Biomega beats Sladda

This week I tested the Danish designer bike Biomega NYC 2 speed with belt drive, disc brakes, automatic gear hub, and integrated front mudguard in the frame and it’s awsome.

NOT EXPENSIVE

I’m 183 cm tall so I borrowed a silver gray NYC 2 speed frame size 55. In the Biomega store the black and silver gray models cost 6,999 DKK and the white model costs 5,999 DKK (excl. carrier and mudguards).

Belt driven bikes are generally a bit more expensive than regular bikes and when you hear the name Biomega – and when you know that they have won a lot of design prices for their bikes and that the designers behind the are people like Jens Martin Skibsted and Bjarke Ingels – you might assume that the bikes are a bit expensive.

But now that Ikea’s Sladda has been recalled Biomega NYC 2 speed is actually one the cheapest belt bikes on the Danish market. There are actually only a few belt bikes in that price range. (You can buy the Dutch “Lekker Amsterdam” for 7.000 DKK and that’s it, as far as I know.)

With a starting price of about 6,000 DKK the Biomega NYC was more expensive than the Ikea Sladda (which cost 3,400 DKK for Ikea Family members and 4,500 DKK for others). On the other hand the NYC is pre-assembled and adjusted when you buy it and, all in all, the NYC feels a more robust than the Sladda.

2, 8 OR 11 SPEED

Biomega NYC is available with 2 speed automatic hear hub or 8 or 11 speed but I wanted to test the 2 speed model so I could compare the NYC with the Ikea Sladda. They use the same automatic gear hub, the SRAM Automatix. I find that the 2 speed automatic gear hub is well suited for driving in the cities of Denmark.

Accellerating is easy and you only need 2 speeds for the most part. Personally, I like the SRAM Automatix hub but I prefer a single speed hub. In the Biomega store they told me that they could actually install a single speed hub on the NYC.

DISTORTION RESISTANT

Riding to work crossing the Queen Louise Bridge in Copenhagen one morning after the Distortion Festival is like crossing a minefield.
The Distortion Festival  means lots of happy people and lots of broken glass in the morning.

I feared that the broken glass would puncture the tires of the bike I had borrowed but fortunately I passed through the minefield. The side of the wheel says “K-Shield Puncture Resistant” so I knew I was in good hands; Kendas K-Shield technology is a test winner in the “puncture free” tire category.

LIGHT BUT ROBUST

When I tested the Sladda I only had nice things to say about it. It had one weakness, though, the adjustable stem. I found it was creaking and frightening and I felt a bit unsafe riding the bike no matter how many times I adjusted and tightened te stem. Therefore, the price of Sladda was not as great a competition parameter for Ikea compared to other belt drive bicycles as I assumed at first.

When comparing the robustness of Sladda and Biomega NYC 2 speed Biomega wins because you get a bike that’s solid and safe all the way through. Just look at the carrier; you almost do not have to test the bike to know it’s well built and safe to drive.

But wasn’t it the belt drive on Sladda that made Ikea recall it, the attentive reader asks. Yes, but Ikea had – probably to hold the price at 4,000 DKK – chosen a Continental ContiDrive belt drive system.

Biomega (and Larry vs. Harry and Butchers & Bicycles and others), on the other hand, have chosen a belt drive from Gates and Gates CDX is also the expensive one of the two systems from Gates. Brake sprocket wheels and belts should not be changed as often as regular chains and gears, but they do not last forever.

On paper it looks great that the mudguard is integrated into the frame but in real life you need extra mudguards when it’s rainy weather. My test bike was equipped with two lightweight mudguards that looked nice on the bike.

CONCLUSION

The frame is light and easy on the eyes, the details are thought-through, the bike is comfortable to ride, the belt drive is an absolute pleasure, the disc brakes too. What’s not to like. Biomega NYC 2 gets five out of five (belt drive) gears.

Thank you to shop manager Molly from Biomegas new store at Østerbrogade who was kind enough to lend the Biomega NYC to me for three days.