The Devinci Montreal
Posted on 26 March 2013
Editors note. Curbside began working on bicycle design as early as 2008 with Batavus, designing two bikes for North America - the Fryslan and the Breukelen. These were bikes that had specific specs and packaging for our North American market. The collaboration with Devinci was really about changing frame materials and geometry. Moving to aluminum allowed the Montreal to be much lighter (and rust resistant) while the geometry mimicked the mountain bike to some degree. It was a great bike, and sold very well but the one thing we couldn't agree on was the packaging. We knew our customer wanted something clean and elegant while Devinci insisted on something very sporty. Despite its great spec and ride quality, the bike lacked a certain personality - although those who have one love it dearly.
- February 2016
About six years ago, just when we were starting Fourth Floor we got together with our friends at Devinci to talk about developing a city bike. At the time we were importing Batavus and Pashley bikes and we wanted something that was less heavy, less of a museum-piece, and most of all, something that could multi-task both city and recreational use. We were already familiar with the Devinci bikes. Besides making all sorts of amazing mountain and road bikes, they also made hybrid bikes that were made for Canadians who ride year round in dense downtown cores. And, we liked Devinci because they're one of the last companies in North America who still builds their bikes in North America. Simply put, in a world of exceptionally bland options, Devinci is a company with a ton of soul.
Devinci launched the bike in 2008 and called it the Toronto, an unfortunate move because everyone in Canada hates Toronto (reasons unknown). It did remarkably well in Toronto, but the market at the time simply wasn't ready. Meanwhile, Devinci moved on to develop the Bixi bikes, which gave them tons of street cred in the city bike market - except they weren't making any city bikes! (Well, not for consumers). We decided to change that. So much of the original Devinci Toronto was our design, but with more experience under our belt we asked if we could relaunch it with a series of delightful changes.
The Devinci Montreal - so named because Montreal really is the best city in North America - is a lightweight aluminum frame. Thick aluminum, not that beer-can-thin aluminum you see on other bikes, but still light. It features a seven speed Shimano Nexus hub, which makes it perfect for city riding and country riding. It can conquer distance and the kind of topography a Dutch bike couldn't dream of. The chaincase and fenders are metal, so they won't break, and every single part is either alloy or galvanized steel - including the chain - so rust won't stand a chance. The wheels are 26" because a 26" wheel has natural acceleration, which is the only real kind of speed you'll ever achieve in a city - plus they're great on gravel roads, making the Montreal remarkably versatile. Best of all, it's a handsome matte black and emblazoned with our lovely decal, because there's only 200 made this year, and each one is very special.