Shinola Introduces the Runwell Di2 Oct 30, 2013


If you paid attention during my Interbike coverage, you would have seen this before. Shinola has created one of the most balleur commuter bikes to date, the Runwell Di2. Here’s the scoop:

“Few urban bikes are better looking, smoother riding and easier shifting than our classically-styled Runwell. Our Limited Edition Di2 Runwell marries the enduring style and predictable handling of our American-made lugged steel frame and fork, with the latest performance technology of Alfine hydraulic brakes, Alfine dynamo front hub with Supernova E2 Pro bright light and 11-speed, internal Di2 electronic shifting.

Lightning quick, push button shifting, with handlebar-mounted LED control panel, and ondemand lighting makes the Runwell a classic bike that’s also incredibly convenient. We’ve built out the Di2 Runwell with our own aluminum front rack, black alloy fenders and fender-mounted super bright PDW FenderBot tail light. Cables, wires and Di2 battery are internally routed. Classic styling meets the performance benefits of race-proven shifting and braking technology.”

The Runwell Di2 is available now at Shinola.

  • kasual

    Beautiful bike and a lovely technology exercise, but $4500 bucks for a commuter? I’m pretty sure I would get separation anxiety locking that up downtown. I’ll take a Space Horse and a CAAD10 Ultegra for the same money. Even the pricing on the standard Runwell makes my eyes water.

    And yes, I know, pricing is the point that everyone will belabour but come on

    • It’s like comparing Chris King road hubs to Shimano 105. It’ll do the same thing, but they’re not the same.

      Di2 Alfine kit is $1800, Alfine generator and E2 $500, wheels, bars, etc etc etc. Do I need to add up everything? Then the frame is made by and painted by Waterford in Wisconsin. Not Maxway in Taiwan.

      Get it?

      • sygyzy

        I wonder how low you could get a similar bike, if you are willing to give up a few things, but still stick with the basic premise (internal hub, generator, light, etc).

        • Plenty of companies make a similar bike but overseas. Just about every European commuter has an internal hub with a generator lamp. It’d cost you around $2500-$2800 with this technology, but much less without the Di2. Those brands also make thousands of bikes, not a couple dozen. Pricing goes down considerably… Especially when you don’t have regulation or appropriate worker’s wages.

          Why do we always have to have this debate when I post about Shinola? Surely it’s not a hard concept to grasp.


          • roabms

            Prolly because it reads like an advertisment when you just repost a press release.

          • This blog is about sharing products from companies and covering events / bicycle photos. The premise has never changed.

            I do not accept money or products to post goods. If I did, I’d have to disclose that information, by law.

          • roabms

            Sorry I hurt your feelings. I wasn’t accusing you of anything unlawful, just pointing out that commenters are going to editorialize if you don’t provide any at all. Obviously, you have strong opinions and good knowledge, but it’s only in your commenter rebuttals.

          • My skin’s thicker than that. ;-)

            Look, when I get opinionated and preachy in posts, it causes people to feel alienated. It’s something I’ve tried to limit to actual editorial posts (like the guide to buying a custom bicycle, flying with a bike, etc).

            People are smart enough to formulate their own opinions on products and videos, so I just present them.

            Over the years, I’ve also tried to include more options, rather than just post things I’d personally use. If anything, to be more inclusive.

            The last thing I want is to be some kind of elitist “cool guy” club leader, ya know?

            Drinks on me…

          • kasual

            You do actively promote companies like All City on here, are you by extension saying that their frames are made in an unethical manner?

          • I promote them, yes. Because everyone needs options. It’s elitist to assume that people NEED / should buy a custom, made in the USA frame as their first bike. So I like to give them options. There is nothing wrong with buying a bike made overseas. But there is something inherently wrong with people shitting on companies that are trying to make things in the States.

            I may promote All City, Surly, etc but I don’t have one in my stable because I’m trying to be mindful about supporting small builders.

            The ONLY reason why I brought it up is to give people perspective as to why things are cheaper made overseas.

            I think you’re picking a fight for no reason. If you don’t like the idea of a $5k commuter, bring something constructive to the conversation or just move along. There are plenty of other posts on the site that you could look at / comment on.

          • kasual

            The last thing I’m trying to do is pick a fight and I’m not sure which of my comments constitutes me being a “dick”?

            What I am doing is voicing is my opinion about a bike you posted on the site. I appreciate your perspective on buying American and if I had the money I would probably buy local as well, but you’re the one who is becoming very defensive over the whole thing. Yeah, I don’t quite get the point of a 5k commuter, that’s my opinion and I’m entitled to it.

            I’m in the process of building up a Space Horse of my own, I happen to like All City and Surly. I wont be surprised to see more content from them on your site.

          • I didn’t mean your comment. I meant the ones I’ve gotten in the past. Sorry for the confusion.

      • roabms

        Most of this bike and it’s cost isn’t for American-made goods though.

        • The frame is what costs so much here… No one makes even bicycle chains in the States. Much less an internal hub.

          It’s a luxury item, not a cycling necessity. Some people can afford it, some can’t.

          I’m not sticking up for Shinola here, just trying to understand why this debate continues to strike up. Personally, I’d get a custom bike if I had close to $5k in available funds.

      • kasual

        I get it, and like I said, it’s a beautiful bike and I admire the selection of components. But for a commuting bike to use (and invariably abuse) in day to day life I just don’t see a 5k ride being that practical versus many other capable rides.

        But like you said, it’s a luxury item. If I have 5k to drop on a bike it would be a custom job for sure.

  • Graham

    Not sure why people get so upset with pricing on products manufactured in the states. While I can’t afford it and probably couldn’t justify it, I always think it’s nice to see a company encourage quality craftmanship. And the fact that the company is ~40 miles down the road is pretty great.

  • PhillipNdestroy

    It comes down to people needing to get the fuck over it, if you don’t have the money for what it is, then who gives a shit? Talking about what kit you’d rather have for cheaper isn’t going to help the company, nor is it going to sway them from doing what they do. It’s still a real slick bike that a shit load of hard work is put into. Let American fabrication companies do their thing, yeah its expensive, but its also not gonna ride like a fucking huffy.

  • Look – people want to know why these bikes cost what they do:

    These frames have internal routing for gears and brake lines, with shaped cable ports. The ports are silver-soldered on the lugged frames. All lugs are finished, not left with casing lines.

    The forks have a custom crown. The dropouts are made in Detroit, designed in house by Shinola. Their forks pass EN, for disc brake use, with a curved blade. Not easy. A lot of PR&D had to go into the re-design of the blades so they would pass.

    Most small builders do not open molds up for crowns, and have their own dropouts made – save for people like Sachs, Cielo, Vanilla / Speedvagen.

    If any number of other frame builders in the US offered this frame, it would be much more.

    Pricing comparison re: just frames

    -Cielo Sportif $1895
    -Rock Lobster Sig. road (fillet / lugged) $2550
    -Speedvagen stock $3450 / $4150 custom

    -Breadwinner Arbor Lodge porteur $2285 frame / $5700 complete with Shimano XT

    Does that help explain things?

  • I’ve been waiting to see something like this ever since the Alfine Di2 was announced. And it is just as amazing as I expected! The internal battery is key.

    • I want to see a di2 battery that’s hooked into the front generator hub so you never need to charge it…

      • True… These internal batteries usually charge by USB right? There are plenty of dynamo -> USB charge adapters out there already. Someone just needs to hide it somewhere.

        • Lee

          Hello All who have commented on the Di2 Shinola. This is a simple equation. Lets begin with Waterford alone. A long history of USA high quality built steel bikes. They hand build every bike and paint the bikes in there factory. Then you have a collection of components that are Top shelf. Lets not forget assembled in Detroit. OK – I believe the confusion with the price of the bike is what everyone will tolerate to pay for the “category” or are willing to lock up to a parking meter. Strip that variable away and ask yourself what you pay for your mountain, cross, or race bike and you will quickly realize how far off based the opinion is of value.

      • Scott

        This just blew my mind. Has it been done?

      • Kerry Nordstrom

        You can plug a Di2 battery in for approximately 10 minutes and get a few hundred shifts, 90 minutes for a full charge. It would be unnecessary to have the battery hooked up continually. Wayne Stetina has tried for years to exhaust his Di2 battery, within reason, on rides. He’s made it to the moment when the front derailleur stops working, which gives you ample time to figure out in which gear you’d like the rear shifting to hold several hundred shifts from THAT point. I have nearly zero experience with Alfine Di2. I would imagine the battery life could be even longer with Alfine as there are fewer aggregate shifts. The DA/Ultegra Di2 front shifting requires a majority of the power from the battery as that servo motor uses the most oomph of the two derailleurs.

        Now if the current from a generator hub could charge a capacitor that holds enough charge for those few hundred shifts you might use in a few hours of riding…

  • Matt


  • dontcoast

    so. sick.
    coolest custom commuter I’ve seen in a bit. definitely would want.

    great value for what it is, too.

    but yeah, I wouldn’t commute on it just because of lockup anxiety. If I could afford it I might get 3 ABUS link locks to go with it. and still stress out a bunch.

  • quesofrito

    $6K Rossman commuters FTW!