New bike company makes effortless, beautiful bikes easy on the pockets

bikes, brilliant bicycle co, single speed
If you’re looking for something beautiful yet easy, think Brilliant Bicycle Company. It’s about biking, not bikes. When Digital Trends spoke to him, co-founder Kane Hsieh made clear the company’s motto reflects how they feel about the bike industry today: Costs and crazes have gotten a little out of control. The bike does not maketh the man, and you shouldn’t have to spend a grand or swathe yourself in spandex to have fun going for a ride. Brilliant’s direct-order website just launched May 27 where you can grab near-assembled single-, three-, and seven-speeds at $300, $400, and $500 dollars, respectively.

The website reflects Brilliant Bicycle Company’s streamlined aesthetic: Choose “versatile” or “relaxed” as your riding style and you’ll be picking either the Astor, which looks something like a traditional touring bike, or their new model, the Mayfair, more of a traditional cruiser. Both ride 32mm tires, and both are made of 1020 steel, and what this means to us is they’re tough enough to take more terrain than butter-smooth asphalt, and they”ll last you a good number of years if you take care of them. And you’ll likely still be able to have your frame bent back into shape if it meets with wrong end of a car. For steel snobs and hardcores, no, 1020 is not high-end Reynolds, but you’re also getting an entire bike at the price of a chromoly steel frame.

Put in your height, and Brilliant will recommend a size for you.  The large of both models weighs in at 29 lbs, the small at 27.5 lbs. If you go with the Astor, you can pick your Shimano internal gearing. The Mayfair is only available in a three-speed right now. You can pick your accessories, like your basic bells and lights, but also including Nantucket baskets and a Brooks saddle if you want a little extra flash. Otherwise you’ll be fine with the “vegan leather” seat and bars that are included; they’re weatherproofed against the elements and feel smooth and well made to the touch.

Brilliant has no real competition. Other direct-delivery companies don’t offer these styles of frames (what you’ll see is track frames, if that) of this high a quality, and with customer service at this price point, let alone in any state for the average person to put it together on their own. These are handmade quality bikes not made in China, with glossy dropouts and quality finishes.

As far as the DIY aspect goes, these come with everything greased up, headset installed, the cables already in place, all you need to do is put on the bars, wheels, and seat. For those of us who’ve had to change a tube, adjust bars on the road, or raise or lower a seat, we know this isn’t asking too much. Brilliant even ships their bikes with the three basic tools you need to assemble them and provides detailed instructions in both video and written form. Wheels come properly tensioned, unlike when you order from 99 percent of other online services. If there’s a problem, Brilliant has customer service to match its name.

In keeping with their ideal of making it easy and inexpensive for people to get out and get riding, Brilliant is already at work on a line of children’s bikes, beginning with a balance bike and a starter single speed with geometry similar to the Astor’s. Look for them in time for Christmas. Keep your eye on its Facebook page for info about upcoming promotions.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Emerging Tech

Here are the best (and least likely to explode) hoverboards you can buy

With widespread reports of cheap, knock-off Chinese hoverboards exploding, these self-balancing scooters may be getting a rough reputation. They're not all bad, though. Ride in style with our picks for the best -- and safest -- hoverboards

The best snowshoes you can buy right now (updated for 2018)

Snowshoeing is a great way to stay fit and active during the winter months, but finding the right pair can be a challenge. Here are our picks of the five best snowshoes available today to keep you moving on the trail this winter.
Emerging Tech

Bose’s latest hearing aid has its own app

The FDA has granted Bose approval to bring a more intuitive hearing aid to market. The app-controlled device is the first of its kind to be granted FDA approval since Congress passed a law allowing the sale of OTC hearing aids.

The Fitbit Charge 3 is now available for purchase worldwide

Back in August, Fitbit confirmed its new wearable -- the Fitbit Charge 3. The new fitness tracker features a touchscreen OLED display, smartwatch capabilities, enhanced fitness features and more. Here's everything you need to know about it.
Product Review

Garmin's Fenix 5X Plus is built for fitness freaks who fawn over every feature

With onboard music, full-color topographic maps, and new sport metrics, the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus sets a high bar for GPS smartwatches. Find out how it can help boost your performance in our Fenix 5X Plus review.

These zip-on bike tires change up your tread to match the terrain

Retyre gives cyclists the ability to change the tread on their bike tires simply by zipping on an overlay designed to provide better grip on trails or in the snow, without replacing the existing tires.
Product Review

Withings Steel HR Sport is a fitness tracker you’ll love wearing

Withings jumps back in the wearables game with the new Steel HR Sport, a hybrid smartwatch that is as much a fitness tracker as it is a timepiece. It's so good that it hasn't left our wrist since we pulled it out of the package.
Emerging Tech

Forget laxatives — this electronic pill will literally shake the crap out of you

Are you suffering from constipation? What you really need is a vibrating smart pill that promises to shake the crap out of you. And we mean that completely literally. Here's how it works.

The best sound machines to help you fall (and stay) asleep

Whether you find that sleep better with white noise, rain sounds, or deep sleep music, there’s a sound machine on the market that will be able to help you catch more z’s in no time at all.

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.

The Wau stands out in the crowded ebike market with its 60-mile range

The Wau ebike is a high-tech commuter that offers onboard GPS tracking, geofenced alarm systems, built-in front and rear lights, and pedal-assist speeds of up to 20 mph, with a range of as much as 60 miles between charges.
Emerging Tech

With VR dinosaurs and ‘Minecraft,’ one hospital is making medicine less scary

From augmented reality rabbits on the wards to a Minecraft recreation of the hospital for kids to explore, one of the world's most renowned children's hospitals just got a major tech overhaul.