The utterly desirable Budnitz Titanium bikes
If you're looking to invest in a high-end, all-purpose bicycle that will last a lifetime, then feast your eyes on the beautiful lines of the No1 and No2 luxury bikes built by Paul Budnitz. Each of the two models currently available is based around a lightweight but strong Titanium frame, from which flows a veritable cyclist's wish list of components.
Budnitz is probably best known as the founder of Kidrobot, makers of art toys, fashion apparel and accessories. He's also an author, makes films, and designs and builds bikes positively brimming with Titanium hardware. His elegant No1 and No2 bikes are both handmade in the U.S.
At the heart of both models is a Titanium Cantilever frame that's said to be as light as carbon fiber, stronger than steel, and rust and corrosion-proof. The frame's curved tube bends under pressure to absorb road shock, and sports mounts for a rack and a water bottle. Gear and brake cables are hidden inside the frame rather than spoiling the gorgeous lines. The half-crown fork at the front is also Titanium, as is the stem and seat post.
Although an SRAM 10-speed chain and gears option is available, riders are also given the opportunity to take advantage of a Gates carbon belt-driven single speed drive, or a belt-driven Shimano Alfine 11-speed internal hub. Elsewhere there's Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes, Davinci design crank with MKS Touring Lite pedals, Chris King No-Threadset head, a Phil Wood bottom bracket and a choice of Fizik or Brookes saddles.
The No1 commuting bike features 25-inch (63.5-cm), no-rise cold-forged Titanium handlebars, Velocity Blunt 700c rims and either Schwalbe Kojak 35C or Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 40C tires.
No2 was apparently created for joy rides on sunny spring days and errands around town, and has 24-inch (61-cm) handlebars, 29-inch Velocity Blunt rims at the front and 26-inch at the back, and Schwalbe Big Apple Liteskin 2.35-inch super-fat tires.
Both Budnitz bikes are priced at US$5,500 a piece and come in three frame sizes. There's a 60 to 90 day production window.