It’s a great time to be a bike commuter. Cities and towns are becoming more accommodating to cyclists. There are more resources and better gear for the commuter. And bicycle companies are coming out with fleets of bikes, thoughtfully made for going from place to place while carrying your stuff.
My current test bike is one of these new “urban/commuting” rides and it comes from Norco Performance Bikes. The VFR Disc 4 is a reasonably priced (MSRP $879), well-appointed flat-bar road bike, borrowing some mountain bike technology to enhance its functionality. It’s part of a group of VFR bikes from Norco with a range of components and features to fit just about any budget. The VFR group of bikes range in price from about $500 to $1400 depending on the model.
The 7005 double butted aluminum VFR Disc 4 frame comes with an alloy fork, rack and fender mounts, Avid Juicy 3 hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano Alivio front and rear derailleurs, a triple FSA Dyna Drive crank (48/38/28T), and WTB Cross Country 700c Speed Disc rims. All that and I’m rolling in style on Continental TownRIDE touring tire with a reflective stripe on the sidewalls.
One of the more interesting features are the chainstay disc mounts. With the disc caliper mounted on the chainstay instead of the seatstay as is the case on most mountain bikes, the rear fender and rack can be mounted without the use of a spacer when bolted on to the rear dropout.
It’s still early in the test, so I don’t have much to report at this point, which is a good thing. Assembly went off without a hitch and my first few rides have been fine. Look for the full review of the Norco VFR Disc 4 in an upcoming issue of Bicycle Times.
The VFR Disc 4 comes in 4 sizes, 16, 18, 20 (testing), and 22. More information is available at www.norco.com.