The Affix Free/Fix hub solves the big problem with regular ﬂip-ﬂop ﬁxed/singlespeed hubs. Instead of fafﬁng around taking your wheel out to switch between ﬁxed gear and freewheeling, all you need to do is simply push and turn the clever outer ring on the hub to engage or disengage the ﬁxed option.
This turns a job that takes several minutes – and that you probably wouldn’t bother to do – into one that takes just a few seconds. And because the ring, which is about the size of a disc rotor, is away from the sprocket and chain, your hands stay clean too.
We’ve been running it throughout the winter, on commutes involving mostly clear, trafﬁc-free miles but ending with fast descents and then plenty of trafﬁc lights and stop-start riding. The hub is ideal: you ﬂy along riding ﬁxed where it’s safe, then effortlessly change to freewheel.
The hub body is lightweight aluminium with a hollow axle, and spacers are included so that it will ﬁt 120, 130 and 135mm dropout widths. The bearing is fully sealed and has stayed smooth and free-spinning. It’s available with 14 or 15-tooth sprockets – although more options would be good.
The clutch mechanism and disc switch do add weight, with the 32-hole hub coming in at 570g. However, while a standard ﬂip-ﬂop is around 350g, it also requires a sprocket, lockring and freewheel to do the same job, adding about 170g, so overall it’s pretty comparable.
Price-wise, a standard ﬂip/ﬂop is around £40-60. Add the extras and you’re looking at £100. Is the Free/Fix worth £70 more? For the most convenient way of changing your bike mid-ride, we’d say yes. It’s made our commute quicker, easier and safer – because we’ve actually bothered to stop and change to the freewheel. Added to this, it’s all wrapped up in a well-designed, hard wearing package that’s been as trouble-free as it’s been useful.