In our catalog one of the tag-lines for the Coaster reads, “Bike riding is beautiful because it’s simple… Here’s our most simple bike.” That sincere statement sums up the Coaster models pretty well. Bike riding can be lots of things other than “simple” of course, but one thread that runs through all forms of cycling is that at its very core we still feel that little buzz of enjoyment from simply balancing on two wheels.
When we started designing the Coaster some years ago it was in the heat of the “Fixie” craze. We never felt in tune with that world for the simple fact that we like to coast down hills. Still, the sparse aesthetic of a fixed gear bike with out brakes and cables hanging off is one that we appreciate. Also, there is a lot to be said for a bike so “simple” in design that it needs minimal maintenance. For our Coaster we chose to use an old-school Coaster brake. If you’re not sure what that is you probably had one on your first bike as a kid. It’s a brake inside the rear hub that you activate by back pedaling. It doesn’t require any cables or a brake lever, and you can lay down some mean skids. Of course now we also have added the Coaster in a UK Spec version that has a freewheel rear hub and two hand brakes. In both incarnations of the Coaster “Keepin’ it simple keeps it fun”.
I sometimes find that people who don’t ride a lot of bikes think that they need a bike with gears. Having gears to shift through does indeed make climbing hills easier, but it can also complicate the act of riding a bike. Having more moving parts means there is more things to keep in adjustment and more things that can go wrong with your bike. I wouldn’t want to discourage someone from getting a geared bike because really keeping a bike like that in order isn’t that difficult, but I do encourage people to consider a single speed. If you can keep air in the tires a simple bike like the Coaster is pretty much going to keep working for you (and keep you riding).
The 2015 Coaster includes the small upgrade to a KMC Rust Buster chain. The chain is coated with a rust inhibiting coating that will simplify bike upkeep that much more (you should still drop a bit of chain lube on there now and then). As always the Coaster uses a sealed bearing, press-fit Mid bottom bracket. The Chromoly 3 piece cranks are strong and durable.
On the Coaster with the coaster-brake we use a Shimano coaster-brake hub. This is pretty old school technology here, but it’s easy and it has worked on bikes for eons. Often times folks who are really into bikes are turned off by the idea of a coaster brake but we have seen many a jaded bike mechanic fall in love with the throw-back appeal of riding a bike this easy to use. It does make you feel like a kid again, and it strips away a certain amount of high-performance expectations you might have for a bike. Instead, you just enjoy the ride itself. For those who don’t know bikes as well having an easy to understand braking system is nice too.
The UK Spec version of the Coaster has a freewheel (clicky thing in the back wheel) and two dual pivot caliper brakes. Very straight forward bike here.
Version 2 Archer bars are comfortable on this bike and somehow give it a character all its own… something about this bikes feel makes us smile when we ride it. We hope you will enjoy one as much as we have.