My first thought was that bikes priced from $699 to $1299 are not too likely to get people to start commuting by bicycle. Then I put this in the context of New York City, and it makes more sense. Given their housing costs, along with the ridiculous cost of owning, parking, and operating a car within the city limits, I realized that a bike that combines function and fashion, priced high enough to give it a bit of exclusivity without being a financial burden, should probably do well in the city. The fact that the city is slowing embracing the bicycle as a mode of transport certainly helps the cause. While the Viva designs are not necessarily to my liking, they’re certainly not bad looking. I wish Lars success in his venture. It can only be good for the city.
New York, NY – Copenhagen and New York City have more in common than one might think. Over the last few years New York created more than 200 miles of bike lanes. Daily ridership is up—some estimates say it has nearly doubled since 2005. New York’s streets now include 482 miles of bike lanes, and a total of 1,800 miles are planned by 2030. In Copenhagen, 55% of commuters use a bicycle every day, and 37% of commuters crossing the city boundary do so by bike. Forty years ago Copenhagen was just as car-clogged as anywhere else, but today roughly 500,000 citizens choose a bicycle as their mode of transport. Just like New York, the city made a very conscious effort to encourage cycling.
Lars Andersen, a former professional bike racer, began VIVA Bike Design in 2006 in Copenhagen, creating bicycles that are a comfortable, reliable, yet decidedly stylish way to navigate the urban landscape. To achieve a cohesive design, Anderson develops most of the components himself, including fenders, chainguards, saddles, grips and cargo carriers. For a small company this represents a big investment, but it also helps insure that the quality and durability of the bikes meet a high standard. Andersen believes his cycles will be a hit in New York not only because the two cities share similar weather and terrain, but because both are global leaders in the world of design.
All VIVA bikes share a certain functional elegance. They come standard with fenders and a bell, and with gears and brakes cleverly concealed and protected from the elements within sealed hubs. The silhouette and all-conditions durability are based on classic Danish city bikes, but with close attention to detail and proportion, and finished with avant-garde colors. The unique head badge, down tube logos and chainguard signatures are made from raw copper, so that they develop a rich patina over the years. Distinctions like these make VIVA bikes standouts in any crowd.
VIVA bikes make their New York debut this spring, including four models with retail prices ranging from $699 to $1,299. They are available at Zen Bicycles, 134 W. 24th Street, and select New York area bike shops, and will be displayed at Bike Expo New York on Pier 36 from May 3 through 5. For more information visit grandcentralcycle.com or vivabikes.com.