Category: Bikes

Editor’s note: When Gary Fisher Bikes unveiled their prototype Simple City platform at the 2007 Interbike, there was TREMENDOUS buzz in many bike blogs about this bike…a mixture ranging from extreme excitement to skepticism and even genuine dislike. Since its release to the public, though, there haven’t been many articles written about the bike, and I haven’t run across any detailed reviews of how the bike actually performs. Enter Ken Sturrock, fellow Tampan and good friend of the Bikecommuters.com crew — who has graciously offered to provide us with his own words on the bike, its features and his likes and dislikes. Here is his review:

Gary Fisher 8M

I recently purchased a Gary Fisher Simple City 8M (from Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium in Tampa, Florida) and although there was a lot of early attention to this bicycle on the net I have seen little posted by actual owners. The Simple City is an interesting ride that is hard to categorize. I bought it because it fit my need for a fun and useful urban bicycle. However, before telling you about what it is, I want to clear the table a bit and mention what it is not.

The Simple City is not a “Dutch Bike?. It does not come with a full chain guard, a coat guard nor a built in lock. The Simple City is also not a cargo bicycle. Despite the prominent front basket, you can’t load up heavy stacks of newspapers or machine parts. This bicycle is also not an “indy-hipster-steel-is-real? bicycle because the Simple City is essentially a mass produced Trek made out of aluminum in China.

Now, a little bit about what the Simple City actually is. According to the marketing story, Gary Fisher was influenced by a “Dutch Shopping Bicycle? and decided to build something similar. The bicycle has some utility features but also has a strong “fashion bike? vibe to it. The frame uses oval shaped aluminum tubes and routes the rear cables through the down tube; it also has a steel fork with touring style mount points midway up the blades and 700c wheels with 32mm tires that use Schrader valves. Both the seat post and handle bar stem are alloy and the handle bar stem is a classic adjustable quill design. The pedals are standard metal toothed double-sided jobs with channels and mounting holes for toe clips and straps. The saddle, like many components on the bicycle, is a Bontrager. The saddle material is a brown synthetic “leatherette? with a gel layer. The stock saddle is comfortable and looks good on the bicycle. The handlebars are classic looking “city bicycle style? and come with hand grips that match the saddle. The drive train varies depending on the model but is based around Shimano’s Nexus series of internally geared hubs. The rear brake depends on the hub used and the front brake is a serviceable but plain dual pivot caliper. When not moving, the bicycle is supported by a slick two-legged Pletscher kickstand.

The Simple City is currently available in four models:

1.) 3M – A matte black diamond frame with crème colored trim, a three speed Shimano rear hub with a coaster brake and an optional front basket.

2.) 3W – An aqua blue drop frame with white trim, a three speed Shimano rear hub with a coaster brake and an optional front basket.

3.) 8M – A crème (sand) colored diamond frame with white trim, an eight speed Shimano Nexus rear hub with a rear roller brake and a standard front basket.

4.) 8W – A white drop frame with aqua blue trim, an eight speed Shimano Nexus rear hub with a rear roller brake and a standard front basket.

The bicycle is also available in the following sizes:

1.) Drop Frame: Small 16?, Medium 18.5?
2.) Diamond Frame: Medium 18.5?, Large 21?, Extra Large 23.5?

My personal bicycle is an extra large 8M. I am 6’1? and weigh about two hundred pounds but have longer than usual legs and a shorter than usual torso. My traditional (not compact) road frames tend to be in the 58cm to 60cm range and the XL Simple City fits me very comfortably. My body position on the bicycle is a bit more aggressive than upright but it is far from a drop bar position. The starting position is very classical in that with the saddle set for proper leg extension, I can sit on the saddle and stay upright at a stop by leaning the bicycle over and balancing on my tip toe. However, I typically get off the saddle at stop lights. I have never felt comfortable on relaxed bicycles like cruisers so I find this position a great solution for regular riding.

The bicycle’s civilized features include a set of metal fenders in a complementary color and a matching chain guard. The fenders are mounted solidly to dedicated eyelets front and rear. Some have commented that the front fender is too short and I have not ridden it in a real down pour yet so I cannot comment about that issue. The chain guard is a modern and minimalist looking design which I find very attractive. Although I have not managed to catch any clothing in the chain yet, the guard may not do as good of a job as one with more coverage – time will tell.

chainguard

The first thing that everyone notices about this bicycle is the giant metal front basket. People comment about the basket as I ride by them and it’s the thing that people seem to like most about the machine. The basket is really a combination of a rack and a basket and is rated for 10kg (22 lbs.). The outer frame of the basket is secured to the bicycle with braces that run to dedicated eyelets at the end of the fork and to the sockets located mid-blade. The frame and basket are also connected to a metal strut that runs from the brake bolt at the fork crown. The frame of the basket is painted to match the bicycle (crème colored on my bicycle). The inner part of the basket looks very similar to a metal mesh in/out bin that might have appeared on a corporate desk in the 1950s and is painted a complimentary color (white, which matches the fenders and chain guard on my bicycle). The inner part of the basket is secured to the outer basket frame by two hex headed bolts and a Velcro strap. If the strap is loose, the basket will rattle like crazy. I’m not sure why Fisher used a Velcro strap instead of simply using another bolt because the inner basket is not meant to come out (editor’s note: we have since discovered that this strap is meant to secure a standard Kryptonite U lock inside the basket). As mentioned above, the basket is standard on the eight speed models but is an optional accessory for the three speed models.

basket

The bicycle also has a stiff spring that runs from the bottom of the down tube to the back of the fork crown. The spring is supposed to prevent the fork from rotating too far too quickly and slamming the basket frame in to the bicycle frame while stopped and loading up the basket. However, this is purely guessing on my part as the bicycle came without a manual or any documentation at all. The spring is not noticeable except every once in a while it will make a “sprong? noise while turning.

To test the basket and the spring, I tied two 5kg telescope counterweights into the forward corners of the basket to see how the bicycle handled under a worst-case maximum load. The results, predictably, were not pretty. The first trick is to actually keep the bicycle upright while attaching the counterweights. The bicycle will happily tip off of its kick stand and land on its side if you are not holding it. I then moved the counterweights to the center of the basket and the bicycle would just barely stand on its own as long as you didn’t move your hand too far away. Riding the bicycle with the 10kg load in the basket is possible but is a miserable experience. The bicycle feels like it is riding through sand and it could be used to teach people what the word “inertia? means. Under a full front load, the bicycle doesn’t want to go in to a turn, and once it does start to turn, it doesn’t want to come back to center. Naturally, the bicycle will handle better if the weight is shifted towards the head tube and centered left and right. Most likely the 10kg load warning in the basket is probably related to structural failure of the basket rather than providing any sort of “safe to ride? weight guidance. Even if you decide to carry light weight items in the basket, it is advisable to use some sort of bungee cord tie down to keep the items from flipping over the side and to try to minimize rattles. Don’t get me wrong, the basket is useful for lighter loads and very cool looking, but as I wrote earlier: The Simple City is not a cargo bicycle.

The drive train on the bicycle is fabulous. The shifting is precise and extremely smooth – under load, coasting or stopped. I have yet to feel that I was missing a step. In other words, the gearing seemed pretty near perfect and has a nice low gear, a nice high gear and no ugly gaps in between. It’s the best shifting bicycle I have ever ridden. While certainly no road bike, the bicycle is remarkably fast. See the graph for the hub’s range in gear inches (using Sheldon Brown’s calculator). The bicycle’s drive train is also completely silent. While the three speed models use a grip shifter, the eight speed models use the higher end Alfine trigger shifter. The Alfine shifter is also the only plastic component on the bicycle.

gear chart

Jack did an earlier review of the Redline 530 commuter which featured Shimano roller brakes. The roller brake is an internal hub brake that attaches to the side of the Nexus hub and is operated by a hand lever. Jack found that the rear roller brake performed well but that the front roller brake was lacking. The Simple City 8M avoids that issue by using the roller brake in back (or a coaster brake on the 3 speed versions) and a traditional dual pivot caliper on the front. I found that the brakes were well matched and perfectly capable of stopping the bicycle comfortably. The only brake drawback is that the front brake does not have a quick release lever so pulling the wheel off will require adjusting the brake or deflating the tire.

front end

The Simple City handles well and is surprisingly nimble. Although some may worry about the harshness of ride due to the aluminum frame; harshness is subjective. The Simple City comes with a steel fork, decent saddle and fairly wide tires. I have not found that the ride quality diminishes my enjoyment of the bicycle. My extra large Simple City 8M weighs in at about 34 pounds from the factory.

Naturally, bicyclists like to customize their rides and I am no exception. I ordered a Bontrager rear rack from the bicycle shop which attaches to the dedicated rack mounting points. I also transferred my toe clips, my brown Brooks B17 saddle, bell, head lights and tail light from another bicycle to the Gary Fisher. I then placed an order with Velo Orange for a set of panniers, an elegant water bottle cage and a set of matching brown leather toe straps. Note that the drop frame models do not have water bottle mounting points while the diamond frame features two mounting points. Although the head lights mounted fine on the handle bars, I will probably experiment with a way to mount lights farther forward and a little lower on the basket frame.

So far, I am very pleased with the Gary Fisher Simple City 8M and would encourage anyone to give the bicycle a try. It may not be the ultimate commuter but it’s a great riding and stylish machine.

rear end

We’d like to thank Ken for taking the time to do this thorough rundown of the Gary Fisher bike for us…and for taking illustrative photos for the article. If anyone else out there wants to take a crack at a guest article (product review or advocacy/tactical issue), drop us a line — we’ll always entertain reader submissions!

We talked a lot about the OSO Bike a couple weeks ago…and I illustrated the major features and my likes and dislikes so far of this bicycle.

oso

But, I sort of left you hanging: just how does this bike actually ride?

We’ll get to that shortly — in order to talk about the ride, we need to talk about the frame first. On the Osobike website specs, the frame is described merely as “chromoly high strength steel”. It IS chromoly, of course, but in talking to Osobike founder Shane Stock, I discovered that the main tubes are double-butted. In addition, the main tubes of the frame are teardrop shaped and then everything is TIG-welded together. Here’s a shot of the tube shaping:

teardrop

Shane specified a one-inch headtube with reinforcing rings for this bike. At first, I questioned this spec — one-inch forks and headsets aren’t exactly plentiful, but the more I thought about it and the more I looked at it from an aesthetic perspective, it makes good sense — semi-aero tubing notwithstanding, the frame evokes classic road or track bike lines. Besides, how often does a rider REALLY need to replace an entire headset? If a new one is ever needed, there are several companies making 1″ threadless headsets.

1

Because of the tube shaping, the way all the tubes come together at the bottom bracket shell leaves a very stiff junction. The downtube wraps almost halfway around the BB shell!

bb
(Ignore all the dirt…no fenders, remember?)

Couple that stiff BB junction with some very stout chainstays and you’ve got one s-t-i-f-f frame. In fact, this frame is easily the stiffest steel bike I’ve ever ridden, and that’s saying a lot. I’ve got two handmade steel frames in my personal fleet, one Italian and one Japanese. Neither of them can hold a candle to the OSO in terms of getting pedal power to the rear wheel. To put it bluntly, this bike is really fun to haul ass on — get out of the saddle and start thrashing and this bike responds instantly. I found myself sprinting a lot during my commutes!

Where’s the beef? Oh, here it is:
chainstay

Frame geometry seems to be somewhere in a happy zone between a traditional track bike and a road racer…something perhaps best described as “relaxed track geometry”. The bike exhibits a good bit of “toeverlap” as many track-like bikes do (really a non-issue…this is NOT a design flaw, just the nature of a tight frame). The bike responds to pedaling and steering inputs without any twitchiness, but it isn’t as plush a ride as a more stretched-out road frame. The OSO won’t beat you up with all that stiffness, though…it IS steel, after all.

The handlebars and saddle are both somewhat generic, but servicable. You either love or you hate bullhorns…and I suppose I fall into the latter camp. No big deal — throwing on some road drops is a 2 minute process. I thought I’d like the included saddle…it is shaped like a few of the saddles I’m fond of, but I guess I have to admit to myself that my sit bones are a little wider apart than my narrow ass would suggest. Saddles are such a personal choice that I could never give bad marks to a bike I’m reviewing just because of an uncomfortable saddle. This one’s not that uncomfortable, either…but I wouldn’t want to roll cross-country on it, either.

The bike weighs a bit more than one might expect for such a simple machine, but this isn’t a paperthin frame. Some judicious parts swapping (especially a set of lighter wheels) could easily put the bike in the 16-17 lb. range, if that’s your thing.

If an OSO owner gets bored of laying down hot patches of smoking rubber with that coaster brake, there’s good news…the rear bridge is drilled for a brake:

bridge

Slap a singlespeed wheel in there or go fixed and you’ve got yourself a fun little bike…which sort of brings me to my last thoughts: Just who is this bike best for, anyway? It hasn’t been well-received by the majority of the commuting community, nor has it been met with much enthusiasm by fixed-gear fans. My friends from the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club and I have been pondering the ideal demographic for the OSO, and we’re still scratching our heads a little bit. One of my club members described it as a “fixie girlfriend bike”, which loosely translates into a bike suited for someone not quite ready for the fixed-gear experience but who appreciates the simplicity and aesthetic those bikes bring to the table. Several others have derided the bike as a “poser machine” — intended to emulate everything that’s “cool” with a fixed-gear bike without the steep learning curve. I wouldn’t go that far, though.

So, let me try to pull all my observations and experiences of the OSO together: simple, fun, a blast to ride, really low maintenance. The bike needs some tweaking, to be sure — we’ve discussed that at length already. Still, none of those tweaks are terribly expensive or difficult to do.

Hits:
-Simple and low maintenance
-Fun to ride
-Great frame for the price
-Might be a good choice for an ultralight, fair-weather commuter who doesn’t need a rack or fenders

Misses:
-Some questionable parts spec
-Chainline issues
-May not do enough from a versatility standpoint for a lot of cyclists out there. This isn’t a primary bike for many of us, but might be an ok “fun bike”.
-Front brake should come STANDARD, not as an add-on. Let the owner choose to ride without the safety of a front brake!

Several weeks ago, Shane Stock from Osobike sent us a bicycle to test. I’ve had a chance to ride this bike almost 100 miles, including lots of commutes to and from work and in many weather conditions. With this “first impressions” article, I wanted to address some of the questions our readers had when we first posted about this bike. I also want to talk about some of my initial likes and dislikes. A more formal review will be coming in another couple of weeks…

oso

Several readers had comments and questions about the braking ability of this coaster-brake-based singlespeed. During the course of my riding, I had no problems whatsoever with braking — I’m a longtime fan of the simplicity of coaster brakes and I’ve never experienced any fading or failure of coaster brake systems, no matter how extreme the conditions. But, since I only weigh somewhere around 130 lbs. soaking wet, I decided to recruit two strapping friends of mine from the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club to help me test the bike’s braking performance. Meet Ken Sturrock, dapper gentleman and fan of all types of bikes:

ken

A little background on our “test”: a major bicycle manufacturer was considering the release of their own coaster-braked singlespeed, but they were concerned about stopping distances under a heavy rider. I don’t remember the exact stopping distance they were concerned with, but it was somewhere around 100 feet. There was also concern about meeting the requirements of the California Vehicle Code (which is somewhat vaguely worded as to braking performance of a bicycle). So, after hauling the Oso over to the Bikecommuters.com closed-circuit/skidpad testing facility on my “bicycle tow truck”…

towtruck

…we paced off a 130 foot “stopping area” (white painted lines in the above photo are 10 feet apart). Getting up to a speed of 17-19 MPH, our 200 lb. tester was able to stop without skidding or using the front brake in less than 60 feet. With skidding, the stopping distance was even less. At no time did we feel that we wouldn’t be able to stop in time when needed. My other “guest tester”, Steve Swiger (200+ lbs. of all-American man) also reported no gripes with the braking performance of the Oso.

Another question/concern of some of our readers was about the possibility of mounting fenders to the Oso and whether there was enough frame/fork clearance to mount cushier tires. As many of your noticed, the fork of this bike is equipped with fender eyelets…and that is a real mystery to me, as there is NO WAY to mount even a narrow fender between the legs of this fork (well, actually, there IS one way, but it requires a “River City Reacharound” and cutting a fender into two pieces…not an elegant solution). Here is a photo that illustrates the clearance around the front brake caliper and the fork crown:

clearance

Not much room around there, is there? I’m going to chalk up the fender eyelets to “unsolved mystery” status — I’m having a hard time figuring out why the Taiwanese frame manufacturer even makes a fork model like this!

How do larger tires fit? 23 mm tires aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, so I wanted to mount some cushier rubber just to see if such a thing was possible. I happened to have a pair of 28 mm road tires on hand, so on they went:

28s

There’s a few millimeters of room to spare on either side of the tire. I’m guessing that a tire up to 32 mm wide would probably fit, but if it were up to me, I wouldn’t go bigger than 30 mm. The same applies to the rear of the bike — there’s a bit of room to spare, but not much. No knobby cyclocross tires or plush “fatties” on this bike:

more 28s

The wheels on the Oso are made by Alex. These aren’t run of the mill Alex wheels, though — they’re drilled and laced under a patent by Rolf Wheels. The wheels themselves aren’t particularly light — they are 36-spoked models and the hubs are nothing to write home about — but they have performed quite well on Tampa’s notoriously rough streets. After the wheels “settled in” (the initial creaking and popping of most machine-built wheels), they have withstood many trips down brick-paved streets and even a few stairways without coming untrue. Nice!

Ok…now for an aesthetic concern and two serious performance concerns. I really like the clean lines of the bike and its dazzling white color scheme with subtle silver decals. I especially like that Shane has specified a silver stem and seatpost for the bike (when was the last time you saw anything but black components on budget bikes?). That being said, this silver component scheme should have and could have been carried throughout the bike — especially the crankset:

crankset

This crankset looks out of place on such a sleek bike…and guess what? It IS out of place! This crankset is a modified mountain triple (the mounts for the innermost chainring have been somewhat crudely ground off) — far better suited for a freeride or all-mountain bike than a singlespeed road machine. And, with a mountain bike-standard bolt circle diameter of 104 mm, finding big chainrings to replace the existing one or to modify the gear ratio isn’t an easy feat. Despite extensive Web searching, the biggest I’ve found is a 48t, same as the original chainring. Want to go bigger? Good luck, and happy searching. Smaller chainrings are readily available, though, so adjusting the gear ratio won’t be too daunting for folks who like to tinker.

That brings me to the first of my performance concerns: specifying the crankset used on this bike may contribute greatly to the poor chainline this bike suffers from. As many of you surely know, chainline is crucial on a singlespeed bike. A straight chain is a smooth one, and a straight chainline prevents undue wear from chewing up the cog and chainring and also minimizes the possibility of throwing a chain while pedaling. Using Sheldon Brown’s chainline calculation methods, I determined that the rear chainline measurement is 41.5 mm and the front chainline measurement is a hair over 50 mm. 2 or 3 millmeters of difference is ok; nearly 10 mm is NOT. While I haven’t thrown a chain, I can hear and feel some pretty serious grinding going on, even after a liberal application of chain lube. The bottom bracket spindle needs to be replaced with a shorter model.

The other concern was pointed out by one of our commenters on the original article…the chain is too tight, and there’s no adjustment available to give it some slack. The rear wheel axles are all the way to the front of the forkends. This chain desperately needs an additional full link…and while I could have added a link and swapped out the BB for a shorter spindle, I refuse to do those sorts of things while testing a bike. If a bike comes like this from the manufacturer, that’s how it’s going to be tested!

In the review, I will discuss how the bike rides…but until then, I leave you with a couple thoughts — the Oso is fun, it’s simple and it is pretty sleek. Oh, and it can be VERY fast. None of my gripes are difficult to surmount…a little tweaking here and there can eliminate most of my concerns.

Steve and Ken, guest testers

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?!?

full bike

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
Color: White
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.

forkend

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.

wheel

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.

brake

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.

The KHS Flite 100 is KHS’ offering for track racers and bike messengers. Here are the specs of the bike:

Frame: Reynolds 520 Double Butted full CrMo
Fork: CrMo track
Headset: Cane Creek A-Headset
Rims: Weimann SP17 Alloy, Doublewall, black
Hubs: Alloy Flip-Flop Track, black
Tires: Kenda Koncept 700x23c, Kevlar
Spokes: 14G Stainless 36°, black
Chain: KMC Z30
Crankset: FSA Vero Track, 165mm x 48T, black
Bottom Bracket: Sealed Cartridge
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace SS-7600, 16T
Pedals: Alloy road w/toe clips & straps
Seatpost: Alloy micro-adjust
Saddle: San Marco Ponza Lux
Handlebar: Alloy track bend, black
Stem: Alloy 3D Forged, black
Tape: Cork Tape, black
Brake Levers: Tektro alloy top mount, Front Only
Brakes: Alloy dual pivot, Front Only
Color:Flat Dark Gray
Frame Sizes: 50, 53(tested), 57, 60cm (measured center-to-center)

Weight as tested:20.05lbs

Here’s some info about me and my commute: I’m 5’7″, 160lbs and 37yrs young. My commute is 23.6 miles round trip and it is mostly flat. I ride from Whittier, CA to Downey CA in Los Angeles County. 90% of my commute is ridden on the street and the rest is on the San Gabriel River Trail Bike path.

Aesthetics:
The KHS Flite 100’s flat dark gray/black scheme reminds me of a Stealth Bomber; the bike is very unassuming, it has proper track dropbars instead of risers and there are no trendy Deep V rims here. KHS did add a little touch of ‘retro’ with its fork:

KHS also added a front brake to this year’s bike; you can also add a rear brake since the frame is drilled for one.


These cracks on the road help me determine the bike’s ride quality.

The ride:
The KHS Flite 100 is one fast machine: once you are up to speed, you can cruise at 19-20mph effortlessly; if you want to sprint, the Flite 100 feels stiff with no noticeable flex. The steel frame absorbs most of the road chatter; however, the 150 psi tires will make the ride uncomfortable. I usually inflated the tires to 100 psi and I had no issues. The San Marco Ponza Lux saddle is rather hard, but once I dialed it in, I got used to it. The Tektro front brake did a great job slowing the bike down in conjunction with my legs, being able to use your legs to control the speed of a bike is one of the great things of riding a fixed gear bike.

I found the 48X16 gear combination to be adequate for my commute, it does take the Flite 100 a little time to get up to speed, but when it does, it flies. The last half mile of my commute is a gradual incline, it does take a little bit of more effort to get up the road, but that is how your physical condition is improved by riding a fixie/singlespeed bike.

Things I would like to change:I complained about the lack of water bottle bosses, so I asked KHS why is it that they are missing. Their answer was that the KHS Flite 100 is a true track bike that it is used for competition and it is also mostly used by messengers that ride short distances. My solution was to add a handlebar water bottle mount which kind of ruined the look of the bike, but another alternative is to get a water bottle holder that clamps to the seat tube or the downtube. I also didn’t care for the pedals; I know that this is a personal preference, I just like the easiness of entry of clipless pedals.

Should you buy one?
Riding a fixed geared bike is an experience that I recommend trying, not because it is the cool thing to do, but because of how much your pedal technique and your physical condition improves. The MSRP of this bike is $549, which is pretty much the average. Although the bike is a great seller among track riders and messengers, I also think that this bike is a good medium distance, flat terrain machine. If you are looking for a decent Fixed Gear bicycle, check out the Flite 100, you won’t be disappointed.

For more information, go to www.khsbicycles.com