The Fixie Inc Peacemaker turned heads at Eurobike and the London Cycle Show when they unveiled it at the end of last year… now it's about to hit the streets and we've got an exclusive on the first one to hit Blighty. Not only is it Fixie's first belt drive production bike, it also incorporates the world's first belt drive flip flop hub, the Kickflip.
Here are some hastily grabbed pics, we'll have more to follow plus we've got a crack team (well, TR McGowran) coming down from that London to give it a good work out - in the meantime we'll be fighting over it.
So what's all the fuss about? ell Fixie Inc really believe that belt drive is the way forward for fixed gear riding - in 2008 they showed us their prototype fixed gear belt drive and the Peacemaker - their range topping belt drive bike - is the result.
Amongst the problems they've had to overcome to get to here was the matter of how you split the frame to get the belt out should you need to change it? Holger and Recep at Fixie Inc have come up with a neat way of splitting the frame without adding weight or compromising strength, by moving the splitting point further up the seat stay - where other manufacturers such as Trek on their District have chose to split the frame at the dropout.
However if the belt drive performs as it should you really won't need to be splitting that frame very often, the only reason apart from the belt wearing out - which it will of course… eventually; or it breaking, which we haven't heard of happening (James Bowthorpe rode his Santos using the same Gates Belt Drive around the world with no serious problems) is if you want to change the pulley to either raise or lower the gearing. As is, our Peacemaker is equipped with the equivalent of a 75in gear - good for fast riding in flat cities - possibly more of a challenge in not flat Bath. We'll see.
As you'd expect from a bike designed by two engineers a lot of thought has gone in to the technical aspects of the Peacemaker's drivetrain and, particularly that Kickflip hub, which the Fixie boys developed in association with Gates Germany. This they are confident is the world's first flip flop hub for the Gates belt - and we haven't heard anyone contradict them so we're sure they are right. Like their solution to splitting the frame when it comes to switching from fixed to free or vice versa it is an elegantly simple procedure. To run the freewheel you simply undo the six bolts on the fixed cog side, extract the wheel, slip a spacer on the freewheel side, turn the wheel round, put it back on the bike and do the bolts up again. Simple and no need to split the frame either.
But the Peacemaker isn't just about function – they place a lot of importance on form too at Fixie so there are lots of nice details to catch the eye, that pearlescent white paint job for a start - although it's a bugger to photograph… especially on a phone (we'll take some shots using an actual camera too). Aside from the nice paint those handlebars caught our eye; echoes of their car scratcher bars on those ends - and if you want to run the bike without a back brake a similar 'end' comes with the bike to fix to the brake bridge. We also liked the grooves machined in to the bars so that the brake lever bands recess into the bar rather than standing proud. Nice.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.