Swobo launches first bikes


by Frank Steele on Mar 06, 2007 at 8:23 PM

Swobo | Collection

So, as promised, Swobo has launched a line of bicycles to join their clothing. The three models are available for order now, with delivery promised in April.

The Folsom is a one-speed with coaster brakes, and PT-boat styling. Primer gray with gussets between the front of the top and down tubes, with bolt-on hubs, BMX style pedals and 4” riser handlebars, for $499.

The Otis is a matte black, rigid-fork MTB-style frame mated with a SRAM 3-speed coaster brake hub in back and a disc brake up front. Grip twist shifting. Black-on-black tires, black rims, black seat, black frame: To borrow from the masters, “It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is … none. None more black.” Yours for $699.

And the Sanchez, which is out of the box ready to hang with the bike messengers. It’s got the flat-bar fixie no-brake road bike ethos down, and brings a cool galvanized finish (this one’s “Swobo butted CroMo,” while the others are 7005 aluminum). It’s a flip-flop rear hub, so you can thread on a single-speed freewheel. The black and white photos don’t really show the white (yes, white) rims and handlebar, so I’m reserving judgment there. This one’s $599.

And there’s a bottle opener built into every Swobo saddle.

These aren’t bikes as art, or as hipster product placement – they’re utilitarian and organic.

What do you think?

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There’s a discussion of the Sanchez goin’ on over at BikeForums.net. Check it out here. Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is. If they want to get them in the hands of “non-cyclists”, they should try to have them distributed in places like skateshops and surfshops and drop the price a bit more. Committed cyclists aren’t going to buy bikes like these, and non-cyclists aren’t going to order them off the internet.

I love the Otis.  It’s what I’ve been building in my head for a while now.  Of course I’d rather go with the new Shimano Alfine group and Campus Pedals (SPD one side, platform the other), but the concept is just what I’ve been wanting.  Fat tires, simple shifting, strong brakes.  Thanks for the link.

Putting a freewheel on a bike with no brakes strikes me as not a great idea.

Is it in stores—there’s no industry that’s better at building demand and not delivering the goods than bicycle manufacturers. And Swobo, way back, was the king of that.

Good point, Josh—the fork is drilled for front brakes, but they’re not standard.