Fixie Inc's Pure Blood cyclo-cross bike is based around a custom-drawn 4130 chromoly tubeset combined with a matching fork, and is set up for disc brakes only. We love the way it handles, but can't work out who this bike is aimed at.
Ride & handling: Capable machine, but decisions made at the design stage limit its appeal
The Pure Blood is a joy to ride. The fairly short top tube (55.5cm on the 57cm size we tested) helps to inspire conﬁdence and makes it feel almost mountain bike-like, and overall weight of 9.64kg (21.25lb) is respectable considering the fat tyres and discs.
The super-skinny rear stays with their sweeping downward curve both look great and actively spring, adding comfort over washboard surfaces.
This is welcome, because the combination of a stiff straight-bladed fork and an incredibly rigid bar and stem combo from Ritchey makes for a front end that transmits lots of vibration.
However, this can be cured by dropping a few psi out of the big 35mm Schwalbe Racing Ralph treads (the Pure Blood's frame will ﬁt up to 38mm treads).
It’s difﬁcult to know, though, what this bike’s best use is. Surely the natural use of a bike that retails at over £2,000 and is as capable as this is competitive racing? Yet it only has provision for disc brakes, and these are outlawed in the higher ranks of ’cross racing.
It would make a damn ﬁne commuter or winter bike, but with no braze-ons for either a rack or mudguards, its appeal is limited in that regard. Also, the bike we tested had a bolt-on rear axle, making it a longer job to repair punctures or switch the wheel.
Frame & equipment: Beautifully made, with a decent set of kit
The Pure Blood is beautifully welded and ﬁnished, with interchangeable rear dropouts that enable you to run the bike geared or singlespeed.
The tubing is ovalised but ﬂatter on the top tube, making for a bike that’s comfortable to shoulder. To create more space when shouldering, the bottle cage braze-ons have been moved further up the down tube and cables are routed internally – all neat touches if you intend to race the Pure Blood.
One sensible improvement on the latest model is making the seatpost a 27.2mm unit – previously it was a 31.6mm – helping to make that rear end more supple.
Shifting is handled by SRAM’s Force levers and mechs, combined with a compact Truvativ Rouleur chainset, all of which performed faultlessly. The brakes are Avid's BB7 road-specific mechanical discs, which work well.