Bike Riding Still in Vogue


Okay, we covered the bike-as-fashion-accessory story last year. But it looks like it may be more than a passing fad, at least for those who consider J. Crew to be fashionable. The Jorg&Olif Scout CityBike is featured in the clothing retailer’s spring catalog, and as of this weekend they were hawking the "sweet rides" in the Time-Warner Center display window.

Now that it’s getting warmer, maybe we’ll see more "spokes model" coverage as the famous and style-obsessed make cycling de rigueur.

  • That is one seriously sexy bike (particularly the limited edition red)! Sadly, I can’t imagine actually riding one in New York–locked on the street, it would doubtless be stolen in 30 seconds flat and I wouldn’t be able to stash it in my apartment’s front hall closet (which I can do with my Downtube folder). Or am I being overly pessimistic about the amount of bike thievery here?

  • ddartley

    Urbanis- YES, you are! Yes, many NYC cyclists are consigned to regularly carrying 30lbs of locking equipment with us, but if we do have that stuff, our bikes don’t get stolen.

    So RIDE, and tell your friends to!

  • ddartley


    See p. 14 of today’s New York Post (if you don’t break out in hives from handling that toxic rag).

    Check out the Macy’s ad.

  • vnm

    Dartly beat me to it.

    That great Macy’s ad is also on p. 11 of the Daily News.

    It’s #3 if you follow this link:–%205125%20–%20:learn%20more

  • Hey ddartley, believe me, I am not letting the prospect of bike thievery prevent me from riding–in fact, I cycled 12.5 miles to work this morning. 🙂 But I use a folding bicycle with 20″ wheels so I can store it securely in my office (and in my hall closet at home, rather than the living room!).

  • vnm

    OK, you have to follow that link, then click on the “Eco tips” in the lower left. Better just to see it in print for the full effect.

  • ddartley

    Kudos, Urbanis; didn’t intend to seem to be yellin at you.

  • J. Mork

    Fenders, chain guard, rack — yum.

  • Bike fashion IS really taking off. It started with Copenhagen Cycle Chic which inspired copy cats elsewhere like myself. We love it when clothing retailers include bikes, but we’re mostly interested in promoting the idea that you don’t need to wear special clothes to cycle.
    -Lilia, San Francisco

  • The full chain guard is utterly fabulous and I adore the wrap-around kickstand and the overall elan of the design (e.g., the swooping support bar). It has a definite Art Nouveau chic to it.

  • @ddartley – no worries, you didn’t seem like you were yelling at all. I’m actually fairly new to bicycle commuting (started last month) and I’d love to hear what equipment and strategies more experienced cyclists recommend for locking your bike on the street.

  • Oh, I see the bike also has an internal hub–perfect for city riding! I’m in love.

  • Andy B from Jersey

    I’m a big fan of 3-speed city bikes and I particularly love traditional Dutch/Danish/English bikes but what does J Crew do about servicing the bike??

    Still, I’m glad to see truely practical bikes becoming more popular.

  • Andy B from Jersey

    Oh yeah!! I also like that the Macy’s “Eco Tips” shows the guy riding while wearing a suit.

    As long as the ride is only minimally hilly and less than 5 miles, I can tell you from experience that it is perfectly doable. However, I might loosen the tie for the ride.

  • Andy B from Jersey

    Uhhgg!!! (One more thing)

    Finally, it’s doable in a suit as long as your riding a practical upright 3-speed city bike like the Jorg&Olif (or Batavus, Raleigh, Pashley, etc).

    I’d NEVER ride in a suit on my Italian road bike.

  • No-one thinks that spending 750 on a bike with a single COASTER brake is ludicrous? They should be outlawed, they’re simply not safe.

  • Rex

    Check out The Victoria Classic from Danish bike makers Velorbis at

    These urban beauties are now available in the US through

    This Victoria model has been featured in Vouge and Elle fashion magazines

  • paulb

    Pricey. But a nice looking bike.

  • RC

    Have you seen Pashley Guv’nor? This would be the bike for me, although the Roadster Sovereign would make a great commuter. My wife is obsessed with the Princess Sovereign.

    We saw them at a bike shop on Varick Street.


  • I’m still not convinced that bikes this stylish are safe from predation in New York. Since becoming a utility cyclist myself, I look fairly closely at both what people are riding and what they are locking up on the street, and I can tell you that just about everything I’ve seen locked up on the street falls into the “beater” category.

    Anyway, for those of you who are enchanted by the Dutch bicycle design and are looking for something more affordable, I found some on eBay for around $500.

  • ddartley

    Urbanis, make sure your locks are VISIBLE.

    My combination of a big chain + a U-lock has always prevented theft, but once my back wheel got messed up when someone tried to steal it, since they didn’t NOTICE the black u-lock securing it to the frame.

    So if your locks are not brightly colored, make sure they’re at least conspicuous.

    Also if you make the same commute every day, consider leaving your chain at one of your parking spots rather than carrying it everywhere. (you may have thought of that already, but it took me more than a month of riding to think of it!)

  • @ddartley, thanks for the tips. Do you mean that for your regular commute, you unlock your bike and leave your lock/chain secured to your regular street post/fence?

  • ddartley

    Happy to give them. Yeah, if I have no errands to run, then on my way home from work I just unchain the bike and leave the chain on the bike rack outside my job. That way I don’t have all that extra weight on my way home, or on my way in the next morning.

    If I have errands, though, then I gotta carry the chain with me.

    And I always carry the u lock regardless; it’s not heavy.

  • paulb

    I think these classic or classic inspired bikes are beautiful. Though I get sticker shock seeing the price of things made in Europe–that’s just an observation, not a criticism. And the Jorg&Olif bikes–they look somewhat heavy.

    They lack a bit of the style, but small-wheel folders make fantastic urban bikes. The companies that make these, and the retailers that sell them, aren’t doing enough to promote them. I don’t get it, but I look in the windows of most city bike stores, and I still see racing-inspired full size bikes, not new thinking for city riders.

    My folder has been used as a daily commuter since August. It will pay for itself in saved subway fares sometime in July.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Though I get sticker shock seeing the price of things made in Europe

    Why not buy a classic bike that’s been made right here in Queens since 1898?

  • paulb

    I see those Workmans bikes all the time but didn’t know they are made here. Thanks.

  • Andy B.,

    Get any bike you buy anywhere serviced at your local bike store. Better yet, buy your bike there. Trek and other big-name brands have some reasonably attractive city bikes (maybe not quite as pretty as the Jorg&Olif).

    Your local bike store is an important component of the bike culture ecosystem. J. Crew and Design Within Reach will serve a very narrow market or maybe drop bikes when it stops being fashionable, but your local bike store will be there for all riders all the time.

    Two weeks ago, we were in our nearby cyclery buying my seven-year-old son’s first multi-speed bike. While we were there, a family of four got outfitted with four new bikes, helmets, gloves, &c. And, a Saturday racer-type guy was getting measured for a fancy custom frame. And, a woman was buying a bike so she could start riding again after 20 years. And, a mountain biker was getting new tires. And, …

    You get the point.


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