For those who appreciate a marriage of function and form, look no further than Heritage Bicycles in Chicago.
The company builds stylishly sturdy bikes that are custom made to your own specs and design. They also come with top-notch components. From a forged frame of high-tensile American steel to state-of-the-art parts like Sturmey-Archer hubs, Brooks saddles and grips, a Gimondi crankset, and Soma Lauterwasser handlebars, the ride is as efficient as the look is classic.
I want the Chief “Legacy Edition”, which is tricked out with extra touches like front and rear racks over Woody’s handmade walnut fenders. While it already has Tektro brakes and Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tires, I’d still probably customize here and there. As a working commuter, I might add a third gear, a seat bag, maybe some roll-up panniers. Pick my favorite color, then accessorize a bit.
And that’s the point. At Heritage Bicycles, you build the bike with the company to make the machine your own. And they're as beautiful to behold as they are practical to live with—form, function, and sweet rideability. What more can you ask for?
While the company is proud to be producing the first completely Chicago-made bikes since Schwinn moved away in the 1970s, Heritage serves up more than great rigs.
Coffee and riding are a natural match, and Heritage Bicycles carries Portland’s Stumptown coffee—along with tasty treats from some of Chicago’s best kitchens—in its hybrid bike-coffee shop. So get a cup of joe and have a mechanic build the road bike of your dreams.
Not in Chicago? No worries, Heritage ships. You can create your bike online or order by phone. You’ll just miss out on the awesome coffee.
From $799, heritagebicycles.com
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