While this bike is no longer available, I have to give this a review because it is an awesome piece of machinery. Think of this less about a single bike and more about a genre of bikes – the singlespeed commuter.
I bought it used, at a great price, but that just helps the love affair with the bike, it is not the basis for it.
The bike is a very lightweight steel commuter with clean lines and a very rigid yet functional frame. The thin tubing and components give the bike an incredibly light weight, and combined with the simplicity of a singlespeed drive train the bike is lightweight and nimble in traffic.
The singlespeed drive train is a 42x16. Initially I knew that the bike would be great for a flat commute, as most of mine is, but I was concerned about starting off on an incline or trying to jump into traffic from a standstill at the light. In both cases the bike is quick to accelerate and does a great job of getting up to the speed of traffic quickly so that you can easily work your way around intersections and stay out of the way of SUVs trying to accelerate off the blocks. From a speed perspective I can easily get the bike up over 20-25mph on straight sections of my commute before I start outstripping the drive train and need to spin a little slower.
The handlebars on the bike are an aftermarket model, not at familiar with who they might be made by, but they are comfortable for my short commute. The bike came with 28mm tires that I used for the first 8-9 months, then shifted recently over to 35mm tires. These require you to remove the fenders, but because I do not need to ride when it rains, I am fine without the fenders. The wider tires give you a much smoother ride and it does more to help you with handling the hazards of the road. I have a set of old 37mm tires from someone that I will try in the future, Redline said 35mm works and larger sizes *may* work but have not been tested.
My clear advice for anyone that is in the market for a commuter is this: look for lightweight, singlespeed bikes, preferably steel. The lightweight goes without saying. You’ll be starting/stopping a lot so you will want something that is easy to maneuver. As for the singlespeed, if you can get away with it because you don’t have a lot of hills, you’ll love the singlespeed. No maintenance. No cables, no shifting issues. I can get downtown easily on my bike or to work. The climbs that I have are pretty easy (160 ft over 4 miles) so a singlespeed is perfect. The only downside is that if you ever get a flat you need more expertise and tools to take the rear off (the front is a QR skewer.) Horizontal dropouts can be a hassle until you get used to them.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Lightweight, strong, easy to handle
Cons: Dropouts can get in the way of some racks.
Configuration: 42x16 singlespeed with 35mm tires.
Verdict: Although the bike is no longer available, look for similar bikes
Website: Redline 925 Commuter