Don’t let the word “bike” fool you. In Jeff Nichols’ “The Bikeriders,”

the wheels in question are choppers — good, all-American motorcycles, built from the ground up by tough guys in leather jackets

and the “club” they’re a part of is really more of a gang

. Nichols hails from the Heartland (from Little Rock, Ark., to be precise) and

has a better handle on the life and attitudes one finds in so-called flyover country than nearly all the directors working at his level.

You’ve probably seen a few of his films, most of which take place down dirt roads in rural areas. Movies like “Shotgun Stories,” “Loving” and “Mud.”

With “The Bikeriders,” Nichols brings us into the big city — or the outskirts, at least

and then zeroes in on a social microcosm all of us recognize, but few have penetrated:

a Chicago-area motorcycle club that calls itself the Vandals. T

The Vandals don’t really exist, but both the group and a number of its members