It’s a relief Marie Pasquariello of Folk Engineered Bicycles made the reference to the market of their ‘Stitched Bike’ being 65 year-old grandmas who knit, so I didn’t have to. Regardless, I was supremely impressed when I glimpsed it at the New England Bicycle Expo, it definitely took a ‘lugged’ steel frame into a new arena.
Here’s what Marie, when I inquired, had to say about it: “The Stitched Bike is what happens when we have a few extra tubes laying around and are itching to try something new. It’s a commuter that’s perfect for city streets, a quiet suburban neighborhood, and errands around town. We were inspired by VO’s elk hide barwrap, and wanted to make the frame look like it was stitched together. We also wanted to play with bi-laminated sleeves and the illusion of lugged construction. We also wanted to make a bike that would appeal to a wide audience, so when picking components and figuring out geometry, we kept a 65-year old grandma, who probably knits, in mind. We made the following choices for the following reasons:
• A no-fuss 8-speed internal Sturmey Archer hub with drum brakes. It will not likely have issues because of the weather or terrain.
• A Shimano Alfine chain tensioner so that we could use vertical dropouts, making it easy to take the wheel on and off.
• An upright riding position that appeals to the non-aggressive rider.
• An easy to access and see front VO Constructor rack.
• Fenders to keep the weather off your clothes.
• Comfy leather elk hide bar wrap and VO leather saddle with springs.
• A no-fuss Jtek bar-end friction shifter. This simple design was made by a machine shop in Minnesota that happens to have lots of bike-happy employees.
• Easy to use brake levers that wrap for more than one hand position.
• A bell, of course.