Vote for Your Favorite Speedvagen from the Workshop Build Off

Being a part of this project, if by only being the person who shot the photos of each bike, was a lot of fun. The Vanilla Workshop was brainstorming about what the next bike should be in their Ready-Made program when someone had the bright idea of including the public vote in the decision. That’s when the #WorksShopBuildOff was born. The idea is simple; ping some people/personalities/bike shops/artists to design their bike of choice, with or without concept, be it merely style, or art canvas. Then, Vanilla would build the bikes up and YOU, the public would get to vote on each, determining which will be part of the Ready-Made program.

You can do this a few ways; take to social media, use the #WorksShopBuildOff hashtag and post one of these photos of the bike of your choice, vote at our Instagram, or you can simply vote in the comments here, by saying 01, 02, 03… for your vote, and last but not least, you can head to web and vote at Speedvagen. Let’s get it started!

01 – GEOFF MCFETRIDGE – THE VOID ROAD
The Frame is a window

Riding a bicycle is our most intimate way to engage with a machine. No matter how many hours we spend riding a bicycle, that bicycle will never become more human, we experience the joys of being a machine.

A friend of mine once described road cycling as “a way for people to disappear from their families for 3 hours every Sunday morning” There was some truth to this, and could be said more simply (and with less bite) that cycling is “a way to disappear”

By disappearing, you are disappearing from responsibility, family, friends, your self and that is something that has to be reconciled. I have always considered my visits “into the void” as a way to barter with reality. I will trade my time and my commitments for a few moments where I can tone down my existence.

In meditation, I have heard of Buddhist monks ringing a bell to focus a meditation. For me, a bike can be that thing. Familiar, constant, borderless. There is no melody with a bicycle, only rhythm. The bicycle is like a window, it is most important what you see through it.

My design is based around this concept. The space inside the frame. Within the main triangle is the implication of a circle that has to be completed in the mind of the viewer. The other elements are profiles that are part of a pattern or camouflage. These figures are a constellation of points in space that become the circle that is cycling to me. We start as a baby, then there is Marco Pantani for pain and self-destruction, Alan Watts for the dissolution of the self, Sheldon Brown as cycling’s paradigm-shifting mechanical mystic and we end as a skull.

The value of a bicycle is its ability to disappear. At the peak of any ride, your bike is gone, the frame has dissolved, you are no longer just looking at the world like a picture, you have become a part of everything that you see.

02 – THE VANILLA WORKSHOP – DETROIT AGATE ROAD
For a shop build, we wanted to celebrate what it is we do here. Built In-House bikes from start to finish by hardworking people. The starting point for the build was an old bar/stem combo that came in for a repaint. While sanding off the old paint the blends of colors and tones were enough to make us want to paint a bike like this on purpose.

Detroit agate is almost a gemstone like material created by taking chunks of paint from walls and fixtures out of paint booths in major American automobile manufacturing facilities. It is then cut and polished to reveal all of the layers and colors built up over years and years of the manufacturing process. This was the idea we were shooting for. Beauty out of the process.

We didn’t want to stop just with the paint though. To push further with this made in America theme we spec’ed the bike with as many quality American-made parts as possible. The Detroit Agate OG features some of our favorite parts made right here in the USA. Cranks and BB from White Industries. Headset from Chris King. Astral makes rims right down the road in Eugene. Lastly the amazingly functional and pleasant to use Paul Components skewers. To top it all off we made a stem in-house.

03 – GOLDEN SADDLE CYCLERY – SUN RA TRACK
If the bike industry was a planet, I’d probably not wanna live on it. Yes… things are changing, but a little too slow in my opinion. Small companies and independent bike shops can navigate this space a bit more freely and because of this, an exploration into the unknown has begun. Road bikes are getting fat tires, mountain bikes have become eco-friendly RVs carrying people to places never explored by bike, Cyclocross bikes are making it easier to ride to the single track you used to drive to with your MTB, and commuter bikes have become the greatest Swiss Army knives ever conceived.

Pretty cool, right? We’re pushing boundaries and they’re watching, so keep up the good work everyone!

Speedvagen recently asked me to build my dream bike with them, and I decided that was a Track Bike. A Track Bike that fits a 38c tire. A Track Bike with more stack height than I have ever felt comfortable leaving on a Track Bike. A Track Bike with a gear ratio that kids would laugh at me when I told them what it was on the streets. A Track Bike with wider drop bars than most people have on their Cyclocross bikes.

You ask why because that’s my perfect bicycle. Track Bikes are the reason I am where I am today, the Track Bike legitimately shaped my life. Not sure how many people can say that, but I’m guessing I probably know most of them.

This bike was inspired by the universe beyond the bike industry, a world where everybody rides the bike that makes the most sense for them, not the person selling them the bike. A world of endless fun for hours, because you’re riding the most comfortable bike for you, not someone else.

Kyle Kelley

04 – THE VANILLA WORKSHOP / GOLDEN SADDLE CYCLERY – WOODY TRACK
This bike is my space. Its where I go into the unknown. Its where I take chances and risks. The thrill of it fills me up and I feel the energy burst like little stars through my body. It becomes a meditation. A joyous retreat. A focus. It is so simple and ever expansive. All these little moments define cycling for me. The movement through space. Mental or physical. Has changed my life in so many positive ways.

Racing for me has made these moments more abundant. So this bike was built for just that. Racing bikes and being part of the cycling world has inspired me for years. And I wanted to pay homage to that. And what better way than a track bike. Simple. Beautiful. Functional. Fast. One person. One machine. And your space to move through.

Woody

05 – THE ATHLETIC – URBAN RACER
This design came about after we at The Athletic were playing around with ink to create new patterns for inspiration. It was a trip down memory lane to my childhood which was spent watching my Dad race Mountain Bikes in the 90’s.

I wanted something exciting, something which would make me feel like that bike you find under the Christmas Tree that you didn’t expect. Something about waiting for those hot summer days playing with friends in the street until the sunset, carefree and exhausted. It’s a bit of a fairy tale that we are all trying to keep alive.

We tried different color combinations but these specifically make me happy. I googled my dad and found a rider-card of him for sale on eBay. That is hilarious because the colors of the bike are kind of in the same color palette. These colors have probably been hanging there in my head for 25 years to come back to life. His next season bike was a Muddy Fox — black with yellow splatter — then he raced for Cilo and had neon pink and yellow splatter bike. So, you can see where we got that.

Bande De Filles and The Athletic, the coffee cup, it’s all part of this 90s outdoor folklore. I added some women empowerment, a splash of community spirit and a touch of urban with that fancy coffee shop we can find in Portland.

All this while keeping the fun, because I like to keep the mind a little messy like a big splatter on a fancy bike.

Peace, Cool, Flex,

Julie Krasniak

06 – PRETTY DAMNED FAST – GTFO STREET
Pretty Damned Fast was born in cities. The absolute freedom of commuting, the thrill of racing at dawn surrounded by skyscrapers, the escape of single track nestled between grand boulevards, these things are cherished and passionately sought after by those who call New York City home. Life in NYC is grand, but life in NYC with bikes is extraordinary!

Pretty Damned Fast is also about visibility. What started as a fashion editor’s personal Tumblr page, back when it was hard to find images that didn’t center on men in cycling, PDF would grow to shine a light on on the greater Women/Trans/Femme cycling community, sharing the stories of incredible athletes who were under-represented in traditional cycling media. Always with a fashion editor’s eye, PDF sought to inspire, elevate and expand what it meant to be a ‘cyclist’.

This collaborative build finds its self at the intersection of fashion, visibility, and the freedom that bikes bring to all those that ride. Inspired by as much by contemporary fashion, the chameleon paint, that morphs in the light, and from different points of view. It is a vibrant rainbow, or almost completely black, depending on the point of view, depending on the light. A bike that is decorated with a subtle reflective material, speaking to PDF’s urban roots, always shining extra brightly at night.

Built around 650b wheels, this bike delivers performance to riders overlooked by big brand geometry. And while this bike is at home on a fashion set or out an about on the city streets, it is capable, adventure-ready and instantly fun. It’s not a wallflower, it’s the star of the show.

Anna Maria

07 – THE VANILLA WORKSHOP – GTFO PRO
The Speedvagen GTFO is dedicated and designed with a purpose to squeeze every ounce out of life. In a world where everyone works more and has more responsibilities, those times to get away and be outdoors are important. We believe in the power of being out there, somewhere much bigger than oneself. Optimized around the idea of s24o’s, weekend trips, and day-long gravel events. The GTFO is our most capable, and adaptable platform to date. We treated the design of the GTFO the same way we do with all Speedvagen stripping down and innovating what is left.

After 3 prototypes. We landed on a bike that stays honest to our original intent. Simple, fun, and fast. The GTFO is made to go fast (as fast as you can pedal a single speed, or run it geared… whatever floats your boat). Designed to be lightweight, fewer bag mounts makes packing more selective as well as reducing your overall load. Simply carry what you need, nothing more, nothing less and GET THE F*CK OUT there.

Want to leave work, camp, and be home in time for breakfast with the family? So do we, that’s exactly why we built this bike. Have a gravel event coming up? Ditch the bags and its ready to race. Want a more beefy version of the Urban Racer just to have some extra fun on your way to work? It’s good at that too.

____

Follow Speedvagen on Instagram, follow Geoff McFetridge on Instagram, follow Golden Saddle on Instagram, follow Pretty Damn Fast on Instagram, and follow the Athletic on Instagram.

  • I’m voting on this one: 01 – the void road

    • Kk R

      Yeah, no.1, Geoff, that text/concept was what stunned me. You can pour me some of that!

  • although we’re loathe to foster hierarchy, 01 – the void road wins on highest conceptual grounds

  • dc

    03!

  • dan scheie

    #6 for me! Love the idea of a premium bike with a basket! And they make a mean cup of joe at Sun and Air…

  • There are several I like, and I was really set on voting for the GTFO PRO, but in all honesty, the spirit behind the GSC Sun Ra track bike won me over. Even though aesthetically, it’s not my ideal build, it’s the idea behind it. I get that. I really get that. I’m, as I’m typing this in the process of converting my current SS city cruiser running 700×35 to a 650bx42, using dura ace track hubs, short stem and porteur bars. All built on a 1977 Raleigh road frame. It’s about building the bike that’s best for you. So my vote goes to:

    03 – GSC Sun Ra Track

    • Zian

      I’d love it more if it was singlespeed instead of fixed. I just couldn’t bear skidding through those tires

      • Ride it don’t slide it!

      • Yea as a SS rider myself, i concur, but you can thread a freewheel on any track hub, so I consider any ‘fixed’ to also be a SS. But as I said in my first comment, my vote is based on the spirit behind this build more than any specific aspect of the build. I’m voting for turning a track bike on its head. It’s the simplest bike in the competition, but in my opinion it’s the most outside the box, as a concept.

  • rcatleastthreecharacters

    03 – not for the build or the design or the paint job, etc. It’s all about Kyle’s last paragraph – “This bike was inspired by the universe beyond the bike industry, a world where everybody rides the bike that makes the most sense for them, not the person selling them the bike. A world of endless fun for hours, because you’re riding the most comfortable bike for you, not someone else.” I dig that.

    • Nicholas Petersen

      I really liked statement as well.

    • Me too.

  • George

    Either GTFO model. Love the concept and variety of possible builds.

  • Bruin Fenton

    #7
    Beefy single speeds look so rad

  • Jon B.

    Has to be #1, with #3 a close second place. And SV/Vanilla please make the splatter designs of #3, #4, and #5 a production option.

  • GNARdina

    GTFO street. More companies need to make cafe road bikes rather than ugly hybrids. Only thing that would be better is if it were a 2x in the front. Flat can be fast, get a big ring on there.

  • Goyo

    #6! That paint…oh my! Maybe #1 painted the same color as 6.

  • CTDSAC

    #07 GTFO PRO

  • steven

    01!

  • steven

    07!

  • Aaron Klein

    #7!

  • GRYPEWATER

    has to be #6

  • Angel Herrera

    #7

  • Jorge A Morales

    #6

  • Brent Kyono

    My vote goes to #6- the one I’d most likely spend my own money on. Truly a bike for an under-represented application and an under-represented size bracket :’)

    I have to give Kyle’s track bike kudos though. The concept resonates, and that paint is to die for!

  • Nicholas Petersen

    #1. Paint is not my favorite but the world needs more road bikes with polished rims. As a SS road rider on fat tires #3 is my second choice.

  • Kevin Johnston

    01, but I’ve changed my mind 10 times already! Congrats to all the designers on an amazing job and to Vanilla Workshop for creating such masterpieces.

  • AdamBike99

    Going with #1.

    The paint theme is really cool- I am a huge fan of Geoff’s work- but it needs a glossy clear coat to remain looking good for the long term, IMHO.

    Gotta keep that fine McFetridge finish fresh for the long haul!

  • terriblemcnaughton

    Its got to be 06 for me. Although 05 makes my soul happiest and 07 is the most radical. 06 just strikes the right balance of performance to stoke to practicality. Great job y’all.

  • Ryan

    So many reasons to vote for each, but upon rereading V’s request—”We want to be clear about this. We want the bike to win, that the most people would actually want to purchase, not just have a popularity contest.”—I have to go with the clear winner for me, GTFO. #unlearnpavement

  • Nicolas Ponroy

    05 The Athletic, I just want to jump on it and have fun

  • Adam Leddin

    McFetridge for the win

  • recurrecur

    #7, please – just give it to me with gears.
    My Amex is 85340857…

  • Wyatt Cave

    03. As much as I like to criticize people for putting riser bars on road bikes, QR’s and disc brakes, and aggressive mountain bikes without droppers, at the end of the day, you don’t have to explain your bike to anyone.

  • Alex Hillis

    07!

    but in the finish of 06 😍

  • Matt Karwoski

    I vote 6 – I’m a sucker for blue/metallic paint and I like that it’s actually geared as opposed to 7

  • Alan

    #7

  • Bill Conley

    Number 01 with 35mm tires!

  • Röbby Sanfranciskö

    06!

  • JimmyMcNulty

    Everything about kyle’s bike makes sense to me but the pedals. What gives? That being said: 03, 07, 01 in that order!

    • bicyclecrumbs

      Those were simply just the pedals laying around the shop!

      • Ha! Called it! ;-)

        • bicyclecrumbs

          you sure did.

  • Chris Lang

    #7!

  • Emil Holt

    #6!

  • Kevin Ehman

    McFetridge you killed it with the cow bike dawg, absolute stunner. GSC a close second with the Sun Ra whip, rarely does bar tape set a bike off like this.

    • Linh Nguyen

      It reminds of the Indy Fab cow paint scheme from the 90s which I absolutely loved.

      • Shhhh! We joked about how people would think it was a cow paint scheme!

  • merlinvoodoo

    #6

  • Tim Guarente

    #6. Tough choice.

  • Tor Meulengracht-Madsen

    7
    with gears

  • Sebastian Burnell

    01!

  • I can’t decide between 3 and 6. I’ve never had a single speed and that scares me but also makes me super curious. Plus that bike is just beautiful. That said, huge tires, flat bar, basket, gears, paint… #6 is a bike I’m not scared of and know I could get a ton of use out of.

    • it’s cool seeing the Sporks all painted fancy for these bikes. Damn good lookin’ forks!

  • Avuncular

    01

  • Drew Carlson

    Saw them all in person and they’re all uniquely beautiful but has to be 01 for me. Paint was flawless on all of them

  • mr. apodaca APODACA

    never a question about it… the track bike is always the coolest of the cool.

  • #3 No question. It’s just the coolest most fun one that still seems like a Speedvagen. If I wanted a basket/camper/city bike I wouldn’t call Speedvagen. If you described the pitch of the Urban Racer to me, I’d imagine the Sun Ra tarck bike.

  • Albert

    06

  • Nathan Crissman

    #6 for me, I have multiple wheel sets and with 5 minutes in the garage I could have this thing ready for some Texas trails, light single track but it can also commute around downtown Houston or Austin with ease. It was hard to pick between this and #7 but the gears and the paint persuaded me to go with the GTFO Street.

  • Andrew

    007.

  • Explor_Mor

    #6

  • Armand

    #6 please!

  • michael burns

    #6 all the way!

  • Kawika Samson

    #6

  • Alex Zacher

    07

  • mark rothschild

    ………………………………………………………………………………………….#4

    • mark rothschild

      RIVBIKE…Style

  • John Barousse

    #6 FTW!