I’m a bit of a glutton for admiring nice shiny new bikes, especially if sleek, lightweight and single speed. Fabio from Fabike contacted me about a new bike he is developing / promoting. Given his enthusiasm and the nice shiny look of the bike, I sent him a few questions about the bike, and have published answers here. Thanks to Fabio for answers.
In short, there are some things, I really like about the new bike:
- choice of tyres up to 35′ – saves getting a mountain bike for snowy conditions.
- Choice of fixed / single or gears.
- Very lightweight - lightweight is good.
- Looks impressive
- A lot of care has gone into this.
The big disadvantage is that for a commuting bike, you also need high security. The lightest weight may be 5.4Kg, but you would want a pretty heavy lock to go with it.
- But, overcome security and cost - and it’s a dream commuting bike. And I like the ideal of aiming for the best – especially in bicycles.
1. What is special about this bike?
The Fabike introduces several technical and design innovations. I think that to synthesize we can say that the FABIKE is three bicycles in one: a race bike (fast and super lightweight), a track bike (very agile, compact and with the possibility to use it with single speed), and a city bike (safe and comfortable). We took the best from each of these bicycles and we put them together in one, obtaining what we think is a new category in the bicycle market: the Flexibly Adjustable Bike. Of course materials like carbon fibre, titanium and ergal make this bike a real high-end bike. (and quite light weight)
2. Who will the bike appeal to?
This is a bicycle meant to take the urban cycling to a new level. We want to speak to advanced urban cyclists, people that ride their bike almost everyday and want to have the best from it. People that probably already own a good race or mountain bike and realized that it’s not the best solution for an urban usage. People that ride a good fixed gear/single speed but wish to have the possibility to have a geared bike time to time. But at the same time people that wouldn’t see fulfilled their expectations with a “normal” city bike.
3. What was the motivation for designing this bike?
I come from an Italian family of cyclists, but I never got seriously into cycling until I moved to a big city and realized that a bicycle is the best transportation in this environment. I started looking at the bicycle market to see what was available to satisfy all the need of a demanding urban cyclist, but unfortunately I was not happy with any of the solutions I found. So I decided to start designing the bike I was wishing to have: super lightweight, comfortable, with the possibility to have gears or single speed and with a minimalistic design.
So, my motivations were my personal needs and wishes. It’s been now one year that I ride every day the prototype of the FABIKE, and I’m very happy about it. I think I made it.
4. What do you think are most important features for a commuting bike?
I think the most important feature that a commuting bike should have is to be practical and comfortable to use in ALL the situations that an urban cyclist might face daily, including the moments when he/she is not riding the bike.
Very often it happens that you have get off the bike and carry it, for example going up and down in the metro stations, taking the bike up to the office or once back home up to the flat. Many people underestimate the importance of lightweight bike, but I think it can really make a difference in the way you live and enjoy your urban transitions.
Also, in today’s cities the available place is more and more tight. We live in relatively small apartments, the space inside the offices is often very limited and in general our life is lacking square meters. I used to have three bicycles, one for each use (fixed gear, road, off road) and I used to keep them inside my flat. Now I reduced to only one (the FABIKE) that can be each of those I used to have. And now I have more space for my self.
The last but very important aspect in my opinion is that a commuting bike should be usable 365 days a year, which means with every kind of weather.
In that case the size of the tyres you can mount on your bike really matters. Being limited to a 700×25 (like with the road or track bikes) is not great, and that’s why we designed the FABIKE to be able to mount up to a 700×35 tyre, enough even those with spikes for the snow and ice!
5. How much does it weigh?
The frame only would weight 1.05 Kg. The frameset (frame, fork, head set and seat clamp) would be 1.57 Kg.
The complete FABIKE can be configured in four different ways, and would have four different weights:
Fixed gear/single speed – brakeless: 5.4 Kg
Fixed gear/single speed – with only front brake: 5.6 Kg
Fixed gear/single speed – with front and rear brakes: 5.9 Kg
With 10 gears – with of course front and rear brakes: 6.4 Kg
6. How much will it cost in UK?
We are not yet declaring the retail price, but you can imagine that such a product can’t be for everybody. On the other hand we would like to see as many people as possible riding a FABIKE, that’s way we are trying to keep the price as affordable as possible.
Let’s say that if you take the price of a high-end road bike that weights 6.4 Kg (like the FABIKE does in 10 gears version) you would be paying around 5000 Pounds or more. Our bike would be somewhere between that and the price of a regular city bike.
Plus, if you consider that the FABIKE is three bicycles in one, I think you would be paying less than having three bikes.
Anyway the project will be soon on Kickstarter and people will be able to pledge for the bike at a discounted price and also take advantage of a free international delivery.