By necessity, the bikes used in rental bike share programs require a sturdy, somewhat portly build-level. Canadian manufacturer Devinci is one of the biggest suppliers of such bikes for programs including Bixi–a word morph of bike and taxi–as well as similar programs in the US and Europe. At Interbike, the company launched the $1,700 Newton RC, an urban commuter bike that takes the best qualities of Bixi and puts them in a lighter, more versatile consumer version.
The $1700 Devinci Newton RC puts the features and functionality from so called “Bixi” rental bikes into a more consumer friendly package. The result is a purpose-built urban commuter with great versatility and conspicuity. Photo by Don Palermini.
“Newton is like the Bixi bike had a baby,” said Devinci Customer Service Rep Manuel Des Hayes. “We took all its cool functions and designs and put them in a bike to sell to the general public.”
Built-in LED flashers on the Newton’s fork legs and seat stays are powered by a dynamo that generates power in the bike’s front hub. Photo by Don Palermini.
Dynamo-powered flashing lights are the most direct import from the Bixi bike–smooth plastic windows seamlessly integrate blinkers into fork legs and seat stays. The bright LEDs blink both when pedaling and continue to flash for a minute-and-a-half after stopping like when waiting for traffic signals. Reflective decals outlining the frame’s main triangle along with reflective tire sidewalls add more visual pop to the bike’s conspicuity package.
Just as on the Bixi bikes, Devinci routed all cables and wires internally to give the bike a less-cluttered, easier-to-use appearance. A standard Shimano 105/Tiagra 2 x 10 drivetrain takes care of the shifting, while a pair of LX disc brakes provide all-condition stopping power.
Devinci eliminated handlebar cross-up by building stops into the fork crown and head tube. Photo by Don Palermini.
While the Bixi bikes prevent crossing up the bars with a dual crown fork with bumpers, the Newton uses some clever metalwork on the fork crown and head tube to provide the same function.
Many of the features of this Bixi-style bike share bike–from the recently launched Bay Area Bike Share in the San Francisco area–made it into Devinci’s Newton urban commuter. Photo by Don Palermini.