We first saw Coast bikes' Buzzraw and Quinn at last year’s Taipei bike show. At this year's show I finally got to take both of these crazy-looking fat-tyred urban wonders out for a spin.
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Coast was formed back in 2012 in the company’s native Singapore. The original concept was to create bikes that are built for carrying and commuting with a bit more of a stylish edge than your average about-town machine.
Let's start with the Quinn. In its raw form, the Quinn’s simple lines hide a multitude of add-ons and accessories to create a tough little urban machine. It’s by far Coast’s most ‘normal’ bike with its fat-tyred 20” wheels and disc brakes.
The main frame’s twin top tube creates a nicely sized slot for a bag and the twin downtube is bridged with a wooden insert to keep your bag dry and free of spray from those fat tyres.
The ride is one that’ll put a smile on your face, as those fat tyres encourage you to chuck the Quinn into corners while the big volume smoothness eats up rough roads and can take a bit of curb jumping abuse with it.
Coast’s Tony Tan explains that rather than make an ever-extending range they’ve left the frame adaptable to run a multitude of drivetrain options and pedal-assistance.
The base model Quinn comes with a Gates CDN belt driving a single speed rear wheel. Second up is a Shimano Nexus 3-spd hub, with the second option (which we tried) running a Gates belt through a BB-mounted Pinion 6 speed.
The Pinion drive is impressively smooth and far quicker than a hub-gear to switch between ratios.
Describing a bike like the Quinn as the normal option of these two bikes just shows quite how differently Coast looks at urban bike design.
The second bike we took for a spin is the frankly mad-looking Buzzraw, which looks like a mash-up of a Honda monkey bike, fat-bike and a classic Schwinn Orange crate, or Raleigh Chopper.
The Buzzraw is a bike that just made me smile the minute I got on it. The super-wide treaded balloon tyres roll over anything with ease, and the long bench seat offers ample room for carrying a passenger.
The model I tested was the e250W pedal assist version and scooting around the Taipei show’s road test loop spinning the pedals laid back style at 30kph just leaves you laughing.
The bike is just a massive amount of fun to ride, as in you can’t ride it without a smile on your face. This much fun should be illegal (and in the case of the 1000w model probably is) and we really like Coast’s approach to dispel any thoughts of dour and boring city bikes.
The Buzzraw comes in a multitude of options, from the entry level X4 8 speed at $999, to the e250w tester we tried at $1,979 without batter), and $2,345 with battery shipped with it.
Then there’s a frankly mental e1000w assisted version which Tony happily informs us is good for 60kph plus, which we’d love to give a try. The dubious legality of the 1000w version in the UK/US aside the $3,498 price tag (or $2,788 without a battery) would still give plenty of fun.
The Buzzraw is a bike that I have absolutely no need for, but I seriously want one. Isn’t that the very definition of the N+1 bike?