Quebec, Canada's Urbana bikes hit the streets in 2009 and have since built a reputation north of the US border for being easy to ride and nearly indestructible. The company are now on the move pushing their one model, the Classic, down into the States.
Yes, they only have one model. However, they offer a neat interactive configuration chart on their website that allows you to personalize the Classic to your style and needs. You can pick the gearing (single, three/seven/eight-speed or a Nuvinci Continuously Variable hub), specify fenders (SKS P60, $70) and/or a rack, and choose from one of 12 colors. Prices range from US$999 for the singlespeed to $1,899 with the Nuvinci hub and Gates Carbon Drive belt drive.
The top model comes with a Nuvinci CVT hub and Gates Carbon Belt Drive
The Classic's frame design is patented and uses 2in-diameter aluminum tubes. "It's one of the stiffest step-through bikes available, which gives it a stiff, stable ride, and makes it easy to maneuver," Haniya Hussain, Urbana's marketing manager, told BikeRadar. Along with the unique frame, Urbana designed the NiddePoule (French for pothole) tires. These massive 26x2.6in tires have reflective accents, two layers of puncture protection and three layers of bead wire, which Urbana claim makes them pothole-proof. They're only available with the complete bike.
Urbana's 'pothole proof' 2.6in NiddePoule tires
Urbana's RNR rear rack ($110) comes as an option on the bike, and is also available aftermarket. The rack is built with the same purpose as the frame, which is to be the strongest on the market. Urbana tested its fatigue, load and lateral stiffness before giving it a rating to carry 150lb of dynamic weight. Urbana's only US dealer is Working Dog Bicycles in Seattle, Washington, though they hope to become more prolific Stateside in 2012.