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There is no denying that the fixie culture in India is slowly picking up. The only plus point to all the fixed gear bicycles is that it can be switched to a freewheel conventional pedalling anytime. Even though the actual fun of riding these bicycles is on fixed gear mode, it takes quite a bit of practice and learning to get used to the non-stop pedalling. Fyxation is a U.S.A based cycling manufacturer who specializes in fixed gear bicycles. We got to review their only model currently available in India, the Pixel and this is what we thought.
The Fyxation Pixel is built with a hi-ten steel material, with a smooth fillet-brazed head-tube and bottom bracket and smooth welds. This handsome frame isn't hydroformed at the joints but the welds have been given extra care while building to make sure there is minimum use of material, just enough to provide the needed strength. It is always a challenge to build a steel frame which doesn't feel too heavy amidst the fast growing choice of alloy bicycles and Fxyation have done well in building a bicycle which weighs lesser than average for steel bicycles.
The Fyxation Pixel which I test rode come in a vibrant dark blue. The bicycle was fully covered with just that one single colour shade. Starting from the frame geometry, the colour choice and the graphics, everything on the Pixel is simplistic with no flashy features. The bicycle looks neat and classy with minimum fuss. During the test ride on some busy main roads in the city, the Pixel sure did make heads turn.
The Pixel comes with a single speed chainring with a flip-flop hub at the rear for fixed and freewheel riding. During the test ride I started off on fixed gear and the speed on flat tarmacs was addictive. Getting used to the non-stop pedaling will take time and practice if you are a newbie to the world of fixies. I flipped the hubs towards the end of the test ride on the road and it took me about 5 to 7 minutes to change it with the right tools. There wasn't much of a difference in the smoothness of the pedaling on both modes.
Fixed gear bicycles usually come with just a pre-installed front brake and no back brake. The reason for this is to master the technique of forcefully back-pedaling on fixed mode to slow down the bicycle, which is considered adventurous and fun. But the Fxyation pixel comes with a standard alloy dual pivot V-brakes at both the front and back. These brakes are swift and the reaction time is more than just good, which is important while riding on fixed gear models. They screech a bit while jamming the brakes and that might wear the small sized brake pad rubbers sooner than expected.
The Alloy narrow riser bar is thin and wide, giving a comfortable ride posture. But the grips on these handlebars were hard and small in circumference making sure every little bump off the road is transferred straight to the rider's palms. This will cause discomfort on longer rides or on bad roads in the city.
The Pixel rolls on a slightly larger than usual 700C x 32C slick tires providing excellent grip and comfort, making this fixie bicycle very surefooted, despite the not so quick steering response. These tires have smoother tread patterns but are stable on slightly wet roads and the nominal width actually feels wider, offering extra comfort. It is easy to forget how good a shape the stock saddle was; covered in smooth leather on an ergonomical design, it really takes care of the important business of comfort. The over-all ride quality wasn't the smoothest with vibrations easily transferred to the rider's palms.
This fixed gear bicycle performs as it says with no major discomfort. But for the purpose and limitations of this bicycle, it is priced slightly higher. But if you are someone who has been wanting to get on a fixie bicycle but never really knew if you were ready for it, then the Fxyation Pixel 2015 is an ideal choice.