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Tag Archive: singlespeed bikes

Fixed Gear Friday — 183rd Street Cycles Frameset

Man, we haven’t done one of these in a while…

Last night when I got home from work, I was thrilled to discover a package waiting for me — a fixed gear frameset from the folks at 183rd Street Cycles. You may remember the company from our coverage at last year’s Interbike.

frameset

Details on the frame are a bit sketchy…but what we do know is this: the frame is made from double-butted Tange chromoly and is TIG welded. The fork has a low rake (30mm!) for fast handling, and both fork and rear bridge are drilled for brakes, so this could be a singlespeed or fixed gear machine. The only braze-on on the entire frameset is a pair of waterbottle cage holes on the seat tube (it’s more aero that way, I swear!).

Normally, the frameset comes in white or “E.D. Black”, a flat black that requires no additional prep before powdercoating with another color. As you can see, though, 183rd Street whipped us up a special one that is a dark green with silver sparkles…they know I like to express my inner Bootsy Collins from time to time!

The fork itself is a thing of beauty. In my opinion, it’s the way a steel fork should look. 183rd Street could have taken the easy way out and designed a unicrown fork like so many other manufacturers, but they took the extra steps and specified a flat crown with long-point lugs and cutouts on the front and rear. Gorgeous.

pretty fork

Rear forkends are drilled and tapped for long setscrews that help tension the chain and also help prevent the axle from slipping under load. No additional chaintugs are needed:

forkend

Over the next couple months, I will be building this bike up with an assortment of new and used parts. This project will give me the opportunity to try out some of the bits from the good folks over at Velo Orange (stem, headset, Milano citybike handlebars and possibly a seatpost). It ain’t gonna be a “hipster fixie”, but there WILL be some colorful additions — I can’t help myself! After all, it IS a sparkle paintjob!

Fixed Gear…Uh…’Coaster-Brake’ Friday: OSO Bike

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.