If George Orwell had set Animal Farm in the 21st century cycling community, would he have come up with the phrase ‘one gear good, more gears bad’? Probably not. What is clear, though, is that the popularity of ﬁxies and singlespeeds shows no sign of decline, and US company Felt has three in its range.
The Curbside is the straight-barred sibling of the Dispatch we gave four stars. It sends out a signal by being one of the most distinctive ﬁxies we’ve seen, though whether the Burberry-esque riveted saddle and top-tube pad will appeal to everyone is questionable. That said, they’re easy enough to replace – and the pad’ll probably be swiped if you leave it on the bike anyway.
Ride & handling: Light and nippy, great for short urban bursts
This is a pretty aggressive machine on the road, the unyielding frame and totally straight 31.8mm Felt Meat Stick bars making it fast handling and very responsive, one for nipping through the gaps in trafﬁc before trackstanding at the lights if you’ve got the skill. This is aided by its sub 19lb weight. As such, it’s more one for short, fast urban journeys than longer trips.
Frame: Neatly welded aluminium, with the option to go singlespeed
The frame is neatly welded, hydroformed 7005 series ‘Superlite’ aluminium with an internally routed rear brake cable, and the fork is carbon ﬁbre with an aluminium steerer.
For those who don’t fancy riding ﬁxed all the time, the ﬂip-ﬂop hub gives you the option of freewheelin’ singlespeed action. Both are 66in gear.
Equipment: Plenty of 'bling', along with some practical touches
Wheels are large ﬂanged with 28 spokes each, the front radially spoked. Radially spoked wheels are marginally less torsionally rigid, but they look the part on this bike and shouldn’t require any more maintenance than a more standard-spoked wheel.
Both the hubs and chain are gold coloured, for even more bling on this style-conscious machine. Its front and rear dual pivot brakes stop you pretty niftily too.
Rack mounts and clearance and mounts for mudguards all add to the Curbside's versatility and practicality. Not everyone wants to arrive at work covered in road grime.
The frame-mounted Beer-Nuts hub spanner-cum-bottle opener is a neat touch, but we’re just not sure about all the Burberry. And of course the spelling really should be kerbside.