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Brilliant Bicycle Co. L Train & Brooklyn Bikes’ new 3-speeders keep NYC commuters rolling

Brooklyn Bicycle Co, girl with Franklin
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Do you love New York? It’s a city that a lot of people take pride in calling home, like the folks at both Brilliant and Brooklyn Bicycle Co. for starters. Like any big city, it’s also heavily congested and an ideal place to get around via pedal power.

Check out a few commuter bikes coming out of the Big Apple, including Brilliant Bicycle Co.’s aptly named L Train and Brooklyn Bikes’ updated Bedford and Franklin models, which now come with 3-speed internal rear hubs.

Brilliant Bicycle Co. L Train

Brilliant Bicycle Co L Train, Hudson Blue, side

Two years ago Brilliant Bicycle Co. was created by David Weiner, the man behind Priority Bicycles. Their L Train bike was recently released as Brilliant’s response to New York’s well-used L Train subway line closing for over a year to undergo repairs. As their press release jokes, “There’s a new L train coming to New York City, and this one won’t shut down for maintenance.” The L Train bears a Brooklyn-influenced aesthetic, and includes the key features riders need for getting from Brooklyn to Manhattan… or around whatever city they live in.

Brilliant Bicycle Co L Train, Gates carbon belt drive

The L Train frame is made from double-butted 4130 chromoly, and it’s fitted with a cr-mo fork. The frame has mounts for fenders, racks or baskets, and bottle cages on the down and seat tubes. The bike rolls on 700x32mm tires, and features a Shimano seven speed internal rear hub for tackling hilly areas. The wheels are driven by what’s probably the bike’s best feature – a grease-free, low-maintenance Gates carbon belt drive.

Brilliant Bicycle Co L Train, front end
*Photos c. Brilliant Bicycle Co.

Other components include an FSA threadless headset, Shimano V-Brakes, alloy platform pedals, and of course the stylish leather-look saddle and grips. The complete L Train weighs 27lbs (size not specified), and frames come in S/M/L sizes.

The L Train is available in either a Subway Grey color (in tribute to the L Train’s subway logo), or Hudson Blue as a nod to Brilliant Bicycle Co.’s showroom location in Tribeca, NY. The L Train is available for $650 USD via Brilliant’s website. If you live in NY, you can take one for a test ride by visiting their Tribeca showroom.

Brooklyn Bikes’ new 3-speeds

Brooklyn Bicycle Co Bedford 3-speed, black, side

For 2018 Brooklyn Bicycle Co. has updated two of their existing city bikes, and added new internally geared 3-speed versions of both. The double-diamond Bedford model boasts improved frame geometry and new handlebars with less back sweep. Most notably, the Bedford 3-speed now offers buyers an internally geared option, bridging a gap between the existing single speed and externally geared 7-speed Bedford models.

Brooklyn Bicycle Co Bedford 3-speed, front

The Bedford 3-speed features a steel frame and fork, with mounts for carrier racks and one bottle cage. Shimano’s Nexus 3-speed hub provides a little gear range, and the wheels are built to last with a sealed front hub, double-walled alloy rims and 700x32c puncture-resistant tires.

Other components include cushy Selle Royal vegan leather saddles and grips, alloy platform pedals, Tektro dual-pivot caliper brakes, and a kickstand. Bedford frames come in S/M/L sizes, and the complete bikes weigh between 28-30lbs. Color choices are Army Green, Matte Black or Ivory.

Brooklyn Bicycle Co Franklin 3-speed, ivory, side
*Photos c. Brooklyn Bicycle Co.

The Franklin 3-speed is a step-through city cruiser that also now comes with Shimano’s Nexus rear hub. Again, this new model jumps in between the single and 7-speed versions of the Frankin.

The Franklin’s frame and fork are made from durable steel, with fittings for a bottle cage and carrier racks. Most of the key components are shared with the Bedfords, but the Franklin also comes with a set of color-matched fenders and a full chainguard to keep you clean and dry.

The S/M size Franklin rolls on 26” tires, while the Large frame moves up to 700x35c. There are five colors to choose from, and complete Franklins hit the scales between 31-33lbs. Both the 3-speed Bedford and Franklin are available for $499 from Brooklyn Bicycle Co.’s website.

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James Fryer
6 years ago

Not sure where or how the “Brooklyn-influenced aesthetic” fits in here, but theses are clean, functional bikes at reasonable prices, so… thumbs up.

6 years ago

You must be recently relocated or not living in nyc to buy one of these… besides the fact all other companies who tried to make similar bikes – in nyc – only lasted a couple of years.
Why would anyone buy these over a Linus, which are quite cheaper and way better looking (personal opinion)?
Why would anybody buy a Linus or similar when for a fraction of the price you can buy an old mtb or 3-spd which are made of good steel and are not going to rust after 1 winter – as these new bikes do?(personal opinion)

6 years ago
Reply to  Pinko

Style, Pinko, style. You are definitely correct that an old mtb with a plastic milk crate is fully functional for experienced cyclist who can do their own tweaks and maintenance. But that great looking Brilliant Bicycle with internal 7 speed and gates drive makes such good sense for people who are commuters first, cyclist second.

6 years ago
Reply to  Pinko

Panko, personal opinions appreciated but factually speaking, Linus does not do an internal three speed below $500 or an internal 7 or 8 speed below $700. I have never heard of Brilliant but Priority has been well reviewed and Brooklyn is a perennial member of the “Best” lists.

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