If you spend much time following cycling news or looking for a new bike online, you’ve undoubtedly heard about Retrospec bikes. This relatively new bicycle firm has swiftly established a reputation for itself in the industry and a regular stream of cash.
If you’ve seen their bikes, you’ll see they’ve mastered the aesthetics. Their expertise is clean, classic designs with a contemporary touch. And the vivid customizing choices are unrivalled. A bike, however, must accomplish much more than just look beautiful.
So, do Retrospec bikes match the criteria for “good” or “great” bikes? Is all the fuss over them positive or negative? What if you come across an unfavourable Amazon review? Is it accurate?
You’ve got many questions, and I’m here to answer them. Let’s look at Retrospec bikes, starting with their earliest models and going through their evolutions until now.
We’ll evaluate their design and construction quality to their price and industry standards. In conclusion, you should have all the information you need to decide their quality for yourself.
So, what is the current reputation of Retrospec Bikes?
Retrospec is well-known in the cycling community as a supporter of the sport. They aim to get more people outside and actively experience the natural world in urban settings.
What better way to accomplish this than to provide convenient and ecologically friendly transportation in the shape of bicycles?
Retrospec is linked with simplicity and solid quality for those bikes.
The business has long been recognized for its single-speed and fixed-gear versions, which have sleek, simple form factors that are easy for anybody to grasp.
However, today’s collection includes well-reviewed 7, 14, and 21-speed bikes that preserve the same tried-and-true quality and simplicity of use standards.
They are also relatively inexpensive. The majority of their collection is priced under $200. Even the most feature-rich upgrades cost less than $500.
This contributes to their goal of bringing as many individuals as possible into the outdoor riding family. Despite this, they do not sacrifice quality to obtain these costs.
Retrospec bikes are built using components from well-known manufacturers. Shimano drivetrains, Kenda tires, and KMC chains are just a few of the well-known brands that contribute to this company’s excellent customer satisfaction regarding performance and dependability.
This dedication to value and quality has cemented its long-standing status as the go-to source of entry-level bikes for beginning riders.
Nevertheless, they are a genuine contender for experienced riders seeking a decent mid-range improvement at an exceptionally affordable price.
The Evolution of Retrospec Bikes
Ely Khakshouri established Retrospec in 2009. Khashoggi, a sophomore at the University of Southern California, became aware of the rising popularity of fixie bikes in downtown Los Angeles.
Fixies were pieced together in a complex procedure that entailed converting multi-speed bikesback then. The expressive effects were appealing but made the bikes pricey and challenging.
Khakshouri’s answer was to design and build the fixies from the ground up. He started his firm as a one-person show, sourcing all the parts himself.
He negotiated direct negotiations with component suppliers, and by avoiding intermediaries, he could get the bikes constructed inexpensively and effectively.
He found passionate consumers and continuous demand while selling them from his vehicle on campus.
It only took him a year to grow into internet sales. What could the national demand be if demand was so strong in LA? Khakshouri established Critical Cycles as Retrospec’s internet shop.
People worldwide yearned for low-cost fixies that retained the vibrant personal aesthetics of their homebrew beginnings.
Today, both Retrospec and Critical Cycles are part of Khakshouri’s corporate business, Westridge Outdoors. Retrospec is the first and most valuable component of the thriving business, serving as the brand name for the bikes sold in bike stores nationwide.
Profitable since its beginning, bike sales alone will account for half of the company’s $50 million in earnings in 2020, a 150% increase over the previous year. Retrospec continues to grow, with 20 workers and a freshly purchased 200,000-square-foot warehouse in Perris, CA.
Past Innovative Models
Since its inception, Retrospec has been a cycling pioneer. They have questioned industry pricing and distribution standards while experimenting with their diverse product range. Here are a few of their most inventive models:
The 2009 Alpha is the company’s aptly titled first fixed-gear model. This was the prototype for what has since become the industry standard for inexpensive fixie quality.
- 2011 Beta: Continuing with the Greek name scheme, Beta was the next version of Fixies. It had the now-standard flip-flop rear wheel hub. This series also launched the novel frame design that combined a flat top tube, bar-spin clearance, and 0 toe-overlap – a trifecta that was unusual then.
- Beaumont, 2016: This 7-speed ladies’ bike demonstrated the company’s entry into the multi-speed market. They included a step-through frame and a single-piece crankset.
- 2017 Barron: A 21-speed hybrid bike with an aluminium alloy frame for less than $500. Retrospec demonstrated that it could apply its cost-cutting strategy even to higher-end designs.
- 2019 Omega: This single speed commemorates a decade of inventions and accomplishments. It included custom-developed components and launched the company’s new, colour-focused look. The Omega was a showpiece, from the VP freestyle pedals to the riser handlebars.
What is the current state of retrospect bicycle quality?
Retrospec bikes have always shown an ability to strike a balance between price and construction quality. Previously, especially before including multi-speeds in the roster, this meant robust, high-tensile steel frames, well-padded saddles, and good-quality tires and rims.
Many of these characteristics have persisted till the present.
Hand-assembled frames, for example, are still TIG welded for strength and beauty. KMC, the industry leader, continues to provide chains, while Kenda is the most popular tire provider.
However, as good as fixies are for smooth urban transportation, even somewhat rugged terrain can result in flats or breakdowns. Adding more adaptable models to the company’s lineup has enhanced its quality reputation.
This is because the new bikes are better equipped to handle all the road has to offer. For example, hybrids have lighter aluminium frames with alloy stems and seat posts.
Shimano drivetrains provide versatility for climbing and descending steep routes from entry-level to mid-level. Hydraulic suspension systems protect the tires and structure from damage.
Retrospec’s new bikes are generating quite a commotion in the industry for a good cause. Customers are beginning to recognize the excellent level of these bikes when used as intended, as they are now allowed to have only fixies from this business.
Should You Invest in a Retrospec Cycle?
Despite all that has been discussed thus far, you may still be on the fence about purchasing a Retrospec bike. After all, it’s challenging to think you’ll get an excellent product when the price appears too good to be true.
However, if you are looking for a bike, you should investigate this firm. Don’t you like fixies? Don’t be put off by their fixed-gear beginnings.
They now offer something for every type of urban rider. Retrospec covers you whether you’re commuting or searching for something stylish to show off around town.
They include a plethora of multi-speeds, including 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, and 21, allowing you to select your desired flexibility at a very granular level. Beach cruisers and commuters share warehouse space with lightweight yet durable road bikes and hybrids.
Problems with accessibility? Select a bike that has a step-through frame and extra-padded seats. Do you want to teach your child to ride? There are versions for youngsters ranging from pedal-less push bikes to small fixies.
Retrospec aspires to make riding a bike in the great outdoors as simple as possible.
So they’ve done, and continue to do, all they can to supply each potential rider with a steed that meets their requirements at a price that beats almost everyone else. You owe it to yourself to give them a go before making a final judgment.
Models of Popular Retrospec Bikes
Retrospect has a vast product range with hundreds of models to pick from. Which one appeals to you the most will depend on your riding demands and preferences. However, according to Bicycle Retailer, the following three models are the company’s most significant sellers.
Retrospec Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Bicycle
It’s no surprise that this vintage beauty is famous, given it’s frequently available for substantially less than $200 for sale. It has a classic appearance with sombre, cool matte hues and a basic design.
It includes the unique Retrospec flip-flop rear hub for fixie or freewheel riding and is simple to build and service. While a strong steel frame and double-walled rims ensure that this bike is durable (even if it requires maintenance, the parts are inexpensive and straightforward to repair), it also boasts a smooth ride.
If you need a low-maintenance bike to go around and satisfy your exercise demands, this is the bike to get! It may lack high-end features, but it rides well.
Retrospec Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Bicycle: Check Its Price on Amazon!
Retrospec Bikes Harper Coaster Fixie Style
You can get this improved city traversal cycle for less than $100 more than the Harper. It comes with matching fenders, a convenient bike rack, and front and rear brakes for increased safety and precise speed control.
Specialized in low-cost urban bicycles, it’s only possible to find something that appears less expensive than it is; in fact, it appears and feels more expensive. Twist shifters are also helpful since they let you change gears without losing your hold on the handlebars.
Designed for regular cycling, It’s ideal for commuting, adventure biking, and recreational purposes. On the other hand, it is simple and easy to build, requiring little work to maintain.
Retrospec Bikes Harper Coaster Fixie Style: Check Its Price on Amazon!
Retrospec Chatham Men’s Beach Cruiser
The smooth-rolling Chatham is third in line. This cruiser offers everything you’re searching for. Its substantial weight makes the ride steady and easy, while the wide 2.5 tires provide enough grip on both tarmac and dirt and cushioning for road bumps.
It’s available in single, three, and seven-speed varieties, as well as just about any colour you can think of, so you can make it unique. It’s speedy and easy to manage because it has a foot-operated coaster brake.
Its upright handlebars with soft foam grips allow a more pleasant ride, while the vast, wider tires provide enough traction to traverse any terrain with ease and pleasure. The bike itself is durable and simple to construct; the type of bike you’d like to ride on streets and mild pathways.
Retrospec Chatham Men’s Beach Cruiser: Check Its Price on Amazon!
Retrospec Barron Comfort Hybrid Bike
The retrospect Barron comfort hybrid bike is a 21-speed step-through bike for city travel. Its low step-through design makes getting on and off the bike simple.
While the upright handlebars provide a perfect riding stance, the entire assembly is quick and straightforward, as the entire assembly is already completed.
It would help if you simply mounted the front wheel, handlebars, seat, and pedals; it’s not difficult to do, and there are usually helpful tutorials on YouTube.
The lightweight aluminium frame makes it robust and durable, and the lovely Glacier Blue hue makes you fall in love with it. I suggest this bike if you want a jarring-free ride regardless of the weather on a budget with excellent appearance and outstanding functionality.
Retrospec Barron Comfort Hybrid Bike: Check Its Price on Amazon!
Retrospec’s narrative is about one man’s honest desire to make bikes more accessible to everyone. That desire led him from the back of a van to a big warehouse and international distribution of a popular product.
In only ten short years – they must be doing something right! The company’s dedication to providing clients with the best value for their money has resulted in a streak of unbroken triumphs.
While other manufacturers have reduced manufacturing and gone out of stock, Retrospec has kept up the pace and continued assisting the bicycling community through the tough times, at the exact cheap pricing and with the same outstanding product.
And it’s a fantastic product. No, this business does not employ the most expensive components. Nonetheless, their bikes attain excellent durability, performance, and elegance.