We’ve told you about all the hottest bike accessories, helmet developments and rad cyclist clothing. But what about the actual bikes? This old-school form of transportation has undergone quite a few improvements, and you don’t have to be marathon cyclist to enjoy them. Scroll on for five of our fave bike startups that’ll give your commute a stylish and eco-friendly edge.
1. Villy Custom: One peek at this website, and we bet you’ll be on it for hours. Seriously, we can’t stop designing bikes! Villy, a Dallas-based company that was on Shark Tank (backed by Mark Cuban, obviously!), delivers men’s and women’s one-speed bikes, with custom orders completed in only 10 business days. You’ve been warned: Designing your own custom ride is dangerously addictive.
2. Priority Bicycles: This brand is skipping the literal and figurative bells and whistles of flashy, modern bikes. The result is a stripped-down, needs-only simple three-speed bike that appeals to the purist in us. It even comes with a foot brake, just like when you were a kid! And for actual kids, there’s the Priority Start, an adorable iteration of a training wheel bike that your little one will love to ride.
3. Solé Bicycles: This Venice Beach-based company has actually been around since 2009 and steadily gained a cult following among celebrities and casual cyclists alike. Their philosophy is simple: a bike should be lightweight (only 26 lbs!), fun and stylish. At under $400, even the most fickle of riders can invest in this chic mode of transport.
4. Sondors eBike: Sondors bills itself as the most affordable eBike, coming in under $650, which is pretty good given all the functionality this bike has. It can go up to 20 miles per hour for 50 miles at a stretch before needing to be charged, with a 350-watt motor. Fun fact: The designer, Storm Sondors, used to design McDonald’s Happy Meal toys!
5. Brilliant Bicycle Co.: Brilliant Bikes aims to be uncomplicated and unintimidating in their product and design, and they want to make biking easy and fun again. They only offer two styles — the Astor and the Mayfair — which retail for $299 and $399, respectively. Like Everlane, they take the middle man out of the equation in order to offer a lower cost. Their higher-quality bikes are even made in their wind-powered facilities. Our favorite part is that each style comes in six colors, like tangerine, frosted mint and marsala.
Which startup would you choose? Tell us in the comments!