In which we try out a handsome Cooper bike

Posted on April 28th, 2011

The other week I was lent a new Cooper bike (the same folk who make the Mini Cooper). I got my right-hand woman Jo to test-ride the three-speed Zandvoort for this sponsored review. To my mind it’s a great bike for kids out there who love the single-speed aesthetic and snappy swoopiness…but with a few gears to help you out. Over to you Jo…

IMG_3432 (Bikes at Byron Beach – my Zandvoort with Sarah’s single- speed)

It seems a lot of people these days are keen to hook into the single speed vibe. They’re so pretty. So light. Only thing is, if you haven’t ridden a lot, or at least not for a little while (like me) then a single-speed can be hard, and a little dangerous, especially if you’re living in a hilly town.

A bike that looks like a single-speed, and is only a few kilos heavier, is the happiest of compromises. A geared bike, dressed in single-speed clothing!!

The T100 Zandvoort (which is what I rode) has a three gear twist-grip, just enough to cope with those hills, but it isn’t too heavy. It still has the agility of a single speed.

Sarah was keen for me to test the bike, because it’s the perfect solution for people like me. I trialled it in Byron Bay when I visited her. And I loved it.

I had forgotten how much I absolutely love to ride. It’s total freedom. The wind in your hair, feet up on the handlebars – the whole deal. (Ok, so I didn’t get to put my feet on the handlebars, but I remember doing that as a kid, and I’m so bringing that back!)

We headed off downhill first, which was a small bonus, as I had a bit of time to suss out the bike(I quickly learned that Sarah doesn’t wait for anyone when she’s riding!) before we headed into town. It was wet, it had been raining on and off for days, but the bike held fast, and I never skidded either. Double bonus. The tyres are really solid, and felt sturdy on the roads and in the rough. Also, the saddle is very comfortable (these things are important to me, so I’m just letting you know). It’s a black studded Brooks swallow saddle (which Sarah says is a good one!), and you don’t get off the bike feeling like you’ll never walk again. I like.

We rode to the beach, the markets, and around the town, so we gave it a decent workout. At one point I had to carry my bike over a busy intersection(when I lost Sarah behind a big truck) and it was light enough to maneuver through the traffic pretty quickly. And I definitely needed those few gears – truth be told – they helped me when I was trying to keep up with Sarah(impossible!) on the last bit of the hill before home.


If you’re thinking of getting a bike, and you’re not sure which way to go, this is certainly a sweet ride. Complete with Wellgo silver all alloy pedals, a Sturmey Archer crankset, and Tektro brakes, it’s a great unisex bike. And affordable!

And here’s the rest of the Cooper bike range. They do single-speeds, as well as some great old-school classic styles.

A list of Australian and New Zealand Cooper bike stockists can be found here.

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  • Don’t forgot to put a playing card in the spokes with a peg!


    Jo Reply:

    once again, you amuse me Cordner 🙂
    i actually tried to put my feet on the handlebars the other day, and promptly toppled over. not as flexible as i used to be!!


    Adam Cordner Reply:

    You gotta film that stuff! I enjoy seeing people stack it, its wrong but I really do.

    I used to try all kinds of stunts, mainly skidding, but its was all about keeping a cool face, like how tough guys don’t look at explosions or change expression when they get punched.

    I want to get a bike, but do I have to dress like a speed skater? I see a lot of men dressed like that, maybe they’re vigilantes in their disguises. I’m a vigilante, my power is anonymous pranks and selective hearing.

    Canberra was great for riding bikes, I hope we get more cycle-lanes here (Sydney), but with a “just cruising” lane or “not so serious” lane as well, maybe with a jump here and there.

    Flexibility, forget that, just lower to handle bars and raise the seat in the air like you just don’t mind!


  • Melanie

    Jo, do you wear a helmet?


    Jo Reply:

    I grew up in South Africa – helmets weren’t compulsory(until the end of 2004) – and I just can’t do it.

    the helmet debate intrigues me though…
    do you ride? do you wear a helmet?


    Melanie Reply:

    Hi Jo, yes I love to ride and always wear a helmet, esp as I expect my children to do so and lead by example.


    Adam Cordner Reply:

    What about a hat with an airbag? do they exist? they should


    Mia Reply:

    They do!!! Sarah linked some in one of her bike porn articles, although I believe it was a collar that turned into an airbag, not a hat. Bike accessory porn. Or something. Look it up, its pretty cool. 😀

    Adam Cordner Reply:

    I found it!

    Just in time too, I was already doing a sketch for the patent, that saved me some embarrassment and millions of dollars.

    Did you ever see this the “hair helmet”.

  • Carolyn


    This beautiful photo immediately made me think of you, and your lovely blog



    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    I love it!!


  • Valeria

    Heaven! I want one. Newage fun with a vintage feel!


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  • Carolyn

    I wanted to get a Zandvoort last year—-I think it is a perfect bicycle for commuting! I love that it has a three-speed Sturmey Archer hub too. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough budget for it. Instead I got myself an alternative from . It’s an urban bike too—a Polygon Zenith with fixed gears. I’m still saving to have a Cooper bike though because I believe that they are one of the finest bikes around.


  • bareen wombat

    like all hipsters or wanna-be hipsters
    who dont have a fuggin clue about bicycles
    but buy ss and fixies as a fashion statement like so many unused handbags.
    3 speed bikes have been around for more than 80yrs ???
    there is nothing sadder than watching some cashed up idiot push his/hers track bike knock off up a hill because they have bought it so can can look cccccccccccool mmmannnn
    most of these bikes will be dumped in 3/5 years when the fad wears off