Speedvagen has thus far been focused on drop bar bikes, with a mix of custom and ready-made steel bikes for road, cyclocross and, more recently, gravel. That said, they did introduce a flat bar gravel touring bike called the GTFO last year, but the prototype they showed at Sea Otter Classic 2019 is their first proper mountain bike effort.
Designed with a steel frame like the rest of their line, this one was raced by one of their crew at Otter. It’s still a work in progress, but the details were quite polished and looking like they’re ready for prime time. They said they’re still evaluating a few things, and that technically this is just an experiment, but that based on the response from passersby, it’s likely to move forward.
The frame uses a lot of the same designs as their cyclocross bikes, with flattened S-bend seatstays to improve ride quality, captured thru axles, and subtle 3D logos. Up front, they kept a very short stack height and still managed to use a straight downtube without creating any fork crown clearance issues.
Purposeful tube shaping is one of the things that has set Speedvagen apart over the years, along with very nice finish, so we suspect the production version of this will get cleaner welds…but for a proof of concept, it’s looking great.
Speaking of finishes…
The latest paint option for their road and cross bikes is called Horizon and uses a center line to separate upper and lower colors. It’s an upgrade and runs $750 (pink) to $850 (white/gold, called West Coast Horizon).
Cutting a new path with big tires…and knives
The Rugged Road models aren’t brand spanking new (as in, they weren’t launching at Sea Otter), but they’re very recent and present the modern day gravel racer with a couple of custom options. They have two base platforms, the standard (up to 700×44) and the 650B (up to 650×47), with wheel and tire size being the main differentiator. Standard features include paint-matched ENVE gravel carbon fork, integrated seat mast, flat mount disc brakes and thru axles. Other goodies and options are available, too.
Like any good boutique brand, they’ve got some good boutique swag. And this is among the coolest. The made-in-France, painted-in-Portland carbon-steel Opinel knives were their test bed for color matching. The wood handles were custom painted in house as a way to get their processes dialed and colors tweaked before turning the air brush on the frames. So, each one is unique, and they’re just $39.95. You don’t choose the color, though, it chooses you.