|Virtue 6 out and about. Photo courtesy of Virtue bikes.|
I took a Virtue Six for a test ride today. It’s a sweet bike, but not quite right for me. I love the look and it was a fun, smooth ride, but it weighs 28 lbs [with fenders] and is a 6-speed. I want a lower low gear to get around in San Francisco. I’m also of two minds about the lack of quick release wheels. They’re less likely to get stolen, but I’d need to carry a wrench. I also wish it had a chain guard. But the price is hard to beat — $425 for the one I tested.
|Virtue 6 with rear rack. Courtesy: Virtue Bikes.|
I contacted Virtue and got the inside scoop from owner William Mulyadi. He said he designed Virtue’s first bike, the Virtue One, which came out in the mid-2000’s, after asking bike shop customers about their ideal bike.
“It seems Pashley Guv’nor is the winner,” William said. “Knowing that many like the character and feel of the bike but quite limited on the budget, I designed the bike with that idea in mind. Then many requests came for gears [which led to the] Virtue Six; then ladies versions Curve 1 and Curve 6, etc.”
|Virtue Curve 6. Courtesy: Virtue Bikes.|
William explained that Virtue can keep its prices low (the 6-speeds are $399 and the 1-speed is $299) because they actually own the factories.
Gloss black full chromoly frame and fork (sizes: 52cm, 56cm, and 60cm)
Alloy porteur handlebar
Alloy riser stem
Brown Velo stitch grips
Brown Velo riveted saddle
Silver alloy single crankset 46T 170mm
Silver alloy chain guard
Tektro CL530-RS brake levers
Wellgo road pedals
Shimano SIS thumb shifter
Shimano Tourney rear derailleur
Shimano 6 speed freewheel 14-28T
Double wall black rims
700x32C Cream Kenda Kwest tires
Silver KMC chain
Front and rear fenders
Silver brass bell
*please note that size 52 and 56 come with quill stem, silver rims, and rear rack
*previous batch of Virtue Six with brown/white 700×32 Kenda tires and wide townie handlebar are still available
William has given me a preview of some other interesting models — including a cargo bike — that Virtue will be coming out with soon.