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  1. #1
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    Critical Cycles: Too Good To Be True?

    Is there anyone that rides or has ridden a bike from Critical Cycles? They seem like such a good deal, but I have no way of testing the quality. Is there a catch? Is it too good to be true? Or is it the best deal out there?

    Anyone who has not seen them, check out the website: Cheap Fixed Gear Bikes - Single Gear Fixies | Critical Cycles

  2. #2
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    I have seen them in trendy areas of NYC 3 times in total.

    One has to wonder the ethical implications of such a thing being sold for such a price when labor and shipping cost is factored in.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  3. #3
    Yogi on Wheels schiiism's Avatar
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    I don't know anyone personally who has, but there are a lot of different fixie hipster type stores in my area that sell their "pick your colors" bikes for a similar price. Critical Cycles isn't unique in that regard.

  4. #4
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    There's several companies like this out there pushing low-end bikes. For general riding,they should be fine,provided they're properly set up. Regardless of what they say,I would def go over the entire bike when received,and have also have the wheels properly tensioned.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes/Novato,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  5. #5
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    Exact same frame for drop bars and flat bars? Eugh.

    And what's up with the flat bar bike only having a rear brake? I know it's kosher to only have one brake on a fixie but that's the wrong one.

  6. #6
    Senior Member andyprough's Avatar
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    Isn't this what you would call a BSO? Looks like a decent bike, but low quality components that will wear out quickly? I've seen similar prices on sale and clearance bikes on Bikes Direct, so you can't really say the price is unheard of. You can buy a $249 fixie on Bikes Direct right now.

    Some of the components on the Critical Cycles bikes are made by Promax, which is a maker of "value oriented" components. So probably a bit on the cheaper side.
    Last edited by andyprough; 05-30-14 at 06:38 PM.

  7. #7
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    Budget level IBS bikes will have no name components like Pro Max and Jalco. They are generally of good quality and no great need to upgrade them until they wear out.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyprough View Post
    Isn't this what you would call a BSO?
    Well there are $700+ bikes in the BSO thread. It's only a matter of time before somebody puts a used LHT in there or some old steel-frame road bike that they found in an abandoned storage unit they paid $40 for with an off-brand name like "Cinelli" that clearly must suck because it obviously hasn't been ridden very much.
    Last edited by Saving Hawaii; 05-30-14 at 07:57 PM.

  9. #9
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    well, when Performance bike sells a perfectly fine aluminum frame for 89 and a set of equally useable new wheels for 100 it's not surprising that with a little effort and volume purchases that some enterprising people could sell a SS bike for that price, i guess. i'm all for it.

  10. #10
    I don't get out enough polishmadman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saving Hawaii View Post
    Well there are $700+ bikes in the BSO thread. It's only a matter of time before somebody puts a used LHT in there or some old steel-frame road bike that they found in an abandoned storage unit they paid $40 for with an off-brand name like "Cinelli" that clearly must suck because it obviously hasn't been ridden very much.
    I hope you were being sarcastic. Cinelli an off brand?
    12 Schwinn Tourist, 90 something Gary Fisher Marlin (Ss conversion), ?? Bike E RX

  11. #11
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polishmadman View Post
    I hope you were being sarcastic. Cinelli an off brand?
    Saw a guy in starbucks maybe a week or 2 ago, full on racing getup & a cinelli saetta 105 leaned up on the tree out front.

    Not sure if he was for real & did races too or just threw a lot of money at bike commuting & noob. I'm not one to judge others.

    But yea, critical = BSO. There are so many smaller wannabes out there that want to make their brand/name pop vs actually make a decent product. It drags the whole industry & bike commute/car free movement down when they flood out BSO's in the name of image. At least they arent charging arms, legs, etc for BSO, only saving grace if i had to pick one.

    I mean, i've seen these up close in person and based on that they are not a company i'd ever buy from. E for effort D for result.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  12. #12
    one life on two wheels cobrabyte's Avatar
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    Too good to be true? I see nothing good about them. AT ALL.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    ... long said, if you order a sufficient batch size from many Contract Asian Manufacturers they will put Your Name On It.

    I expect that is what happened , it's nothing more than a different Name , painted on the frame.


    & shipped from over there on a Big Boat.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    it's nothing more than a different Name , painted on the frame.
    & shipped from over there on a Big Boat.

    the same could be said for most bikes sold in the usa and europe (and yes even germany).
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobrabyte View Post
    I see nothing good about them. AT ALL.
    what's wrong with a cheap but functional bike? where i live there are no where near enough used bikes available and the few that can be found are stunningly over-priced.
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    ... pretty much , though big customers like Specialized and Trek have tube shape specs , that get Made to look a little different

    from the other brands that the likes of Merida And Giant make for other client companies ..





    I cannot project anything about what attention to detail the individual Mechanic in the retail shop did,
    when taking the bike out of the shipping carton and prepping it for sale..

    .. that is some of what some reviewers key on and attribute it to a given Brand.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-31-14 at 10:59 AM.

  17. #17
    one life on two wheels cobrabyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    what's wrong with a cheap but functional bike? where i live there are no where near enough used bikes available and the few that can be found are stunningly over-priced.
    I'm not into disposable stuff

  18. #18
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    If you want a real good deal on a fixed bike, I'm selling a full carbon Leader fork on eBarf right now for $200.

    Still leaves you needing a few parts, but at least you'll be needing them at home. Not somewhere.............

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobrabyte View Post
    I'm not into disposable stuff
    these bikes are no more disposable than the many (faux) peugots and nishikis being sold for $500-600 (and i kid you not) in portlandia.
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

  20. #20
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    I don't get the criticisms of this. It is a cheap bike that is probably all that the hipsters can afford. They found a price point, found a supplier and are making a buck or two from it.

    I've been looking to buy a replacement frame for my commuter. I've upgraded a lot of the parts but they are attached to a 1990 Trek 7000 that has a cracked chainstay. I'm surprised it's held up for as long as it has. But I went first on eBay and then on Alibaba/AliExpress, and I was shocked at how cheap these carbon frames are being offered, and also carbon bars, posts, stems, rims, etc.. And if I wanted aluminum I could get one for $100 with nice graphics. You can't buy a used bike that cheap. The only reason I haven't bought one yet is that my bike does not have disc brakes, too old for that, and I just built the new wheels for rim brakes and put new XT v-brakes on it.

    So for these guys to figure out how to sell a basic bike for $250 doesn't sound too difficult. And they are NOT BSOs. I know a BSO when I see one, and these are better than that.
    Last edited by zacster; 05-31-14 at 07:48 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post
    I don't get the criticisms of this. It is a cheap bike that is probably all that the hipsters can afford. They found a price point, found a supplier and are making a buck or two from it.

    I've been looking to buy a replacement frame for my commuter. I've upgraded a lot of the parts but they are attached to a 1990 Trek 7000 that has a cracked chainstay. I'm surprised it's held up for as long as it has. But I went first on eBay and then on Alibaba/AliExpress, and I was shocked at how cheap these carbon frames are being offered, and also carbon bars, posts, stems, rims, etc.. And if I wanted aluminum I could get one for $100 with nice graphics. You can't buy a used bike that cheap. The only reason I haven't bought one yet is that my bike does not have disc brakes, too old for that, and I just built the new wheels for rim brakes and put new XT v-brakes on it.

    So for these guys to figure out how to sell a basic bike for $250 doesn't sound too difficult. And they are NOT BSOs. I know a BSO when I see one, and these are better than that.
    As someone who has seen these in person out in the real world, i'm going to have to disagree.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
    As someone who has seen these in person out in the real world, i'm going to have to disagree.

    - Andy
    I guess I'll have to see it in person too. They don't look that bad in the images.

  23. #23
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    ... long said, if you order a sufficient batch size from many Contract Asian Manufacturers they will put Your Name On It.
    For dirt cheap. I think people might be surprised in the profit margins in crap.

    If you buy 10 "D" (generic modern country) sized acoustic guitars from China you can get your own label in the body and logo on the headstock for $800. Then you're in the music industry. I can't imaging Bob Taylor losing sleep over your new company.

    It gets real easy to sell a bike cheap.....let's see...............if we leave off that pile of gears and that hangy down thing......

    Actually the place to find out about Critical is in the SSFG forum. You might find a fan of theirs over there.

  24. #24
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    let's face it, most adult bikes get ridden a few times, then rot in the garage forever. at which point quality is of no concern.

  25. #25
    Senior Member puckett129's Avatar
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    I'm not interested in a fixed gear bike but I'd drop $300 on one of those 7 speed city bike commuters. It looks like a nice bike to ride around town and not worry too much about it getting pinched.

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