About Our Bicycles
What's the difference between your various bicycle models?
Each of our bicycles has a distinct difference from the other models we offer, and was created with a specific purpose and rider in mind. View and compare each of our models using the Budnitz Bicycles Model Comparison Chart.
What makes your bicycles special?
We manufacture high-end bicycles that are fast elegant, high quality, and are exceptionally fun to ride. We believe that one of the best ways to live sustainably is to own very few, very high quality things that we and enjoy every day. Our bicycles are built to last a lifetime.Read More
Most high-end bicycles are designed exclusively for racing. These bikes are very fast, but are impractical and uncomfortable for more casual use. On the other end of the spectrum, nearly all mass-produced city bicycles are made with low-end components, or are poorly modified versions of race bikes that handle poorly or are uncomfortable and unreliable for daily use. Inexpensive bicycles tend to fall apart after just a few years.
Each of our bicycle models represents years of engeneering and prototyping. We incorporate only top-end components. Many of our frames, forks, stems, and handlebars are handmade out of ultra-lightweight, rust and corrosion-proof titanium, a super-lightweight and extremely strong metal originally developed for the aerospace industry. Frame design, geometry, and every component have been thought out to provide an exceptional ride.
Paul dislikes getting his pants dirty. Instead of traditional greasy bike chains and gears, we offer a high-tech and lightweight carbon belt and internal transmissions. These components require very little maintenance, last a very long time, and (best of all) leave no grease on Paul's clothing.
Budnitz Bicycles also feature integrated cables that run through the bicycle frame. Hiding the cabling looks sleek. It also protects cables from the elements.
Our brake levers, headsets, bottom brackets and single speed hubs are made by small top-end parts makers in the USA, including Chris King, Paul Components, Chris King, and White Industries.
What is a Cantilever Frame?
The Cantilever Frame on all our bicycles is engineered for a fast and smooth ride.Read More
Like the cantilever of a bridge that bends under pressure, a curved tube flexes with the rider and a creates a smooth ride. The split top tube absorbs additional shock because each tube can flex from a different angle as the bicycle turns or encounters a bump in the road. Conversely, the larger diameter down tube optimizes horizontal stiffness, so energy generated from the pedals is translated very efficiently into forward motion.
Traditional bicycle frames are built using straight tubes that are welded together into a series of triangles. While ideal for racing, for less agressive riding this results in a much more stiff, bumpy, and uncomfortable ride.
Aren't your bicycles expensive?
No! :)Read More
Our frames, forks, titanium stems, seatposts, and handlebars are handmade and are designed last a lifetime if used under normal conditions. We incorporate only top quality components that are both lighter weight and much stronger than what you'll find on a mass-produced bicycle. They'll last much longer and ride better as a result. From this perspective, our bicycles are a very good deal.
Letʼs do some comparison shopping:
A BMW 528i starts at $55,000 in the USA. A base model Mini Cooper costs about $34,000. Even a Toyota Prius will run close to $33,000. This does not include taxes, insurance, licensing, maintenance, gasoline, repairs, parking tickets, and all the other hidden costs behind owning a car.
Our bicycles start at 5% the cost of a BMW. Our titanium frames will never rust or corrode, and all our bicycles are designed to require very little maintenance. There's no insurance, no parking tickets, and no hidden costs. If you find yourself biking much more because our bikes are so fun to ride, you'll be in better shape, and over time you'll make your investment back in health care savings.
What is a carbon belt drive?
We have replaced chains and gears on our single speed and internal hub bicycles with clean and silent Gates carbon belts.Read More
Carbon belts have been used in cars and motorcycles for many years. The belts we use are super-lightweight (under 80g each), very strong, and unlike traditional chains and gears, don't require grease or daily maintenance. They're almost completely silent and won't get your pants dirty. We exclusively use the new Gates GTX Center-Track belt system.
Whatʼs so great about Titanium?
Titanium can be as light as carbon fiber, is strong as steel, and will never corrode or rust. Our titanium frames are engineered to last a lifetime.Read More
Titanium is the ultimate bicycle frame material, and we use for many of our handmade frames, forks, stems, seat posts, and handlebars. Titanium tubing helps make a comfortable ride because of the unique way it absorbs road shock. Our unpainted frames donʼt easily show scratches or other wear, and minor marks can usually be removed with a little buffing with a Scotch-Brite pad.
You can read an in depth article on the history of titanium bicycles here.
What about your steel frames? How do they compare to titanium?
We love steel bicycle frames.Read More
The cro-moly steel that we use for our steel bicycle models is a wonderful material. Strong and light, a good steel frame will last you a very long time. Steel has legendary ride quality.
Our steel frames weigh roughly 1.6-pounds more than our titanium frames. The complete bicycles weigh about 2-pounds more because they use slightly different components. Many people don't notice the weight difference less than the weight of a full water bottle). On the other hand, some people really notice the difference. It's a personal preference. Titanium also offers a slightly softer ride than steel... and again, even our customers who have bought both types of bicycles from us don't always agree about this.
All steel bicycles incorporate our proprietary titanium handlebars, seatposts, and stems.
One thing we can say is that in comparison to mass-produced aluminum frames, which tend to have very hard rides and don't flex at all, both our steel and titanium bicycles will feel very comfortable, responsive, and compliant on the road.
Will you modify your bicycle for me in ways that are not specified?
Yes. Call us at +1 802-557-0507 or email us.
Your bicycles donʼt have shock absorbers. Why not?
Our trademark catilever frame design absorbs road shock. Titanium and steel tubing also absorbs shock, as do the tires which we put on all of our bicycles. We lean towards wider tires because under normal street conditions they are much faster than the skinny tires found on fixies and race bikes.Read More
Bicycle shock absorbers were developed in the 1980ʻs, at about the same time that mass bike brands began to move away from steel and into aluminum frames. Aluminum frames are inexpensive and lightweight (which is why mass bike makers like to use them), but they tend to be rigid, overly stiff, and very uncomfortable to ride.
Shock absorbers were then added to an aluminum framed bicycles to try to make up some of the difference. The problem is, the shock eats up a lot of the rider's energy by bouncing when you don't want it to, and really effects handling. City bicycles with shocks feel sluggish and wobbly.
There are legitimate uses for shock absorbers -- specifically for downhill mountain bicycling. But generally speaking, good frame design and proper componentry can make a bicycle that is much more comfortable than even an expensive bicycle with shocks, and that handles beautifully as well. .
Paul is obsessed with bicycle tires. Why?
Good tires define the ride of a bicycle more than any other component except possibly the frame. We exclusively use German-made Schwalbe tires that feature advanced rubber composites (for speed and grip) and reinforced linings. Some of the tires we offer can have reported lifespans of over 10,000 miles.Read More
We use wider tires on all of our bicycles than on conventional race bicycles. Lab studies have shown that a wider tire at lower pressure actually rolls faster than a narrow tire under normal street conditions, especially at speeds under 25 miles per hour. If a slightly soft and wide tire hits a bump in the road it will deform and continue to roll forward. A hard narrow tire bounces upwards or even backwards, hindering forward momentum (this also makes the ride much less comfortable).
Where can I test ride one of your bicycles?
We offer test rides at our showroom in Burlington, Vermont. We also offer test rides in other cities from time to time (recently in New York and Los Angeles).Read More
Because we only sell hand-built bicycles direct to our customers, we do not have showrooms or shops in other cities where you can ride a Budnitz Bicycle. That said, you can read many reivews of our bicycles online, both from bicycle review blogs and by our customers. They're amazing bicyles. Please contact us if you'd like to speak with one of our current bicycle owners who have offered to serve as reference for future customers.
We do have a thank-you policy for customers who come and test ride our bicycles here in Vermont. If you buy one of our bicycles after your visit we will reimburse up to $300 towards your travel costs. You can also ride your bicycle during your visit, and we will box it up and ship it to you when you are ready to go home. A good excuse to take a vacation in our beautiful state!
How will I know my bicycle will fit me?
After receiving your order we will contact you for a few measurements and to understand your riding style. We'll use this information to make sure your bicycle fits you perfectly.Read More
We've sized many, many customers to our bicycles, and we're very, very good at it. If you don't like your bicycle for any reason, return it in new condition within 21 days and we'll give you your money back, minus shipping costs.
In addition, we also offer six different sized stems and two different style seatposts that we can use to fine-tune your fit. We exchange parts for free, and we will do this happily until you're completely comfortable.
Many excellent reviews of our bicycles are available online. View some of them here.
Many happy customers have purchased our bicycles. Some of our current customers have agreed to act as references for future buyers. If you wish to talk to a current owner of one of our bicycles, please contact us.
THEFT REPLACEMENT POLICY
What happens if my bicycle is ever damaged or stolen?
Our mission is to sell you a beautiful bicycle that will last you for the rest of your life. So, we will help replace your bicycle if it is ever damaged or stolen, in most cases at no cost to you. Here is how it works:Read More
Add your new bicycle to your homeowners or renter's insurance policy. If you don't have insurance go get some. It is very inexpensive.
If your bicycle is stolen -- ever -- we will give you a 20% discount on your replacement bicycle, which you can use towards the deductible on your insurance. In most cases you will get your replacement bicycle at no cost.
Our theft replacement policy remains in effect for as long as you own and love your Paul Budnitz Bicycle -- which we hope will be forever.
ORDERING & SHIPPING
How long will it take to get my bicycle?
Our bicycles are produced in small runs. Delivery times vary due to demand. Generally we ship in as little as a few weeks. You will be able to approve your delivery date before finalizing your order.
How will I know that my bicycle will fit me?
Weʼll contact you to finalize frame size, and we're confident your bicycle will fit perfectly. If you have any specific concerns, please let us know when placing your order.
Do you accept returns or refunds?
We stand behind our work. In the extremely unlikely case that there are build issues of any kind we will resolve them immediately. We're willing to exchange frame sizes if you receive your bike and you want a smaller or larger size. And if you're still not happywe'll take the bicycle back within 21 days and offer a full refund, minus shipping — as long as your bicycle remains in new condition, with no nicks, scratches, or other visible signs of wear.
How will my bicycle arrive?
Bicycles are shipped fully set up and ready to ride. Total setup time is about 10 minutes, and we provide tools and instructions in the box. Just take your bicycle out of the box, attach the handlebars and front wheel, and ride away. If you're not confident doing this yourself, we'll cover the cost of bringing the bicycle to your local shop to have it set up for you. If you have any concerns upon inspecting your bicycle, please contact us before riding.