Yes, it was a bargain, and yes, it’s great fun to ride – but there’s not much more of an explanation for this little bit of ridiculousness I picked up. It’s an SE Draft single speed with a coaster brake. Cheap steel frame, wanna-be wheels, and road tires that are a jarring match for Seattle’s pitted roads. But check the simplicity – no gears, no brakes. Just slam on the pedals to stop.
I’ve ridden it to work a few times, but I don’t see this being a commuter bike. Coaster brakes are great for kids and leisurely flatland riding. They’re not so good when flying down the hill on Pine, or trying to stop on a dime to avoid an errant driver.
I wrote before about the differences between a fixed gear and a coaster brake, but I hadn’t realized how inferior coaster brakes remain compared to disc or rim brakes. And of course, losing a chain on a bike like this is every bit as bad as having that happen on a brake-less fixie.
Still, I’m happy to report that this bike can lay down skids every bit as effectively as the Schwinn I rode as a kid. I expect it will largely see use on weekend doughnut runs and impromptu evening rides around the neighborhood.