Critical Cycles Harper Coaster Fixie Style Single-Speed Commuter Bike with Foot Brake
|Price:||$174.23 - $224.51|
- This is the best bike for the rider who wants the sleek style of a fixie but the exceptional ease of a cruiser
- Premium hand-built, tig-welded, high-tensile strength steel frame absorbs the bumps in the road and is as durable as can be
- Comes standard with 30mm deep-v rims, Wanda commuter tires, KMC chain, VP freestyle pedals, and a coaster brake
- Includes all the tools you need for building and maintaining your own bicycle
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From the manufacturer
Critical Cycles Harper Coaster Single-Speed
Available in 43cm, 49cm, 53cm, 57cm, and 61cm
The Harper Coaster is a bike of simple sophistication. With a built-in coaster brake, a single-speed cycling silhouette has never been as sleek. No cables, no fuss. This may be the most straightforward get-out-and-ride bike you’ve ever laid your eyes on.
A single-speed bike has fewer moving parts than other styles. This means the anatomy and construction is simpler. This also means a single-speed bike is lighter weight. Oh, and it also means it requires almost no maintenance. With fewer parts, there is less risk of damage. Riding a single-speed bike is straightforward and versatile enough for a daily commute.
Brand Name Components
Critical Cycles takes quality very seriously. We work really hard designing our bikes, which is why we put even more effort into picking parts for our bikes. We use brand name components to give you the best ride available.
- Hand-Built Steel Track Frame
- Bar Spin and No Toe Overlap
- Coaster Brake
- Deep-V Double Wall Rims
- Wanda City Tires
- KMC Chain
- Riser Handlebars
The Harper Coaster sports a built-in coaster brake for ultimate ease. This style of bike brake is the simplest style of bike brake to operate. The mechanism is integrated into the pedals. To stop, simply pedal backwards.
Using a coaster brake is intuitive, safe, and easy. Your hands are always free from gripping levers and you can usually brake softer and less abruptly. Essentially no adjustments are necessary because there are no external elements!
The Commuter's Bike Frame
The Harper’s diamond frame is hand-built, tig-welded, and guaranteed for life. Its high-tensile strength steel composition is extremely durable and reliable. It has bar-spin clearance, a flat top tube, no toe overlap, and horizontal dropouts for you ride like you want to ride.
Wanda tires are extra wide for dependable city street riding. Measuring 700x23c, they’re thicker, more puncture resistant, and better at absorbing shock.
Deep-V rims with machined braking surface, a KMC chain, and freestyle pedals pave the way for uninterrupted riding and deliberate navigating.
Sit in an upright and relaxed position with riser handlebars. This posture is ultimately more comfortable and better for your back.
Critical Cycles is at it again. We’re about to revolutionize the way you look at fixed-gears. This bicycle has all of the noteworthy features as its predecessors, including 30mm deep-V rims, a KMC chain, VP freestyle pedals, and Wanda tires. But what this bike has that its competitors don’t is a coaster brake. We’ve managed to make this silhouette even sleeker. Now with no cables, no wires, no unnecessary frills. This may be the most straightforward get-out-and-ride bike you’ve ever laid your eyes on.
Top Customer Reviews
First, a few of the plus notes. The tires are not Wanda, they are labeled Kenda, with regular Schrader, not Presta, tire valves on Kenda inner tubes.
The glossy white is high quality paint, likewise the black contrasts; a really beautiful paint job.
The supplied 30 degree semi "slammed" stem may be right for a young and fit rider. I could not raise the bar high enough for my needs so I found an inexpensive quill riser type stem (link below) and painted it black.
Criticism. The chainline was not right (second photo). I found a no-cost workaround to improve the alignment by relocating the chainwheel =inboard= of the spider (see photos). Nonetheless, the best correction is to fix the actual source of the chain misalignment: meaning a $$ replacement of the considerably too-wide Shimano-type bottom bracket square drive spindle assembly. They come in various widths. The crank spindle, on which the crank arms press fit onto the spindle's tapered, square shoulders, is too long; the chainwheel becomes, therefore, located too far outboard.
Editorial. The chainline of a single speed bike doesn't have to be perfect. But is no excuse for a factory to put out misaligned single-speed product, which, in a worst case scenario of substantial misalignment plus slack chain plus a bump in the road, could possibly cause a chain derailment and crash. The photos show my no-cost work-around.
Tech. To check the chainline of any single speed bike, derail the chain from chainwheel and rear cog and apply a straightedge to the bottom of the chainwheel. The straightedge should also lay on the rear cog's edge (see second photo). A half-inch of air gap is not correct.
Once I got the chainline reasonably in line, the supplied plastic chainguard was possible to fit. The supplied guard keeps the pants leg clean and prevents a possible tangle-up, so is a worthwhile thing to mount for its utility.
Other than the faulty chainline issue the bike has treated me just great! Do no shy away from Critical Cycles, or this particular model because it may not be perfect out of the box. Value-point priced bikes like all bikes, must be adjusted! Your local bike shop is there for you if you are not mechanically inclined. Critical Cycles customer support is instantly responsive to make good on any issue brought to their attention. I have not complained to them of the chainline. But off the bat, there was minor shipping damage, very easily fixed, I found out by contacting Customer Support. I was and am very pleased with Critical Cycles' goodwill and follow-through. Although I don't feel any personal need to make a warranty claim about my own now self resolved chainline issue, no doubt they will cheerfully help you if you have any such issue. It is a finely run business. Your satisfaction is their profit.
The bike out of the box draws compliments wherever it goes. And it can be customized cheaply if customizing is your thing, too (my total investment remains under $360). A pair of 28mm Michelin Protek city tires was found on sale for $25 delivered. The substantially larger tires offer more load capacity and a plusher ride without slowing the bike down by very much. The Michelin Protek line features a reflective sidewall (see it lighted up by the camera flash in the last photo) for night riding safety.
Not shown is the U-lock. Have learned own lessons from cable locks, all so easy to cut. "Own lessons" mean two things when you consider loss of own bike ;) A U-lock can be neatly frame mounted. I've found it easier to just put it in a messenger bag or drawstring book bag. Listed below is a Kryptonite of a particular size that handily fits in the back pocket of jeans, it's what I settled on.
Accessories chosen and paid for and well liked here:
(the pair of Michelin Protek 700c 28 tires were found online, one-day sale priced @60% off, costing $25 in total, delivered)
KALIN Cruiser Handlebar Stem 1" 220mm 22.2mm Extra Long Bike Bicycle Handlebar Stem 1" 22.2KMC Z410 Bicycle Chain (1-Speed, 1/2 x 1/8-Inch, 112L, Yellow)Bodyguard USB Bike Tail Light, Built -In Multi Purpose Clip, Fits All Bicycles or Backpack, Easy to Install (No Tools), Water Resistant, High Intensity LED,100% Satisfaction Guarantee!SODIAL(R) 2 Pcs Silver Tone Metal Diamond Back Burly Donut Chain TensionerVittoria 700 X 25 - 28 PV/Latex Road Tube, 51mmCygolite Metro 400 USB LightBV Bicycle Adjustable Center Kickstand for Bike 24 to 28 InchKryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 Mini Bicycle U-Lock with Transit FlexFrame Bracket (3.25-inch x 7-Inch)
- 6mm front fork eyelets. This is non-standard. If you buy fenders for this, the standard 5mm bolts won't work. But the rear eyelets are the standard 5mm.
- No grease on the seatpost stem or handlebar stem. If you put it together without grease, the metal will chemically weld itself after a few years. Get it put together at a bike shop, or buy some grease for this.
- Came with a plastic chain guard that has no points on the frame for mounting. Just something to throw in the trash.
- Toe Overlap: I guess this is normal on most racing bikes - on low-speed, sharp turns, you may strike your foot on the front wheel. So I'm not docking a star for this, but you should be aware that it's a feature of this bike.
Now, on to the good.
- Very simple construction - not a lot to go wrong here, so they were able to build a good quality bike for very cheap.
- Lightweight. Not a $3000 carbon-fiber light, but still very light.
- Packed well.
- Simple instructions and lables on everything. Seriously, if you put something on backwards, you would have to overlook the stickers and the instructions.
There's not a lot of inexpensive options for a good quality, single-speed bike with coaster brakes. Fortunately, this one delivers exactly what I was looking for with adequate quality.
If these were included, I'd be willing to pay more for this bike, if it included:
- Some packet of grease for the seatpost and handle bar stem.
- Quick-release for both wheels
- Slightly longer handle bars. This is more personal preference.
- Fenders included
- Option for wider tires - maybe as a $50 option?
And finally, these come pre-packaged from China. The fact that there's no grease is probably an artifact of rushed manufacturing. If you take this into account and plan to spend a bit more for some upgrades, it's still an awesome deal. Just don't expect to have *everything* ready to go - need some oil on that chain and grease on any metal-on-metal components.