Tokyo Fixed started up as an internet-only shop in Japan five years ago and opened a bricks-and-mortar shop in London in 2009. The S2 Club Classic has a neat lugged frame, tasteful pearl white paint job and plenty of thoughtful retro touches. If you don’t mind paying a bit extra for that, you’ll like it a lot; it rides fine. But we missed modern luxuries like thick cork tape on the bar and were divided on the issue of its toe overlap.
The S2’s traditional, non-compact frame geometry makes the bike look bigger than it is. It’s actually fairly short in the top tube, and although that provides a comfortable reach to the bar, it also eats into the front centre distance since the head angle is steep as well, and that means toe overlap.
The frame is built from Columbus Thron, a chromoly steel similar to Reynolds 520. The tubes are joined with lugs, which add to the retro appeal, as does the flat-crown fork and the quill stem. The Tokyo Fixed follows the track aesthetic and has no braze-ons.
If you want so much as a water bottle you’ll need to use a band-on or handlebar mount. The website blurb talks about adding mudguards but there aren’t any eyelets, and the fact that the brake blocks are in the top of their slots shows how tight the clearance is on the slightly short fork.
With a 74-degree head angle, the Tokyo Fixed has a relatively small trail figure and fast handling. It nevertheless feels controlled because you can put your hands where you want on its narrow handlebar – and in all positions the brakes are quickly accessible.
The Dia Compe 204 levers win points for period style with their exposed cables; they’re advertised as cantilever brakes but side-pulls require the same cable pull as wide-angle cantis so they work fine.
Comfort could be improved, though. The narrow brake hoods, old fashioned bar and thin leather tape look the business but are nowhere near as comfortable as anatomic drops and cork tape. The steep seat angle pushes you forward onto the bar as well.
The Halo Twin Rail tyres look traditional thanks to their tan sidewalls but are actually modern. We prefer Twin Rails in fatter widths for urban mountain bikes; there are plenty of faster and tougher tyres that you could fit to a street fixie.
Halo also supply the wheels, Aerotrack ones with deep-section rims, radially spoked at the front – which looks cool and saves a tiny amount of weight. Cranks are 165mm, and these Andel ones suit the character of the bike. A big gear (48x17) means the bike requires a fair bit of grunt to go up hills. For flatter areas, it should be fine.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus