Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A.N.T. Boston Roadster

Kirsten, originally uploaded by antbike.

This is a Step-Through version of the Boston Roadster, by Alternative Needs Transportation (A.N.T.). The frame and fork are handmade by Mike Flanigan in Holliston, MA (near Boston).

  • 5 sizes in diamond or stepthough style [48cm, 51cm, 54cm, 57cm and 60cm]
  • Your choice from ~20 colors for the frame, fork and rims.
  • frame, fork and front rack are made in Holliston MA.
  • wheels handbuilt and bike assembled in Holliston MA.
  • Delta bungee net included on front rack
  • WALD rear pannier rack [made in USA],
  • “Full Suit” chainring [made USA],
  • Chrome metal fenders [made in USA]
  • Front dynomo hub with front and rear lights,
  • Chain guard,
  • Sprung leather saddle, pre-softened, brown or black, your choice
  • Brass bell from VO Imports
  • Dual leg center stand
  • Rubber block pedals
  • Wheels are hand built with stainless steel spokes, powder coated alloy rims [in your color choice] with a
  • Shimano Nexus 8 speed internal gear hub
  • Cream [black if you want] colored Schwalbe 700 x 35mm tires.
  • Coaster brake (back pedal brake) in the rear and a roller brake in front. This braking system allows you to have powder coated rims, protects brakes from the weather, and your rims from abrasion by the brake pads. [If you don't like coaster brakes, which I don't, a rear hand-operated roller brake is available as a $100 upgrade.]
  • $1950. And money well spent. Please read on.

Clearly, the riding position and parts selections are designed for practical, comfortable use. For most bikes I've discussed here, that's all there is to it. Not so here. Mike thinks deeply about bicycles and has a strong commitment to principles that can grouped loosely under the heading Sustainability. As a result, he is one of the most innovative bicycle designers in the US.

Mike appears to re-evaluate constantly the principles and objectives that drive his designs, and how they are implemented. For example, the choices of TIG welded construction, flat stock instead of tubes in various frame locations, and the Ashtabula crankset (don't worry if you don't know what that means) increase the efficiency of construction time and material use, without sacrificing aesthetics.

Mike is also unique in his commitment to supply chain sustainability. In addition to local construction of the frame and rack, all of the raw steel tubes and frame fittings, and many of the other parts on A.N.T. bikes are made in the US. While all are good parts in terms of quality or cost, their use also supports domestic industries and local economies, and may reduce environmental impacts. I'm don't think of myself as a protectionist, but most bicycles made these days are made entirely and exclusively overseas, and this arrangement is part of a system that has some deep flaws. In comparison, most A.N.T. are distinctly multi-cultural, with three continents well represented. You can uncover a bit more about Mike's thinking here.

Obviously, he has a strong dedication to practical use, but his bikes demonstrate a deepening understanding of this principle, and a corresponding evolution of its implementation.

Follow this LINK to find out more about the Boston Roadster, by Alternative Needs Transportation.

UPDATE: On November 17, 2014, Mike announced that he was closing A.N.T.


Kevin Love said...

With internal hub gearing, it should have a fully-enclosed chainguard. I don't want to get dirty when riding a bike.

antbikemike said...

I will never have full chain cases on my bikes [sorry]. I have had bikes with them and they are very difficult to remove your rear wheel with, can only fit one type of crank, ring and cog size [not the ones I want, are very difficult to not rub on the chain. Eletra had a huge recall on all of their Amsterdam bikes with the full chain case derailling the chain, not something I want to have happen to my riders. I ride with this 3/4 chainguard with no pants clip [on a fixed gear] with no greese issues.

Anonymous said...

great blog

see my recycled commuter bike at:


Anonymous said...

I am very pleased to own both an ANT Boston Roadster and an ANT Light Roadster. Mike makes a terrific frame, welded and painted with the care of a master craftsman. These bikes will last a lifetime and are worth the investment. Get one. Or two.