Papillionaire Sommer City Bike Review

Momentum Mag reviews the Papillionaire Sommer city bike.

PRICE: $649


The Papillionaire Sommer is an upright, step-through city bike available as a single-speed, 3-speed, or 8-speed. Made with a powder coated chromoly steel frame, Nexus Shimano internal-gear hub, front and rear caliper brakes, 700c wheels, and leather saddle. Available in 43cm (16.9″) or 48cm (18.9″) sizes and in six colors. Lifetime warranty on frames and forks.


Not only is this a beautiful looking bicycle, but it is so comfortable to ride for hours on end. The true upright positioning puts no strain on back or wrists, and the non-aggressive, relaxed seated position allows you see everything around you while riding. This bike has everything a city rider needs for no mess and no fuss riding – 3-speed internal-gear hub, fenders, chainguard, a matching steel rear rack (add-on option). Riding this bike feels wonderful and get noticed everywhere.


My only complaint with this bicycle is that the kickstand is too flimsy for when adding any weight to the bicycle like pannier bags or carrying items in a front basket. Ideally, this bike should have a double kickstand or an axle-mounted stand for optimal stability. City bikes are meant to run errands like shopping and groceries, so the kickstand should be able to support the extra weight.


This bicycle is the ideal ride for anyone looking for a classic upright bike without the traditional weight of its dutch counterparts, weighing just 31pounds (14 kg). It is perfect for commuting to work or running errands, even on more hilly terrains, and the three speeds provide enough range to get from point A to B without breaking out into a big sweat. The sleek frame definitely gets noticed, especially in Boston Red, and the signature leather spring-saddle (another add-on) is comfortable, even for long weekend rides. If you’re looking for a sexy, upright bike that is complete with all the necessary accessories, then this is a great bike for you!


After years of searching, I think have found my dream bicycle! I have been looking for a truly upright bicycle that wasn’t too heavy to pedal up the steep streets that I ride almost daily, while also being functional for running errands like getting my kids to school. The Papillionaire Sommer not only ticks all of these boxes, but it is also a beautiful bike. I can’t help but feel happy when riding it. When on the saddle, I almost feel like I’m sitting in a comfortable chair, with no pressure on my back and arms, and because I’m so relaxed, I feel confident riding at a comfortable pace and arrive to work, meetings, and dinner with friends looking fresh and without breaking into a huge sweat. In short, I love this bike!

Melissa Bruntlett is a city-bicycle owner and enthusiast, living in Vancouver BC. She is co-owner of Modacity, a multi-service consultancy, focused on inspiring healthier, happier, simpler forms of urban mobility through words, photography and film. When not writing, blogging or consulting, she spends her time riding around her beautiful city with her husband and two young children. @mbruntlett


  • Shelly

    My daughter can’t decide between this bike & the Peace Dreamer bike. Wondering if you looked at that bike as well & your thoughts.

  • That looks beautiful. I love my old Raleigh mixte, but with arthritis I’d like an even lower step-through like this one. Alas, it would probably get stolen… I’m sure that if the three-speed is adequate in Vancouver, it would be here in Montréal. I love having an internal hub.

  • Chris McGinnis

    Thank you for sharing Melissa. I am trying to decide on one of their models for myself and am going to get the “Sommer” for my wife. Great to hear that the 3 speed works a charm on hills as well, I have never ridden one myself. I can’t wait to surprise her with it! I am trying to decide between the “Mixte” or “Classic” for myselfm wanting the ost upright and stress free ride possible.

Autumn Gear Guide

Find inspiration in our Gear Guide that will keep you out on your bike through wind or rain.

Download Now