BENNO BALLOONER D8
A pleasure to meet you
Walk into any bike store these days and ask if biking is fun. Most bike stores view a bike ride as a series of performance metrics. How fast did you go? What was your average watt output? Even most hybrid bikes assume some imaginary spin-class instructor yelling to go faster, faster, faster! But what if you enjoy the simple pleasure of a bicycle ride? One that has the glorious comfort of a Dutch bike but without all the serious commuting hardware? Enter the Ballooner. A bicycle that remembers that riding a bicycle is a pure delight.
RE-TIRE THE RACER
The bicycle tire is truly an amazing invention. It is filled with air because air pressure can provide a balance of comfort and efficiency. Most bikes use narrow tires for speed. But, how many bikes sacrifice comfort for speed? The Ballooner isn't a fast bike, but it definitely isn't slow either. Instead, it takes efficiency seriously. Efficiency isn't out to win races, it's more a state of whimsy and fun, it's a balanced ratio of pedalling and pleasure. The Ballooner also takes comfort seriously, borrowing the upright position of European bicycles with fearless tires that can jump onto gravel at a moments notice. The ride is plush, but efficient. It may not win races, but it will win the perfect summer afternoon.
Let's see what makes this bike so special!
THE SWEET SPOT
It's not often an engineer with the caliber of Benno Baenziger approaches the 'everyday bicycle' as his muse - most bicycle engineers are engaged in Tour De France bikes or adrenaline Mountain machines. But Benno is a cool guy. Originally from Germany, he knows the pleasure of riding a bike the way a German couple might go for a ride to talk about the day, or the way you might go out for a pedal to clear your mind. That means designing bikes that are engineered to feel smooth, plush, pleasurable, and still very quick on their feet (or wheels!).
In a world of bikes where fun is always serious fun, the Benno bikes take engineering seriously so you can enjoy fun in its most simple and pure state. That's what riding is all about!
The Pneumatic Tire has come a long long way.
Only about four years ago, if you bought a bike with a wide tire it was guaranteed slow. Why? Because the added width created drag, but even more-so, the high air volume and low air pressure meant the ride was squishy and spongy. No longer!
The perfect tire would offer a good footprint for stability and higher pressure for efficiency. Thankfully, this tire has arrived! Today's wide tires inflate to a comfortable and quick 60PSI and offer a wide footprint that is courageous over streetcar tracks, and can also hop between gravel or concrete whenever your heart desires!
FRAMING THE STORY
Because the Ballooner is made of aluminum it is very, very light and easy to ride longer distances or up hills.
But, isn't aluminum often considered to be a harsher ride? It's true. Aluminum does deliver a lot more road vibration up the frame and into the rider. But here again, the Ballooner tires come to the rescue! They soak up a ton of vibration while still remaining quick.
But, there's more going on with the Ballooner than just frame materials. A good bike is always about math. How do the various angles and lengths contribute to a great ride? The Ballooner sits like a Dutch bike but climbs like a mountain goat. It cruises like a luxury car but has the agility of a sports car. It sits safely above traffic yet has a balanced low centre of gravity.
Materials + math! Who knew a bike could be so serious and so fun?
1x, OR: ONE-BY
If you visit a bike shop these days a lot of staff will talk about 1x gearing, or "one by." What on earth does that mean?
It means we've all come to realize that bikes are often sold with too many gears! If you don't use them, they just provide more maintenance. So, why not give the rider all they need?
A 1x system simply means there is one chainring on the crankset (where the pedals are) rather than three. You get a nice wide range in the back - on the rear wheel - and that covers you for pretty much anything a short or long city ride can throw at you.
Now, go for a ride!
THE BENNO BALLOONER D8
HOW DOES IT COMPARE?
BALLOONER D8 VS BALLOONER D24
MSRP $999 (CDN)
HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT?
1x8 drivetrain is low on maintenance and might be all the gears you need!
V-brakes are powerful and keep the bikes cost low
What's the difference between the D8 and D24? The D24 has a much wider gear range for climbing hills or spending longer afternoons in the saddle. It also has more powerful all-weather disc brakes. Then again, the D8 keeps things simple with a 1x8 drivetrain that offers commuters lower maintenance and short-distance riders all the gears they need!
HOW ARE THEY SIMILAR?
Lightweight aluminum frame designed for max comfort and efficiency
Wide high-pressure tires that feel plush and roll efficiently
Comfortable seats and grips
Comes equipped with fenders and kickstand
MSRP $1199 (CDN)
HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT?
3x9 drivetrain provides tons of climbing and speed range with lots of choice in between
Powerful disc brakes are all-weather and great in the city
ACCESSORIES WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND
Your Ballooner is ready for the streets but make sure to protect it and yourself! Here is a list of accessories we recommend for the Ballooner, whether a good lock and antitheft wheel skewers, to fashionable bolt-on lights that are bright and hard to steal.
Why do we love the Ballooner? Because it makes cycling pleasurable again!
- It's a great quality bike that takes comfort and efficiency seriously
- It's wide tires are at once plush but also quick on their feet
- It's wide tires can also jump between gravel and concrete on a whim!
- It's wide tires also feel secure and safe in potholed city streets
- It's low maintenance 1x8 drivetrain makes it a great spring/summer/fall commuter bike
- It's one fine looking machine!
From Our Buyer...
"Curbside has become rather famous for its fashionable no-nonsense city bikes, but we recognize that many of our customers want that wonderful upright feel without needing all sorts of serious commuting hardware. While Benno could be the perfect fair-weather commuter it's also a bike that puts a smile on our face and is a pure joy to ride"
Benno Bikes is the lovechild of Benno Baenziger, a Berlin-born bicycle designer who dreamed of living in San Diego with a surfboard under his feet. Perhaps there's a aesthetic connection between the pleasure of California surf culture and Germany's bike culture. As importers of German bikes we are no strangers to watching couples ride on bike paths, talking and joking and having a good ride. This is quite different from the North American bike industry which seems to revolve around solo conquest, whether winning races, riding a difficult trail, or achieving your personal best. There's nothing wrong with that, but there is a moment where riding a bike is like surfing a wave; a sheer pleasure, something mystical, something to do with balance and movement. Like ourselves here at Curbside, Benno is another voice in the market reminding the industry that cycling is for everyone, and that cycling is fun. His bikes may have aesthetic resonances of surf culture but underneath they are practical machines with a very German commitment to engineering. They are great fair-weather commuters, or, of course, they are a terrific way to meet up with a friend and catch up on the week ahead or behind. That's what cycling is all about!
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TALK TO AN EXPERT!
We're available in-store, by phone, or even video conference!