR Jim said, two standard panniers (like Ortliebs) can fit side-by-side on the top rail, and one can fit on the lower rail even if a kids is sitting on the front.

    I agree with others that the 700c wheel size and high-ish standover does not work well for the smaller size. I met Alistair once last year at the Fiets of Parenthood, when he was first showing off this bike, and I notice that he would fit the larger frame size. For a large frame, 700c wheels are fine, and the standover height would seem relatively reasonable.

    I would consider getting one if they added a smaller version with 26" (559mm) wheels for 4'10" to 5'4" riders, and I would encourage offering the medium-size frame either 650b or 26" (559mm) wheels, if that is possible with the current small production volume.

    I should note that you can already buy the frameset separately, if you want to try to build it up with a different wheelsize: http://www.kinnbikes.com/frame-set/

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    1. Alistair mentions a low bb height in one of his comments above--of course do the math before buying a frame with the idea of converting to 650b (no way a 26" conversion would work.)

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    2. Low BB is mentioned in the post as well. The geo details are not publicly available, so I won't post the figure. But safe to say the Kinn frame is not suitable for a smaller wheel conversion.

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  12. I had a ride on this Kinn last week. It's pretty! The thing that struck me the most was how much it reminded me of a less aggressive version of my Soma mixte (also built up with 700c wheels). I had expected it to feel slower and more awkward than it did, although I was aware of the longer back end on a turn I took at speed.

    At 5'3'', I was pleased to find that it fit me well even though my height is at the bottom of the suggested size range for the smaller model.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback Jennifer. Did you try the Kinn on its own or with a child onboard?

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    2. No child - just on its own. The guy I live with did try it with two panniers containing three U-locks each and didn't notice an appreciable difference in handling.

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    3. In case she doesn't get back to you, and others are interested, she didn't have a child on it, but we put a pannier loaded with 3 or 4 U locks on both sides to simulate a loaded bike.

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    4. Hi Jennifer,

      We shot some video this week of people on Kinns. At one point the passenger (a 12 year old girl) wanted to give it a try.
      We lowered the saddle, but not all the way, her 10 year old friend jumped on the back and they rode around the park, even up the grassy embankments, laughing and singing. It made me happy.

      We also had someone cycle around with a bale of hay on the back. It handles loads well!

      The video's for a Kickstarter for our full production run. Hopefully you'll see it in a few weeks.

      Cheers, Alistair

      P.S. She was 5' 2"

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  13. Joseph E & GR Jim - I have to look at the bike again to confirm this (or maybe Alistair can comment), but as I remember it, you cannot attach panniers to the tubing around the top. The bamboo platform sits to close to the edge for the hooks to fit, and even if it's removed there is other stuff in the way. This picture kind of shows what I mean.

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    1. I'll bet you can remove the swivel lid and/or the box.

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    2. You can, but have a close look at that picture I linked to, toward the foreground. There is stuff built into the rack that prevents the entire length of the rail from being used. Alistair has just confirmed this: the 2 pannier claim refers to the next version of the bike, not yet released.

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  14. This looks to be a really fantastically designed bike and would be a prime contender if I didn't already have a practical cargo bike.

    I was shaking my head at the bent downtube until I understood the wheel flip which an excellent idea. The standover doesn't look too bad to me, but for shorter people, I could see it as an issue. On a laden bike, you wouldn't necessarily want a full step through frame though. It's nice to be able to hold the bike between your legs.

    A big question would be the chainguard. The Kinn site doesn't show it, but Cycler's has one. This is a must have on a practical bike like this.

    I also don't quite get how you would put two panniers on a side. If I could redesign things, I would move the front vertical support of the rack as far forward as possible (without creating heel strike) to make the middle, horizontal, support bar longer. And/or extend the middle support bar back past the rear vertical support and have it wrap around like the top horizontal bar. This would also make more room for hanging things.

    I also think Velouria needs to use her collaboration super-powers to get one of the local custom bag makers to start offering something designed specifically to maximize the possibilities of this bike...

    But overall, there just looks to be so much great thought, design and value in the bike. Well done.

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    1. Agree on the turn in function. Very clever.

      Not aware of any bus racks that adjust to fit the longer cargo bikes.

      Can be difficult to squeeze a small bike onto a crowded city bike parking rack, let alone an extra long.

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  15. Pannier Correction

    Sorry folks, it appears I let some verbiage leak out from the future. The upcoming Kinn 1.1 has a full 17 inches of pannier rail, making it possible to fit several combinations of 2 panniers. Version 1.0 however just 11 inches which won't fit 2 panniers. Sorry for mistake and resulting confusion.

    We have however used the most excellent skills of Curtis at North Rd (http://northstbags.com/) to make a set of custom panniers for the Kinn. If you'd like something special - he can do it.

    Cheers, Alistair

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  16. One thing no one has mentioned is heel clearance. Most normal-ish wheel base bikes, even touring bikes, result in the occasional heel scrape if one's shoot is size 11+ and pedals with toes on the pedal.

    This design should alleviate almost all of that.

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  17. GR Jim: re-reading Velouria's post about the Oregon Manifest Challenge, you weren't so convinced about the Inglis big red bike. I like Curtis Inglis' stuff, especially his Retrotecs (I think you do too), and the Inglis was V's favourite bike in that show (but then she likes swoopy-stay mixtes!), so have you had second thoughts?

    (I actually liked Ira Ryan's 'porteur with trailer' – the trailer (built by Trucker, I think) had ingenious linkages using Chris King headsets.)

    I appreciate that the Kinn is a bicycle to be ridden and enjoyed solo, but still able to efficiently and safely carry kids and cargo – it was never intended to be just a load-lugger – which is a great concept, and as such I expect it works very well.

    However, I figure the optimum frame design for a mid-tail step-through full-on cargo bike is the step-through variant of the old Dutch Kruisframes, with twin stays running from the bottom of the head tube, just above the down tube, back to the dropouts, and a cross tube running from the top of the head tube to low-down on the seat tube, essentially the same configuration as the Quixote/Clever Cycles project. The Azor/WorkCycles step-through version of the Kruisframe still uses that frame design; all you would need to do is extend the wheelbase to create a mid-tail utility bike. As for wheels, to lower the step-through even further (by lowering the head tube), a 24-inch front wheel with a 26-inch rear wheel might work better than 26-inch front and rear. That would also allow more vertical space for a front carrier, if you tweaked the geometry. That wheel configuration is used on the Biria-built Deutsche Post bikes, albeit with a very different swoopy-stay, swoopy-everything, design (enough to make you swoon, Velouria - steady, lass!). Formidable load-luggers, though – when I saw a photo of a Deutsche Post bike fully laden, with a trailer, I thought, that's not a bike, that's a house! AFAIK they're not available for private purchase, though.

    http://www.workcycles.com/home-products/handmade-city-bicycles/workcycles-kruisframe-step-through

    http://cargocycling.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/picture-1.png

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    1. I'm not convinced but realize Curtis uses it to transport one or two boxed frames and perhaps avails it to his wife so as a specific-case(s) bike it has to work, within given weight limits.

      For a pure step-through like V likes such as unreviewed super step thru light duty it will work in sure, but she has yet to test the limits of the design capacity-wise.

      Been thinking for years some form of Kruis or Sun Atlas would allow for your got to pass mid- to front-tt, giving the front triangle proper... Triangulation. I tend to jump off while the bike is moving- this works fine.

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  18. Re comments about centre of gravity and the wheel size, surely the low bottom bracket height cancels out the higher centre of gravity caused by the larger wheels. Effectively you're more "between the larger wheels" than slightly above smaller ones.
    Heel clearance is a good point, it means you can fit square standard panniers rather than those with a corner chopped off to give heel clearance, many panniers have two corners chopped off to make them fit either side, but it loses a lot of capacity doing so. Square panniers such as those made by Basil, have a massive usable capacity, because they're square it makes it very easy to put all sorts in them, that wouldn't normally fit in a normal touring pannier.

    Rear mounted child seats and a non-step through frame though is surely a recipe for kicking your toddler when you mount the bike? Granted if the child is older and can mount them self then it removes this problem.

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    1. The CG is indeed probably low enough with rider alone. Once laden you have to factor in load hang height, not to mention child's seat height and their respective weights. Here Alistair has reduced the platform's interface to low profile to minimize load height. As always there are trade offs.

      This is still a step-thru but not in the mamafiets sense - you have to lift your leg higher.

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  19. Here's a bike with a low TT, kids and presumably no deaths: http://portadbug.org/the-adelaide-longbike-an-earlier-cargo-bike-movement/

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  20. As far as function, not looks, how is this bike different from most ordinary Dutch bikes which can easily haul an adult on the rear rack?

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    1. The main difference is in performance. The Kinn is a faster, more aggressive, lighter weight (by about 10lb) bike that is better suited for hilly areas and long distances, particularly the derailleur version.

      As far as carry capacity, it is indeed similar to a proper Dutch bike with super long chainstays and monster rear rack - though still offers just a tad more.

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    2. Right on.

      In fact a number of folks have called it an American Dutch bike (designed by a Scot born in East Africa just to round it out).

      Certainly a goal was to deliver the convenience, versatility and gentle smile of good dutch bike (like the Workcycles bikes), but to do so for someone living in a US/Canadian city or town.

      A few differences are; longer commutes, an inclination in some to go faster, hills, more uncertainty about rear passengers (hence the rear bars, foot pegs, integrated Yepp), taking the bike inside overnight, perhaps upstairs ... and so on.

      As Velouria points out, such differences in need or disposition manifest a different design.

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  21. It doesn't make any difference to how it rides or functions, but I like the way the crank is just about exactly between the wheels when viewed from the side. It gives it the proportions of some other kind of machine, a train or something.

    I think if I owned one of these I'd always get some satisfaction from that. That's sort of weird now that I think about it...

    Spindizzy

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  22. It's a fantastic bike! But gosh, but that Kinn headbadge looks awfully similar to the early 80's Bridgestone headbadge:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3109/2514792027_e1c2b22789.jpg

    http://sheldonbrown.com/bridgestone/#catalogues

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  23. I was lucky enough to buy a Kinn this weekend and I will say this: I have ridden w/ kid(s) on and Edgerunner and I had them ride on the back for the test ride and I felt less "wiggly" on the Kinn. I kept saying "crap" on the ride and when my (85-lb) 9-year-old asked why and I had to tell him it was because I liked the ride so much I wanted to buy it. It rode like a dream and the step thru was an OK height for me (I am 5'6").

    Thanks for keeping it local (Sugar wheels!) and making such a pretty and functional bike. :)

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  24. I tested this bike at Bicycle Belle (awesome bike shop, very helpful and patient with all my barrage of questions). I really liked the way it rode and the forward position even though I'm used to riding my Raleigh Classic upright.

    I went looking for this bike because I don't like the feel of my bike when I have my son (riding on a bobike Maxi+) in the back but I don't want a long tail.

    The bike is beautiful, and the feel of the handlebars is phenomenal with and without gloves (is the material real cork?)

    A few things (knick picking here) that I noticed during the test ride. For some reason my pant did get caught between the chain and the crank something that does not happen on my current bike or previous bikes I had with a larger area covered of the chain / crankset up front.. Not big deal, just wrap your pant but that's something I was no longer used to.
    The other thing I found is that I kept bumping my shoes into the front wheel. There is really not much clearance between the pedals and the wheel when turning and pedaling.

    It is a tough decision between this and a FR8. I really miss having my son in front of me.

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