Batman's Going To Have a Hard Time Catching Anyone Riding a Brakeless Joker Track Bike

A few years ago, the world received news of an upcoming bicycle manufacturer dubbed Priority Bicycles. Their approach to cycling made them unique: every machine in their lineup uses a belted drivetrain. The newest addition to their family is the luscious Joker, a track bike that I'd still take out for a spin around town on Saturdays. Look at it, for god's sake!
Joker Track Bike 12 photos
Photo: Priority Bicycles / Edited by autoevolution
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As you know, I'm a lover of bicycles. After all, they're a genuinely eco-friendly and speedy alternative to the mobile CO2 factories we call cars. Well, in my search for luscious and clean-cut machines, I've run across New York-based Priority Bicycles. Here, I got a whiff of the freshest trinket in their lineup, the Joker. This one is slightly different from your average bicycle, mainly because it's marketed as a track bike. You could, however, take it out for a spin on the smoothest tarmac you can find in your city, as long as you know how to stop a brakeless bike.

Now, a few things we need to consider before you hop on the Joker are the way it's built and the type of drivetrain it has. For example, I mentioned that all the bikes from Priority are belt-driven, and so is the Joker. Yet, a belt drive, in this case, one from Gates, can't be shifted. You'll only go as fast as the gear ratio will allow and how quickly you burn the breakfast you ate. But the Joker has seen extensive research, and so a 70T chain ring takes all your leg power and drives that Gates belt around a 22T rear sprocket. That's a 3.18:1 gear ratio. It'll get those legs burning, but once you're up to speed, you should be rolling along rather quickly.

Continuing our journey through this menace, the frame is built out of your typical double-butted aluminum tubes. It's one of the main ways Priority could keep the price down to a bare minimum of $1,400 (€1,300 at current exchange rates and not currently shipping to Europe). Before you lose your cookies over that price, keep reading.

Because this bike is built to be used on a track, where speed is the goal, Priority paid special attention to the wheels, fork, and seat of the Joker. For example, the rims of this puppy are built using carbon fiber and have a depth of 60 mm (2.36 in). Once Goodyear Eagle F1 25c tires are thrown on top, it'll look like you're riding a pair of knives, and air just happens to be the butter.

Joker Track Bike
Photo: Priority Bicycles
Then there's the fork. Here, you'll be able to take advantage of this composite's lightweight, rigid, and vibration-absorbing properties. All that's then coupled with a carbon fiber seat post to offer as much plushness as possible on a bike of this nature. If you're wondering why no suspension components are found on such bikes, it's so that you can drive all power into the rear wheel. Plus, if you use it on a velodrome, you won't need any squishy bits. Those surfaces are as smooth as a baby's bottom.

Now, I've seen several track bikes in my days, and there are some major differences to take note of. One of which is the tubing shape. Let's face it, the Joker is a track bike, mostly in spirit. The only real aerodynamically tuned components are the fork, and the chain stays.

Then there's the riding position. Sure, the saddle sits way above the bars, the BB is raised nice and high, and you'll be leaning forward, but not as aerodynamic as we may think. I've added a video below with riders of varying heights riding this two-wheeler. In short, you won't feel like you're riding a beast tuned for the Olympics but rather a crossbreed between your typical street fixie and a road-ready two-wheeler. Considering most of us don't bring home cycling gold medals on a daily basis, the position had to be kept in line with bikes we're familiar with.

Joker Track Bike
Photo: Priority Bicycles
As for a few numbers you need to know for the medium-size bike, you'll be riding with a stack of 515 mm (20.3 in), a reach of 397 mm (15.6 in), and a head tube angle of 73 degrees. Your seat tube will be sitting at 74 degrees on all sizes in the Joker lineup. Then there's that 409.3 mm (15.9 in) chain stay, giving rise to a reported "nimble & responsive" experience.

There's something you need to consider about the Joker if you're interested in grabbing one for yourself: it's a limited-run bike. To get one, you have to register on Priority's website, wait for a purchase code with a time limit on it, and if you miss out, you have to wait for the next run. Oh, and each phase is limited to just 100 pieces. It feels like a campaign strategy if you ask me. But it's one way to give rise to that feeling of exclusivity.

The Joker isn't the type of bicycle designed for everyone, nor is it meant for all landscapes. But, if you have some sick straightaways through your town, and the asphalt is immaculate, the Joker needs to be considered. Maybe there's a velodrome in your city. If the idea of zipping around town with no brakes gets your adrenaline pumping, then this might be the one for you.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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