Shane Stock from OSO Bike just sent us a bike to test for the next couple months. At first glance, it looks like any number of mid-range fixed gear bikes on the roads today…but wait: is that a coaster brake?!?
That’s right…this bike is a simple, straightforward singlespeed based around a coaster brake hub. All the simplicity and ease of maintenance of a balloon-tired beach cruiser but in a sexier, sleeker, speedier package!
Here’s a bit about the specs from OSO Bike’s website:
Frame: Chromoly high strength steel.
Fork: Chromoly high strength steel.
Rims: Alex-450. 700c, double wall, 36H
Chainwheel: Lunge 48 tooth
Rear Cog: Shimano 18 tooth
Spokes: Stainless Steel
Brake/Rear Hub: Shimano CB-E110 Coaster brake
Front hub: KT 516F
Tires: Kenda Kontact K-191 700c x 23mm
Pedals: Victor Pedal VP-196 Platform
Handlebar: J.D. Aluminum bullhorns
Saddle: Velo 11391
Sizes: 52 cm, 54 cm, 56 cm, C to T
Weight: 54cm is 19.8 LBS w/o pedals
Price: $419 plus $40 shipping (optional front brake/lever additional $38), available directly from OSO Bike.
The frame is made of TIG-welded chromoly, and the main frame tubes are teardrop-shaped. Welds are a little bit crude, but serviceable. The frame is equipped with rear-facing “track style” forkends with included chaintugs on both drive and non-drive sides. There is a single waterbottle mounting point on the downtube and fender eyelets brazed to the front fork (more on that in the upcoming review). Other than that, this bike is bare-bones: simple and lean.
The wheelset looks fancy, but don’t let the paired-spoke configuration fool you — the wheels have semi-aero doublewall rims with 36 spokes laced in a three-cross pattern. These wheels appear as if they will be able to stand up to some pretty harsh urban riding.
OSO Bike sent me the optional front brake assembly, with inline “cyclocross” lever and precut cable and casing. The lever mounts next to the stem on the included bullhorn handlebars.
Since the bike is pretty bare-bones without a lot of the bells and whistles that many commuters demand, how will it hold up as a “commuter bike”? Well, that’s something I aim to find out as I test it. Not everyone needs a means of hauling gear on their bike, nor does everyone need or even want fenders. For some commuters, a simple “point A to point B, and step on it!” bike serves admirably, and that’s what I’ll keep in mind as I put this bike through its paces.
Stay tuned for a more detailed “first impression” article and a full review to follow. In the meantime, you can check out OSO Bike by visiting their website.