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What is an Adventure or City Bike?
An adventure bike is a bike designed to take you on adventures around town or around the world. They are going to have the most comfortable ergonomics and are specifically designed for being on the saddle all day. There are several different styles to choose from. For a shorter ride or anything casual, a city cruiser is going to be a very good choice. They have a very upright seating position and are designed to be the most comfortable bike possible. For rides less than 10 miles a city cruiser is going to be the best bang for your buck. For rides longer than 10 miles there are certain adventure geometries out there that are still based around a super comfortable riding experience. A gravel bike, hardtail mountain bike, or even a simple cruiser can be modified to be able to ride for any distance desired while maintaining comfort.
Frame material tends to be a secondary choice when it comes to adventure and city bikes. Aluminum is still the most popular because the frames are durable and start at a much more affordable price point. If maximum comfort is your goal, a steel or carbon bike might actually be a better option. Steel has a natural flexibility that becomes noticeable after a long ride. The downside is extra weight. Carbon is the most premium option because it is a very light and strong material but actually offers a fair amount of give. Carbon frames are known for reducing chatter when the trail or road gets a little bumpy. The penalty with carbon is its price point.
The main defining factor of a heritage bike is that they are produced by hand with quality materials. The production methods are the same as they were 100 years ago and the craftsmen take great pride in keeping the legacy of handmade cycles going. Space age materials, CNC machining, and featherweight components are not a priority for heritage bikes. Instead they tend to opt for handmade and boutique components, source items from small family businesses, opt for labor done by a local bike shop, and have the names of everyone who helped put the bike together. The main deciding factor for going with a heritage cycle is that the end result will be a one of a kind masterpiece put together by craftsmen who live for cycling.
Although, back in the day, traditional steel frame bikes were used competitively, they are now relegated to city bikes and wall pieces. The geometry has significantly changed over the years so a traditional heritage bike might feel completely different than a modern bike. These boutique bikes are best for the connoisseur who has everything and also those who are interested in the long tradition of handmade bicycles.
Defining an accurate price guide for heritage bikes is a very tricky subject. While bikes we carry can start around $1000 for a frame, the final price for a complete heritage bike can range from several hundred for a used thrifted heritage bike and can range far above $10,000 depending on how coveted the specific bike is.
Some heritage brands we carry are Ciocc, Cinelly, Tomassini, Moots, Lynskey, Dean to name a few. These are just some examples of heritage bike manufacturers. Over the last 100+ years there has been countless other heritage bike brands out there. If you have a heritage bike that needs love, we specialize in restoration for such pieces.
Who is this for?
The usual customer that is looking for a heritage bike is someone who already has everything out there, has ridden the best trails the world over, and is looking for that piece that can finally complete a stunning bike collection. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you might be needing a heritage bike; do you have a love for handmade things? Do you like to have equipment that has a story behind it? Do you have strong views about the French or Italian countryside? Have you watched the Giro D’Italia since the early 70’s? Do you feel all carbon bikes could be replaced with proper Columbus Spirit tubing? Do you feel that friction shifters should have never left? If you answered positively with any of these questions, head over here to Mellow Velo and we can geek out about heritage cycles.