Simcoe: The North American City Bike
Posted on 05 June 2014
Due to rapid growth and the difficulty of capitalization, Simcoe was sold to Hawley-Lambert, the second largest bicycle wholesaler in North America who unfortunately did not tend the brand very well. However, today, thanks to the Canadian European Trade Agreement and a lot of research (and travel) we've found an even better solution with Germany's Fahrradmanufaktur, a bike that shares the same evolution in materials and geometry but capitalizes on access to top-notch German parts - something we were unable to do out of Taiwan. We'll miss Simcoe... it was a real step forward in the path towards a global city bike.
- February 2019
Winters like the winter of 2014 are enough to leave Torontonians with weather-inflicted PTSD. So, why on earth would we post pictures of snow-covered bicycles as the sun finally embraces our poor defrosting skin? This is not an act of cruelty, it's a pitch for the best city bike we've seen.
For the last decade, we travelled Holland, Denmark, Italy, Denmark and finally California to bring Toronto the best city bikes we could find. That meant a high quality, light-weight, rust-resistant, low-maintenance, clothing-friendly, with intuitive control and handsome good looks - without a price that would break the bank. It was nearly impossible to find. The bikes of Europe are locavorian in tendency - heavy, archaic, expensive. Simply put: regional answers to regional problems. We came to realize we needed a North American solution but something that wasn't from California. Something that could handle all the rust of the Northeast Rust-belt. Something investment-grade.
Simcoe is a product of intense collaboration. It was engineered and sourced by Dave Anthony, former head of R&D at Toronto's Cervelo. It was packaged by the clever folks at Toronto's 100 Acre Wood. It features a special Brooks B68 with matching Pantone laces. And, we here at Curbside consulted on the complete specifications. The reviews are pouring in. Momentum Magazine called it "a bike designed for North America" and Lovely Bicycle gave great accolades, saying "the bike maneuvers, accelerates and progresses uphill nicely, especially considering its relaxed feel and length." Not to mention good looking, which is perhaps why it was featured in the Globe and Mail's super-fancy Style magazine.
But a bicycle is always about the ride, and this bike cruises and cuts it way through traffic. A city bike is supposed to be highly agile yet fundamentally stable - and the Simcoe balances these safeties and sensibilities with remarkable aplomb. But more impressive was the durability of the bike. We were given a prototype from Simcoe with the command to ride it all winter - and what a winter to ride a bike! Tons of salt. Tons of snow. And, yet nary a spot of rust. That's amazing. The Simcoe, like the heavy zinc-coated Dutch bikes we still import, has an amazing coat of paint - and that's important in a city where bikes are locked up next to metal poles all day. This bike may be the first bike designed for the Northeast in the past three decades.
Best of all is the price. Starting at only $729, the Simcoe is priced the same as competing brands like Linus, but has way more features packed under the hood. Clearly, this is a bike designed from experience. Canada has always produced some pretty amazing global bicycle companies, whether it was the CCM of old or revolutionary brands like Cervelo and Devinci. Its clear from our tests that Simcoe shares very much the same DNA. Come on in and take one around the block!