Pure Fix Kilo Glow In The Dark Fixed Gear Review
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.
The 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.
In 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.”
While 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.
As 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.