Editor’s note: While in Las Vegas for Interbike this year, we were fortunate enough to benefit from the generosity of several brands that allowed us to borrow their bikes for a few days. Here’s what we found.
By Karen Brooks
The Bully is a sort of urban bike that’s very popular in space-crunched Asian countries. It’s not a folder, it just has small 20” wheels to better navigate crowded streets and fit in small apartments. But the big chainring—52 teeth, visually approaching the size of the wheels themselves—and the not-too-short wheelbase allow it to pedal like a regular bike.
This is an inexpensive but useful little bike. The frame is sturdy 4130 cro-moly steel. The funky top tubes mean it’s got lots of standover clearance for yet more nimble-ness. It has a basic Shimano 7-speed drivetrain—nothing fancy but it works. The linear-pull rim brakes stop the little wheels just fine, but the frame does have disc tabs should you want to upgrade.
The beauty of this little Bully became apparent on the Bike Hugger Mobile Social ride: a hundred or so Interbike attendees, dazed from a full day on the show floor, were let loose on Thursday evening to make our way a few miles down the Strip to waiting cocktails and snacks, in a colorful parade lap of sorts. Riding down the Strip on a bike is something that everyone should try; doing it in a big, safe group was awesome. Although this was a very casual pedal, of course not everyone was paying close attention, what with all the flashing lights and mobile boom boxes. Many times I came close to crossing wheels with fellow riders—or would have, if my wheels were a full 700c. Instead I could bob and weave among the crowd, and lapses of my own attention didn’t cause any wrecks.
At the end of the day I fit the Bully into our hotel’s undersized elevator along with Trina and her folder, then easily wheeled it into our room.
One drawback: the handlebar height isn’t adjustable, except by swapping stems. The handling could get weird for taller folks who would need the seat much higher than the bars. Since there’s just one frame size, a telescoping stem of some sort would help a lot. But then again, for $400 and change you could afford to buy a different stem to customize this bike for your needs.
Origin-8 offers all flavors of bikes, at affordable prices. We’ll be checking them out in more detail for sure.
Price: $400-$450 (not set by manufacturer)