Cooper Bikes – Single Speed/Fixed Gear Bicycles

By - October 26th, 2009

cooper-bikes2

While the bicycle craze seem to be catching every industry possible with their versions of single speed, fixed gear or even BMX bicycles, the newly released Cooper Bikes bicycle range from Mini Cooper might be a good thing as it would be a more economical and environmental way to get around the city. They have produced 4 bicycles with two distinct styles in T100 and T200 lines.

There are Sebring and Monza from T100 series that are more suited for urban riding with bull horn bars and riser bars as well as deeper wheel sets. On the other hand the T200 series consists of Championship 50 and Reims that takes a more classic silhouette with drop bars, threaded stems and flat rims. All of the bicycles come with leather Brooks saddles and flip flop hubs that can interchange between fixed gear and single speed as well as front and rear brakes.

> Cooper Bikes

cooper-bikes3

cooper-bikes1

cooper-bikes

4 comments
Rotten Punky
Rotten Punky

Sounds like sour grapes, Real Steel. Why are you named after a crap movie? The true magic of the cooper brand died along with the real Mini back in the nineties. This is an interpretation of that old breed. Nationalism regarding the origin of componantry is dull and borders on small mindedness. The bike's identity, in fact any bike's national identity comes from the design. The whole is more than the sum of the parts. Stop missing the point. love something for what it means not what it is.

realsteel
realsteel

Cooper Bikes are produced in Taiwan by Maxway (see the rear drop outs for manufacturer verification). The Sturmey Archer brand name is now owned by Asian manufacturer Sun Race. The Sturmey Archer components are now produced in Asia by Sun Race and its assignees, for example the front hubs are most likely manufactured by Formula of Asia. The Sturmey Archer labeled crank sets most likely are produced by Sun Race or one of its assignees and again of Asian origin. The Reynolds 520 tubing is an entry level, butted cro-moly tubing about the same quality as any other Asian produced butted cro-moly tubing. The Reynolds web site states: "The Reynolds '520' range uses the same alloy, made under license for us in Taiwan and subject to the same quality standards." There are other Maxway produced bicycles with similar (if not better) specifications and leather saddles, including Brooks branded saddles, for around the $850 to $900 price range by such brand names as Raleigh and Torelli in the US which is below the $1175 target retail price. Our industry insights lead us to speculate that the higher pricing may be due to an additional profit layer in the US distribution channel. The Cooper T 100 series geometries are longer wheel based, longer top tube geometries configurations so they can not considered purely as track bikes but more as slacker geometry track styled commuter bicycles. The lack of rack and fender braze on fittings limits the use of such accessories to seat post clamped racks and brake bolt mounted mini fenders instead of the full on rack and fender applications preferred by most commuters. That being said it is not a full on track bike or commuter bike but something in between, therefore, it is difficult to define Cooper’s design goals for the T 100 offerings. The short stack height of the ahead stem/headset system also diminishes this bikes ability to adjust the handle bar height for a more relaxed commuter setting which further inhibits this bikes comfort and adjustability factors since a complete stem change is necessary for higher handle bar positioning. We do not know how much of the Mini Cooper automobile production is done in England but we can say none of the Cooper bicycle T100 series production is done there except for possibly the saddles! The T200 Reims/T200 CHAMPIONSHIP 50/T250 Aintree Series are fabricated with Reynolds 531 butted tubing. This is a Manganese/Molybdenum steel alloy that only lends itself to lugged construction executions. 531 tubing was one of the most dominant, original race bicycle tubing choices for high end racing bikes from the 1960’s/1970’s era. It was the advent of Asian bicycle production at the time made this tubing and fabrication obsolete. The time consuming, complicated and geometry limiting aspects of lugged frame fabrications that this tubing required fell out of favor in the world of mass produced bicycles. Due to the advent in the current bicycle market for retro styling and use of popularly past materials and fabrication techniques 531 lugged frames have found their way back to Asian fabrication facilities. The drawback is that these Asian mass production offerings do not have the same ride quality for which these materials were famous and the liveliness and responsiveness of the frames is often diminished by modern mass production fabrication methods. The Cooper US target retail pricing is again is higher when compared to other market counter parts utilizing Reynolds 531 lugged frames and our industry insights lead us to speculate that the higher pricing may be due to an additional profit layer in the US distribution channel. The T200 Reims and T250 Aintree are targeted to be priced at $1750, the T200 Championship 50 is targeted to be priced at $1650. Those prices are for Asian produced bicycles with Asian components regardless of their British nomenclatures with the possible exception of the Brooks saddles and there are many more affordably priced offerings in the US market with similar specifications.

bicycles4ever
bicycles4ever

Nice urban/commuter line with sporty looks, interesting component selection and the ever present "have to have" Brooks saddle!!!

bicycles4ever
bicycles4ever

Nice urban/commuter line with sporty looks, interesting component selection and the everpresent "have to have" Brooks saddle!!!