Fixed gears and single speeds make for great commuter bikes. They’re simple, comfortable, help perfect your spin, and are less prone to leave you stranded with a mechanical. Pieter from the Netherlands sent in his Omnium CXC V3 with some special details for this week’s Readers’ Rides, so let’s check it out!
I would like to share my most recent bicycle project with you. My plan was to build a simple, comfortable fixed-gear bike with modern technology that can be used for a wide range of purposes, including daily commuting. I drew inspiration from Sheldon brown’s fixed gear bicycles, Grant Petersen’s unracing philosophy and bicycle messenger culture.
The basis is an Ominium CXC v3 frameset. I chose this steel frameset because it is very versatile. The frame has, among other things, sliding dropouts, thru axles, ahead fork, space for wide tires + mudguards and many mounting points. I built the wheel set myself using DT Swiss parts. I mounted my rear wheel flipped to ride fixed gear. My cog is mounted on the brake rotor mounting point and the rotor on the freehub body. If I flip the wheel and swap the rotor and cog around I can ride with a freewheel.
That’s also why I chose the Continental Speed Contact tires, because they are bidirectional. And I chose DT Swiss hubs because they are reliable and easy to maintain. In addition to thru axles, I also wanted to build a fixed gear bike with an external bottom bracket and a 2-piece crankset. I chose an Alfine crankset because it was flexible enough to get the chainline perfect. This crankset also has a 130 BCD which makes conversion to belt-drive easy. I am considering doing this next fall. I use Shimano SPD pedals, sometimes in combination with removable platforms.
I mounted the SKS fenders in such a way that they can be fitted on the bike within minutes and without tools. The mounting points remain in the frame, so there is no chance of damaging the threads in the frame. The saddle is Brooks Cambium C17 which I painted dark blue myself. The front rack, a Racktime Top-it Evo with the SnapIt mounting system, I mounted with homemade brackets. This allows the front rack to be mounted on the original fork mounting points and makes the rack stronger. Usually I have my basket with Snapit-adapter on the rack, but I can easily switch this out for my SnapIt-enabled bag. I have Ritchey VentureMax flared handlebar mounted with reusable Grepp bar tape.
Originally the bar tape was black, but I bleached it. I mounted mechanical Shimano disc brakes because they are easy to maintain. Since I mostly ride fixed gear, I use the brakes very little. For navigation I use the Komoot app on my phone which is mounted on the handlebar using the SKS Compit mount, possibly in combination with a Compit powerbank. For lighting I use a Sigma Aura 80 which can run and be charged from the powerbank. It is a great feeling to ride a bike that matches exactly what I wanted it to be. This bike is not for everyone, but perfect for me.
- Omnium CXC v3 frameset
- DT Swiss hubs and rims
- Formula brake rotors
- Continental Speed Contact 42-622
- Problem Solvers 17t cog and carrier
- Shimano Alfine crankset with Stronlight 46t chainring
- Shimano SPD pedals with removeable platforms
- Brooks Cambium C17
- Shimano mechnical calipers and levers
- SKS Bluemels fenders
- Ergotec seatpost and stem
- Ritchtey VentureMax handlebar
- SKS Compit system
- Racktime Top-it EVO SNAPIT-compatible front rack
- Grepp Gripper reusable handlebar tape
- Sigma Aura 80 front and Blaze rechargeable lights
I hope you feature my bike on your awesome website. If you need more information or photos, please let me know. Keep up the awesome work!
Pieter van Kessel
from Veldhoven, The Netherlands
We’d like to thank all of you who submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared here at The Radavist. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!