Pictures, pictures

Our promoters took some nice photos last weekwhile riding around on the Unicas and Meccanica for the Design Week 2017. Here is a selection:

By the way, the Design Week 2017 promotion is running for 3 more days. Contact us to get special discount coupon to buy either a beautiful Unica e-bike or a Meccanica classical bicycle at a great price.

Milano Design Week 2017

This week is Milano Design Week 2017, which means most streets in Milano overflow with everything design and the whole city breathes creativity and events.

As we consider our bikes a nice piece of design, we have dispatched a team of nice, young and enthusiastic promoters around to show our products. Here is a picture of Marta, Stefania, and Francesco right before moving from our lab:

For the next three days, they are going to ride a foldable electric Unica in metallic grey with City handle, a fixed red Unica with Sport handle, and a new blu-gray Meccanica around the major design districts (Tortona and Brera).

By the way, we run a promotion with great discounts until April 20th, just ask us for the promo codes to order from our web shop.

Hard Tires, Sweet Riding

We have mounted and tested the solid tires by tannus.com; In practice the only acceptable offer in this market segment.

Tannus is a branch of Fine Chemical Co. Ltd, a large Korean chemical company. The alchemy here is a special foam, hard enough to endure you and your bike’s weight for thousands of kilometres, while giving a chance to your back (upper and lower).

With the precious and enthusiast support of Walter Carava`, co-founder of You & Bike, the Italian distributor, we have mounted a pair of Tannus tires (of the softer kind) on a Vrum Unica test bike:

Installation is a little tricky, but less awful than one can imagine. Let's say it takes about three times with respect to mounting a normal clincher + tube.

Once installed, we acknowledge we do love these high-pressure tires, as punctures and rolling frictions are among the worst enemies of the nimble city biker. Our overall feeling over a number of cross-city rides is definitely good, despite our traditionalist biker’s’ pre-conceptions.

You may say that the Vrum Unica’s frame is a perfect combination of stiffness and shock dumping, and you would be right, but we have often (almost) forgotten not having any air between our back and the road below.

It has been noted that rolling friction increases at higher temperatures with foam tires, but winter in Milano is cold enough that we didn't perceive any 'gluing' effect to the asphalt.

However, we have something to say about the aesthetics of the installed Tannus tires: they look a little bulky and the groove has a cheap, too polished kind of design. In any case, we think that forgiving punctures has a lot of value and it can be worth a little loss in confort and a higher price.

To sum up, we will offer Tannus tires as an option on all our Vrum bikes. Send us an email if you are interested in solid tires when ordering a Vrum bicycle.

Special sale!

We have just added a new area on our site where you can find - at a highly discounted price -  a few Vrum older models that have been used at fairs and trade exhibitions.

The models on display have some minor marks and scratches, and make use of a few components (such as the handlebar stem, or the pedals) that over time we have discontinued and changed with different products.

 

Apart from the aesthetics marks, the bicycles are perfectly functional, have been on the road just for few kilometers, and come with a six months warranty.

In summary, keep an eye on the Sale page for some great bargains.

Extreme commuting, enjoyable commuting (continued)

This vivid although older position paper, while destroying e-bikes in general, perfectly supports our view about electric bicycles in general and bike commuting in particular:

https://www.outsideonline.com/1921226/why-e-bikes-are-terrible-you

Here, cheap e-bikes are criticised for their low profile “as bicycles” and the low quality of the components, and power e-bikes are dismissed as too expensive. However, the main argument is that if you go electrical, in particular for commuting, you miss the pleasure and the positives of pedaling.

We think that Vrum e-bikes answer exactly all the issues raised by Justin: high quality, top components, bike crafting can be paired with electrical assistance, at a reasonable price, if the technology is the right one. In our case, the Zehus Bike+ All-in-one Hub.

With a bike like this, the pleasure and the “fitness effect” of commuting by bike is preserved, while extending your range and minimising your perspiration.

Extreme commuting, enjoyable commuting

This  interesting piece on the Guardian (Can e-bikes revolutionise long-distance commuting?) analyzes the upper limit for bike commuting.

In this case, a very long range bike commuting experience (about 130km!) becomes feasible thanks to the extreme range of electrical bikes, i.e. those not compliant with the European Standard e-bike regulatory definition (NF EN 15194: no assistance if not pedalling, no more than 250W, no more than 25 Km/h). Actually, those are heavy but fast electrical motorcycles on which you can pedal if and as you wish.

Our Vrum Bikes are, in some way, at the opposite extreme of the range: very light and high-quality bikes, with e-bike compliant assistance, on which it is a pleasure to pedal. In practice, you ride as usual and your Vrum amplifies your push when needed (re-starts and uphill).

With bikes of the Vrum class (by the way, a very restricted, elite class), commuting range can be also significantly extended with respect to mechanical bikes (although not to the distances mentioned in the article), in particular in hilly areas or with high start-stop destiny roads.

The good thing is that while commuting you still enjoy all of the biking pleasure.

Two views on “The Future of Cycling”

The claim of the Cyclotron Bike’s inventors - “The Future of Cycling” - seems indeed realistic.

This very interesting project features an impressive number of innovative ideas, our favourites being the hubless, spokeless wheels, which create a nice “Utility Slot” for carrying stuff while honouring the golden rule: “keep your center of gravity low”. We also love the airless tyres and the general, extreme integration: lights, geometry adjustment, transmission, e-gearbox, sensors and cabling. Even the customisable decor technique is really smart.

Of course, from a pure biker perspective, the overall biking experience has still to be fully assessed: reactivity, pedalling feeling and sound (yes, the sound of your bike rolling is one of the foundations of the biking pleasure…) are going to be very different from traditional biking. Would it be better, or at least comparable?

Left: Vrum Unica, Center: the Cyclotron, Right: Vrum Meccanica

The Cyclotron example (and the above images) put in clear evidence what’s the Vrum biking philosophy. We too want to offer to our clients the improvements of the most advanced technology, like the revolutionary all-in-one Zehus Bike+ electrical hub, the best modern components, and the frame designed for practical effectiveness, but we also strive to keep in our bicycles the full spirit and feeling of traditional, Italian style bike crafting. But, above all, we are obsessive in giving to our riders the full pleasure of the traditional, high quality, biking.

In this perspective, we think that our Vrum bikes are a just different view on “The Future of Cycling” .

 

 

The Meccanica is here

Many times over the past two years, particularly at fairs and demo events, people have asked whether we would be making a purely mechanical bicycle based on our eye-catching Unica frame. Several cyclists are in fact attracted by our design but are not yet ready to take the pedelec route and prefer a not-assisted ride.

Moreover, the technical features of our Unica, AS A BICYCLE, and the feeling you get while riding it, naturally lead us to the pure leg-powered option.

So, here is our Meccanica bicycle. 

 

It is based on the proven, compact and reactive Unica frame. Instead of the Zehus all-in-one electric hub, it mounts a Sturmey Archer 3-speed integrated gear with coaster brake. The coaster brake, coupled with the front Tektro brake, provides a dependable braking. 

The Meccanica - like its Unica sibling - is customizable with fixed or foldable frame, Bullhorn or City handle, and comes with a complimentary hand-made leather handle to easily move the bike around. It is painted in a beautiful blue-gray color which perfectly matches the dark brown leather of the Brooks saddle.

The Meccanica will be available soon on our website shop and from our resellers at an introductory price of € 1.490 until December 31st.

Giò Pozzo

With great sorrow we learned that Giò Pozzo - architect, journalist, bike mechanic - passed away last Thursday. We knew he was very ill but we thought we could have a few more chances to visit him and enjoy his wit. Unfortunately, we could not.

A few years ago Giò created - along with his partner Adriano - the Orcocicli bike workshop in Milano, where classic, beautiful mechanical bikes were custom designed and built to order with painstaking attention to detail for their lucky owners.

When we launched Vrumbike in 2014, Orcocicli were our initial partners, mentors and technical advisors. The captivating design and the performant geometry of the Cattiva and Piega models, the forerunners of our current Unica product, came directly from their experience.

After winding down Orcocicli last year, Giò still hung around in his workshop, and we used to meet him once or twice a month to discuss our issues and our progress.

We’ll greatly miss his competence, his skills, and his advice.

Associazione +bc

Associazione +bc

Vrum details: Small things make the difference

In Vrum Unica with foldable frames, the handlebar can be easily folded/unfolded on three axis, i.e. lowered, turn and bent as needed to fit into the available space. The stem and the folding mechanics is the same for both handlebar options, bullhorn or city.

The idea is super-simple and traditional: two small handles screw and unscrew handlebar and stem. The Value of bike crafting experience here is embedded in the careful design and custom manufacture of the two special stainless steelinsertand the careful selection of the best handles on the market. The inserts guarantee that the full torque of the screwing/unscrewing action is transferred without dispersion to the right spot. 

The German made handles offer an optimal and confortable posture, while guaranteeing a totally secure tightening.

Vrum details: Functional and crafted with love

The Vrum Leather Strap is made of Italian leather, cut by hand and shaped with traditional techniques. The Vrum logo is manually stamped with a custom engraved die. 

The strap is attached to a Vrum bike foldable frame though a special bolt, made in Germany by Shafer, designed to allow fast release of guitars from shoulder straps: sturdy and easy to operate.

When your Vrum Unica is folded, the leather strap is wrapped around the handlebar and the seat tubes to keep the bike tight and perfectly balanced on the extended kick stand.

When you ride, the strap can stay securely wrapped around the handlebar tube:

... or it can be detached and used “the old way” to prevent your trousers’ leg to flap and getting caught between crank and chain.

Florismoo in the Netherlands

Today we'd like to remind all bikers in the Netherlands that Florismoo, a very nice shop based in Heemskerk municipality near Amsterdam which carries the best brands in electric mobility, exclusively sells our Unica and Grande e-bikes. They have a Unica available for test rides as well. Contact information is:

FLORISMOO
Ameland 17
1967 EB Heemskerk
The Netherlands
T: +31 251672365 | M: +31 637005804
E: info@florismoo.nl
www.florismoo.nl

We want to warmly thank Erik for providing a great online and offline service. Here is a snapshot of the Florismoo website:

Fully Charged in London

We are very happy to announce that Fully Charged - London’s leading electric bike retailer - is now a Vrum Bike reseller. A very nice foldable metal grey Unica with bullhorn handlebar is on display at the shop and available for test rides. The showroom address is:

Globe House
37 Bermondsey Street
London
SE1 3JW

Here is a picture of the Unica right before shipping:

IMG_20160630_144427.jpg

 

Fully Charged stocks the best e-bike brands and we are enthusiastic about this partnership. We invite all Londoners interested in a different and innovative approach to electric mobility to try our Unica.

Berlin

We greatly enjoyed being in Berlin last week at Berliner Fahrradschau 2016.  Many thanks to all the nice people who visited us and to the riders who wanted to try our Vrum e-bikes.

It seems that they had a good time, many asked where they could buy our products in Germany. Fortunately, we also met with several enthusiast bike shop owners, so you may be able soon to buy a Unica or Grande at an official reseller in Germany.

Here is a very short video of our booth:

 

See you again next year!

Unica 2016

Vrum Bikes are built around an innovative and unique compact frame design, derived from the ’70s tradition and engineered to optimally host the most advanced, all-in-one electrical assistance technology currently available. Italian traditional steel frame design at its best for city riding: light, reactive, stable and optionally foldable.

Cattiva e Piega - our models since the beginning - are two variants of this idea taken to different extremes. Cattiva emphasises stiffness and reactivity, while Piega focus on comfort and portability.

In the last few months, we have received many requests for mixed configurations, comprised of different Cattiva and Piega options. Examples include what we call “Piega Incattivita”, a foldable Piega frame mounting the Cattiva handlebar, saddle and pedals, and “Cattiva Ingentilita”, a fixed frame with comfort spring saddle and mudguards. Here is a red Piega Incattivita:

With 2016, we offer a more flexible range of Vrum bikes. In practice, you'll be able to fully configure your Vrum Bike directly when ordering. We call this new super-model “Unica”.

By picking your favourite combination of frame (foldable or not), handlebar and saddle you can therefore personalize your Vrum Bike as it suits you best. All Unica models come in metallic color and have nice custom black mudguards included. You can also order a custom color (RAL system) with a supplement. The foldable version has an integrated kickstand.

Our previous “Cattiva” and “Piega” models are still available, though. They are just specific configurations for the Unica product: for the Cattiva choose a fixed frame, bullhorn handlebar, sport saddle, for the Piega choose a foldable frame with spring saddle and city handlebar.

Your “Unica” is waiting for you at vrumbike.com starting from € 2.990. Our website and shop will be updated in the next few days to reflect these changes.

BFS, March 18—20, 2016

Berliner Fahrradschau

Vrum bike we'll be at the Berliner Fahrradschau next week in Berlin, from March 18 to March 20.

You can find us at booth H3-A19 in the main hall. We have two beautiful new Unica models on display for you. Unica is our new product range, it unifies the best of our Piega and Cattiva models in a single customizable package.

Please drop us a line if you like to schedule a meeting. We hope to see you in Berlin.

Also see the related announcement in the News section. We'll update the website vrumbike.com and the e-shop in the next few days.

Grande

Today we are happy to welcome a new e-bike in our family.

The Grande is a classic 28" 8-tubes frame model - powered as usual by the Zehus Bike+ all-in-one electric hub. 

 

The Grande is exceptionally easy to ride on longer distances. It inherits lightness and rigidity from its 20" siblings and adds extra comfort and stability. It is the ideal bike for extended commuting. 

See the Grande product page for additional information. The Grande is available now in polished metal color and can be ordered from our web shop.

BikeUP Lecco!

Next week, June 19-21, Vrum Bike will exhibit at the BikeUP event in Lecco. 

BikeUP is the first international event regarding e-bikes. Three days of exhibitions, events, networks, along with free tests and rides. More information here.

Come and visit us on this beautiful lake setting and have a chance to ride one of our bikes! We are at booth #29 right in front of the Conference Hall and BikeUP Garage.