Held in the heart of London’s fixed gear scene in what was more or less a glass box, it’s hardly surprising Hotlines had to stick a notice stating ‘invitation only’ to the door of Crème’s London trade launch.[Pics from the launch event can be found here.]
With a bike shop and soon-to-be Crème stockist next door, passing trade several times skidded in its tracks to glance into the showroom filled with the new brand’s 18 models, which comprehensively cover both men and women.
For most passing it would have been the striking blends of chrome and shiny powder coated paints that caught the eye, though for those lucky enough to get a closer look at the line up, the attention to detail on each build is key to Crème’s appeal. On the higher-end models in particular, some of which will see aftermarket frames available through Hotlines post-Eurobike, shoppers will see hidden cable-routing as standard, stylish saddles from both San Marco and Brooks, low-maintenance internal gearing only and Tange tubing, all stylishly lugged and presented with a top-quality scratch-proof paint finish.
"We wanted people to take away our bikes and not have to worry about any maintenance," says Kobylinski. "These bikes are for everyday people who don’t necessarily ride bikes, for people who don’t need carbon and clever components. The range has been tested with non-bike people and has gone down brilliantly."
And it’s a non-biker behind the design work too, adding some outside perspective to Kobylinski’s vision for Crème.
"Our designer who has carefully planned the colours and the chrome touches is not from the bicycle business. Previously he has designed within the kiteboarding world, so he has a really outside-the-box way of thinking about bike design."
Having taken just one year to produce the line between seven dedicated staff, said to have "worked some very long days" to get Crème’s catalogue of bikes to production, the first shipment is now due in stock at Hotlines by the time this magazine hits desks. Other territories are said to have already ‘gone a little crazy’ for Kobylinski’s third brand.
"We have customers in Japan who are super keen to receive bikes at the first opportunity. In our home country – Poland – the locals are enthusiastic about our bikes, while south of us in Germany we also have strong dealer bookings. The UK is a massive territory for us, however, and the retailers here appear to have placed strong pre-orders based on the catalogue shots alone."
In London, at least, it’s the fixed gear bicycles that have got many in a spin.
"Our fixed gear (Vinyl) line are supplied with some really stylish stainless Dia Compe brake mounts should the buyer want to run stoppers, as well as a supplied brake. What’s more, and perhaps a key selling point, is that we also provide two styles of handlebar with the bike, including a riser bar in the box, meaning the customer can tailor the riding position, all while maintaining the colour scheme right from the first pedal. If that wasn’t enough, we also throw in leather straps for the pedals."
The range is essentially split into two price points (dubbed solo and doppio) and spans three styles – the aptly named CafeRacer, the HolyMoly (town style bikes) and the Vinyl (a line of fixed gear builds). The retail price list starts at £519.99 and tops out at £849, which will see the customer take home a stylish Tange tubed, seven hub-geared, dynamo-rigged bicycle complete with racks and mudguards.
If you’re interested in becoming a Crème stockist, contact Hotlines sales team on 0131 319 1444.