Sunday, 8 January 2012

A Single Speed Bicycle with the Brooks Swift Saddle

I was recently given a gift by a close friend of mine - A single speed bicycle (with a flip-flop fixed gear hub) for me to cycle around. The bicycle is an Exitway Freedom. Exitway is a Malaysian brand that builds (or assembles) bikes with parts imported from Taiwan (or so my research says). It has a cromoly frame (with a shortish wheelbase yet with a relaxed top bar), 700c x 25 slick tyres and aero wheels, drop bar with tektro brakes and it weighs about 11/12kg or so. Not that light, but decent enough for a single speed with a Lasco 42t crank and a 16t cog at the rear.

If my explaination above isn't sufficient please note that I am not a cyclist. I get tired easily as I am a petrohead (or gearhead or motorhead). Heck, I write motoring stuff most of the time! But I love the simplicity of a single speed bicycle and this was actually what I rode when I was in high school many years ago (circa 1986-1988). That bicycle was basically a roadster framed bicycle on 28inch wheels without mudguards and chain cover. It also had a racing bike front fork and stem and no other frills. Those were the days. I could cycle it for miles.

And that is why I have a soft spot for single speed bikes (or fixies as most people call 'em these days regardless whether it has a fixed hub or a freewheel). I like it freewheeling as it is relaxing. Bicycles to me are for recreation these days and a freewheel reminds me of the carefree days where one would just cycle a bit then coast a bit while enjoying the sound of the freewheel going 'tttrrrrr'. Anyway, I am not a fighting fit teenager. So I prefer the simple pleasure of coasting.

Oh yes.One should always personalise a bike. Hence the beautiful Brooks Swift saddle replacing the ridiculously hard Exitway branded saddle that came with it. The original saddle was so hard that even the Brooks saddle seemed soft. I actually replaced the original saddle with a cheap tan coloured one (above) but it didn't look the part - hence the investment in a Brooks. Aside from that I installed Wellgo alloy pedals. These replaced the ugly plastic platform pedals that came with the bikie. The bike is now cro-mo steel, alloy and leather. A classic combination if one may say so. Enjoy the photos folks, and do ignore the slightly messy floor around the bike. I can sometimes be a little sloppy.

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