I got a chance to assemble and ride one of the new Workhorse bikes that are being sold exclusively at Bike Gallery. The Workhorse is a single speed bike that is meant to be an affordable, low maintenance option for people seeking low-cost transportation. Bike Gallery bike buyer Joel Grover saw need that wasn’t being fulfilled. “The bike is not fancy,” said Grover, “but for the money it has a lot of value with some upgraded parts, and it’s at a price point we have yet to really represent here at Bike Gallery.” At $369.99 the bike is most certainly affordable. But how does it stack up? I took a closer look to answer that question.
When I pulled the bike out of the box, I was expecting a boat anchor. Usually inexpensive means heavy, but I was pleasantly surprised. The frame felt fairly light, and the complete bike weighs in at 24 pounds in a 58 cm. That’s not in the same category as a carbon fiber race bike, but it’s a lot lighter than I expected. The frame and fork are made of steel, the wheels have alloy rims and hubs, and the bike features an alloy stem and seat post.
The bike built up nicely, the Tektro brakes were easy to adjust, and I was impressed that a fixed gear cog and lockring are included! This makes switching to fixed gear as easy as pulling the rear wheel out and flipping it over. Speaking of the wheels, the Workhorse’s are built with 36 spokes. The extra spokes make the wheels just that much stronger than more common 32 spoke wheels. Also, the wheels are bolt on, so it is harder for a would-be thief to walk off with them. The rest of the parts are fairly standard. The 1.5 inch riser handle bar, alloy stem and seat post and clamp-style brake levers are nice touches. Time for a ride.
I jumped on and took it for a quick spin. My first thought was this thing is solid! Maybe it was due to my impeccable mechanical aptitude, but the bike felt tight and nimble. After a few quick circles in the parking lot the 58 cm frame started to feel pretty short. It seemed like the bars were closer to the seat than I would have liked. I took a measurement and found that indeed the top tube was only 56 cm long. The Workhorse is pretty upright, so if you are taller than about 6’3″ this may not be the bike for you. There are 7 sizes available: 47, 49, 52, 54, 56, 58, and 61 cm.
I rode the bike quite a bit over the next three days, switching it out for my usual commuter bike. Over that short amount of time I adjusted to the position, and really liked the upright ride. Having a single speed bike with flat pedals around is really nice! It became the go-to bike for my short trips close to home. When I ran to the video store and to the market to get those last couple ingredients for dinner, the workhorse was perfect. This bike is great if you are looking for a bike to ride around and lock up without worrying about it. The parts specification puts the quality where it counts and keeps the cost down. If it were going to replace my commuter bike, I would have to add fenders and some kind of rack or basket.
In conclusion, if you need a bike to get around town on, lock up at the market and not think twice about it, take a look at the Workhorse. It’s fun to ride and the value is great. With the money saved over a more expensive bike, I’d recommend adding fenders and some lights to make it a safer, more practical daily rider.This entry was posted in New Products, Product Review. Permalink.