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The Priority Classic diamond frame, as tested with Priority fenders and rear rack.
PRICE $449.00 USD
FIND IT AT prioritybicycles.com
PRODUCT AVAILABILITY Online only, ships to US and Canada
The Priority Classic is an upright, aluminum city bike built for simplicity and low maintenance. The bike has a Shimano Nexus three-speed internal hub with belt drive, coaster brake, sprung saddle and swept-back handlebars. Each bike comes equipped with a kickstand, bottle cage and includes a floor pump, too. For this review, we added the Priority rear rack ($34.99 USD) and Priority fender set ($34.99 USD). The bike is available in two sizes: S/M for riders 5’2”- 5’7” and M/L for riders 5’8” – 6’3”. A Classic Step-Through model is offered as well. Other options include a choice of two colors – matte black and gloss dark blue – and add-on accessories such as front baskets, lights, locks, luggage, child carriers and more. Priority guarantees their bikes, and if you don’t end up liking it, you can return with no questions asked.
TELL YOUR FRIENDS I visited the Priority Bicycles Pop-up shop last summer in Manhattan, and they were kind enough to lend me a bike for part of the afternoon. Easy to ride, easy to handle. It’s very upright, and that’s a good thing for city riders. If you’ve ridden hybrid or drop bars, this may take some getting used to before you get hooked on the comfort. The flat streets of Nolita were an easy match with the three speeds available. It was a nice taste, and made me curious to try it out in my natural riding environment – hilly and sometimes wet.
Back in Vancouver, the Priority arrived boxed and was easy to assemble with the included tools and pump. Simplicity and function are the name of the game here. Priority has built a sleek, light (about 25lbs) and easy to ride bicycle. Priced at $449, this would be an appealing bike for a city dweller interested in cycling more often, in a place with little elevation gain. It’s also ideal as a nice, first city bike with little maintenance aside from keeping the tires inflated. Seasoned riders looking for that unfussy bike for bar runs and weekend cruising would appreciate the easy hop-on experience, too. Adding the fenders and rack made a lot of sense for me, commuting in our sometimes wet weather. But on it’s own, with matte black frame and brown tires/saddle, it’s as uncomplicated as a bike needs to be.
WISH LIST With the belt drive, internal hub and coaster brake, not a lot can go wrong with this bike. In time, sure, you may need to make some adjustments, but nothing serious. To make this bike truly ready to rock at any time of the day, a built-in dynamo hub and lighting would complete the picture. Having on-board lights for whenever you find yourself caught out in the dark (ie. afternoons in the winter) would be a killer upgrade. It would add to the cost of course…perhaps a deluxe model will be offered in the future.
SUMMARY The old adage about riding, freedom, feeling like a kid again….this Priority bike gave me those feelings. Don’t get me wrong, I love my loaded, geared-out and racked-up bikes and ride them everyday. But, when a lunch ride is in the cards, the Classic is my choice. The easy-rolling attitude of this upright ride encourages conversation and taking it all in – a slow cycle bike with plenty of style. Shop bikes, bar bikes, city cruisers – whatever you call them they have something in common. They strip off all the extras and keep it dead simple, ready to ride and easy to make the bike your first choice when stepping out the door. The Priority Classic will sway you on this choice, and it’s an easy one to make. Take the bike.
David Niddrie is the Creative Director at Momentum Mag, he commutes year round by bike in the Pacific Northwest. @DavidNiddrie