(Photos by John Watson)
Sacha White, the southeast Portland-based maker of fine bicycles who has sat among the top American framebuilders for years, has just released a new bike: the Urban Racer.
“Designed as a super commuter, getting you around town as fast as possible. Minimal, modern and shred ready, the Urban Racer is the answer for the discerning cyclist who wants to go fast and find new lines on the way to work,” says the official announcement.
The Urban Racer comes out of The Vanilla Workshop, a brand that houses White’s Speedvagen line. After years of toiling under the pressure multi-year backlogs, White created Speedvagen to make his bicycles more accessible. He took a more batch-oriented approach (rather than one-off builds) and enlisted highly respected builders to help his shop ramp up production of a very select line of bikes.
The Urban Racer might be the most daring bike White has ever offered. Known mostly for road and cyclocross bikes, the Urban Racer is a major departure. It comes standard with a minimalist chain guard, flat bar and a coaster brake, “for it’s utter simplicity and complete skidability.” The bike is officially described as “Your urban shred sled” and photos on the Vanilla website show a man wearing a full-face motorcycle helmet.
The complete bike starts at $4,895 and there are several upgrade options offered — including a custom front rack and a dynamo-powered front hub.
Here’s more from The Vanilla Workshop:
There’s a place for the commuter mule or the grocery-getter in every stable. The Urban Racer is neither of those things. It’s lightweight, nimble and the riding position is dialed to race, not cruise. Like any bike we make, we’ve hit every nook and cranny with a critical eye. The integrated chain guard is functional, sexy and made of super light stainless tubing. The wheel and tire size (650b x 42) make this bike feel like you can ride it through a brick wall. And the coaster brake was deliberately chosen for its utter lack of complication, leaving you free to focus on building speed & spotting jumps.
And here’s a quote from the man behind the bike, Sacha White:
“I used to think that a bike for getting around town could be as heavy as it needed to be and if that meant it had more utility (lights, racks, integrated everything), then the heavier the better. While there’s a place for the mule, or grocery-getter in every stable, what I’ve gravitated toward with this new bike is fun. A light bike that has some good volume to the tires, has a minimalist, modern, sexy design and above all is something that I totally want to SHRED on.”
And here are a few more photos.