Last night I was perusing the CB2 website to see what was new for spring/summer ’11 from Crate & Barrel’s hipper and more affordable sibling (because that’s just what you do when you’re home with the flu on a Wednesday night). Naturally, CB2’s spring/summer ’11 collection is all about outdoor furnishings and accessories; highlights include outdoor planters from Wooly Pockets, a delightful bird feeder, and handsome chairs, benches, and dining tables made from FSC-certified eucalyptus wood.
But the real standout outdoor-living items from CB2 aren’t even pieces of furniture or home décor items. They’re, somewhat randomly, bicycles. Yep, CB2 has decided to — at least for spring/summer '11 — team up with top custom bike-maker Republic Bike and offer a snazzy, 3-speed city bike called the Abuelo (Abuela for the ladies).
The pair of his/her bicycles — they each retail for $499 — are CB2’s typically modish take on opafiets and omafiets (grandpa and grandma bicycles, respectively), the iconic, unfussy city bikes beloved by the Dutch. And if there’s one nation that knows a thing or two about bike design, it’s the Netherlands.
As bikes released by home design companies tend to do (the Strida line from Areaware is another prime example), these beauties are giving me a serious case of city bike envy even though the whimsical color scheme is a touch too Ronald McDonald for my tastes with the yellow wheels, red vinyl saddle seat, and retro, oversized red steel bell. Here’s some more specifics for you bike geeks out there:
• Shimano Revo 3-speed shifter and Nexus internal hub 3-speed
• Hi-ten steel frame with a grey gloss finish
• Alloy handlebars with stitched red PVC grips
• Red vinyl saddle seat with quick-release lever seatpost
• Kenda custom yellow tires with alloy rims and amber wheel reflectors
• 9/16 threaded PVC pedals with embedded reflectors
• On Abuela: Black string skirt guard on rear fender and full vinyl chain case.
• On Abuelo: 3-band red bungee strap on rear carrier and silver steel chainguard.
Given that the bikes are brand new, there don’t seem to be any reviews in, but I’m curious as to how the Abuelo and Abuela fare sales wise. Republic Bike is a well-respected company that’s gotten a ton of great press (it doesn’t hurt that they specialize in Dutch bike design) but will folks shell out $500 for a bicycle offered from an offshoot of Crate & Barrel? What's next a West Elm skateboard? An Ethan Allen Segway?