A Little Shout-Out to Copenhagen Cyclery!

Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune’s Sunday section (what passes for a magazine these days) profiled the Wicker Park bike emporium with the tag-line “Shop sells hard-to-find, functional bikes – so buy a lock too.” Obviously the article was written by a non-cyclist, as anyone who rides anything in Chicago knows that locks are essential for any bike cheap or pricey – or soon the bike will no longer be yours.  Anyway Copenhagen Cyclery sells European or dutch-style city bikes, from Italy, Germany, Denmark as well as the Netherlands.  Phil Marmet, the store manager, can be seen in Charles Osgood’s photo holding up a Velorbis Churchill Balloon bike – which tells you a lot about the bike.

Phil at Copenhagen Cyclery

Phil Marmet, manager of Copenhagen Cyclery, 1375 N. Milwaukee, holds a Danish Velorbis Churchill Balloon bike. The shop offers other imports including Batavus from Holland and Abici, from Italy. Photo by Charles Osgood

If you know anything about dutch-style city bikes, you know they are made of steel and are very heavy . Velorbis makes   steel bikes with all the requisite bells and whistles, but they differ slightly from many of the other bikes in this category by being noticeable lighter. They’re still much heavier than any aluminum frame mountain or road bike you’re probably riding, but lighter than say the Axor Workcycle Oma that I’m trying to lay my hands on. The Velorbis bikes are beautiful though, and really fun to ride. I’ve been trying to decide between the Oma and the Victoria Classic all summer. It’s been a tough decision. My suggestion is that you swing on by the shop on Milwaukee Avenue and test ride a couple of bikes.  If you’re used to riding a mountain or road bike like I am, the upright riding position will feel strange at first, but you’ll get used to it in about 3o seconds and I bet you’ll enjoy the ride.

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