Urban Velo

Pure Fix Kilo Glow In The Dark Fixed Gear Review

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The fixed gear bandwagon pulled out a few years ago, and in its wake left a number of inexpensive complete options. Long gone are the days of retired track frames and hard to find parts, today there is no shortage of of complete bikes to choose from at most any price point. Pure Fix sells complete fixed gear bikes consumer direct and through shops complete for $325 ($400 as shown with glow in the dark paint), making them an attractive entry point for price conscious buyers such as students, first time adult bike buyers, and people looking for a secondary city bike.

pure_fix_kilo-12The bike looks the part with aggressive lines, deep section rims and riser bars. Where some color matched complete bikes can be garish, I’ll give Pure Fix credit with having choices that match the aesthetic seen on much more expensive builds. Good looks aside, the bike remains an entry level bike at an entry level price with a high tensile steel frame and mostly no-name parts spec to match. Both a freewheel and fixed cog setup are included, but only a front brake, leaving single speed riders to budget $25 for a matching rear caliper and lever. The bike isn’t a lightweight—the hi-ten frame, deep rims, steel chainring and other parts mix mean that our 58 cm Pure Fix weighs in at 25.75 lbs. The frame has a single bottle mount and has mounts for a fender, though the fork does not have dropout eyelets. It was nice to see the frame ship with chain tensioners to aid keeping the rear wheel just right, and reasonably sized 28c tires for city riding. Five sizes between 47-61 cm are offered, making Pure Fix an economical choice for people of a wide variety of heights.

pure_fix_kilo-16In the name of a proper test we handed off the Pure Fix Kilo to Jet Messenger rider Shane Montgomery for a few weeks of daily duty, figuring a month of courier work is worth a year or more of riding from an entry level consumer. “Overall, the geometry felt pretty good. For the fun-ride or short commute and casual rider, it’d be a great ride. Wheels roll as they should, and the BB is actually buttery for a no-name. I had to replace the brake as the quick release came off in my hand as soon as I opened it to swap the brake pads for more reliable stopping on the non-machined rim (accompanied by a crowd-splitting, loud squeal). Glowing worked well as long as it was set under bright lighting just before night riding, though the paint had a few pock marks and was easily chipped.”

pure_fix_kilo-15While Pure Fix does have a number of dealers and recommends professional assembly, there is no doubt that many of the bikes are going direct to consumers for unboxing and assembly. In that light it is worth noting that the rear triangle of our test frame seemed askew—it was difficult to place the rim evenly between both the chainstay and seatstay, no matter the placement the rim was off-center in one or the other part of the rear triangle. A skilled mechanic would catch this upon assembly and it would be covered under warranty, but a consumer purchasing direct may fail to notice.

pure_fix_kilo-13As a starter bike meant to give the single speed or fixed gear world a try, the standard Pure Fix bikes can prove a reasonable choice, especially with professional assembly. Lowering the barrier to entry into bikes is a good thing all around, and alignment and brake quick release issues aside if the Pure Fix Kilo can handle a few weeks of harsh courier use it can handle more entry level riders. It’s easy to point towards bikes “only” $100-150 more that are undoubtedly better, but that is not an insignificant sum as compared to the $325 base Pure Fix price. In fact, Pure Fix themselves now offer a $450 option with a 4130 chromoly frame, and nicer fork, wheels, and tires for those looking for upgrades out of the box.

The Becket by YNOT

YNOT Cycle: The Becket Backpack from YNOT Cycle on Vimeo.

YNOT just released a new bag for Spring, The Becket, which retails for $139 at base. The Becket features a roll top enclosure, side facing U-lock strap, and breathable back panel among other features, including the option to add a pocket lid for more storage.

Instagram : ynotcycle
Facebook : YNOT Cycle

Am I Invisible? Opening

am i invisible?Bicycle portrait contest and gallery show, Am I Invisible?, is opening Tuesday, April 8th at the Old Stone House in New York City. The portrait project is meant to “encourage greater awareness of issues of sustainability, health and cultural diversity in the urban space.”

Attendees of the opening can participate in a bike and photography part raffle and view the 5 winning portraits. In concert with the opening, Am I Invisible? “will combine online experiences with a series of community events taking place throughout April and May at the Old Stone House. The public art installation uses image recognition technology to connect viewers of large-format images placed around the city to videos via their mobile devices.”

More info about the opening and following events are here.

Bicycle Utopia NYC
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Twitter : @BicycleUtopia

Crocodile Bicycle

Prepare to witness the greatest bicycle commercial ever made…

The commercial parodies the 2001 Thai film Krai Thong, which tells the the legend of the crocodile fighting hero, Krai Thong, and Chalawan, the evil crocodile king.

Not Only by Pedaling

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Not Only by Pedaling from ekramer on Vimeo.

2014 Soma Rush Frameset

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There is no question that fixed gears have peaked, the era of any old bike with track ends being desirable is over as the market was flooded with street track bikes over the past decade. Contrary to popular belief however they aren’t disappearing, and there are plenty of new and old riders that love the look and feel of a track frame on city streets. Soma was early to the game with their original Rush frameset, and for 2014 have revamped it to reflect the style that brought so many of us into track bikes — the classic steel Japanese keirin frame. Small diameter tubes, side tacked pencil seatstays and a one-inch threaded headset yield a classic look, TIG welded construction keeps the costs down. And since most people will be riding this in the real world rather than on a banked track, the bike has clearance for 32c tires and sports a single seat tube bottle boss. And yes, it is drilled for brakes. Available in chrome in sizes 49, 53, 55, 57, 59, 61cm. See more at www.somafab.com

Multi-Speed Chain Length

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Determining chain length on a single speed drivetrain is straightforward enough, but proper chain length on a multi-speed derailleur system isn’t as brainless.

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Friday Follow – Shawn182

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Shawn182 was our dude here in Indy until he went searching for bigger adventures in NYC, where he seems to be running things with Kinfolk Bicycles and the Brooklyn King Kog shop. His IG feed is pretty standard for a two-wheeled hipster with shop shots, CX action images and other amusing shenanigans. Give him a high five if you see him around town.

Instagram : Shawn182
Facebook : Shawn Wolf
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Opus Video Series

This is my Opus: The Commuter from Opus Bike on Vimeo.

Canadian bike manufacturer, Opus, has just released the first of five videos “that examines bike riders and the forces that drive them.” The first release is this video titled, The Commuter, but I can’t tell if this is just a teaser or the video in it’s entirety.

Check their Facebook page for more information on the videos to come.

Cetma – An interview with Lane Kagay

Lane Kagay is the owner and fabricator behind CETMA, and builds racks and cargo bikes in Venice, California. He recently took in his first apprentice, to share his skillset and improve his own production process. It all began 8 years ago when he built himself a rack to ease his work as a bike messenger. Since adding cargo bikes to his line, they have been embraced by parents and business owners to make their lives go a little smoother as well, including the University of Kentucky’s mobile bike shop, a bike rental and delivery business in Austin called Bikes on Bikes, and a coffee delivery business in Montana.

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