$5000 Gets You Ultimate ‘Urban Racer’ Speedvagen Bike

In what may be the most rad (and for sure most expensive) coaster-brake-equipped bike of all time, this week the Vanilla Workshop debuted a model called the Urban Racer.


It is a part of the company’s Speedvagen line, and its obscene price is on par for Vanilla Bicycle, a Portland, Ore., brand owned by frame-builder Sacha White.

All photos (c) John Watson/The Radavist

Vanilla bikes are advertised as “once-in-a-lifetime” bikes, and the Urban Racer looks to fit that bill. The svelte city bike has a build that melds art and utility, and it’s also created for speed.

A built-in steel guard keeps your pants off the chain. On front are attachment points for a small optional bag as well as integrated LED lights.

Fender-equipped version

It has a new kind of dropout cast from a “super strong” steel alloy with stainless steel faces. Standard parts include a Chris King headest, carbon fork, Ritchey seat post, Fizik saddle, DT Swiss front hub, and 650x42c tires on Velocity Blunt alloy clincher rims (carbon wheels are an upgrade).

Bag attachment on fork

The coaster brake? It’s a two-speed hub setup made by SRAM that shifts on its own to a second gear when you get to about 10mph. Push backwards on the pedals (like on a kid’s bike) and the brakes are engaged.

Stainless steel drop-outs, SRAM coaster brake

The coaster is unusual, but it’s invisible and adds to the bike aesthetic. It also requires almost no maintenance, and the bike does not need any cables or brake levers.

Built-in chain guard

The look is of a fixed-gear urban bike, but super refined. You can get the complete build at a used-car price of $4,895. Upgrades from carbon rims to LED lights add hundreds of dollars more to this “once-in-a-lifetime” ride.

–See all details at Vanilla Workshop.

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.