This Bicycle Celebrates Van Gogh's Almond Blossom Painting and Costs Mere Pennies To Own

Almond Blossom Bike 15 photos
Photo: Sole Bicycles
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If you haven't caught on by now, just about anything this world has to offer can be a work of art, including the bicycle. Well, this next one has been crafted in conjunction with the Van Gogh Museum, so you can expect it to stand apart from others you see on the road. Oh, and if that doesn't have your attention, how about a price tag of just $500?
That's right, folks; the flashy yet simple two-wheeler before us today will cost you no more than $500 (€466 at current exchange rates), and if that's not enough to get your attention, let's consider that the Van Gogh Museum is in on this action, so in reality, we can all be riding works of art. Grab a helmet and let's hit the road.

First and foremost, it's important to note how we got here, and this journey begins with none other than Sole Bicycles, the one and the same born in Southern California, out of a passion and "determination" to change the current way the bicycle industry functions.

Almond Blossom Bike
Photo: Sole Bicycles
The way they hit their target is by offering the public affordable bicycles, which we can rely on. Sure, the Almond Blossom edition, the bicycle before you, isn't the sort of machine that you'll be riding down MTB tracks, but it is one that will definitely get you from point A to point B with a classic bicycle feel; you'll see what I mean shortly, and that's what's been keeping Sole alive since 2009 when a group of friends brought the brand together. Fifteen years later, Sole shakes hands with the Van Gogh Museum to whip up the Almond Blossom edition.

Now, I mentioned that the Almond Blossom is meant to offer the rider that classic riding feel, and it does this by keeping things as simple as possible. For example, the drivetrain is tuned to function on a single-speed setup, so there's no messing around with gear shifters, yielding that cycling feeling most of us grew up with, like our first bikes.

Sure, you'll be using this puppy mostly on flat ground because the moment you hit an incline, you're going to wish you never skipped leg day. But, as an ace up the proverbial sleeve, the Almond Blossom can also "flip" to a fixed-gear bicycle by tampering with the hub at the rear wheel.

Almond Blossom Bike
Photo: Sole Bicycles
More simplicity is found in the shape of classic rim brakes, and while most people aren't a fan of rim brakes, they're clearly one way to keep things simple, light, and as affordable as possible. You will need to keep an eye on the pads as they wear down, too, but that's something all braking systems seem to need: a bit of servicing every now and again. Plus, it's not a very expensive component to replace.

Then, it's thrown onto a steel, not aluminum, frame, and while you'd expect this thing to weigh close to a 'ton,' it only weighs a solid 26 lbs (12 kg). All that's thanks to the properties of high-tensile steel and the inclination toward minimalism.

The frame is also where we can see the magic of Van Gogh being displayed, with the brushstrokes seen on the Almond Blossom painting of 1890. If you're unaware of this painting's significance, let me point out that this artwork was a gift from Vincent to his brother Theo and sister-in-law Jo to commemorate their newborn son, representing "new life" as almonds blossom in the Spring. It's also a painting that remained in the Van Gogh family until being donated to the museum itself. Did I mention it was a painting inspired by a Japanese print?

Almond Blossom Bike
Photo: Sole Bicycles
From the fork to the seat stay, chain stays, and every other tube on the Almond Blossom, all of it displays this timeless work of art. Sure, we may not be able to see the texture that Van Gogh gave to the real painting on this printed frame, but the magic is still there. All that's then tied off with features the likes of white rims, 700x28c white tires, and a white saddle, riveted for full effect.

Other than that, just a couple of water bottle cage eyelets are found, and the manufacturer doesn't seem to mention anything about the possibility of using cargo racks. But, for $500 and striking an image known the world over, what more could you expect; it's the kind of bicycle you're meant to be riding around on a Sunday or a sunny day - wink, wink - to really show off its true colors.

All that's left to do now is break open that piggy bank, head to Sole's website, and place an order for one of these babies before it's gone; like most collaborations of this kind, this event is sure to be short-lived, so better act fast. Heck, it's only 500 bucks; just go for it.
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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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