At first, the idea was to make a custom bike: One of them, to be exact. But once Handsome Cycles and ARTCRANK got together, the idea grew into a smokin’ hot limited edition single speed bike that doubles as a fundraiser for World Bicycle Relief.
The bike in question started out as the 2013 Handsome Cycles Shop Bike — a coaster brake-equipped single speed bike built for, as the brand’s website puts it, “quick run to the bodega for beer and burritos” and “setting skid records on that fresh blacktop down the street.”
“I fell in love with the bike at Handsome’s launch party last summer in Minneapolis,” says ARTCRANK founder Charles Youel. “Five minutes after I walked in, I cornered Ben Morrison and started talking to him about putting one together for me.” Morrison and fellow Handsome Cycles co-founder Jesse Erickson were all over the idea, especially since Youel wanted the bike in a scorching shade of red instead of the standard army green that the Shop Bike would be produced in.
As Morrison puts it, “We wanted to make a custom bike for Charles in ARTCRANK red with the ARTCRANK logo, and that was it.” But as they sat down to spec out the bike, the results looked too good to make just one. Then, Morrison and Erickson had a better idea: Make a limited edition ARTCRANK Shop Bike in the signature red color, with a mission to raise money for World Bicycle Relief, a nonprofit partnership that provides bicycles to people in rural Africa.
Initially, they wondered how Youel would feel about sharing his formerly one-of-a-kind ride with the cycling public, even for such a great cause. But that turned out to be an easy sell. “ARTCRANK did a fundraiser with World Bicycle Relief at Interbike in 2012, and we’ve always been big fans of what they do,” says Youel. And with that, the partnership was off and rolling.
Handsome Cycles will debut the limited edition ARTCRANK Shop Bike on its website on Friday, February 22, coinciding with ARTCRANK’s first show of the year in Austin, Texas. Some lucky bike industry folks and Minneapolis locals will get the first look at them the following night at Handsome’s annual Cutter’s Ball — held this year at the company’s new headquarters in the Minneapolis Warehouse District.
The ARTCRANK Shop Bike will be available for purchase exclusively through Handsome Cycles’ website (http://www.handsomecycles.com). Complete bikes will sell for $949.95, and Handsome Cycles will make a donation in the name of the purchaser that will allow World Bicycle Relief to provide a complete bike to a community in Africa. Framesets will sell for $479.95, and Handsome Cycles will make a donation in the name of the purchaser that will allow World Bicycle Relief to purchase a mechanic’s tool kit to maintain bicycles.
In rural African communities, these bikes provide access to transportation that allows people to seek out healthcare, an education and economic opportunity. To date, World Bicycle Relief has provided nearly 125,000 rugged bicycles engineered specifically for rural terrain and load requirements, as well as tools and training to keep them operating.