“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”
The Theory of Relativity was born on one.
As a boy, John Lennon slept in his bed with one.
Helen Keller rode one…tandem.
At 67, Leo Tolstoy learned to ride one.
New York is magical on one.
The bicycle may be the pinnacle of human genius as we know it. It’s unrivaled in its precision, balance, and convenience. Unlike prior inventions for the convenience of man, the more he used it, the fitter his body became. It was a thing of beauty then. Largely unchanged since 1910, it still is today.
“Here, for once, was a product of man’s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others."
A seductive 90s steel frame Bianchi road bike hangs in my home office. Handsome Brooks England leather handlebar tape, saddle, toe straps, and saddle bag flatter the celeste frame. Exquisite ride. There’s only one problem. I can’t lock it up anywhere. The city would kidnap my baby in a heartbeat. And if not the entire bike, at least the Brooks saddle. I’ve been relegated to the subway for the better part of three years, blind to the winsome corners this city only shows those on two wheels. Brilliant Bicycle Company is seeking to change that.
Brilliant simplified design, cut out the middleman, and is leveraging e-commerce. The result is a beautifully minimalist bicycle at half traditional retail prices, easily purchased online. Upon delivery (which is always free, by the way), I assembled my bike in 45 minutes. The instructions are incredibly easy to follow. In-home concierge service is available ($69) for those who’ve never assembled a piece of IKEA furniture.
The most impressive feat Brilliant has pulled off? Insurance. Brilliant will replace your bike due to damage, theft, and asteroid collision. No questions asked—for only $9 a month! In New York, where bike theft is more common than Nuts 4 Nuts carts, this is the second coming of Christ. The Sistene Chapel. The seventh installment of Star Wars. It’s that good.
The ride is sturdy, yet nimble. And good grief is it gorgeous. Largely devoid of logos and graphics, onlookers are left to marvel at the diamond frame in vibrant colors like Deforges Blue, Adachi Marsala, and Wells mint. How this has not been done before in this Internet day and age seems impossible. It seems, well, brilliant.