Le Vélo Victoria reviews the Lochside Cycles Ariel
PRICE: $599,00 CA
FIND IT AT: http://www.lochsidecycles.com
Lochside Cycles started in 2014, it is the brain child of brothers Richard and Brian, along with long-time friend Jeff. Lochside is a Victoria owned bicycle retailer. Their extra appeal is that they design every model that carries the Lochside name. Lochside Cycles is about one thing: getting more people on bikes. Now you're speaking my language.
The Ariel is a step-through city bike with matching chain guard and fenders, 5-speed internally geared hub, which allows for easy-to-adjust speeds and upright geometry so you can cruise in comfort.
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With the idea of getting more people on bikes, Lochside’s mission is to keep things functional and stylish with an affordable price tag. Functionally designed with a European vibe. Built for urban riders and designed to keep you stylish on the bike.
I’m a big fan of traditional Dutch bicycles and I was thrilled to see a local bike retailer pop up offering the same look and vibe, so I had to give one a test ride. I was thrilled that the bike frame comes in so many sizes, I chose the 56cm for riders 5'8" - 6'1"tall. I'm almost 5'9" and I could have gone down to the 54cm frame size but I’m use to riding large Dutch bicycles and the larger frame just feels right for riding.
The first thing I noticed was the colour! It’s really pretty and reminded me of the Magnolia blossoms currently in bloom. The colour description says it’s coral but I would describe it as pink with tangerine overtones. Hopping on the bike for my first ride, I started on a steep incline, I found the gears to shift easily. I felt the handlebars were a bit narrow but that’s because I ride a Dutch bicycle with much wider handlebars, having said that, it really only took me a few minutes to adjust to the difference. Once I got going the bike felt strong and I found myself totally relaxing in the comfort of the upright position.
I would love to see an integrated front light for night riding. I think the kickstand is awesome as it keeps the bike upright when parked, but when you add a basket to the front and fill it with your stuff the added weight to the handlebars could make it easier to tip over; a double kickstand would solve that issue. But to be fair, the handlebars didn't swing with the weight, you just need to be aware of the extra weight when you park the bike. Something else that I’ve come to love on my bikes is a rear wheel lock, this would also be an awesome addition to this great city bike or perhaps as an accessory option when making the purchase?
The Ariel is ideal for the urban rider with classic sensibilities who is looking for an upright bicycle without the weight and girth of the classic Dutch bicycle. It is ideal for those living in apartments with stairs, I found it to be quite manageable to carry her up stairs. The Ariel is meant for daily rides in the city, to work, running errands and out to dinner parties with friends. Wearing a long dress, skirts and pants are not a problem as the Ariel comes with a chain guard, front and back fenders to protect your clothes and to stop the splash. She also comes with Sturmey-Archer 5-speed internally geared hub allows for easy-to-adjust speeds and upright geometry so you can cruise in comfort and style.
I’ve ridden a lot of “upright city bikes” but the Ariel is the first non-European bike that actually is upright, there’s no leaning forward, the bike feels light and solid with comfortable and easy riding. The Ariel gets and A+ from Le Vélo Victoria.