5 Stars By Tango267 on 2016-03-07
Great Bike , Great Price
Great bike, put it together with no instructions in about 15 minutes and it was my first bike I've ever built. I've rode it over 20 miles and no problem at all.
The box did come really beat up (had a hole which was under layers of shipping tape) the corners where pushed in, But the bike was in perfect shape, they do a perfect job of wrapping everything up so it won't be damaged during shipping. Which is really Fedex's fault.
The only thing I feel I need to upgrade as soon as possible is the pedals, only because they're plastic. But other than that, this bike is perfect. The frame and handle bar grips are my favorite part.
I took it on a camping trip, being a road bike we didn't want to use them on the trails so we had to walk the bikes with us but it was no hassle at all because the bike is SUPER light!
3 Stars By RF on 2017-12-30
Price reflects quality
Overall: this bike is basic and inexpensive - would recommend to anyone looking for a bare bones single-speed, but don't expect the bike to last for very long.
I bought this bike back in July 2016 and have used it to commute to work 30-40 miles per week. I made some necessary upgrades: new brake pads, bar tape, adding a front brake and a rear wheel rack for panniers. Also replaced the handlebars to accommodate integrated brake levers.
It did it's job and got me to/from work each day. That being said, it lasted about 1.5 years of consistent riding (about 1800 miles) before the crank arm split in half on a ride home. Was definitely surprised the crank arm failed so drastically, but again, it was only a ~$200 bike.
5 Stars By 2DayDeliver Customer on 2017-07-08
Good looking and good quality bike for the cost. More detailed review in post.
Delivery: Received the bike in good packaging. Nothing bent out of shape. They did a good job with making sure things were protected.
Set-up: Took about an hour to set up by myself. You may need your own allen wrench set, screwdriver, and a large adjustable wrench for a few parts of the bike. It will also be good to get bike grease/vaseline (not chain oil) for anything you screw in. The only thing really difficult to do on your own is perfectly truing the wheel. But you can still manage to make it relatively close and you can find videos on youtube on how to do it on your own - really not that bad. My big tip is that you should grease what the manual says to grease and TIGHTEN EVERYTHING you can to a reasonable level. Continue to check loose parts the first few rides and stay on the watch for weird noises. If you really aren't sure, I would try to set up as much as you can the best that you can and find a local bike co-op to help you make sure it's all good. They may charge a little bit, but often help for free or donation. Bike shops will charge $25-40, which is a lot for a $200 bike.
Performance: (I have had the bike for about 2 weeks now. If anything goes awry, I will update my post. )
- FIT: I am 6 feet tall and got the 57 - fits perfectly.
- THE RIDE: I use it to commute to work (6.5 miles one way) and bike around Chicago. Only rode it for ~75 miles so far, and the bike rides very well. The gear ratio is good and it rides very fast. The seat is pretty hard, so it is uncomfortable for longer rides. Your butt will be sore if you have not ridden a bicycle in awhile and decide to go on a 5 miles ride. I got some padded biking compression shorts to wear for my commute to work.
- HANDLEBAR: I actually don't like the low pursuit handlebars. I like bullhorns, but I don't like these. Feels weird to hold the middle part of the handlebar and it puts more focused parts on certain parts of your wrist, which just begs for carpal tunnel. There is also no bicycle tape, so you will have to buy that if you want that. It does come with bar grips, which you can probably use if you switch it with a straight bar/riser. I am going to buy standard bullhorns and sell the stock ones on ebay.
- STYLE: The matte black is very unique and the bike looks great. I think the white would also have looked great, since the wheels are a strong black. There are some weird stickers throughout, which were a pain in the ass to remove. For some reason the wheels have these white stickers on them where the metal is pieced together (maybe to cover it up?). I took the sticker off, so I hope it isn't some safety/corrosion issue.
- PARTS: Pedals are plastic, meaning they have a strong possibility of breaking within the first year. Brake pads are also really soft and after ~75 miles they are about 60% gone. Probably the weakest link on this bike, and I will likely have to get new ones within 1-2 weeks. You will end up spending $10-15 for handlebar tape if you want it and $8-10 for new brake pads within the first 100-150 miles. Inner tubes are also pretty weak, which is about $10 for both wheels. If the pedals break, then $25 more. Just things to consider when buying. So the first year extra costs may be ~$30-35 and $50 if the pedals break.
Other options: If you want a little more peace of mind buying a bike online, I would recommend bikesdirect.com. My previous bike, which was stolen, was from there and I can tell that its parts were significantly higher quality than this bike but they are generally a little more expensive ($280-400). The bikes don't look as cool on there though.
OVERALL: The bike has some cheap parts, but the frame is solid. The bike is overall very lightweight, good-looking, and rides well. And you have to remember it's only $200-220 (+$30-35 for handlebar tape, new brakepads, and inner tubes), which I think is a great price point for this quality. Barring any major parts of the bike that break, this bike is solid quality for a great price.
4 Stars By Jeff C. on 2016-04-16
Good it you are a bit handy and patient
Pretty bummed by this so far. I just got it yesterday and put it together last night. I wanted to switch the rear tire to free-wheel, and the nuts on the rear axle were so tight I had to use a plumber's wrench to get them off. Which was an unnecessary pain. It was literally bending the cheap wrench that came with the bike when I tried to use that. Then, I was about to try it out today and the front tire burst. I pumped up the tire last night to the recommended pressure but have not even ridden it yet. I was merely thinking about riding the bike and the tire burst.
Some parts of the bike are nice and I like the concept but there seems to be a serious lack of quality control with this product.
Once I got over the initial set-up pains the bike did well though. It does look cool and people compliment it a lot. Color is a not-so-subtle Bianchi mimic. You could have a bike shop do a lot of the set-up work, but of course you'd have to pay, which kind of undermines the price point. (Usually if you purchase a bike at a shop the set-up and one or two tune ups is included.) I'd recommend this to someone who is fairly handy and not in a huge hurry to get out and ride right away.
5 Stars By Adventure Man on 2016-02-23
Simple but complete
What you see is what you get with this bike. Simple design. I went through 2 mountain bikes in 2 years just pedaling across campus. Chose this bike for the simplicity (less parts = less chances something breaks). This includes the feature of no front brakes, but the back breaks are plenty tight or utilize the fixie hub for more braking power.
Took about 40 minutes to put together, including flipping the rear tire to the free wheel hub. Waiting for my Presta valve adapters to simplify it even further.
I am ~ 6 ft tall, ordered the 60cm because I like my bikes tall. Perfect for me, but if you are around 6 ft and want to be able to touch the ground flat footed you should get the next size down.
5 Stars By C. W. Bourgeois on 2016-10-05
I LOVE this bike
I LOVE this bike. I receive compliments on it all of the time. I got the matte black, super classy. The bullhorn handlebars are really comfortable. Flip hub on the bike for single speed or fixie. I've had this bike for six months and still haven't blown a tire with regular 10-15 mile days. The only suggestion I would have would be to add a front brake. The rear brake has caused me to slide out several times in close-calls (I bike regularly in the Portland metro area). Otherwise, I LOVE this bike and recommend it regularly to friends. Good quality and a great deal. Prepare to get tons of compliments!
4 Stars By Kimberly on 2018-05-17
I'm overall really happy with this purchase
The right end of the fork is bizarrely asymmetrical & doesn't allow the wheel to fit into the notch. Noticed a past customer experienced this same issue. Reached out to the company a short moment ago. Will update this review ASAP.
//Update: aside from the irregular fork end (I'm salty about that), I'm overall really happy with this purchase. So, a company rep replied to my e-mail soonafter, explained how the fork could've gotten bent, shared a video of how it could be bent back. Struggled quite a bit but thankfully managed to get that damn wheel on. Finished assembling & adjusting things afterwards â€” super easy. I'm so in love with my bike. I love the minimalism, I love the matte all-black, and I love the bullhorn handlebars. I was cynical with parts and quality of materials but upon assembling, I grew respect for Critical Cycles.
Two things worth noting: (1) the rear wheel's nuts came screwed in very tightly. Too tightly to loosen w/ the tool provided. Fair warning. (2) getting the bike professionally assembled entitles you to a lifetime warranty for the fork+frame. If I had known about this earlier, I would have taken advantage of it.
4 Stars By Thomas W Eaton on 2017-09-21
Great bike for the money. Frame and wheelset look great. Nice stiff ride. Obviously there are a few sacrifices to justify the price; the pursuit bar and pedals chief among them. The bar is a strange shape, and just has cheap rubber sleeves over the ends. I wrapped some good CADENCE bar tape over mine, and it made it rideable, still, the profile is stange and I may upgrade the stem and bar in the future. The pedals are cheap plastic crap. They will definitely need upgrading eventually. Other than that, the freewheel seems a little rough, but so far it's worked well.
I'm using this as a weekend / vacation bike when I visit my Dad, and for that purpose and price - I couldn't beat it. If this is going to be your main ride, however, I would suggest investing a few bucks to upgrade the parts I mentioned.
Overall, I'm pretty stoked.
5 Stars By 2DayDeliver Customer on 2016-04-28
I was disappointed on the way it came though
The bicycle itself gets 5 stars. It's exactly what I was looking for.
I was disappointed on the way it came though. There was no assembly instructions in the "manual" that comes with it. There's instructions online, however. It came with the flip flop hub on the fixed side and I wanted to change it to the free wheel side, but the bolts were on the wheel so tight, I had to take it to a bicycle shop to get them off.
Everything else about it is crisp and clean. I got the celest color and was planning to sticker bomb it, but I'm having second thoughts because it looks so nice.
Rides like a beauty, and for the price, it was so worth it.
5 Stars By John S. on 2016-06-25
Great bike, especially for the price
Great bike, especially for the price. Pretty lightweight, feels solid and well made. I've only got about 10 miles on it or so but it feels really good and I'm not anticipating any problems. I saw some people were saying theirs shipped with the tires flat but mine shipped with pumped tires AND in freewheel configuration (which was my intention anyways so that was a plus.)
Edit: I've now put about 100 miles on the bike and I still love it. Gonna buy another one for my girlfriend so we can ride together.