A center for innovation with sunny, palm-lined streets, the city of Venice, California, is a fitting home base for Linus Bike, founded in 2005 with the goal of bringing a new kind of bike to market—sturdy, stylish, and designed for the city commuter. Drawing inspiration from French designs of the ‘50s and ‘60s, Linus Bike combines classic elegance with modern performance to promote a more robust riding culture in the States. All of this is evident in the Pronto, the latest in the collection, which we got to test ride for jaunts around San Francisco.
Aesthetics are a top concern for any Linus Bike design, and the Pronto is no exception. The matte indigo aluminum alloy frame features champagne-colored pinstripes, and matte black fenders do double duty in tying the look together and protecting you against road slush on rainy-day rides. The total effect is both sporty and sophisticated, and sure to encourage even reluctant cyclists to go out for a spin. In that sense, the polished Pronto is part of a larger movement to reduce carbon emissions and congestion in urban environments.
I tested the Women’s Pronto, which features a sloped top tube. The smaller standover height means that the bike is easier to mount for someone with a shorter inseam, or who’s wearing a skirt (which the casual rider will appreciate). Both the men’s and women’s models have "gender-specific" saddles and come in multiple sizes to preserve the bike’s geometry, which makes for a comfortable upright position. Cruising past congestion as I ran an errand in the city’s Financial District, I felt alert and supported, able to scan my surroundings.
The eight-speed bike transitioned from the piers to the hills with ease, and the steering was sensitive to minute adjustments—a must for rush hour commuting and weaving through tangles of traffic. The Pronto is on the more aggressive, performance-driven end of the spectrum that Linus Bike offers without sacrificing comfort. Aside from the saddle and posture, its ergonomic grips made for a cushioned ride, but I still felt connected to the road and its changing textures.
With its dapper looks and fine-tuned ride, the Pronto is ideal for breezing through errands around the city as well as longer commutes. Plus, its durable components promise that you’ll be equipped for years to come, making it well worth the $669 price tag.
For more information, visit Linus Bike online.
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