The humble bicycle has seen something of a renaissance in recent years, with this classic mode of transport establishing itself as a favourite amongst a generation of mobile creatives and health-conscious workers.
A good bicycle should offer comfort and versatility to truly standout as an investment worth making, and selecting a frame too specialized for particular ventures will inevitably create issues when running day-to-day errands
With the hallmarks of quality, versatility, and comfort at the forefront of our mind, Ape’s Lifestyle Editor sets out to trial the Runwell from Detroit-based manufacturer, Shinola.
A morning trip to the market fits the Runwell’s set-up perfectly. The functional front-rack, inspired by French newspaper courier bikes, lets me load-up on fresh produce and the Shimano disc brakes ensure my stopping is smooth and controlled on the journey home, allowing me to make it back without losing any of the precious cargo. En-route, the 11-speed Shimano Alfino hub helps me easily break away at green lights and quicken my pace to overtake busses and other riders when needed. The internal gear set-up is ideal for city cycling, keeping the intricate system away from the elements and other road debris that could lead to unnecessary maintenance.
The Runwell frame is solidly built and finely balanced. Though at first glance the front-rack could cause potential issues when threading through traffic, the responsive backswept handlebars keep movements tight and accurate and made cycling on congested roads an easy task. Manufactured by hand at the Waterford Precision Cycles Factory in Wisconsin, the frame is a true piece of American craftsmanship, featuring custom internal routing to keep brake and gear wires out of sight and out of the way. Whilst hidden below the paintwork, the frame is a testament to precision hand engineering, and is a marvel to ride.
As I cycle home in the evening I cut through Hyde Park, slowing my pace to enjoy the last moments of the day, with heads-a-plenty turning as the striking design and colour of the Runwell captures the admiration of fellow cyclists. The Runwell is a perfect example of Shinola’s focus on quality and function in their outputs, and is not only good to look at, but is perfectly attuned to daily use also.
Having recently launched their European e-commerce site, and with a London store opening in late October at 13 Newburgh Street, it no doubt won’t be long before we see more of these refined bicycles gliding along our streets.