Fixed-gear road bikes were always popular with couriers because they were cheap, but as the scene has become more fashionable it’s also become much more expensive. Create’s bike harks back to the original idea.
It’s by no means perfect, and Create need to address some setup and quality issues, but by sticking to the original ethos of cheap, simple, ﬁxed bikes, their ﬁxie is a breath of fresh air.
Ride & handling: Fun urban machine with a remarkably good ride
Riding the Fixed as a singlespeed, the freewheel slips if the chain tension is tight, but when adjusted to stop slipping it’s ‘draggy’ and noisy. However, riding it ﬁxed is great fun.
The short wheelbase makes for snappy, sharp handling, and the 165mm cranks mean you can lean deeper into corners than you’d imagine without grounding your pedal.
The narrow bar setup feels great round town and for short commutes, though the lack of hand positions makes it a chore on longer rides.
The bike comes in two sizes, standard and small. The claimed 10.9kg weight is for the small; our standard (a large in anyone else’s money, with a 59cm top tube and seat tube) weighed in at a more portly 11.56kg (25.5lb).
Out on the road it’s not something we really noticed though – the weight is in the frame rather than the wheels, so it whips up to speed pretty easily.
Frame: Classic geometry, but welding and paint aren’t the best
The Fixed is based around classic geometry – parallel 72-degree head and seat angles and a shortish top tube – and is built from hi-tensile plain gauge steel, the sort of material your average BMX is made from.
The ﬁnish looks good, and the eight bold colourways give the impression of a pricier bike. Up close, though, there is some lacquer overspray and the weld quality isn’t the best. The paint isn’t the toughest we’ve encountered either, with white lacquer scrapes appearing all too easily.
Welding on the chainstays is quite poor, and the chainstays, seatstays and fork ends have telltale holes to allow waste gases to exit the frame when welding, so we’d advise a spraying of Waxoyl or similar into these tubes as a precaution against rust.
Equipment: Basic stuff, but it all works well
The Fized arrives partially assembled so in theory you ﬁt the front wheel, straighten the bar, attach the brakes and away you go. In practice that’s not quite the case – the brakes needed tightening, as did the ﬁxed sprocket lock ring, and the cable guides were ﬁtted sideways. Minor niggles, though, and things you should check anyway.
The components are basic and work well. The unbranded white tyres have dated treads but are stable in the wet and the nominal 24mm width actually comes up wider, offering extra comfort.
As you’d expect, a plain gauge steel frame isn’t the most cushioning, but the combination of big tyres, a great saddle (with plastic under the nose that makes shouldering the bike comfortable) and thick lock-on grips helps counter the frame, making for a remarkably good ride for such a bargain machine.