Affinity Cycles is best known for their Low-Pro and Kissena framesets but this year, they’ve introduced a whole line of bikes, including this 212 road bike. Classic Italian geometry with a modern flair. I remember when they got the first samples in a year ago. At the time everyone was saying “no one wants a steel road bike anymore”. Now, a year later, all the major companies are doing it.
You can’t pry my Eddy Merckx MXL from my hands. I’ll never sell it and I absolutely love Dura Ace 7403. My road bike is hands down, my favorite bike in the stable. That being said, there’s a certain amount of apprehension traveling with it and riding it in less-than-favorable conditions. People experience this when buying a vintage frame: is it cracked? Is it rusted out? I’ve known that I wanted a modern bike for a while but never had the reason to acquire one. When Jason told me he’s planning on selling the 212 complete, with SRAM Apex, my interest was piqued.
Today I built up the 58cm 212 with just that. A stock build, minus my stem, pedals and saddle of choice. This is how the 212 will come, out of the box. Not bad. For around $1,400 (price is still to be determined), you get a solid bike that rides much like a classic italian racing bike but doesn’t have the same “vintage” rarities associated with it. Bottom line: this is a racing bike for those who want to ride the piss out of it and not worry. The complete will most likely come with different wheels; most likely H+Son rims. And will come with some signature components like an Affinity saddle and fillet-brazed stem.
The 212 surprised me. Aside from some obvious fit issues (57.5 ctc seat tube when I’m used to a 58.5 ctc), this bike is just what I was looking for. Now, I don’t want to call this a review since I’ve only been riding it for a day or so, but I’m impressed with the bang you get for the buck. Build it up with a vintage group, or go modern with SRAM (because they make baller shit). Either way, the 212 is a light, responsive and fun frame without the connotations of a carbon or aluminum frame being too racy for urban riding. Solid! Await a full-review later but for now, there’s a few more photos up on my Flickr. MSRP on the 212 frameset is $600.
Edit: I just saw Brian at Bicycle Revolution’s post on his 212. Check out his build!