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Linus Bikes Bring Two-Wheeled Romance to Venice

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As avid surfers, Chad Kushner and Adam McDermott have seen a lot of the world—and, with it, a lot of bikes. From European cultural capitals to to third world countries, they spotted people zipping around town atop elegant, classic frames, but when they returned to the U.S., they weren't able to find a cycle that wasn't too rugged or rusty for their tastes. So the duo decided to design the kind of bikes they saw on their travels (namely, '60s Euro-inspired) and three years later, Linus Bikes has just made its debut on Abbot Kinney. "There's been such a focus on technology over the last 20 years, but there's a whole other side to biking," McDermott told us when we visited Linus' new outdoor showroom yesterday. "Before they were used for sport, bikes were used for transportation, and there was such simplicity to their design—clean lines, a classic profile, very simple and functional."

The Linus catalog currently contains 21 different bikes, each one a different permutation of color, model, speed and size. All of the bikes come in cream and black, with one special color designated for each style—the Mixte, for example, is rendered in sky blue to match its sporty, angular lines, while the Dutchi comes in a clean red, which McDermott says fits the elegance of the style ("This is a bike you can ride with a dress on," he says). The leather grips are handstitched, a handmade, detachable basket with gingham lining is available, and the duo have also designed a range of canvas bags designed to clip on to the frames, then sling over your shoulder when you reach your destination.

It's clear Team Linus has hit on a winning formula—the showroom was filled with prospective buyers during our Wednesday evening visit, and Steven Alan has already started selling the bikes in his Hamptons shop, just weeks after they debuted. But it's more than fame and fortune McDermott and Kushner are after. "In so many other places, people use bikes as their main form of transportation," explains McDermott. "You realize the 3-5 miles a day you ride is totally possible to do on a bike—especially in Venice."