Vilano Bikes Reviews of 2018 & Buying Guide
Vilano, a small but growing company in the industry, produces bikes of all types and sizes for riders all over the world. They believe in great bikes at prices anyone can work into their budget, and effective designs tailored to each purpose.
Our buyer’s guide will take an in-depth look at the Vilano brand, and assess a few of their most popular models to start your research on a reliable—but affordable—new bicycle, no matter what your needs or preferences.
What is Vilano?
Founded in 2007 in St. Augustine, FL, Vilano is a smallish company with a big following. Employees love it as much as consumers (their office is even dog-friendly!), and they’re committed to cycling with passion you’d want in a bike company.
They produce bikes for off-roading, commuter use, road bikes, hybrids, kids’ bikes, and even folding models. They also sell panniers, saddlebags, and more, including a wall mount for convenient bike storage, whether you live in a spacious house or cramped apartment. They even offer cycling shoes for racing and mountain biking, if you’re so inclined.
What makes Vilano different from other companies?
Vilano makes no secret about the fact their bikes are mid-level or below, which is a rare find in today’s cycling industry: all too often, companies try to convince customers their bikes are the best of the best, regardless of price (or customer reviews to the contrary).
Vilano, however, is upfront with the fact their bikes are designed for the highest performance for the most affordable price—they work towards an allusive balance of inexpensive, but well-made.
What kind of budget can afford a Vilano bicycle?
Bikes from Vilano come in a range of prices, and might depend on what you need. In general terms, you’re looking at a $200 to $400 range, depending on the model’s release year, materials, and function.
We don’t expect expert-level riders to pick a Vilano, but for an entry-level or perhaps intermediate rider, or anyone on tight budget, the bikes are a great option.
What’s their customer service like?
The web page is a little hard to navigate, if only for its novelty: one link at the top, Categories, products a drop-down menu for all their bike types, and the Contact link is only featured in the bottom navigation bar.
When clicked, the Contact link takes users to a standard email submission form. On the right side of the page, you’ll find an address and telephone number.
We submitted an inquiry via the contact form and received a reply within 12 hours. The representative was friendly and fairly knowledgeable, although not as much as we’ve seen from other bike brands.
The company is also on Facebook and Twitter, so customers can reach out through these platforms instead of/in addition to the email form or support line.
Our only grievance is the About Us section on their website (as in, it doesn’t exist), and the one on their Facebook states nothing other than the founding year and location. For a brand with an entire decade under its belt, it’s quite surprising Vilano doesn’t share its history.
Vilano Bikes Reviews
1. Vilano Shadow Road Bike Review
Don’t let the name fool you: the Shadow will not go unnoticed out on the road. True, it has a clean design and simple color options that grant it an understated appeal, but in terms of performance, it definitely calls attention to itself in a good way. Its drop handlebars and seat are adjustable, so riders can find the riding position that works best for them.
For an entry- to mid-level road bike, the Shadow delivers and then some. The only downside is its braking system, which—if reviews are any indication—will require an upgrade to suit most needs. Other than that, we think this option is solid, and would recommend it most to new riders looking for their first road bike.
2. Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike Review
The Vilano R2 is great for commuters and racers alike, thanks to receptive handling and the aerodynamics you’ll need for high speeds and instant response. We consider it a starter’s road bike, but a mid-level commuter for anyone ready to upgrade and get out in the city with the rest of ’em.
Low in price but high in performance, the R2 from Vilano is perfect for beginners; intermediate skill levels might prefer something a little higher on the scale for racing, but commuters of all levels will enjoy this. Its design is 100% committed to speed, from the tapered fork to the close-to-frame pedals, so navigating crowded streets en route to work (or, more importantly, coming home from work) is no problem.
3. Vilano Urbana Single-Speed Folding Bike Review
For commuters low on space, frequent travelers, or fans of all things tiny, the Vilano Urbana is a foldable bike that reduces to less than half its size in a matter of seconds.
At only 21.5 lbs., it can easily be carried onto buses or subways, nestled in the trunk of a car, or even slipped into your front seat, to tag along wherever your journey takes you.
Foldable bikes are more than a novelty or trend—for many commuters and travelers, they’re the only viable option for owning and storing a bicycle. Even if you have plenty of space for a standard frame, a folding model might hold serious appeal. They’re easy to carry in and out of buildings, which can prevent theft and keep the bike safe from the elements (which gives it a longer lifespan). As a result, we recommend this to all commuters and urban riders, whether they’re short on space or have room to spare.
4. Vilano Ridge 2.0 Mountain Bike Review
The Ridge 2.0 is an affordable mountain bike that’s meant for multi-purpose use, as well: riders can lock their suspension when it’s not needed, such as cruising around campus or traveling to work.
The disc brakes provide responsive stopping power, especially on uneven terrain or slick surfaces—a welcome change for commuters who ride in the rain, but have had to make do with insufficient rim brakes instead.
While we personally wouldn’t attempt any extreme mountain biking on the Ridge 2.0, some riders will find the light frame suits their needs just fine. All in all, we think this is best for commuters or students who need a reliable bike for getting around, but like the option of taking it on trails, across grass, or on gravel without worry (or buying a second bike).
5. Vilano C1 Women’s Comfort Road Bike Review
With leanings towards a beach cruiser, this road bike offers both comfort and efficiency. It’s not going to perform with top speeds like standard road bikes, of course, but some riders are willing to make the sacrifice for a bike with a more relaxed geometry and seating position.
The handlebar is a low riser-style for less wrist strain, and includes brown faux-leather handlebar grips to match the wide saddle.
The C1 is stylish, yes—but it’s also incredibly comfortable to ride, and doesn’t skimp on the gears. It’s refreshing to see a bike that focuses on performance and relaxation, not just one or the other. We recommend this to both casual riders and commuters who need an upright sitting position, either to reduce back pain or just because of preference.
Vilano is a quality brand with entry-level prices, but models that can accommodate intermediate riders, as well. Whether you need a commuter bike, one to handle trails, or a more casual ride for leisure, chances are Vilano has what you’re looking for. They certainly live up to their tagline: “Affordable quality bicycles for everyone.”