Update: SE Lager

This is the second in a series of posts that will serve as my review of this commuter offering from SE Bikes. In this post I discuss the overall feel of the bike after several months of riding. You can see my first post on the SE Lager with more pictures here.

SE Lager Commuter Bike

Riding the SE Lager makes me feel like I’m back to riding a bike without thinking through the gadgetry or latest jazzy technology. The bike rides smooth and requires minimal thought process to keep her rolling day to day.

“Steel is real” so goes the motto and I tend to agree. It’s good to see people like SE still making good use of this material. The Cromolly steel sucks up normal road vibrations much more than your typical aluminum frame and makes for a very smooth and comfortable ride. The head tube angle sits at 72 degrees and the seat tube angle at 74 degrees. This is similar to other commuter style bikes I’ve ridden and makes for a very responsive steering while maintaining comfort.

When you’re looking at the angles of the head tubes and seat tubes, the lower the numbers the more comfortable and stable the ride and the higher the numbers the more responsive they are with a decrease in stability and comfort. You can find other commuter bikes that come with a steeper angles and quicker responsiveness but my commute doesn’t call for a lot of quick agility and the angles of the Lager are a very comfortable middle ground.

This is the first bike I’ve ridden long term with bull horn handlebars and I wasn’t sure how I would take to them. And while I would still opt for mustache bars, I’ve found the bullhorns to be comfortable and functional.

The brake levers are hanging off the end of the bars which I find to be frustrating at times as I like to sit up straight a good bit. There’s not really a better alternative for one set of levers, but I did suggest to SE that they add the secondary set of levers that you see on a lot of cross bikes. This would allow more options on where to place your hands

Across the board, simplicity is the name of the game for the Lager. The one speed drivetrain (fixed or free with the flip-flop hub), steel frame and sleek design make this a bike you won’t have to worry about day to day. I’ve been riding the Lager for several months now and have had no other maintenance issues outside of keeping the tires inflated. The absence of flimsy material and breakable parts make this a no brainer for people that like to ride their bike worry free.

Overall, I’ve been very pleased with the SE Lager as a daily commuter rig. Look for my final update on this bike in the coming weeks.

Sign up for our Adventure-Packed Newsletter

Get our latest touring, commuting and family cycling posts and sales delivered to your inbox!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

29 thoughts on “Update: SE Lager”

  1. Bill says:

    Regarding the bars. Could you roll them back and rotate the levers to the underside and make it more moustache-like? I don’t have any experience with bullhorn or mustache bars so I wasn’t sure. It looks and sounds like it might be more comfortable. Just a thought.

  2. Quinn says:

    This is 1 bike I have thought about for a Long time and if it wasn’t for the serious elevation differences hear in Reno, I would have 1.

    As far as the bars, just rotate them back into cruiser bar position. I have a 4° stem if you need one to raise the bars.

  3. Dust says:

    Nice looking bike. Maybe the name should be changed to “Liger” a nod to Napoleon Dynamite. Then it’d have a really cool paint scheme with some Ligers all over it. Sweet!

  4. Tim Grahl says:

    Bill and Quinn: Thanks for the suggestions on the bars… I may try that out towards the end of the review time on this bike, but in general I try to keep the bikes close to “stock” as possible when I’m doing a review… that way what you read about isn’t going to be different than what you buy if you end up getting one.

    Dust: Nice ND reference… what IS cool is the way SE names their road models. It’s Draft, Lager and Premium Brew for the three different levels.

  5. Matt says:

    The website mentions fender mounts, but I can’t see any on the picture. Does it have mounts by the hubs for fenders? Do you think there would be clearance under the brakes?

  6. rick says:

    Anyone happen to know where I could pick one up NIB for the kind of price mentioned in the first post that would also be willing to ship?

  7. Quinn says:


    check out http://www.sebikes.com , for distrib’r a/o dealers.

  8. rick says:

    Thanks Quinn I’m in Canada so the zip code search does not work. The Canadian distributer seems to only do BMX.

  9. rick says:

    Found it. Lists for $670 up here. Suddenly it’s less of a bargain. The U.S and Canadian $ have been on about par for some time now.

  10. Quinn says:

    there should be a customer service email too, rick

  11. Anonymous says:

    Rick, if you are close to the US, might be worth a tank of gas (hopefully less)

  12. Keith says:

    I picked up my 2008 Lager a month ago and have been riding it every day since – mostly through rain and snow – and found it to be a very good bike. My only problem is that the freewheel clicks and sounds scratchy. I stuck a 17t cog on the fixed side and and I am now happy as beans. I got this for $423 w/ tax in Indianapolis at Nora Bike and Skate.

  13. allentomdude says:

    I’ve had my SE Lager for about 6 months and I love love love it! I live in San Francisco and was concerned about making it up the hills, but I’ve learned to just suck it up. The bullhorn bars are super fun, but they do get a bit tiring on rides longer than an hour or so.

    I have a daily 17 mile round trip commute, and I totally love this bike. It is a bit slower than my fancy carbon bike with 30 gears that costs 5X as much, but I think my SE Lager is just a little bit more fun.

  14. justin says:

    I just bought this bike a few months ago..i definitely recommend it for fun and easy riding ( for a single speed). The handlebars grow on you after a while and are great for climbing hills.

    I found it in San Francisco at 2 or 3 stores for less then $550, which is comparable to anything in its class. I have about 500 miles on it and haven’t done anything to it besides replace a tube.

  15. Johnny says:

    I bought an 07 Lager in November 07 to use as a dedicated commuter (10.5mi each way) in the DC burbs. I have about 700 commuting miles on it now. I’m extremely happy with it, although I’m about to replace the typically cheap free hub with a White Eno. Seems odd to spend $90 on a freehub, since I only paid $325 for the bike from Performance ($425, -15% sale, -10% back as a PBS member). I squeezed a front fender on it, but I was a little annoyed that I can’t get a full rear fender on it due to the fact that the bike as no chain stay brace to attach it to, and the rear facing horizontal dropouts mean you can’t get the wheel on and off with the fender in place. It does have fender mounts for the stays near the drops. But since I run a rear seatpost rack, I stay dry, even though the bike still gets dirty. I also don’t like the tan paint, but I may repaint it or get it powder coated. And let’s face it, for less than the cost of 6 tanks of gas, it was worth it.

  16. Matt 2 says:

    Matt, or anyone else wondering about fenders.

    At least mine, a tan one, I think an ’07, has the mounts by the hubs, and, though tight, there is enough clearance. But it is missing the mount for the end of the rear fender between the chain stays.

    I have mounted planet bike road fenders on mine, I had to use the supplied plastic zip ties between chain stays and behind the rear brake because there is not enough clearance for the supplied (with the fenders) plastic clip. But despite this, they seem solid and don’t rattle much (for fenders).

  17. Matt 2 says:

    Matt, or anyone else wondering about fenders.

    At least mine, a tan one, I think an ’07, has the mounts by the hubs, and, though tight, there is enough clearance. But it is missing the mount for the end of the rear fender between the chain stays.

    I have mounted planet bike road fenders on mine, I had to use the supplied plastic zip ties between the chain stays and behind the rear brake because there is not enough clearance for the supplied (with the fenders) plastic clip. But despite this, they seem solid and don’t rattle much (for fenders).

  18. Tristan Summers says:

    how tall is Tim Grahl? Those bullhorns seem really long so am thinking a smaller frame than normal would be required to be able to reach those brakes. THey should be orange so they’d be like carrots for the uphill donkey. Anyway I accidentally ordered the big 61cm frame and am 6′ and can foresee a week or two of stretching ahead of me.

  19. Mike says:

    Rick, remember that it isn’t free to ship stuff from the states to Canada. Especially the stuff that is the size of a bike.

    Also import/export taxes and what not.

    Yes the dollar may be close to equal with the Canadian dollar, that doesn’t mean the cost of doing business in another country is the same.

  20. andrew says:

    nice bike, my first fixie! and working at a bike shop has advantages… i got mine for a grand total of $260!!!!!! hahahahah

  21. pdxBen says:

    Which fenders were people able to fit on this? I recently got an 08 Lager and picked up a simple pair of polycarbonate fenders that have no chance of fitting between the stays on either front or back. I’d appreciate a link, too.

  22. Andy wheeler says:

    I bought a SE Lager from Winstanley cycles for.£289 in the Uk.

    the Lager is a single speed. It is steel and weighs in at 21lbs. it is heavier than my alu crosser but is faster due to the higher gear ratio (being SS). The Lager motors along nicely and does not feel that bad weight wise. The cow horn handle bars give a good riding position. My 56cm frame is ideal for 5′ 10″ height (inside leg 31″).

    Downside….this bike is sub.£300 so there’s going to be some downsides 🙂

    The canti brakes are ok and just about stop you in time but are not the best. The front wheel on mine is slightly buckled or at least needs a good balance as it has a little wobble in it (does not help with said brakes). The brown colour of the frame is quite nice but the paint finish could be better (looks thin in places). All the rest is pretty standard kit as you would expect from this price range.

    The Lager makes a good commuter with low maintenance due to the SS. Probably worth the money but it is true what they say – You get what you pay for!



  23. jake says:

    hey i see a few questions about fenders. thought i would share my experience. i have the 08 lager 52 cm. i bought the planet bike 35mm freddy fender from performance for 35 or so. they are a giant pain to get on!!!! it took me hours. and the bike shop another hour. but they are on. and with a few adjustments here and there they are perfect. and straight. still. just keep in mind they fit. its just the time. and the other poster is right. the zip ties are a must.

  24. Keith says:

    I am posting this as a follow-up to my February post. I recently broke 4000 commuting miles on my 2008 Lager. I race it in local alley cats and it has befriended me through the sloppiest of weather as my daily commuting bike. It is still completely stock except for the tires and a 17t track cog. The only complaint I have is that I have replaced 9 spokes on the rear wheel. For some retarded reason, they never stay tightened. The wheel had a slight wobble to it when I bought the bike. I should just go ahead and re-lace the whole thing, but alas, I am just too lazy for that. I had fenders on it, but I thought they were a pain when I had to change a flat or do any other maintenance. I now just use clip-ons. Zip-ties are definitely the key to having fenders.
    Overall, I say this bike whoops a horse’s ass.
    Rock on Indianapolis

  25. Danny says:

    I just got mine for $196 on sale…so much for the $260 bike shop employee advantage..

  26. niki says:

    I’m going to go ahead and post b*llsh$t on the price Danny claims to have purchased this bike at. (Even on a two year old post!) I have been researching this bike for a few weeks and the lowest price I have seen it was $299. & that was for a 2011 model. The 2012 and 2013 models are also available, so clearly the 2011’s are overstock. They were also only available in the size 42 (black) and the 47 (silver). Also to be noted is that a 2008 frame is available for $105. In closing, it’s possible to find deals but if you want this bike for $196, then you’re going to have to buy it used.

    1. Ted Johnson says:

      Make that four-and-three-quarter-year-old post. You can still call BS, and I won’t contradict you. This was before my time.

  27. John says:

    I’m a 6′ ft fella in proportion. What size should I be looking at? 58cm or 55cm

  28. Keith says:

    I’m looking at a 56cm Lager that is blue with brown highlights and blue anodized rims. Does anyone know what year was “blue”?

Leave a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


20% off ALL Ortlieb Bag Closeouts! Shop Closeouts

Scroll to Top