Classic & Accessible Lifestyle, Virtue Bike Showcases City/Commuter/Cargo Bikes

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With “lifestyle” cycling taking hold in America, and as we are big proponents of it, we’ve covered the genre here, here, and here (just to mention a few). However, a large barrier to entry especially for cargobikes has been price.

Virtue Bike of San Diego, CA has met that obstacle head-on with its line of “lifestyle bikes.” Whether your style is beach cruising on Sundays, kid hauling on Mondays (w/ motor assist option), or fixie mashing on days that end in “y,” Virtue has your ride for less. Read on for coverage of their newest models – the prices might surprise…

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With most cargo bikes on the market commanding $2k-$3k price tags, and electric assist motors tacking on an additional grand, it’s not a big surprise that very few commuters have fully abandoned their cars. But behold the beauty of trickle-down-technology as it deflates entry costs. The headliner Gondoliere (and Gondoliere+ w/ electric assist) retail for $949 and $1,399 respectively – and the above Virtue SchoolBus (and SchoolBus+ w/ same assist 250W motor) sticker at $999 and $1,499. With a respectable weight limit of 242lbs that’s you and the kids and the dog and groceries all pedaling sweat-less there-and-back-again for under $1.5k – not a bad gig.

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But the story is not simply cargo bikes, nor is it all about accessible pricing. Virtue has a full line of commuter/city bikes in classic designs and many manufactured with 100% chromoly frames (not common feature at these prices). Here is Virtue’s Curve 7 sporting, you guessed it, a Shimano 7speed drivechain and full CroMo frameset. It can be under your Christmas tree for $399.

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Rounding out the freshest options from Virtue is the 2014 Valor that sports a full CroMo frameset, a flip-flop hub, and optional front and rear brakes. (Pictured is the ’13 model with 1 1/8″ threadless headset – for 2014 they are returning to a “retro” threaded 1″). Price TBD.

Comments

david - 11/13/13 - 12:35pm

These are really amazing prices. I have steered away from bakfiet type bikes for awhile now just because of the price but this is a great price as a utility bike. Electric assist is just icing on the cake. Now I know what I want for christmas!

Sprockets - 11/13/13 - 2:01pm

The cargo models on display at InterBike seemed nice. That said, Virtue never responded to emails about ordering one so I have never been able to find out definitively.

rico - 11/13/13 - 3:12pm

These look nice. You see kid/cargo bikes like this all over the place in Amsterdam. The only problem is riding one in the USA is a different story that includes gross SUVs and aggressive idiots behind the wheel.

Ultraclyde - 11/13/13 - 3:36pm

So, is that 242 pounds of cargo, or 242 pounds including the rider? ‘Cause if that’s inclusive I’ll have to go on a diet to pick up a sixxer at the shoppes on that bike…

Ben - 11/13/13 - 6:53pm

240 lbs? My kids Strider kickbike can handle more.

GreenMachine - 11/13/13 - 11:42pm

I applaud the commitment they’ve made to lowering the entry price for cargo bikes. But here, the same argument Grant Petersen made about department store bikes will prove true: they are largely responsible for getting people onto two wheels initially, but they’re insufficient to maintain a daily cyclist’s interest. Technical and performance shortcomings are what drive people to seek higher quality, and thus, more costly bicycles.

Let these joyfully become the gateway cargo bike, but acknowledge that their entry only means there are now more rungs on the ladder, not that the view from the top has become cloudy.

Mac - 11/14/13 - 9:53am

Ultracycle and Ben hit the nail on the head – 242 lbs total? So regular Joe, his laptop bag, a sandwich and his water bottle/latte hits the limit? It’s a great idea, but if you’re going to promote something as a cargo bike, it ought to be able to handle cargo. I’ve got full carbon race bikes with higher weight limits.

Connery - 01/22/14 - 9:32am

I bought a Virtue last year for riding around town. I’ve got to say that after a year with it there’s a lot of things that bug me about it. The thumb shifter was the cheapest one they could have put on looking like something off of a Sears bike i the 80′s, so I replaced it with something better. It uses a 1″ threaded headset so you’re pretty limited on changing anything out. The frame is HEAVY. The wheels look cool with the deep v style, but they are bolted on without skewers, and like the frame they are HEAVY. So heavy that I decided to swap them out with some lighter wheels. Of course when I went to take the cassette off the original wheels I discovered that it’s a freewheel so I had to buy a new cassette.

tzee - 02/28/14 - 3:22pm

seems that they made quite a lot of improvements;

http://www.bikerumor.com/2014/02/17/schoolbus-truck-no-not-vehicles-its-the-new-2014-lineup-from-virtue-bike/

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