“We're all about creating something that people will love riding and will take a lot of pride in owning,” says James Hosking. He and business partner Michael Vumbaca are behind Birichino Bicycles, an Alexandria-based company that designs bicycles and imports components and accessories and assembles them into simple and elegant urban bikes.
“We wanted to separate ourselves in the market both in terms of quality and aesthetics,” says Hosking.
Hosking and Vumbaca are both long-time bicycling enthusiasts and for the past few years have been tinkering with bikes in their spare time. “It started out as just a hobby. We made a few prototypes and tested them out with our friends. Now we want to see what the average punter thinks.”
Birichino offers two models – Jasper for men and Gigi for women. Both models feature three gears, LED lights, mudguards, disk chain guards and a kickstand. A number of colour options for each model are available, as is the addition of different components. “We've found a network of suppliers by deciding what we like, and then reaching out to parties that fit with that. We've developed some great relationships with suppliers all over the world.”
The company also sells a range of accessories, including two different sizes of wooden carrier crates. These storage boxes sit on the front of the bike and offer a more durable option than a traditional wicker basket. Also available are leather wine holders, which affix to the top tube of your bike, allowing you to transport your vino safely.
For Hosking, it's all about offering the best riding experience. “We've tried to smooth the edges out on the bikes as much as possible. We made some changes to reduce the bulk of the bike, to make something that's easy to use and that looks really beautiful.”