In this blog you’ll see bikes that have prices ranging from the upper $300 to $1800 or so. With new bicycles over $1000 there are custom or semi-custom options as an alternative to a fully-factory-built bike. What do I mean by custom/semi-custom? You can purchase the frame and a box of components and build up the bike (or have someone do it for you), or you can purchase a a bike that is already built and ready to ride. It’s no surprise that people who tour for months on end or bicycle competitively have custom-built bikes. The secret is that you can make the same choices for your Bike For The Rest Of Us.

The Polyvalent from Velo Orange is a multi-purpose bike. It’s a Porteur like those that delivered newspapers and goods in Paris in the 1930s. These bikes are made for carrying loads in the front while still being more nimble and quick than a traditional cargo bike. The frame is for 650b wheels that take wider tires than a 700c but are almost the same diameter.

So why is the Polyvalent a Bike For The Rest of Us? It can be fitted with fenders, chain guard and a front rack. It seems like it would be just as happy carrying groceries as hitting the bike path. It’s multi-purpose nature makes it perfect for those who can only have one bike.

Velo Orange sells the Polyvalent frames on their website along with anything you’d need to build up the bike. Long Leaf Bicycles has an Alfine-equipped PV on their website. I also heard that Renaissance Bicycles is working on a build. Please drop a note if you know of another places offering the Polyvalent.

Photo credits: Top, Velo Orange. Second, Long Leaf Bicycles

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  1. Anonymous


    In fact, we are working on two "standard" builds to offer with the Polyvarent frame.One is a budget oriented city bike built with good stuff for around $1500.The other(top secret version) is a little bit of throw-back to the "other uses" of city bikes.

    I'll keep you posted!

    Bryan @ Renaissance Bicycles

  2. 2whls3spds


    We definitely need to see more bikes of this style. I doubt they will ever go mainstream, but the price is certainly reasonable for what you are getting.


  3. Anonymous


    i almost got one of these to build up but i ended up going with a NOS miyata 610 that will hopefully serve me just as well. it is truly a beautiful frame for its purpose. i will still be putting on the vo porteur rack so hopefully the utility will be about the same.

  4. Anonymous


    seeing a lot more in portland. built up a poor mans porteur with Vo parts around a 80's mtb with a crowned fork. love it. bye bye shoulder bag and sweaty back

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