After starting with fat and plus size tires, Advocate Cycles is moving to something a bit skinnier. Based out of Minneapolis, Advocate has been making noise in the bicycle world thanks to their positioning as a Special Benefit Corporation. The arrangement allows for Advocate to operate as a business while giving back 100% of the profits after expenses to bicycle based advocacy. Perhaps the way forward for many businesses, it was recently announced that Kickstarter is now a similar Public Benefit Corporation as well.
For Advocate cycles though, it’s not just about the advocacy, but it’s also about the bikes. Founder Tim Krueger mentioned he didn’t want to sell product he wasn’t proud of just because of the advocacy model. Instead he wanted to make the bikes he really wanted to ride while also giving back to the community. Their new Lorax is an example of just that – it’s meant to be an affordable, steel cross/gravel/do it all bike with modern components and a fun ride…
Continuing their use of local artists for the bicycle’s graphics, the Lorax get a custom illustration from Adam Turman. Featuring the Minnesota state tree of the Norway Pine, the illustration is Adam’s take on the popular children’s book centered around the Lorax.
Built around a long and low geometry more similar to a gravel bike, the Lorax is meant to ride anything from city/touring to gravel or even cyclocross. The Reynolds 525 steel frame offers a quality ride a price that is within most consumers’ budgets. Tim pointed out that there are many affordable steel bikes on the market, but few that offer a carbon fork which is key to the performance of the bike. Because of that, the Lorax uses a tapered carbon fork with quick release dropouts (400mm A2C, 50mm offset) .
We’re told that the bike will gain a thru axle fork option in the future, but Advocate is waiting on the completion of a new fork that they are working on. Out back, the Lorax ships with 135mm QR dropouts, but since it uses the same Portage dropout plates as their other bikes, it is already compatible with 142x12mm rear hubs. Like the other bikes, the Portage dropouts also allow for single speed use with a SS specific set of dropout plates with built-in chain tensioners.
As you would expect from a do it all frame, there are braze ons for complete fenders and rear racks as well. Tire clearance should allow for a 40 mm tire with fender, for a 45 mm tire without. Stock, the bike will ship with 38s. Part of that tire clearance is due to the use of a pressfit 86 bottom bracket shell which Tim stands behind, even though he said it has been one of the few sources of criticism for the bikes. He pointed out that the pressfit shell allows them to provide tire clearance for the 45 mm tire without aggressive manipulation of the chain stays. The more manipulation of the stays, the greater chance of them failing in the future.
Other frame features include the use of downtube posts just in case somebody ever wants to run down tube shifters (and it also supplies a location for barrel adjusters that actually work), as well as fully external Cable housing.
Pricing is set for $999 for the frame and fork, and just $1799 for the complete Tiagra 10 speed build with Avid BB7s mechanical disc brakes. Expect to see a titanium version of the Lorax in March, with the steel version available then as well.