The London-based boutique bike shop Tokyo Fixed is putting its name on the map with an interesting array of unique machines harking back to a certain pre-Taiwan era. The Wide Open Dream Machine is a very interesting bike. Our pre-production model was silky and fast with a solid feel: it definitely wears its fixie-scene-inspired credentials on its sleeve.
Built with Columbus Thron chromoly tubing, with a smooth fillet-brazed head-tube and bottom bracket and lugged seat cluster with plug-in dropouts, this is one handsome frame. Visions of classic handbuilt Gary Fishers and Ritchey frames come flooding back after 30 years…
Up front, the carbon fork has a stout alloy rather than carbon steerer tube. Its solid feel provides the perfect counterpoint to the slight but perceptible springiness of the frame, with pin sharp steering. With a top-tube of about 56cm, our test bike had plenty of cockpit space to get comfortable, while a distinctive Nitto stem and 27.2mm alloy seatpost and narrow, 26mm diameter drop bar give it a street racer feel. The bar is great for negotiating closely spaced door handles, or moving through a tightly packed echelon.
It’s easy to forget how good a shape the original Flite saddle is; the anniversary issue here, covered in luxurious leather, really takes care of the important business of comfort. A set of stout Halo Aerorage wheels keep it fast – and black – with v-section rims laced to hi/lo flange hubs (high at the rear, low at the front). These are shod with slightly larger than usual 28mm section tyres providing excellent grip and comfort, making the Tokyo Fixed very surefooted, despite the very quick steering response. High speed stability is absolutely rock solid: the magic paradox of sorted geometry.
Equipped with SRAM Apex, the Dream performed well and never missed a shift once we became accustomed to the ‘Double Tap’ system. A classic 53/39 ratio at the front ensured sustained high speeds when required. The Tokyo Fixed Gear Wide Open Dream Machine (five stars for the longest name around) is a road racing thoroughbred built for the urban jungle, fast and nimble enough for club runs and racing, but tough enough for hard knocks and a bit of long distance rough-housing.