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Industry Ticker: The Vanilla Workshop unveils ‘Ready-Made’ OG1 Speedvagen

Posted by on April 12th, 2016 at 9:00 am


The OG1 from The Vanilla Workshop in southeast Portland is the biggest move company founder Sacha White has made yet.
(Photos: The Vanilla Workshop)

Now you can a bike designed, developed, and made in Portland from the legendary Vanilla Workshop in two weeks or less. It’s called the “OG1” and it’ll come fully-built for just over $5,000.

That’s huge news. Here’s why:

When southeast Portlander Sacha White burst onto the American framebuilding scene 16 years ago his Vanilla Bicycles were among the most coveted bikes in the world. But they were also hard to get. Because White never cut corners and believes deeply in his craft, the size of his waiting list ballooned along with his popularity. At its peak the waiting list for one of this bikes was about four years.

That inaccessibility bothered White. He’s in business to make superlative bicycles not just for the global cycling elite, but for his local friends and fellow racers. He started the Speedvagen line 10 years ago to create a more production, small-batch approach alongside his one-of-a-kind creations. He has since built Vanilla from a one-man shop to a team of builders and painters.

Now comes the OG1, built under what The Vanilla Workshop calls “the Speedvagen Ready-Made” program. Check the release below for all the details:

The Vanilla Workshop is proud to introduce the OG1 road machine, the first model in the Speedvagen Ready-Made program. With the Speedvagen Ready-Made program, you get our very best workhorse race machine – designed, built, painted and assembled in The Vanilla Workshop. Bringing a new definition of handbuilt bicycle to the market.

Speedvagen was born from a desire to keep handbuilt bikes accessible to friends and fellow racers. And with all Speedvagen up to this point being custom with a longer wait, this marks a return to the company’s roots with a bike that represents the core of the Speedvagen ethos of attainability. The OG1 (Original Gangster) is a beautiful, minimalist, bombproof race machine with a great ride. Each OG1 is meticulously built by hand at the Vanilla Workshop in Portland, OR.

OG1 frames are produced in small batches, keeping the cost down, while offering riders a truly hand built experience without waiting months or even years for a bike. Our goal is to have a bikes delivered within 2 weeks of ordering.


  • 5 standard sizes ranging from 50 to 58 (50,52,54,56,58).
  • 2 iconic color options – Matte Army & Matte Lavender.
  • Painted in house, utilizing Speedvagen Ghost graphics.
  • Berzerker dropouts.
  • Integrated seatmast.
  • Super light custom drawn steel tubing. (Columbus and True Temper)
  • Strategically placed stainless steel reinforcements.

The OG1 component package has been selected for great function, shredability and longevity. You’ll notice a mix of Dura Ace and Ultegra – an old racer’s secret (performance where it matters and economy where it counts) as well as a nice lightweight year-round set of Mavic wheels. Here’s the full spec:

  • Shimano Dura Ace mechanical shifters and rear derailleur.
  • Shimano Ultegra front derailleur, cranks and brakes.
  • Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels & tires.
  • Fizik Antares saddle.
  • PRO handlebar wrapped in Cinelli cork tape.
  • Ritchey seatpost head & painted PRO PLT stem.
  • Painted ENVE 2.0 road fork.

To deliver a bike of this quality within two weeks is a absolutely huge accomplishment. Congrats and good luck with the OG1 to Sacha and the entire Workshop crew!

– Read more local bike industry news in the Industry Ticker archives.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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  • bikeninja April 12, 2016 at 9:19 am

    An important detail left out of the story is if any of the sizing is customized by the new owner at the time of purchase. Most importantly is the integrated seat mast cut to length to fit the new owner before painting.

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    • Bjorn April 12, 2016 at 9:29 am

      the seat height looks to be adjustable in the photo.

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    • Otis April 12, 2016 at 10:30 am

      Almost certain all final adjustments are made per customer spec (fork steer tube length, seat mast height) before painting.

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  • Jim Lee April 12, 2016 at 9:22 am

    The old Schwinn catalogs always pictured their wares with wheels rotated to place stems exactly at the bottom.

    Very nice touch.

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  • Lester Burnham April 12, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Ya Vanilla!!! Could shred on this!

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Jason Skelton April 12, 2016 at 9:52 am

    I may have found my midlife crisis bike.

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  • dan April 12, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Is there a performance difference between these bikes and your garden variety TreSpecialDale? Or is it more about the appeal of artisanal/local product?

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    • Pat Lowell April 12, 2016 at 10:11 am

      It’s a pretty bike, but not sure I’d pay $5K+ for it when you can get a custom C*M*ti*n for that price. Guess it depends how much you value the Portland hipster cool factor.

      Recommended Thumb up 10

    • Champs April 12, 2016 at 11:53 am

      If you’ve ever given your bike a thorough cleaning, you might notice how that next ride feels amazing. There’s no objective reason for it, but it’s there. Riding a Vanilla is like that all the time.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

    • bendite April 12, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      If you’ve been on a handmade bike you’d have your answer, and it’s yes.

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  • Huey Lewis April 12, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Does DJ OG1 know about this?

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  • Jessica Roberts
    Jessica Roberts April 12, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Another great build by Sacha. Love it.

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  • Brian April 12, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Such a beautiful bike. Nice work, Team Vanilla.

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  • intjonathan April 12, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I think you accidentally a word: “Now you can a bike…”

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  • dwk April 12, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Pretty average wheels for a 5 grand bike….

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  • Rain Waters April 12, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Wonderful news!

    My similarly equipped carbon frame with over 50k miles on it, (that will NEVER rust), rides better than snob-tank and cleans up with clearcoat.

    Making it worth $10,000 at least !

    I’m slowly recovering from denial of “potential catastrophic failure”. I hope I make it through this ordeal with my life.

    That shade of purple sez all I need to know.


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    • soren April 13, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      riding carbon has saved me a lot of money since i no longer break a metal frame every 2-3 years.

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  • paikiala April 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Which group does this bike appeal to?
    the 1%?

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    • middle of the road guy April 12, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Or just people with different tastes and sensibilities than you.

      Some people spend a bunch of money on weed…I spend mine on bikes.

      Recommended Thumb up 13

    • dwk April 12, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      Silly comment… I have already stated that the wheels are average for the price, but $5,000 for very nice dependable transportation that will last years is not a 1% item. I spend 10-15 hours a week on a bicycle, way more than a car and I won very nice expensive bikes for that reason.
      Very cheap compared to cars even if you own a very expensive bike.

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    • Brian April 12, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      I don’t understand this question. My guess it appeals to most everyone who enjoys quality road bikes.

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      • bendite April 12, 2016 at 1:24 pm

        Most car owners spend more than that on their car in a year, does that make them part of the 1%?

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    • B. Carfree April 12, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      Weird question, imo. My family hasn’t even been in the middle class for decades (thank goodness for Obamacare!), but we own several custom bicycles that cost more than $5k. We haven’t owned a working car for many years, so maybe that’s part of it. When your bike is what gets you from point A to point B, it better be well-made, especially when those two points may well be hundreds of miles apart at times.

      The average car owner spends $2-4k on gasoline per year and over $5k on car expenses each year. It doesn’t take many years of avoiding those expenses to have plenty of funds for those things one places value in.

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    • Lower income yet privileged Speedvagen owner April 12, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      It appeals to the “interested” as opposed to “concerned” group.

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  • Chris I April 12, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    58cm is the biggest option? I guess they don’t have any customers over 6′ tall…

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    • BB April 12, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      If you’re over 6′ you’re already too heavy for these bikes.

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  • IanC April 12, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Wow – all the dissing and judgement over the price.

    I’m a musician. My feeling is that you can’t spend “too much” on an instrument IF…
    1. It speaks to you and fits your style
    2. You’re going to play it.

    It’s the same thing with a 5K bike. If it fits your style and passions AND you’re going to ride the Hell out of it – just go for it! It’s worth it.

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    • Brian April 12, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      It’s the Portland way.

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      • Mossby Pomegranate April 12, 2016 at 6:04 pm

        The same people who complain about a fine local-built Vanilla probably have an expensive foreign-built iPhone in their pocket.

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        • Chris I April 13, 2016 at 8:34 pm

          And what local-built smartphone are you using?

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    • Kevin Wagoner April 12, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      This is great. I’m totally using this quote while I convince my wife I do really need at least one of these bikes.

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  • GlowBoy April 12, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Nothing wrong with spending $5000 on a bike, but you can get a comparably performant bike for quite a lot less. Of course it won’t be a Vanilla, and if that’s important to you (as it’s important to some car owners to flash the BMW kidneys or the Audi rings around town) then have at it.

    FWIW, I own a handbuilt-in-Oregon bike that cost me about half that much.

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  • dan April 12, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    I wonder a little bit about “handbuilt”. Aren’t they all? Even the Taiwanese factories aren’t using robot welding…are they? And carbon fiber is laid up by hand…isn’t it? And if it was available, wouldn’t perfectly consistent robot welding be a better product with tighter tolerances than what a inconsistent flesh organism can produce?

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  • Eric Leifsdad April 12, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    What about the matching fenders?

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  • Drew April 13, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Frame is steel; fork is an off the shelf carbon unit. Lots of frame builders don’t seem to want to build steel forks any more.

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  • wsbob April 13, 2016 at 10:15 am

    So this bike is designed with serious racers in mind? Which I’m not. Sloping top tube bikes are ok, but for a hand built bike, I prefer the look of a level top tube. Hand built lugged tubing joints can be a beautiful sight to behold. This bike’s tubing appears to be filet brazed, which, done well, also can be very good looking (Klein, Cannondale, old Schwinn Super Sport); if I saw the bike first hand, I’d be looking to see how White finished the bike’s tube joints.

    Not personally keen on forks like this one has, with less steep angle, eliminating the slight curve at the tips…but it probably appeals to lots of people that want to get away from suggestion of a traditional styled and designed bike.

    The re curve seat stays are kind of sweet. I like them. The lilac color is unusual, not bad.

    Glad there are local people with the passion to try produce and make available, something showing an effort to strive for extraordinary heights of aesthetics and craftsmanship. That kind of initiative is worth supporting. I don’t have the bucks, or the need for this type of bike, but there likely are quite a number of people that have both.

    I think it’s true that the kind of investment this bike represents, isn’t necessary for becoming an excellent, skilled, and very fast rider. Plenty of bikes for sale new, down from retail for 1000 or less, that will more than do the job…but they’re not hand built like this one.

    One of my fond memories…some guy on work assignment here from Germany, wanted to ride with a local tour club, picked up some old poc Schwinn Continental. He was in fairly good shape, though not extraordinarily so. Over long distance, steep climbs and descents, he did easily better than average among people riding much more sophisticated, expensive bikes.

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