Urban Velo

Wyatt Street King Bike Review

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An increasing array of single speed bikes offering flip flop free/fixed hubs are on the market these days, as the ease of riding and maintenance grows in popularity among riders old and new. Whether you don’t understand gears or just don’t want to deal with them, the single speed Wyatt Street King is a no-fuss bike made with the commuter in mind. It’s both stylish and practical, with thoughtful accents like two brakes, brushed metal cable guides and built-in chain tensioners, with a reasonable price point of $449.

The Street King is ready to ride in short order. Practical features include rack and bottle cage mounts, and the inclusion of both a fixed cog and freewheel, giving this Wyatt a leg up on many bikes being designed for urban riding which tend to lack the more utilitarian braze-ons. Another nice thing about it is that it ships with two brakes—the Street King certainly doesn’t forfeit any stopping sensibility in the name of fashion.

It’s a solid machine, built with 4130 chromoly frame and fork, and weighs in at 25.5 lbs. with semi-aggressive geometry that makes it good for both cruising and crushing on the street. The frame design mimics sleek aluminum track frames, with a large diameter downtube, but being that it’s not made of aluminum or intended for track racing it seems like an unnecessary flair that adds weight more than anything else. That said, the bike is not cumbersome to ride, nor particularly sluggish when cranking up hills—and it did generate a host of compliments out on the street.

It handles nicely. The Street King is a solid single-speed with a tight rear triangle featuring 405 mm chainstays behind the 74º seat tube and a 73º head angle with a 45 mm road-offset fork up front, making for fluid turning. The 50 mm of bottom bracket drop helps to keep pedal strike under control and the bike feeling responsive at low speed while sacrificing some of the stability that a lower bottom bracket would lend.

With 46×16 gearing it’s a reasonable city gear to pedal, riding fixed or freewheel. The 28c tires are great for getting around town, but they also wide enough to take a ride on some dirt or gravel without feeling wary, especially seated in the double-walled 35 mm deep V Street King wheels. The chain tensioners built into the dropouts make for easy wheel alignment, though the rear hub is not equipped with proper track nuts, which is a drawback that almost cancels out the presence of the tensioners. Sealed hubs and a cartridge bottom bracket (along with the single speed drivetrain) ensure that the bike won’t need much major mechanical work for a good while.

One of the less appealing features of the bike is the clunky plastic department store pedals. Toe straps would be an ideal addition to this build, since riding fixed without pedal retention is not the best idea. The other parts on the bike are standard for a bike in its range, of decent quality—that is nothing exceptional but entirely reliable and functional OEM parts. All parts come with a 45-day warranty and the frame and fork have a limited lifetime warranty.

The Street King comes in six standard colorways, including three single-color setups that feature matching rims and chain—white, black, and lime green—and three two-tone options: pink/blue, yellow/blue, and silver/orange. If none of those suit your tastes, you can pick the individual colors of the frame, fork, rims, seat, chain and decal on your own Street King for the same price as the standard models.

About Krista Carlson

A regular contributor to the print edition of Urban Velo, Krista Carlson is a cyclist obsessed with bike polo, baking, pickles, and all things bike-y. She is a native Angeleno and is madly in love with the city and everything that makes it the beautiful, crazy place that it is.

View all posts by Krista Carlson →

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