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We review the Case I3, Opus’ first steel-frame bike.
PRICE $599 USD
FIND IT AT opusbike.com
Brand spanking new for 2016, the Case combines the comfort and style of a classic steel bike with the minimalism of single- or 3-speed internal hubs. The Case is designed for urban travel and comes equipped with fenders, a full chainguard and rack mounts.
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First and foremost I have to say how much fun this bike is to ride. I rode the 3-speed internal hub version of the Case and it worked great as a commuter and when just wanting to zip around the neighbourhood. I spent most of my time riding on the high gear as I found it very efficient, but the lower gears were great to have when cycling with groceries or additional weight.
The internal-gear hub makes this a great year-round bike as the shifting mechanism is protected from water, dirt and grime. Changing gears was easy and smooth and with the internal-gear hub – if you come to a stop on a hill and want to shift down you can do it while stationary. I liked the minimalistic and sporty look of this bike, found the riding position comfortable, and found the bike light for a steel frame with a hub.
The handlebars felt quite wide for a city specific bike. This offered better control and easier breathing while riding but that could have been achieved with narrower handlebars. Being slightly narrower would have made the bike more aerodynamic and helped open up my shoulders and back. Just a personal preference when city riding.
The Case i3 is made for the city, serving its purpose as a great urban riding machine. The bike is fun and fast to ride and comes loaded with all the features you need for a great year-round commuting bike. The grime on the city streets is little match for the internal-gear hub and having only three gears means you can focus on the ride instead of looking for the ideal gear.
Sam Cawkell is Momentum Mag’s Marketing and Product Coordinator. He’s a year-round bike commuter who loves to ride fast. @s_cawkell