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    BELLS BY THE SEA — bobbin models

    Which Bobbin?

    Bell's Bicycles in Hastings are proud to be one of the UK's leading stockist of Bobbin Bikes.

    Since Bobbin Bicycles hit the streets of London just a few years ago, they have caused an explosion in the cycling community. They can proudly take responsibility for getting loads of us back into the wonderful world of cycling, often just from a double take when passing a bike shop.

    Each year the Bobbin family grows and now in 2015, the Bobbin range has started to creep into other disciplines of cycling. Still with retro styling but lighter frames and improved geometry you can now be a racer, a pootler, and anything in between on a Bobbin.

    With all this choice we thought it would be helpful to do a short Bell's Bicycles review on a few Bobbin models; as honest as possible, outlining the pros and cons. As proud Bobbin Bike owners ourselves we have experienced the highs and the lows of the various models, so here goes!

     

    The Bobbin Birdie
    This upright bicycle has simplicity and comfort at the core of its design. Unlike many of the Bobbin models it has three speed Sturmey Archer hub gears which combined with the position of the frame and easy step through cross bar means this is the most reliable, low maintenance and easy to grasp of the Bobbin models. If you dislike the thought of changing gears, live in a flat area and don't have to carry the bike up steps then it is perfect. If you do have to do any of the above then you will find this bike limited in its range of gears and heavy to transport.
    Key Points:
    Gears: 3 Speed Sturmey Archer hub
    Position: Upright
    Frame: High ten steel
    Weight: 17kg
    Wheel size: 26 x 1 3/8
    The Bobbin Brownie.
    If you love the style of the Bobbin Birdie but do need to get up the occasion assent then the Brownie is a great compromise. It has swapped its Sturmey gears for a derallieur and the overall weight of the bike has reduced. The Brownie is the most popular choice for many and is an incredibly versatile bike. It's just as happy bumping along country tracks as it is on city streets and is lovely to carry a child seat on the rear pannier. The down side to the Bobbin Brownie is that it is still quite heavy at the back, largely due to the strong pannier rack which can be removed if you find you don't use it. It wouldn't be our first choice for a speedy commute to work or a long distance tour as the geometry doesn't allow for that much speed and the wide handlebars mean it isn't particularly responsive to quick sharp movements (what you need when weaving through traffic lanes)
    Key Points:
    Gears: 7 speed Shimano Nexus
    Position: Upright
    Frame: High ten steel
    Weight: 14kg
    Wheel size: 26 x 1 3/8
    The Bobbin Bramble.
    We have always been big fans of the Bobbin Bramble at Bell's. With all the comfort of the Birdie or Brownie, but with straighter bars and frame it is a true hybrid. This is a bike we would happily cycle to work through busy traffic, bump along forest tracks and feel comfy whilst doing it. It's still no lighter than the Brownie so we are not talking about a really lightweight super fast bike but it has a decent set of gears (7 speed Shimano) a well positioned frame and will only offer you many miles of comfortable cycling. 
    Key Points:
    Gears: 7 Speed Sturmey Archer hub
    Position: Semi upright, can be adjusted to suit you riding style and purpose.
    Frame: High ten steel
    Weight: 13kg
    Wheel size: 26 x 1 3/8
     
    The Bobbin Black Bird.
    Now we are starting the enter the fast lane. The Black Bird has been designed with an urban frame, straight handlebars and hybrid tyres. The result is a sturdy, speedy hybrid that feels nicely responsive to ride and can get you places. It's a different riding experience from both the Brownie or the Birdie in that your positioning has now changed. No longer are you upright but you are now leaning towards the handlebars. Although this makes for a nippier ride, if you have wrist or back problems then be aware that riding in this position for too long can put strain on joints.
    Key Points:
    Gears: 8 speed Shimano Nexus
    Position: Straight across
    Frame: High ten steel
    Weight: 12.5kg
    Wheel size: 700c
    The Bobbin Black Orchid.
    This new addition to the Bobbin range has put us all in a spin. With a similar frame to the Black Bird but with 16 speed derallieur gears and deep rimmed wheels with disc brakes, the Black Orchid suddenly becomes a high performance bike. Great for longer distances and hurtling down hills with short stopping distances the Black Orchid is a fun bike to ride. The only negative we can think of is weight. Not to say it's a heavy bike but you will be able to find alternative models from other companies which will be lighter. They will probably also be considerably more expensive as at just £550 we think it's a really great price for such an impressive bike. 
    If you would like our opinion on anything else in the Bobbin range, please get in touch or visit us in store. We are one of the largest stockists of Bobbin bikes in the UK so there is always much to browse. 
    Key Points:
    Gears: 8 speed Shimano Nexus
    Position: Straight across
    Frame: High ten steel
    Weight: 12.5kg
    Wheel size: 700c
    If you need a bit of help working out which size to go for, check out this handy size guide:
    Also considering a Pashley? This may be helpful: