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Brooklyn Bicycle Co. has been producing bicycles since 2011. Over the years, they have refined their style and expanded their lineup. Today, they are known for their city bikes that represent an exceptional value. And by value, I mean solid builds, quality components, and great customer service. You’re not likely to find another bicycle that will ride so smooth and comfortable. At least, not at their prices. Which is why my wife and I chose to get a pair of them to celebrate our wedding anniversary. So this is our intro article to an ongoing review of my Bedford 3, and her Franklin 3.
Brooklyn Bicycle Co. Bedford 3 ($449.99)
While we would have been happy with the $399.99 single speed versions, an extra $50 for the Shimano 3 speed hub made more sense. Combined with a lightweight steel frame, it just rocks. Although some of their models are 4130 chromoly, this frame is hi-ten steel. Still, it doesn’t feel mushy when I stomp the pedals like cheaper steel bikes do. Any weight penalty over aluminum is far offset by the way it absorbs bumps and vibrations. Once again, I am reminded that steel is real.
When it comes to details, they didn’t skimp either. For comfort, contact points include Selle Royal vegan leather saddle and grips. For weight savings (and looks), the bars, stem, seatpost/clamp, and cranks are aluminum. Extra points for the matching chainguard and a kickstand. Headset bearings are caged bearings with a weather seal, but the front hub gets sealed bearings. Shifting the Shimano Nexus 3 speed hub is their Revo 3-speed shifter. Hubs are laced to 32 hole double wall rims with 14 gauge stainless spokes. It rolls on 700×32 puncture resistant tires, and it’s all brought to a stop by Tektro levers and brakes.
If there was any disappointment, it was the pedals. Not the smoothest bearings, but they’ll do. Being a bike intended for city use, maybe that’s not a concern. Naturally, it does have a full set of braze-ons. When you’re ready, it’s all set for front and rear racks and fenders. I’m not sure anyone uses water bottles anymore, but you can mount one of them too. Colors include army green, matte black, and ivory (my choice). Weight is around 28-30 pounds.
Brooklyn Bicycle Co. Franklin 3 ($449.99)
Many of the details are shared between the two bikes. This includes the frame material and drivetrain. Although the S/M sized Franklin does have 26″x1.375″ tires on 26″ rims. If you get the large frame, you’ll be rolling on 700×35 tires. Of course, the ladies bike includes color matched fenders and a full-length chainguard. Both also have a sealed bottom bracket, and heavy duty KMC chain. In what is surely a nod to fashion, the ladies get more color choices too. There’s matte coral, cardinal red, ivory, and sea glass, which is a greenish-blue (my wife’s choice).
The buying experience
If you’re not local to Brooklyn Bicycle Co., no worries. They will ship your bike to a bike shop near you. Once it arrives, your local shop completes the assembly before you pick it up. I’m a fan of this model, as not everyone wants to assemble their own bike. Equally important, I think all cyclists should build a good relationship with at least one local shop. Buying online can be great, but a good shop stocks the basics, performs maintenance, and organizes group events. So support your local business too.
The ride. It’s all about the ride
Because we just got our bikes, we haven’t racked up many miles yet. And since my wife is strictly in it for fun and fitness*, I try to avoid peeking at any apps on my phone. What I can say is that even with multiple hand and shoulder surgeries, plus a back injury, my wife still finds her Franklin 3 to be quite comfortable. Coming from an aluminum bike, I tend to agree. And despite not wanting to mess with a geared bike, the Nexus 3 seems to suit her. Our favorite path has a whopping 120 feet of elevation change, so she doesn’t shift much anyway.
On our out and back loop, we’ve already come to appreciate the relaxed pace they afford. Gearing is just right, and the brakes are sufficient for emergency stops. Steering stays on center with ease, but you can still cut a quick corner. Speaking of quick, we clocked an even 20 MPH on flat ground sprinting past our local police radar trailer.
In addition to the bikes, we got a few accessories from Brooklyn Bicycle Co. So we’ll introduce those in a future article. In the meantime, we’re going get some more ride time in. If you have any questions, please share them below.
And a special thanks to Ryan at Brooklyn Bicycle Co. for hooking us up with a deal on the pair of bikes. I can’t think of a better gift as we celebrate another year together.
*She’s downloaded MapMyRide, so I guess she’s ready to start measuring pace and distance.