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The Achielle Louise - I might be in love

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The Achielle Louise - I might be in love

Old 01-19-14, 04:59 PM
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Giant Doofus 
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The Achielle Louise - I might be in love

Edit: if you want to skip the discussion and see the outcome, skip to post #49 to see what I decided.



I've been searching for a new commuter and think I may have found the one. This is the Louise, made by Belgium bike manufacturer Achielle: http://www.achielle.be/NL/louise.php.

I've been looking for several things in a bike:
A steel step-through frame
Hub brakes
Dyno lighting
Internal gear hub
Plus all the usual suspects: fenders, racks, chain guard/case, etc.

This bike looks like it has it all. Plus, it's gorgeous. I love the split top tube and the colors. "Intense Red" is calling my name. I found this bike after contacting the bike shop A Street Bike Named Desire about a Retrovelo Anna, and they recommended I consider this manufacturer. Apparently these bikes are a little lighter than the Retrovelos, though I don't yet know what they weigh.

Anyway, I'm waiting to hear back from the bike shop about specs and price. In the meantime, I thought I'd post here to see if anyone has any experience with Achielle.
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Old 01-19-14, 05:39 PM
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interesting...kind of a twist on a mixte frame...
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Old 01-19-14, 10:11 PM
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I have no experience with that bike, but I will say the frame is quite elegant. I also like the red.

Function and fit is of course important, but I also have to love the "look" of my bike... and the twin top tubes and lugs does it for me on this one.
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Old 01-21-14, 11:03 AM
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Now that's really nice, and a choice of colors. No experience with that particular brand but I have a somewhat similar bike, an Azor Kruiseframe step through. Nexus 8 speed, roller brakes, dyno hub, etc and any color I wanted, as long as it's black. I wince when I think about the price but it is so damn comfortable and practical that when I am riding it I think it's worth it. It is also heavy, way past Schwinn Varsity heavy, and I am glad I don't have to carry it up a flight of stairs. Compared to my light daytripper I roll about 10% slower but then my pace is fairly sedate anyway.
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Old 01-21-14, 12:01 PM
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Did a very nice Mercian 531 tube mixte build for an XGF ,the old heavier tubed one was not as noodly ..
as the light weight tubes one , of same design..

So, JRA, (in that situation) dont pull up on the bars , and the head tube won't torque sideways..


Belgian, You going to Fly to Flanders and get that one?

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Old 01-21-14, 12:22 PM
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I understand the attraction but it's a bit twee for me. Different strokes. :-D
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Old 01-21-14, 01:30 PM
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It's very nice looking, and it does have a lot of great features. How much is likely to cost? I have no experience with this brand.

I have seen frames with that shape. They were made in the 50's or 60's.
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Old 01-21-14, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
It's very nice looking, and it does have a lot of great features. How much is likely to cost? I have no experience with this brand.

I have seen frames with that shape. They were made in the 50's or 60's.
Good question. I'm waiting to hear back from the bike shop now. I think the guy said that this is the first year this line will be available in the US. The shop hasn't yet listed them on the web site. On the company web site this model, spec'd as I want, is listed at 845 Euros, but I don't know what kind of markup is involved in importing.
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Old 01-21-14, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Belgian, You going to Fly to Flanders and get that one?
i've been communicating with a west coast (US) bike shop that will be importing this brand in 2014. The shop is A Streetbike Named Desire.
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Old 01-21-14, 03:41 PM
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aw you ought to go, the Hostels have Pubs in them there..

The one in Kortijk is nice .. Bruges is nice..

The Ypres area is interesting for Military historians.
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Old 01-22-14, 02:54 PM
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I have a bit more information now. It turns out they won't be carrying the Louise posted above, but the Craighton Pure Oma instead. Here it is:

This bike comes with a Nexus inter 8 and roller brakes front and rear, weighs 40 pounds. It looks like it comes with a bottle dynamo rather than a hub. I'll have to think long and hard about that. There are four color options: Steel Grey, Matte Black, Burgundy, and Cream. I like the burgundy. It will cost $1700.

Here's a link to the manufacturer's web site: http://www.achielle.be/EN/craighton.php.

I'm also chatting with my LBS about building up a Soma Buena Vista. I think it would end up costing a little less. I'd give up the true step-through frame and gain a dyno hub. Lots to think about.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:51 PM
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Bottle dynamo, ick. $1700 is a lot of money for an urban commuter bike.
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Old 01-22-14, 08:02 PM
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I've been riding a bottle dynamo the last few weeks. I don't mind it. I kinda like the whiny noise. It gets attention from pedestrians.
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Old 01-22-14, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
$1700 is a lot of money for an urban commuter bike.
Not really, if it includes good quality components, a sturdy well made well painted frame, stainless parts, a good IGH, hub dynamo & lites, ring lock, center stand, fenders, chain case, spats, heavy duty rack, etc. It all adds up.
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Old 01-22-14, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
It turns out they won't be carrying the Louise posted above, but the Craighton Pure Oma instead.
Do they still carry the Gr8 and Secret Service Oma? Have you looked at those? The concerns I'd have with the Craighton are the bottle dynamo, not fully enclosed chain case, lack of integrated and sturdy rear rack. Not sure how that seat compares with a Brooks. Otherwise seems like a good bike and nice looking.
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Old 01-22-14, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
Do they still carry the Gr8 and Secret Service Oma? Have you looked at those? The concerns I'd have with the Craighton are the bottle dynamo, not fully enclosed chain case, lack of integrated and sturdy rear rack. Not sure how that seat compares with a Brooks. Otherwise seems like a good bike and nice looking.
They do. In fact, the Secret Service Work Cycle was why I originally contacted them. It looks like it includes everything I am interested in, though it does cost a bit more. It looks like a really good bike for my purposes. Do you happen to know what it weighs?

I should clarify that I'm not certain that the Achielle has a bottle dynamo. Just looks like it from the picture. The dyno hub might be an grade I could get. At this point, I'm really not sure what I want to do. I'm waiting on more info from A Streetbike Named Desire and will be talking with an LBS later this week about building up a Soma Buena Vista.
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Old 01-23-14, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I've been riding a bottle dynamo the last few weeks. I don't mind it. I kinda like the whiny noise. It gets attention from pedestrians.
It does look like this bike comes with a bottle dynamo. It has a custom braze-on on the fork to hold it. I'm seriously considering this bike. Does the bottle dyno work okay for you? Anything I need to know about it?
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Old 01-23-14, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
The concerns I'd have with the Craighton are the bottle dynamo, not fully enclosed chain case, lack of integrated and sturdy rear rack. Not sure how that seat compares with a Brooks. Otherwise seems like a good bike and nice looking.
The bikes they ordered include a rear rack, fully enclosed chain case, and the saddle looks like a Brooks to me (maybe the B67S?). I don't have full specs yet, but you get a sense of it from the picture below:


This is the photo the bike shop sent me of the particular model they ordered. The bikes will be in next month. I'm seriously considering getting one. This is the closest I've found to a bike that has everything I want at this price.
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Old 01-23-14, 07:41 PM
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I have no direct personal experience with the Achielle, but last fall a girl in Philadelphia had one she had brought with her from Belgium on the fall tweed ride. The bicycle certainly looked nice and had the usual commuter features (lights, fenders, racks, etc.). She was very happy with it.
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Old 01-23-14, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
It does look like this bike comes with a bottle dynamo. It has a custom braze-on on the fork to hold it. I'm seriously considering this bike. Does the bottle dyno work okay for you? Anything I need to know about it?
Uh, well, it works? It makes a whiny noise? I don't know what else to say. Oh yeah, I can engage it when the bike is in motion, but I have to stop the bike to disengage it. Does that help?
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Old 01-24-14, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
$1700 is a lot of money for an urban commuter bike.
This is America, comrade, home of half price. Put a Gyes GS-07 on it and ride it like you stole it.
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Old 01-24-14, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
This is America, comrade, home of half price. Put a Gyes GS-07 on it and ride it like you stole it.
I've seriously considered the Breezer, but three things have given me pause: it's aluminum, has rim brakes, and I'm just not crazy about it's appearance. My current bike is aluminum and has rim brakes, so it would be a lot less expensive to put a dyno hub on the one I already have. All I gain with the Breezer is the step-through frame.

I don't want to blow money I don't need to, but this is the bike I plan to ride for the rest of my life. It's also my main transportation. I'm usually a very economical person, happy with "good enough." This time I'm going to splurge to get exactly what I want.

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Old 01-24-14, 08:53 AM
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for what its worth, I do prefer the louise to the other one...
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Old 01-24-14, 09:01 AM
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I don't think I am going to help you much here. The Louise, the Oma and the Buena Vista are pretty different bikes, just by riding position alone. Then there is the huge disparities in equipment.

At the top is a full on upright Dutch bike with fully enclosed chain, dynohub, roller brakes, 8 speed IGH, powder coated and stainless hardware. As you know, it ain't cheap but it's a lifetime bike, heavy and very strong and low maintenance. Now start whacking away at that feature set with the "I can live withouts" and see what you have then.

The riding position is a big issue here. There is a world of difference between a full upright OMA and a sporty mixte with Northroad or mustache bars. Find a way to ride a full upright before making a decision. You might really hate that geometry. I gotta say though, there is a reason so many people use that kind of bike for everyday transportation. Watch some youtube videos of the Dutch, Danes, etc riding around. It a pretty different world there though.
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Old 01-24-14, 09:06 AM
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40 lbs? Are you joking? Why not just drag an anchor with you. My heaviest mt bikes only weigh 30-32 lbs with xl frame and beefy tires and wheels. I hope you don't have more than 5 miles with no hills for your commute. Has to be better choices out there for you. Checked out linus bikes?

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