I got a new Trek Belleville women’s bike from Tommy’s Bike Shop in McMinnville at a nice discount, with part of the price traded for improvements to their website (not implemented yet, in case you were wondering).
Angelina hasn’t had a new bike since she was 11. She’s been riding the same Goodwill-sourced Steyr mixte for 14 years or so, and had nixed the idea of buying new as philosophically repugnant, except that “This bike is so pretty!” It’s also recyclable, and made OF recycled material, supposedly. And it’s pretty. And she doesn’t drive.
I like it because it comes equipped with front and rear generator lights, fenders and racks. All the wiring runs inside the tubes – the fork, the rack the main tubes, under the fenders. My bikes don’t have internal wiring! I also really like the welded mounting tab for the front rack, which I’ve never seen before. It’s clever and strong, and it takes the brakes right out of the rack-mount equation.
I’m a huge fan of custom bikes and bike-makers, and it looks like the Belleville designer(s) are too. I only ever see painted and integrated stem and bars on show bikes. Since most people never change either the stem or the bars, it makes just as much sense to make them all one piece. The bars need to be raised ~2″ to match her old bike’s setup. I only hope there are pretty spacers I can use! I’d like one tall blue one, or three 1/2″ ones in light blue, red and brown like the decorative bands that accent the bike here and there.
I raised the stem with normal ugly spacers and a longer bolt. Eric of Winter Bicycles pointed out that the stem is a lever on the steerer, and shouldn’t come above the top of the steerer tube, but I did it anyway. If Angelina crashes and dies, he can say “I told you so.”
I also ran the wire through the guide tube – you have to fold the spades away from each other to get them through the tube.
There were only a couple of things I would have designed differently, and a couple of assembly details I’ll redo (light wiring doesn’t go through a wiring tube, and I prefer as wide a rack mount as possible).
Design Detail 1
The front rack struts are tubes that are open at the top, but closed at the bottom! I think they’ll fill up with Oregon rainwater in short order. I plan to plug the tops before that happens. The outer tube is actually for the headlight wiring. Oops.
Design Improvement 2
Rear fender woggles a bit. A support tab from the rear rack to the top of the rear fender would be ideal. I plan to make a U-bracket from the rack bolts to the fender.
Other than those tiny nits, this is a beautiful bike.