I have no interest in becoming a cyclist. The only bikes I have are rusty cruisers with big, springy seats about a foot wide. I’d be down to pedal, but there is no way I am ever becoming a “bike guy.” I’m not interested in 24-speed drivetrains, clip-in shoes and technical maintenance. I’m not wearing Spandex or learning a bunch of French racing terms.
Hell, I don’t really even want to wear a helmet. Mostly, I want to listen to Rancid and sweat out a bunch of miles.
Turns out, the Apollo, from Priority Bicycles, is ideal for my particular set of needs, specifically designed to not just be low maintenance, but almost no maintenance. You might have to change the hub oil every few years or 3,000 miles.
Are you riding 3,000 miles?
The Apollo falls into the gravel category—bikes that can be ridden anywhere. Get out on the road for serious training. Start pedaling to work like you keep saying you’re going to. Smash it through the woods. Even for a utility bike, this is built to be super versatile—a light, fast, affordable bike that can serve as your daily driver. It’s also their first gravel bike—and more importantly, the only production gravel bicycle with a belt drive, internally geared 11-speed hub, and drop bar shifters for speed and responsiveness hybrid qualities.
Now, it’s likely that you haven’t heard of Priority Bicycles. It’s a small company started by Dave Weiner, one of those brilliant software CEOs who leaves the corpo world to start a company based more in line with his own beliefs. He had a cycling background and got tired of being asked by his friends which bike they should buy. Essentially, he quit his job to start a bicycle company and create the exact type of bike they should buy that didn’t require a tune-up of every moving part every time they wanted to ride.
Usually these type of stories aren’t that simple. This one is.
His goal was to keep service personable, cost reasonable and use as simple as possible. First off, it moves. The shifting and braking are simple and responsive and can be done all with one hand. Low maintenance is also a good choice if you don’t have a garage or workspace. If you’re not sure how to maintain it, you’re less likely to use your bike.
And while the entire line of durable bikes fit this description, perhaps none better embodies the concept than the Apollo, a light bike you can grab, pound away on any kind of terrain, rinse it (or don’t?) and just keep on living your life.
Take the most common aspects of bikes that need maintenance: cassettes that collect accumulated road junk and gravel dirt, derailleurs that get gunked up and chains that need greasing and replacing. Now eliminate all of them.
Priority’s signature is a grease-free Gates Carbon Drive belt (won’t rust either, which is amazing in coastal areas with salty air). Carbon means it also won’t break. And the care is literally a quick hose off.
The Apollo means you will never have to watch a YouTube video of a European explaining how to gauge chain wear. No disrespect to tech gear folk. They are responsible for advancing every sport we love. But we’re specifically talking about a bike for people who aren’t cyclists. And here’s the thing—bike enthusiasts love it as well, which speaks to the quality and forward-thinking design. It might be the all-arounder you’ve been looking for. It comes in four sizes to ensure efficient fit and also travels extremely well.
Checking down the list, the Apollo has stock, tubeless-ready 40mm gravel tires: fast on the pavement, steady on dirty. You could even get this thing on some simple mountain terrain.
And should you start to feel yourself becoming…a…bike guy…the Apollo is open to more technical upgrades. But you can cross that bridge when you come to it.
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