Bike Test: Adventure Flat White

Bike Test: Adventure Flat White

Drop-bar touring bikes start at around £700 these days. Richard Hallett tests one for £440

Adventure Outdoor Co. £439.99

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Adventure Outdoor’s astonishingly inexpensive Flat White tourer is that there’s nothing much wrong with it beyond its weight and stolid ride.

It is generously kitted out, with front rack bosses, a rear rack (complete with spring-loaded briefcase retaining clip), mounting bosses for three water bottle cages, mudguards of a decent length, and a saddle with copper rivets, albeit for  decoration. It even has frame lugs – at least on the head tube and seat cluster; the less noticeable bottom bracket area is merely TIG-welded. Yet on a properly ‘budget’ touring bike, it’s a creditable effort. 


Unfortunately, it’s one that adds weight to a frameset that can ill-afford it. It’s built of chromemoly steel tubing of a wall thickness that can only be guessed at but which might win the contest if banged carelessly against an urban bike stand. The top and down tubes are of contemporary diameter, where oldschool sizes an eighth of an inch smaller would save a few ounces without loss of stiffness. Otherwise, the frame is well-made and thought-out, from overall proportions down to dropout design.

Assembled around anonymous 32-hole aluminium hubs, using what look like chrome-plated plain gauge spokes, the wheels should give sterling service and may well outlast the famously durable Schwalbe tyres.



The Tourney derailleurs shift well but the gearing is too high for loaded touring due to a 50-34 double

There are a few minor quibbles: the mudguards are flimsy, not adjustable, and rattle incessantly; the Tektro brakes are feeble; and the saddle is nothing like the San Marco Regal it resembles.

Having said that, the Shimano Tourney transmission shifts crisply across its seven rear sprockets and two pressed steel chainrings. Gearing is too high for the bike’s avowed purpose, and any additional weight would see all but the strongest Flat White rider forced to dismount on a stiff gradient.


Verdict

A sturdy and fully-equipped tourer whose weight and wooden ride reflect its price. Would manage flatter tours but perhaps better suited to commuting.

Other options

Dawes Galaxy £699.99


Aluminium frame and fork, Shimano Claris triple transmission, rear rack, mudguards, and cantilever brakes. 

Giant Escape 2 City Disc £499


An aluminium hybrid with key touring accessories, 3×8 Shimano Tourney/Altus gearing, and budget hydraulic brakes. 

Tech Spec 

Adventure Flat White


Price: £439.99
Sizes: 51cm, 54cm (tested), 57cm, 61cm
Weight: 14kg
Frame & fork: TIGwelded/lugged 4130 chromemoly steel frame, TIG-welded 4130 chrome-moly steel fork, mudguard eyes, front and rear rack bosses, 3 × bottle mounts.
Wheels: 37-622 Schwalbe Tyrago tyres, anonymous 622×19 aluminium rims, anon. front & cassette rear hubs, 32×3 pg spokes.
Transmission: ProWheel Forged chainset with aluminium crank arms & 50-34 steel chainrings, square taper bottom bracket. Shimano Tourney STIs, front and rear mechs, and 7-speed 11-28t cassette. 14 ratios, 33-124in.
Braking: Tektro Oryx cantilever. 
Steering & seating: aluminium bar with 31.6mm bulge, threadless stem, 26.6mm aluminium seatpost, DDK saddle.
Equipment: aluminium rack, mudguards.
 

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