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05/22/2011: "A Visit to Linus"
On a spin through the Westside this morning, I stopped for coffee on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, and before unlocking the Bottecchia and heading on toward the Bridge, I lifted my little camera out of the pannier and took a stroll up and down that still-bohemian street, to see what I could see.

What I saw was a phalanx of nice-looking little city bikes lined up behind the sidewalk, with a sign indicating that "Linus Bikes" could be found at the end of a narrow passage leading behind the streetfront stores.

So I went in, of course, and found the Linus Showroom, which is a trim little cottage with a workstand, a shelf of accessories, and a whole lot of bikes propped all around in the courtyard.

Linus makes what look like practical, lightweight city bikes, designed in Los Angeles (but made, as are oh-so-many others, in Taiwan or, as in this case, China). Simple, strong frames, a classic aesthetic, capable geometries (to look at them; I suggested they might cut one loose far one of my one-month road tests), and a variety of portage choices, along with (usually) fenders, make them look like a good choice for utility riding that will break neither the bank nor your back.

If I get ahold of one to torture for a few hundred miles, I'll let you know how it does; meanwhile, here are some pix of these inexpensive but classic-looking little bikes.

Linus Bikes on display on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, in Venice Beach

The secret passage....

A gaggle of city bikes

A squadron of scorchers, complete with flip-flop hubs for getting real!

Brooks saddles, baskets, sweet canvas panniers, and other stuff

I have been seeing Linus bikes all over town, too, so it seems that the folks who buy them actually use them day to day. Find a local dealer here.

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