Am I on track?

Am I on track?

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Welcoming Whitey - unboxing my new fixie.

Is there anything more exciting than getting home and finding a box like this waiting on your front doorstep??
Is it Christmas already??
Yes - it's a new bike!!  A brand new white fixie, courtesy of Cell Bikes.

Even better, it was free. A few weeks ago, Cell asked via their facebook page for people to do some testing of the new search facility on their website, with the promise of a possible prize for those that assist.  Being a sucker for a freebie, I dutifully searched for 10 random things on their site, and emailed in feedback.

A week later, Cell announced that 9 lucky testers would receive a discount voucher code, and 1 super-lucky tester would receive a free fixie. You can imagine my excitement when my name was announced as the winner!

Delivery was super-quick, typical of Cell's service levels. I let Cell know what size & colour frame I wanted just before lunchtime on a Wednesday. And the next morning, at about 10:30am, the bike was on my front door-step. That's from Sydney to Brisbane, in under 24hrs from ordering - impressive...

So on a lazy, sunny Sunday afternoon, I settled into the task of unboxing my brand new Cell fixie.  Here was what came in the box...

Wow - that's a lot of white...!!

The frame, rear wheel, cranks, chain, forks, stem, and brakes were already assembled. All the cabling was also in place.  The only things that needed to be attached were the handlebars to the stem, the front wheel, the seatpost, and the pedals.

Assembly was very easy. A basic guidebook is included in the box, but only someone with zero knowledge of bikes would need to refer to it. No-one should feel intimidated by having to do this themselves, as 90% of the work has been predone by Cell. Only simple tasks, requiring some undoing of bolts, fitting a tube or wheel, and replacing the bolts, are left to do.

A great sign of Cell's build quality was that all the threads on every bolt and screw had a generous smear of pink grease. It makes you feel very confident that care and attention has been paid to the pre-built sections of the bike.

No fancy tools are required either. I completed the entire build with the following equipment.

  • Some allen keys
  • a 15mm wrench (an adjustable wrench would be fine)
  • a knife to cut open the box and remove some cable ties
These are all tools that any self-respecting shed or garage should have in them anyway...

So about 30 minutes after unpacking the box, Whitey was officially born!!

Welcome to the world, Whitey!!

A long-term test and review will be forthcoming in a few months time.  But of course, that doesn't mean I can't tell you about my first quick spin on Whitey.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this bike. I am very happy on Bluey (my Argon18 Radon, running a 10-speed groupset), so what more could I expect from a fixie?

As cliched as it sounds - riding Whitey was just plain fun! Spinning up and down the street - not training, commuting or racing - just riding. I was genuinely amazed at how enjoyable it was riding this bike...

As I said - a long-term test will come down the track.  But first impressions are very, very positive.

The details:

The Cell Fixie is currently only $350 - simply outstanding value for money. It comes in either white and black, and in 4 different frame sizes.  The frame and forks are steel, and it has an alloy seatpost.

The wheels have 32-hole aluminium rims, and they are stopped with Radius side-pull brakes controlled with "bmx"-style levers. The rear wheel has a flip-flop hub - fixed on one side, and a freewheel on the other.

If you've ever thought about dipping your toes into the world of fixies - well here is the easiest, cheapest, and best-value option for you to do just that.

Hey Dad - I think your new bike fits me just right...

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