NKOTB: Adeline Adeline

adeline-adeline-jh2-by-tribeca-citizenJulie Hirschfeld went looking for a new bike, but as a graphic designer—her firm Stiletto NYC creates graphics and branding for fashion companies—she wanted one with style. “There were some great bikes online, but stores in New York don’t seem to think of bicycles as fun and sporty. The stores either fix bikes or they sell mountain bikes or road bikes.” (Road bikes, I learned, are what some of us still think of as ten-speeds.)

adeline-adeline-window2-by-tribeca-citizenadeline-adeline-basket-by-tribeca-citizenadeline-adeline-bells-by-tribeca-citizenadeline-adeline-seat-by-tribeca-citizen“I wanted a three-speed Schwinn like when I was kid,” says Hirschfeld, who lives in Fort Greene. “I didn’t want to worry about lubing the derailleur. I didn’t even know what a derailleur was! And I felt like it was sacrilege to ask what colors a bike was available in.” She was looking for what’s called a city bike—northern Europeans, in particular, use them the way Americans use cars. “No one was really showcasing them here,” she says. “When you put one of these bikes next to a mountain bike, the appeal gets lost.”

Sensing an opportunity, Hirschfeld decided to open a store, which she named Adeline Adeline. (Her grandmothers were both named Adeline; it rhymes, just so you know, with “wine.”) The Tribeca location—the space was most recently Alternatives—appealed to her because of its proximity to the West Side bike path.

As she shows me the various models, she teaches me various bits of bike jargon: “Step-through” means no crossbar, like on girls’ bikes, while “coaster brakes” are what I’d call foot brakes. (“I’ve learned a lot,” she says.) There’s Abici (Italy), Batavus and Bakfiets (Netherlands), Pashley (U.K.), Retrovelo (Germany), Biomega (Denmark), and Linus (U.S.). Prices range from $379 for a Linus Dutchie to around $2,900 for a Bakfiets with a front-attached cart that kids can ride in. Many of them come kitted out with baskets, packs, perhaps even skirt guards. For those that don’t, Adeline Adeline stocks all manner of stylish accessories: child seats, locks, Klean Kanteens, helmets, baskets (including some designed for dogs), pumps, pantsraps, and bags. There are also items that aren’t meant for bikers but complete the lifestyle, or at least the look: Japanese sling bags in organic, vegetable-dyed linen and Bensimon shoes from France.

When Hirschfeld and I spoke months ago, she wasn’t ready to say that Adeline Adeline would be a women’s bike store per se; now that the store is open, with parts of it painted pink, I asked whether she still feels that way. “It is a women’s bike store,” she admits. “That is, we’re definitely catering to women. But we have mens’ bikes too!”

Adeline Adeline is at 147 Reade (between Hudson and Greenwich); 212-227-1150, adelineadeline.com.




  1. Oh my, oh, my. What an attractive webpage. Natch! Can’t wait to step foot in the store.

  2. Can’t wait to see the store…and, of course, pick up a lady bug bell.

  3. She’s my daughter. I’m so proud!!

    I used to ride a Masi.

  4. Oh Adeline-Adeline, what does a girl wear with her $1,000 TriBeCa bicycle? Read this blog post and find out ;o) http://resale-riches.blogspot.com/

  5. Nice looking store, will have to stop in soon.

    One thing: if you end up doing any catering to men more, we need some damn nice bike helmets! Hell, would love to design my own.

    Good luck.


    P.S. Two of my three bikes are “step-through”.