On review with Commute by Bike is the Velorbis Churchill Balloon. It’s a Danish style bike built in Germany and distributed here in the States by the Dutch Bicycle Company. This is the first Dutch style comfort bike that has ever been reviewed on this site and the first that I’ve ridden more than around a parking lot.
I was excited when the Dutch Bicycle Company asked as to review a Velorbis as it’s the type of bike I’ve been wanting to review on this site for awhile. However, I was a bit apprehensive as most of my commuting has been done on fixie/singlespeeds and cross bikes. The idea of sitting completely upright was a little weird and I was wondering how much I would like it.
Plus, by the looks of the bike, I felt like I needed a pipe and knickers to properly ride it.
The first trip I took on the bike was a mile round trip to the grocery store and people driving by must have thought I was a lunatic by the grin on my face. The bike is flat out fun to ride.
And after putting over 100 miles on this bike over the past couple weeks, I’m still having a blast on it and am ready to point out a few of the features that have jumped out at me as a first impression.
The bike overall is well thought out. I haven’t had anything come to mind that I wished they would have done differently. All the way down to the extra metal piece welded on to protect the rear derailleur.
I love the stock rear rack. Two features that stand out is the hook on the side for carrying grocery bags and the spring loaded flap on top to hold things secure. This is especially nice for my trips to the grocery as I can slide my empty grocery bags under the flap on the way there and then hang them on the side on the way home.
The overall look of the bike is fantastic. I love it’s Danish heritage and all of the Brooks components. The saddle, saddle bag, mud flap and grips are all Brooks brand. The rest of the bike is beautiful with the frame, chain guard, fenders, etc all matching. This is a seriously good looking bike that comes with all the bits you’ll need out of the box for your daily commute.
The rest of the specs and pictures are below and I’ll be continuing my review of the Churchill Balloon in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
Frame: Luged Chromoly Tubing frame made in Germany (size 23″)
Fork: Full Chromoly + cable guides
B.B. shell: Kinex alu
Crankset: 46t Steel dogleg
Chain guard: half closed for 46t
Rims: Van Shothorst stainless 26 x 1.75
Spokes: Stainless 2mm front and 2,34 rear
Front hub: Sturmey Archer X-FDD 6v x 3w
Rear hub: SRAM S7 Gear Hub
Sprocket: SRAM 20t
Tires: Schwalbe 26 x 1.75 with 3m and Reflective band
Mudguards: Retro model 451 with nose
Tubes: Schwalbe 26 x 1.75c with AUTO valve
Chain: Z410 RB KMC Rustless
Seat post: Kalloy SP-907 Chromoly. 26.8 Chrom plated
Saddle: Brooks B66 Antique Brown Leather
Headset: Neco H131 36mm Chrome Plated 22.2 x 30 x 27 8 pcs
Stem: KY40/promax HS503s stainless high polished 250mm silver
Handlebar: Zoom NR 14 steel Chrome Plated
Shifter: SRAM S7 Shifter
Grips: Brooks leather antique brown
Mud flap front wheel: Brooks leather antique brown
Front brake: Sturmey Archer drum brake (S.A. X-FDD 6v x 3w)
Brake lever: Promax 4 fingers round lever
Rear Carrier: BOMI classic with bracket holder for lap top
Reflectors: NA included in tyres and head lamp
Pedals: Union classic model anti slip
Kickstand: thran steel galvanized
Bell: ring ring”chrome plated
Rear light: Bush & Muller 4D lite Plus 339 ALK
Front light: Bush & Muller 1706CSNDi Lumotec Retro senso plus
Weight: 19.7 kg or 43.4 lbs