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As part of our mail order bikes series from Momentum Mag issue 66 July/ August 2014, Sandra Allen reviews the Single Bikes Custom Mixte bike.
PRICE: $585.00 (as ordered: $550.00 base + $35.00 rear brake add-on)
FIND IT AT: singlebikes.com
AVAILABLE IN: Canadian shops or in the US and Canada online
Through Single Bikes’ website you can completely build and customize your own bike by choosing the frame, wheels, handlebars, saddle, cranks, and chain. Frame sizes range from 46 cm to 62 cm. The frames are made out of cromoly 4130 and are double butted. Single Bikes offers a 10-year warranty against manufacturer’s defects on the frame set and a 1-year warranty on parts, excluding flat tires and normal wear and tear.
TELL YOUR FRIENDS
Single Bikes are part of a new movement to provide folks with simple, quality bikes at an affordable price. While simplicity can also mean a lack of selection, Single Bikes have gone above and beyond with a few key extras to make each bike very customizable. Starting with a choice of fixie (diamond) or mixte frame (with track and classic coming soon) made of high-quality cromoly 4130 steel with double butted tubing, these bikes are light enough to carry up to your apartment or load onto a bus rack without struggle. While Single Bikes does focus on the fixie as their signature bike, every bike comes with a flip-flop rear hub allowing you to choose your style of riding. Another thoughtful detail is the sealed hubs and bottom bracket for durability on those those less-than-summery days. After selecting a frame, you pick from a variety of handlebar and wheel types and then play with the plethora of colors to choose from on almost every part – from the frame to the wheels and even the chain can be a head-turning accessory! Single Bikes allows you to customize yourself a sweet little city bike for a great price and I think that is the coolest aspect of all.
I rode a gorgeous little teal mixte with black and white accessories and riser handlebars. The gear ratio was set up beautifully and even on some of the steeper Vancouver hills I did not struggle too much, even though it is a singlespeed. Although, I chose to ride it more recreationally – sometimes a gal’s gotta have her gears! Another great feature of the Single Bikes frames is that they come ready for any sort of customizing you can think of – there are brackets for shifter cables and mounts for both front and rear racks, fenders, and a rear derailleur hanger.
If I were choosing to customize this bike for myself I would have chosen a different style of handlebars or stem than what is available. I found that the risers didn’t rise enough for me now that I am used to sitting more upright on a bike while riding in the city. I prefer to be in a less aggressive riding position, although the seat it comes with is well suited to a forward lean, I found it very comfortable and the position definitely helped give me power up those bigger hills! Otherwise the bike is so easily customizable to your preferences, whatever you don’t like, just change it up.
Single Bikes are made for easy, breezy city riding. You want to roll around with friends on your fixie? Check! Take your colorful track bike to the bike polo tryouts? Check! Put on a pretty dress and glide around on your beautiful mixte? Check! Play around with a simple frame and have fun changing the look and feel of your bike? Check! It’s really a bike fit for anyone who doesn’t need anything too specialized and just wants to have fun.
ORDERING / ASSEMBLY
Located in Vancouver, BC, Single Bikes personally delivered our customized mixte to the Momentum Mag office, but they offer free shipping within Canada and the USA. We really enjoyed the online bike builder that had us mixing and matching all the parts and accessories until we found the right combination. The bike was expertly packaged and showed no issues when unwrapped. It was an easy set-up, too – with almost 90 percent of assembly already done in advance, a simple tool kit was all we needed to get on the road. Customer service was fast and friendly, clarifying any questions we had upon delivery.
This Single Bikes mixte made me feel pretty, powerful, and unencumbered. It is a joy to just hop on a bike that keeps things simple in this too-busy life. I have definitely fallen in love with the idea of customizing myself a Single Bike for those upcoming sunshine rides when I’m not working or getting groceries, just enjoying the feeling of being astride a bicycle that looks as carefree as I feel.
This bike was self-assembled by Momentum Mag.
Sandra Allen is a Vancouver-based Cycling Educator, teaching kids and adults alike how easy and safe getting around by bicycle can be. Sandra loves riding at night when the streets belong to those who ride. She also enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, vegan baking and crafting. @castleofthesea