Hybrid Face-off: The 2019 Devinci Milano!
Posted on 12 March 2019
Editor's note: In 2020, Devinci renamed their Milano, St Tropez and Oslo bikes to Milano Altus, Milano Acera, and Milano Alivio, respectively. The following blog reflects the features of the bike now known as the Milano Altus - different monicker, same amazing quality and reliable ride. (January 2021)
THE DEVINCI MILANO
All-around fun that takes durability seriously
The Milano is our best selling hybrid bike, and we'll tell you why in a second. But first, let's talk about what a hybrid bike is, because most shops assume everyone already knows. "Hybrid" is a term used in biology to indicate the offspring of two different breeds - and that certainly applies to the hybrid bicycle! A hybrid is the offspring of the racing bike and mountain bike. It takes the efficiency of the racing bike but eliminates the curved handlebars, and it takes the comfortable mountain bike handlebars but gets rid of the inefficient, wide tires. Simply put: hybrid is a versatile allrounder for those who want to ride on-and-off-road efficiently and with a whole lotta comfort.
What makes the Devinci Milano special is that it's Canadian. This isn't just patriotism, it's a reflection of what makes our cities very different from American cities. Most of North America's bike industry is based in the Los Angeles area, where it's always summer and people don't dare ride downtown. This context means that certain assumptions are built into most mainstream hybrid bikes. For instance, most hybrids aren't designed with the durability needed for city riding - they are only designed for recreation. Most hybrids aren't designed for winter but instead are only designed for summer. And finally, most hybrids assume the rider want to be a little hunched over into a sporty position - which is fine if you're pointing your bike in a straight line down a bike path, but really sucks if you're riding in a highly contingent environment like the city.
Drop the puck! The winner is Team Canada!
Devinci knows that people want a bike to ride on bike paths for weekend fun, but they also know that the same person is riding through the city. As a Canadian company based in Chicoutimi, Quebec, they've been designing bikes for cities like Montreal and Toronto for over 20 years. The Milano is designed with a geometry that is upright for the city but still sporty on a bike path; and it has tough puncture resistant tires with more weather-proof, higher quality parts - all for the same price as a competitors model! Let's look into some of the features!
While all the bikes in our face-off feature a lightweight aluminum alloy frame, Devinci is the only company that uses a lightweight, very shock absorbing cro-moly front fork. Cro-moly is a light steel-alloy that greatly minimizes shock before it hits your body. The front fork is also responsible for your steering, so the lighter it is, the better the bike handles. Cro-moly is also stronger!
It only takes one look at the Milano's parts to see that this is a hybrid bike that takes city riding seriously. We've already mentioned that the Milano has a more upright position than its competition, but Devinci made it even better by adding an adjustable stem, so if you want to tune the bike to something even higher, you can - and something lower too. Your choice!
HIGHER QUALITY SHIFTING
Shifting your gears is a big part of riding a bike and the Trek and Giant bikes both use really cheap, department quality derailleurs on their bikes. Shimano, who makes all the parts for bikes, starts their various gear systems with Tourney, the lowest of the low - and these are the parts found on competition. Devinci upgrades you one system up to Altus parts that have a smoother, less klunky feel. It's a nice touch!
YOU WON'T FEEL DEFLATED AGAIN!
Riding in the city means wheels need to be taken seriously. While all of the bikes here have strong double-walled rims (rims that are internally box-sectioned for extra strength) and stainless steel (non rusting) spokes, the Milano is the only bike to use puncture resistant tires, something that will save you a lot of hassle (and a ton of money). No one likes flat tires!
AND... THE PRICE!
And the price? Well, it seems that companies like Trek and Giant are in a race to beat each other at lower price. Devinci isn't playing this game. For a couple of extra bucks they make a bike that is significantly more durable and more tuned to the needs of a cyclist who wants variety but wants strength and longevity too. That's what gives the Milano soul.