Bike test: Adventure Flat White touring bike
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 chromoly 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 old-school 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.
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.
An aluminium hybrid with key touring accessories, 3×8 Shimano Tourney/Altus gearing, and budget hydraulic brakes.