Archive for the ‘Bicycles’ Category

Kona’s Africabike Three: What’s Not to Love?

2011 aluminum Kona Africabike Three. Image from

Do you like Dutch bikes, but not the price? Do you need a budget option for daily transportation? Would you like a “beater” bike that you can leave outside without worrying?¬†Would you like any or all of the above¬†and the fabulous feeling that comes from giving as well? Take a look at Kona’s Africabike Three.

The bicycle has an integrated rear rack capable of holding a passenger. A three-speed internally geared hub will get most people around in all but the hilliest areas. The big front basket will carry a bag of groceries. The front wheel stabilizing spring helps keep the bicycle from tipping over. Coaster brake and front hand brake stop you safely. There is even a partial chain guard and fenders! An aluminum unisex step-through frame (new for the 2011 model) allows you to ride in any clothing. This bicycle even has an integrated rear wheel lock. The Africabike Three has many features of more expensive Dutch bicycles. The price is just $449! My local dealer says that the 2010 steel model is also still available for $399.

2010 steel Kona Africabike Three. Image from

Here’s the icing on the cake: for every three bikes that Kona sells, two are donated to their basic needs program to provide transport, food, water and shelter to those who have difficulty obtaining them.

I love this bike, and one will join my stable one day. Read more about the bicycle and the basic needs program:

Kona Africabike Three

Kona Basic Needs


Kryptonite NYC Chain. Holy Cow.

Paula is very safe now. I knew this chain would be substantial but holy cow. It’s HUGE. Overkill for this area, but overkill is better than underkill. I was much more relaxed at the grocery store last night. I know that this lock, like any other, is not absolute protection. But the tools required to defeat it would attract attention.

Paula securely locked with Kryptonite NYC chain.

This thing is huge and heavy. In retrospect, a lesser chain would have been a better choice. But this is the one I have and this is an expensive bicycle worth protecting from theft. I carry it in my Wald basket, which is now attached to the rear rack. I really don’t notice anything while I’m riding, but the bicycle is harder to lift up stairs. I just tell myself “Just pick the bicycle up and quit whining.”

The handlebar bag is a Minnehaha small saddle bag. Sadly, it does not play nicely with sprung saddles and I only have sprung saddles. But it’s not half bad as a handlebar bag. It holds my tiny purse & repair kit nicely. I won’t try carrying that lock in it, though.

Paula at Winn Dixie

Here she is, patiently waiting for me to finish the shopping.

With a bag of groceries:

I’ve had this bicycle since Monday. It makes me feel like a kid in a 50s bicycle ad, zipping around the corner. She went on her first group ride last night and turned quite a few heads. The Abus rear wheel lock that I added stopped one of my friends from taking off with it!

I’m really not sold on the binder straps. They just don’t seem nearly as useful as a basket and cargo net.

I have a Minnehaha trunk bag on the way that I will try (although I think it is destined for my 70s Raleigh Sports).

Retrovelo Paula Sneak Peek!

It’s here! It rides like a dream. No regrets at all. More pictures and reviews soon!