Base Urban: Utilitarian Fixed And Internal-Geared Belt Drive Bicycles

Base Urban Bicycles are brought to us by Flying Machine Bicycle Design Studio, the same people who design Sexy Bicycles. With Sexy Bicycles, Flying Machine went for, I guess…sexiness more than utility — shocking colors and crazy designs. But Base Urban seems to be all about pragmatism and purpose. They only offer four models: all of them made of chromoly aircraft tubing; all of them belt-driven; two of them fixed gear; two of them internally-geared; two of them drop-barred; and two of them flat-barred. Both the Shimano Alfine internally-geared models have dual cable actuated disc brakes as well.

Shown above is the RD2.0, one of the internally geared, disc brake-havin’ bikes. Photos of its drop-barred brother and the fixed gears (and brief specs) after the break.

The RD1.0 uses a Sussex 8 speed shifter to operate its Shimano Alfine hub.

The Fx1.0: belt drive fixed gear.

The FX2.0: belt drive, fixed gear, with riser bars.

Our old friend the Rd2.0. The thing looks like a commuting juggernaut. I strenuously approve.

More info at Base Urban’s web site.

Comments

Paul - 03/08/11 - 2:52pm

good to see them using quality parts, i’m all about some alfine/internal gear. not so hot on belt drive, but whatever.

these frames can only be described as homely in appearance, and it’s only made worse by the deep dish rims and absurd spoke patterns which only draw more attention to some of the awful aero frame designs. it doesn’t say where the frames are made on their website but i have my suspicions. i can’t really take the company seriously and the name doesn’t really help either.

so thumbs up on commuting bikes, but keep it modest only someone who craves attention would get excited about aesthetic appeal of these bicycles (which is nearly all they have to offer). i wonder what they cost?

looks like some of the frames are made out of airplane chromoly! airplane huh? looks like most of their models are smattered with tektro and orgin 8 equivalent parts spec. which wouldn’t be a problem except that these things start at somewhere around 1400US dollars…if you are in Australia and don’t need to ship it. bad call on the review there Thom P everyone should strenuously disapprove of these bicycles. they come off as an attempt at exploiting the recent popularity in fixed gear’s and such which plague the bicycle scene today.

Chris - 03/08/11 - 3:03pm

what is “cro-molly”?

#corrections

Paul - 03/08/11 - 3:11pm

chromoly is a widely used, and for some reason as prevalent as it is the industry can’t seem to decide how to spell it. i’ve seen it spelled about 4 different ways.

Paul - 03/08/11 - 6:08pm

whoa deleting comments?? didn’t like hearing a semi negative review or something? you could have had a response instead of just outright deleting what people have to say. you know these bikes are pretty wank-tastic let the people know the truth!!

Kristibee - 03/08/11 - 6:35pm

Paul, we approve comments as they come in. Occasionally we are not in the office and it may take us a day or two to review the comments. First time commenters are not automatically approved. We do not delete comments unless they are grossly offensive, or are blatant character attacks, or spam.

Editz - 03/08/11 - 6:36pm

Just don’t ask them to spell Molybdenum.

Ben - 03/08/11 - 6:40pm

Where can I get one and what are the prices?

fleche1454 - 03/08/11 - 8:21pm

i see one frame done over and over again, people have done this before
link related its on par with these awesome builds above.
http://tinyurl.com/47z6sxl

@paul: wank-tastic” i lol’d good there

@ben: sorry i can’t help you there, quality like this isn’t found in any bike shop i know of

Nick Burklow - 03/08/11 - 8:53pm

The RD1.o and RD2.0 seem like they would make SWEET commuter bikes. The only two issues I see are that they are missing rack bolt mounts on the seat stays, and do not seem to have fender eyelets on the dropouts, while the eyelets are present on the fork. Those seem like odd omissions on a bike these these.

Rusty - 03/09/11 - 9:34am

Seems like traditionally spoked wheels would have been a better (and less ugly) way to go.

Paul - 03/09/11 - 8:35pm

whoops yeah my bad, i had clicked the link and my comment didn’t load a few times in a row so i assumed the worst. doh!

rick - 03/16/11 - 11:16pm

$1250, and can be gotten through the site but they will try to get you to work through a shop local to you

Tom Meraw - 04/02/11 - 2:23am

I don’t think the frames are so ugly (the style reminds me of old GT freestyle BMX frames) but I would never purchase a bike named Base Urban, or Sexy for that matter. I’m not a fan of those wheels either, but I do think that the black and white RD1.0 looks pretty sweet.

NotABikeDude - 01/26/12 - 5:02pm

I think this bike looks sick. For people hating hard on this bike – I’m happy to ignore preferences on brand names, current trends, how lame people are who like attention, etc. But I would appreciate a little more info on the quality side. There seems to be some allusion to the notion that the parts are not quality and overall this bike is more a gimmick than a quality product.

If there are reasons to avoid this bike outside of branding and design, I would be really curious to hear about it. I’m not a ‘bike guy’ but am looking for a good, badass commuter and I really like the Alfine 8. I also want to avoid the retro-european style, or the middle aged dad designs. Just not for me. Would love to find something less expensive too.

Any tips appreciated!
Thanks,

BoughtOne - 02/13/12 - 1:09am

I bought one, and I love it.

I’ve never been a bicycle enthusiast, although I’ve enjoyed cycling since way back in the day when I was BMXing in every cul-de-sac I lived in. I was searching for months for a bike that I not only liked the look of, but rode well too. So this review is coming from some one who doesn’t know much about bicycles in general (makes, models, trends, blah) but has a good sense of what a good ride feels like.

The only thing I changed when I bought it was replacing the stem with a shorter one (so I lean forward less cos I’m a little shorter than average). They replaced the chrome one with a white one because it’s all they had, and it looks even hotter cos it ties in the white seat and wheels.

To be honest, if they released a less specced version (no belt drive or disc brakes) I would have bought it without hesitation, but I was sick of window shopping and decided to drop the extra cash on it and just buy it cos it was the closest bike to what I wanted. I paid just under 1300 AUD

I’ve been riding it to work (bout 25 min each way, quite a few hills) every day for a month now, and have no problems. I’m definitely a fan of internal gear hubs now – instant gear changes without peddling, great for getting into gear after a sudden red light. I’m now a big fan of the belt drive too – no grease on my work clothes is a big bonus. And there is something very satisfying about how silent the whole setup it. This bike is also very fast for a commuter, so I’m actually REALLY happy with the disc brakes – very helpful at the bottom of a big hill!

As for aesthetics, I think it’s one of the hottest bikes around. The profile angle pic above doesn’t do it justice – you must eyeball it in person. If you want a bike with a relatively plain paint job, and one without god awful branding and logos all over it, this one is a winner. And who gives a shit if it’s called a Base Urban? The name is nowhere on the bike and who is that superficial that they wouldn’t buy a bike cos of the model name?? And not that this should factor into your decision, but almost EVERY time I take it out, I am complimented on my bike. It is clearly coveted by strangers, which is a good indication of nice design. But all that does is make me nervous that it’ll get stolen, hence I got bike insurance immediately!

All in all, best purchase (bike or not) I’ve made in a long while.

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