From a practical everyday perspective, greasy trousers and skirts are a thing of the past due to the enclosed transmission. The system is very durable and being protected from road dirt and everyday grime, premature wear is prevented. With prolonged use, the bevel gears will bed in and the transmission losses reduced, so getting smoother and smoother.
Mark Newson penned the stem to be made from a solid piece of aluminium and with it's CNC'd Biomega logo is a beautiful piece of industrial design, that also incorporates an innovative solution to steerer tube corrosion by eleminating the top cap altogether. Overall this Martin Skidsted designed bike is minimalist and practical, like many pieces of Danish furniture. Wallpaper magazine praised the Copenhagen as one of the 'most promising means of urban transport'. Being such an appealing piece of design it has featured at numerous exhibitions.
Enough of the design talk, here is how it rides.The first thing that hits you is how super smooth the gear change and transmission is. Without the need to engage a chain with spocket everything is seamless and fuss free. You can even change gear whilst standing still, which is a bonus in stop start city traffic. There is some bouce in the 26-inch tyres and hence, cope very well with less than perfect urban streets. Braking provided by a cable operated disc set up at the front and a roller brake at the back is quite sufficient, without being overly reassuring and suits the intended use of this bike perfectly.
|Where the Copenhagen is somewhat compromised is in retaining forward momentum - you|
do lose speed quicker than on a bike with a conventional chain and freewheel drive.
The controls and the dynamics of the bike are spot on, though, and provide a very positive, responsive ride. Changing direction is smooth and reassuring. Looking at the bike side on reminds me of an early 80's mountain bike, with similar geometry and clearance around the wheels.
Considering it's aesthetic appeal, I would hate myself if this bike got damaged or scratched from everyday use, so in my hands that would limit how often I used it and I'd be unlikely to use it as a commuter or pub bike. Buyers with stairs up to flat or house might need to consider that the Copenhagen is a bit on the porky side at 14kg.