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The FUBi Fixie is a single-speed fixie bike that can quickly be reduced to half its size using a simple latching mechanism.
It began life as a Kickstarter project but is currently shelved owing to pandemic-related problems.
FUBi Tech Specs:
- Diamond chromoly or titanium frame.
- Fixed gear / single speed (or 3-speed hub).
- Caliper brakes or disc brakes.
- Deep section 43mm 700c wheels.
- Weight (steel): 24.25 lbs. / 11 kg.
A bike like the FUBi Fixie that needs little maintenance or space appeals to many city dwellers. We’ll look closer at it and find out what alternatives exist.
Who Is The FUBi Fixie Folding Bicycle Aimed At?
What sort of person would the FUBi Fixie appeal to?
Because they don’t have gears, fixies and single-speed bikes are lightweight and often affordable. This is good for people who work or commute on them.
The FUBi Fixie filled a still-existing niche as a bike for people who live in small city apartments and don’t have the horizontal space for a full-sized bike. But they want such a bike, and there’s always room for storing half a bike, right?
How much do you need a bike like this? Think about the following:
- Gears – do you need to ride up and down hills? This bike may not be for you.
- Maintenance – if you want a simple bike with little to fix, you’ll like this.
- Space – how much do you need a folding bike? In the home, there are other bike-storage solutions.
- Comfort – this bike uses premium materials for a plush ride, but this is more important if you plan on long rides.
- Lightweight – the same materials help make the bike lighter than alternatives.
Maybe these factors will direct you towards the bike you need?
Top Features Of FUBi Fixie
The FUBi Fixie is not a bike you’ll easily find alternatives for. Below, we’ll tell you some of the things that made it unique.
The Diamond Frame
In bicycle design, a “diamond frame” is the frame typically found on road bikes and others where the tubes form adjacent triangles. This enables tremendous strength whilst keeping bikes lightweight and elegant looking.
The FUBi Fixie is one of the few foldable bikes ever made that has this diamond frame. Even folding mountain bikes tend to be the full-suspension variety that have neither the 700c (29er equivalent) wheels nor the frame.
Aside from these practical benefits, the FUBi Fixie also looks like a regular full-sized bike when unfolded. This is something that is not true of other leading folding bikes on the market.
Folding bikes that are most prone to breaking at the joint are the ones with a single, non-triangulated crossbar, which takes all the strain. No such worries exist with the traditionally formed FUBi.
Because of its diamond shape and the chromoly steel material used in the frame and fork, the FUBi Fixie does not need oversized tubes for strength. It is strong and sleek. And it’s lightweight for a steel bike at 24 lbs.
The FUBi Fixie was also made in a titanium version, which knocked 1.5 kg or 3.3 lbs. off its weight. Titanium is less dense than steel and widely claimed to offer an even plusher ride quality. It also doesn’t rust.
Video: Bicycle Steel Categories
Gears & The Flip-Flop Hub
The FUBi Fixie was made in single-speed or 3-speed versions, using a Sturmey-Archer internal gear freewheel hub for the latter.
Single-speed versions of the FUBi have a flip-flop hub. By switching the direction of the rear wheel, you can ride the bike either as a fixed-gear bike or a regular bike with a freewheel (which allows you to coast).
A “fixie” is always a single-speed bike, but the opposite is not true.
Although fixie bikes often do not have conventional brakes, a bike that can be ridden with a freewheel must have brakes. The FUBi Fixie had various brake designs:
- Front and rear Shimano 105 caliper brakes.
- A rear caliper brake and front disc brake.
- Front and rear disc brakes (theoretical 2021 model).
You’ll struggle to find a product that closely matches the FUBi Fixie, at least without having it custom-made. Here are some of the best alternatives:
1. Solé Bicycles Single Speed Urban Commuter Bike
If you want a riding experience that might get close to the FUBi Fixie, you need another single-speed bike. The Solé Bicycles Single Speed Urban Commuter Bike is just such a machine. It’s a tad heavier than the FUBi at 26 lbs.
As with the FUBi, the Solé single-speed bike can be ridden like a regular bike with a freewheel, so you can coast on it, or as a fixie (fixed-gear bicycle). That’s because of its flip-flop hub, meaning you can turn the rear wheel around to change riding modes.
One stark difference between the two bikes is that this one doesn’t fold. It’s also made of denser high-tensile steel (hence it’s cheaper) and doesn’t have the flat handlebar of the FUBi. This one has some rise in its bar.
You do get the deep-section wheels and caliper rim brakes that exist on some FUBi models.
- Cheaper than the FUBi Fixie.
- Same low-maintenance, lightweight benefits.
- Flip-flop hub for use as a single-speed or fixie.
- High-quality riveted saddle.
- Smart deep-section wheels.
- Non-folding (one major defining feature of the FUBi Fixie).
- Heavier, denser frame material than the FUBi.
If you don’t need that folding design, why not check this bike out yourself?
2. Vilano Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike
If you can forfeit the diamond frame of the FUBi Fixie but still need foldability, consider the Vilano Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike. This is a small folding bike with 20” wheels, but it shares certain traits with the FUBi bike.
Because this is a single-speed folding bike with small wheels, it’s lightweight at 21.5 lbs. That makes it lighter than the FUBi Fixie, even if the two bikes are incomparable in design. The Vilano is not only smaller but also made from lightweight aluminum.
Like the FUBi Fixie, a lack of gears in this bike reduces maintenance and the chances of mechanical problems, which makes it an excellent bike for flat commutes. What you’re unlikely to get is the same smooth ride quality as that of the FUBi.
- Cheaper than the FUBi Fixie.
- Lightweight, low maintenance.
- Folds up smaller than the FUBi Fixie.
- Aluminum frames are less durable than steel.
- Less comfortable than the FUBi Fixie (not ideal for long rides).
If you fancy a single-speed folding bike for short bike commutes, this is worth a look!
3. Columba 26” SP26S Folding 18-speed Bike
This one’s a big departure from the FUBi Fixie in design, but the Columba 26” SP26S Folding 18-speed Bike is a folding bike intended mainly for the road with relatively large MTB-size wheels.
In terms of delivering a smooth ride, this Columba bike has an advantage over folding bikes with small 12” to 20” wheels. It’s nearer the FUBi Fixie in that respect. Construction quality is high, but the steel used to make the Columba is not chromoly.
With this bike, you’re looking at a strong and durable frame, but one that is a little less compliant than that of our headlining FUBi bike. You also have a less minimalistic 18 derailleur gears, which make the bike versatile but add to its weight.
- Smooth ride quality (less so than the FUBi).
- Versatile gear selection.
- Durable steel frame (denser & heavier than the FUBi).
- More potential for mechanical problems than the FUBi Fixie.
- Heavier than a fixie.
- Lacks minimalistic appeal.
If you don’t mind departing from a fixie and have a few hills in your locale, why not consider this bike?
The FUBi Fixie, which may yet return to the market with investment, is a bike that deserves to exist.
What We Like
- Quality – top frame materials used (chromoly or titanium).
- Foldability – easy to fold and unfold.
- Choice – single-speed / fixie or 3-speed models.
- Low-maintenance – less chance of mechanical problems.
- Stylish – minimalistic style.
What We Don’t Like
- Relatively expensive, albeit for high-quality components.
This is a bike that needs little maintenance while also taking up minimal space. No rival product fulfills this remit while retaining that traditional diamond-frame design. And similar bikes are almost non-existent in the first place.
The dedicated website for the FUBi Fixie bike still exists, even if you can’t currently buy a bike there. Isn’t it a nice-looking machine?
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