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The Priority 600 Pinion Gearbox Bike

My friends at Priority Bicycles have released a new model bicycle with a German-made gearbox that is sealed against the elements and is centered on the bike for optimal weight distribution. While it's the gearbox that is the marquee feature on this new bike, it is the wide tires that fire my soul. I want to share where those tires can take you.

Full disclosure: I am a friend of Priority Bicycles, and was in the loop on the design and testing of the Priority 600 All Road bicycle. I am not a disinterested party.

Pavement is easy. Priority has specified WTB Horizon road-plus tires on the bike. These are 47 mm wide tires that you can run at low pressures for comfort over rough surfaces. Priority did not skimp here! You are not getting a cheap OEM version of the Horizon tires. Priority spec'd the full-on, high thread count enthusiast version that is tubeless ready, and mounted on tubeless rims. 

Priority 600 Pavement.jpg

 

 

 

Rough. Smooth. Doesn't matter. You can't go wrong with the Horizon tires on pavement.

Gravel is the sweet spot. I can't say enough about how much fun it is to head out on the Horizon tires and just follow my nose down whatever interesting road -- paved or unpaved -- presents itself. Run the tires at 30 psi. Adjust up or down to suit your taste. These tires feel planted and secure, and comfortable!

Priority 600 Gravel.jpg

The Horizon tires are planted and secure on gravel

Doubletrack's good too! Because even better than gravel roads are the endless miles of leftover logging doubletrack and ATV trails in the Hiawatha National Forest. One of my favorite rides for exercise is a mix of gravel road to ATV trail to pavement, and back to the parking lot. The WTB Horizon tires take all those surfaces in stride.

Priority 600 Big Gravel.jpg

Doubletrack? Big Gravel? It's all good!

Singletrack's possible. Just make it smooth singletrack. I don't recommend slamming into rocks and roots, and for sure don't be hitting jumps and grabbing air. But go easy, and the Horizon tires have let me push the envelope to include easy singletrack into my weekend afternoon rides.

Priority 600 Singletrack.jpg

Smooth Singletrack? Sweet Solitude.

Boardwalks and other unusual surfaces are easy, with the wide tires providing stability and grip. I don't often get the opportunity to ride long distances on boards, but last summer on vacation with my wife I had fun circumnavigating a lake on a trail that included over two miles of boardwalk. 

Does it get any better than this?

And now for the crazy stuff! What follows is not recommended(!), but I'm an enthusiast and have pushed the bike -- willing to risk that either the bike or myself might break in the process -- beyond its intended design parameters. This next photo shows the first prototype of the Priority 600 All Road just as I'm entering a rough patch of mountain bike trail in Manhattan's Highbridge Park. 

Priority 600 On The Rocks.jpg

The Priority 600 prototype handled this rough section. Skill and experience are needed! Surfaces like these are outside the design parameters and bring risk of damage and personal injury.

I love the bike! I've ridden the WTB Horizon tires for over a year now. I love where they can take me on my Priority bicycles. I love how the wide tires help me link together random trails and roads, bringing me to scenic places and helping me connect with nature and recoup from a tough day in the office. The Pinion gearbox on the Priority 600 makes the experience even better by centering the weight on the bike and adds tremendous gearing range for getting up (and down!) steep terrain. 

Priority 600 Smiling.jpg

The Priority Smile

p.s., Ryan Van Duzer's video review of the Priority 600 is excellent.