The Vee 1 is designed as a utilitarian bike for urban work and play, with a strong emphasis on play. If you want simplicity and versatility, this single-geared machine is as straightforward as it gets. It’ll handle everything from going to work or school and shopping to playing silly buggers on interesting street structures.
It's also got potential to be a great low-cost, one-geared mountain bike. For off-road use, you’d want to reduce the gearing by fitting a smaller front chainring (around £20 would get you something suitable), and you’d need knobbly tyres (think around £20+ for something decent) if you’re venturing into the slippery stuff, but apart from that it's sorted.
It’s a pity there aren’t more bikes like the Vee 1 available. It already has the rack mounts and bottle bosses that set it apart from other big-wheel BMX-type bikes and it takes very little imagination to see what else it’s good for. An inexperienced bike buyer will point out that you can get a £260 bike with lots of gears and suspension. And we’ll point out the quality compromises you put up with at this price if you want bells and whistles.
The Vee 1 is light, durable enough for anything you throw it at, and easy to ride as long as you don’t need to tackle big climbs. It has the simplistic brawn and evil beauty of a BMX plus go anywhere, do anything practicality. Put a set of mudguards and a rack on it and it’s a decent commuter. Put a smaller chainring on it and it’s one of the best value singlespeed mountain bikes we’ve seen.
It can take a lot of abuse, it only weighs 25lb and rides really well both on and off road. For the price, we can’t really think of anything negative to say. If you want simplicity and versatility, this single-geared mountain bike is as straightforward as it gets.
This article was originally published in On Your Bike: Your Complete Beginner's Guide to Cycling, available at all good newsagents. You can also order it online by following this link.