While belt drives were mainly found on high-priced bikes for many years, the introduction of Gates' economically-priced CDN belt system has opened up the market downwards and made it possible to use them on bikes in the 1500 Euro range as well. STEVENS' Boulevard Luxe fits precisely in this class and offers a high-quality, practical set-up with suspension fork, 8-speed geared hub and the aforementioned Gates CDN drive. "The almost noiseless belt drive perfectly suits the character of the bike", finds the ADFC Radwelt, because "the Boulevard Luxe is a serious and elegant appearance with its anthracite-coloured frame and black accessories". Despite all the understatement, sportiness is not neglected. The editorial team says: "Typical of Stevens is the sporty sitting posture that cyclists adopt on it. It makes for a leisurely stroll, but can also be used to make very fast kilometres if required."
The testers also praised the riding safety of the city bike – a topic that should not be underestimated, especially in crowded and hectic city traffic. "The handlebars are only slightly bent upwards and backwards, which gives the rider a lot of control. The wide tyres suck small bumps on the road if a moderate air pressure is chosen. The suspension fork is responsible for bigger imperfection, effectively swallowing them". But not only the suspension, also the remaining essential areas of the bike were convincing. "The remaining specification with the very good lighting system, powerful brakes and the solid luggage rack leaves little to be desired", according to Radwelt.
With regard to the use of the Gates belt drive and the sometimes expressed fear of customers that this could make maintenance more difficult compared to a classic chain drive, the magazine attests the Boulevard Luxe a pleasingly easy maintenance: "The sliding dropouts have the advantage that the position of the rear wheel is fixed. The belt tension does not normally has to be adjusted after removal and installation".
And so the concept of this classic STEVENS city bike is a complete success: "The Stevens Boulevard Luxe moves elegantly, quietly and comfortably through the city and over the countryside and presents itself as a low-maintenance all-round model".
Find more information on all belt-driven STEVENS bikes here.