Fixie Inc Black Jack review

Relaxed retro fixie

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £1,337.00 RRP | USD $2,409.00

Our review

A lot to pay for a summer poser, but we love it
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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.

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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.

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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.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Black Jack (08)
Brand Fixie Inc

Brakes Fixie Inc. alloy dual-pivot. Tektro aero brake levers
Stem Lugged and brazed chromoly steel
Rear Tyre Stelvio
Available Sizes 50cm 53 56 59
Wheelbase (cm) 99.5
Top Tube (cm) 56
Standover Height (cm) 84
Seat Tube (cm) 57.5
Chainstays (cm) 40.5
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 27.5
Weight (kg) 9.39
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
Seat Angle 73
Saddle Swallow
Rims DP 18 deep section alloy rims
Rear Wheel Weight 1734
Head Angle 73
Front Wheel Weight 1370
Frame Weight 1590
Frame Material Tig lugged and brazed chromo tubeset, forged s/s dropouts.
Fork Weight 598
Fork Chromo fork, lugged and brazed sloping crown, forged dropouts, 1in threadless steerer
Rear Tyre Size 700x23C