This German fixie is a comfy cruiser of the old school that’s almost too nice to press into duty as an urban warrior or winter hack.
Fixie Inc has come a long way since displaying just a single bike in the foyer of a Eurobike hall a few years back, and the Black Jack is a ﬁne example of the bikes it now produces.
Available either with a drop bar (as tested) or with a ﬂat bar, the Black Jack is a symphony of chrome and beige that harks back to a bygone era.
Ride & handling: great cruiser but fussy in traffic
It’s clear from the outset that this is no track iron made road legal – the feel is more classic racer, with stable and unﬂustered handling.
The wheels, though pretty with their etched Fixie Inc branded hubs, aren’t the lightest on test and contribute to the more sedate feel of the Black Jack compared to the track-derived machines.
The overall weight, at over 20lb, is high too. It’s far more of a cruiser than a racer: too beautiful to press into service as a winter trainer, too relaxed to be seen anywhere near a track.
For those that see ﬁxed as a lifestyle choice rather than a low-maintenance training solution, it’s a striking bike that’s easy to like, a feelgood summer bike rather than a year-round workhorse.
Having said that, the Black Jack makes much more sense as a singlespeed than a ﬁxed. The 48-18 gearing is fairly low, and you’ll do plenty of coasting, especially on hillier rides.
You can of course ﬁt whatever gearing you like to either side of the ﬂip-ﬂop hub.
But in this spec, it’s the kind of bike that urges you to stop and admire the view, rather than keep the pedals churning.
Frame: lovely detailing and well-finished
The lugged steel frame is fairly relaxed in its angles, and well ﬁnished with understated black graphics. The horizontal dropouts have good adjustment screws and switching from ﬁxed to singlespeed is easy – all you need are a couple of Allen keys. There are also bottle bosses, but no guard or rack mounts.
The frame is mated to a chromed, straight blade steel fork.
Equipment: perfect parts pick
There’s lots of beautifully ﬁnished chrome here, and perfect speccing right down to the bar tape. Even the cable clips look the part.
Our bike came from Fixie Inc’s sole UK distributor Mosquito Bikes and was specced with deep section polished wheels (radial at the front, ﬂip-ﬂop hub at the back) sporting Schwalbe Stelvio rubber, a chromed chainset and stem, deep drop bars and front and rear brakes. We also got the Brooks Swallow saddle which is a £107 optional extra.
Wheels: great looks & tyre performance
The etched hubs and polished rims look great, and the radial spoking at the front is a nice touch. Stelvio tyres deliver great performance.
|Name||Black Jack (08)|
|Brakes||Fixie Inc. alloy dual-pivot. Tektro aero brake levers|
|Stem||Lugged and brazed chromoly steel|
|Available Sizes||50cm 53 56 59|
|Top Tube (cm)||56|
|Standover Height (cm)||84|
|Seat Tube (cm)||57.5|
|Bottom Bracket Height (cm)||27.5|
|Seatpost||Kalloy 27.2mm alloy with forged twin bolt clamp|
|Cranks||Fixie Inc. track, forged chrome plated alloy, 170mm arms, 130mm bcd, 48 T alloy ring, 1/2in by 1/8in pitch, Isis drive|
|Rims||DP 18 deep section alloy rims|
|Rear Wheel Weight||1734|
|Front Wheel Weight||1370|
|Frame Material||Tig lugged and brazed chromo tubeset, forged s/s dropouts.|
|Fork||Chromo fork, lugged and brazed sloping crown, forged dropouts, 1in threadless steerer|
|Rear Tyre Size||700x23C|