Mojo Bike Fixie Review

i had enough stuff in the shed to pretty much build up a new fixie, except a frame that is. after some — okay months of — deliberation i settled on a mojo bike fixie frame.

my reasons for the mojo were manifold. first up i had a stem that would fit a standard 1 1/8″ steerer tube — not the older quill style seen on some framesets around. i also liked the fact that the frame was double butted cro-mo. but mostly i just loved their website.

my new mojo bike fixie frame arrives and is de-boxed

i had a few questions about the frame which the boys at mojo bikes answered readily enough. then i bought and received it within the week.

i went for a black frame because matt black is for tough guys like me, and also because black can hide a myriad of faults and at this price i’m assuming the welding aint gonna be pretty. when i received the bike the welding was pretty good but i’m still happy i got the black. i’m pretty sure 95% of the population wouldn’t care but i didn’t want to be looking down and seeing imperfect welding — i ride a cannondale after all. the welding looked strong and functional but not pretty and there are a few little lumps of extra weld around the main welding.

sorry, camera phone does crappy close ups. welding is workmanlike and strong looking

building this fixie
to my surprise the frame  came with a bottom bracket and headset included, as well as a stem. great extra value to include on a frame that cost less than $200. my cranks bolted straight onto the bottom bracket — square taper — and the rest of the bike went together without  a hitch. well mostly. the headset they included was too sticky and i wasn’t happy with it. the steering always felt slow and heavy, so i swapped it out for a cane creek headset i had sitting round and it felt smooth and sure straight away. i can’t really complain about a free headset but i do worry that this headset is indicative of what they use on the complete bikes sold via their website. hopefully i just got a dud.

i built the bike up with some decent wheels from a mongoose fixie, a stem and handlebar left over from a mountain bike and some brakes — yes, i do love brakes — partly from the spares bin and partly stolen off my wife’s ex-bike. that old piece of rubbish was too good for avid levers. i’ll replace them with some cheapos. my fixie currently has a 48-18 drive train, which is a bit too big for my puny legs but the bike runs so smoothly that getting up hills hasn’t been a problem. i’ll swap that 48 for a 42 though, hopefully before i get stuck trying to grind my way down to burleigh into a strong southerly.

woeful gc weather has meant first few rides on the mojo have been very muddy

the finished bike is no svelte lightweight. the frame is a decent chunk of metal and nothing has been added that might compromise strength. i’m no weight weanie when it comes to bikes and the complete weight of this one is well within an acceptable limit. by the time i install my kryptonite lock — and my own fat arse — any ideas of having a light bike disappear anyway. lightweight bikes are for racers and ponces .

i initially installed some 700×22 tyres — because they were just sitting there — then tried to swap them out for something larger. the front fork wont accommodate anything larger than a 34 or maybe 35 tyre. not a problem for most but something to remember.

the built bike, with kryptonite lock and fierce guard dog

the ride
the frame is build strong and it rides tough. the famous compliance of steel frames is little to be seen in this bike. doing the old bottom bracket test — crank at 6pm and push with your foot to see how far it flexes — showed a bottom bracket that will transfer your energy into forward momentum with little or nothing lost in the conversion. this explains in part why it gets up hills so readily even with my 48-18 drivetrain. i’m not losing any energy through a flexy frame. the downside is that comfort is somewhat compromised. also those straight blade forks look great but there’s no compliance built into them. as a guide, it’s not as comfy as my columbus tubed roadie nor as comfy as my wifes aluminium tubed bianchi step-through commuter. but it’s shitloads more comfy than my aluminium 26 incher single speed mountain bike. shitloads.

frame stickers are removable. i kinda like the headtube badge.

i got the small frame because i wanted a somewhat mountain-bikey feel and for me at  165cms i find it just about perfect. the supplied stem is a 90mm jobbie and that’s a keeper. you get a fair bit of toe overlap on this frame but otherwise the bike rides just how i’d like it. it’s agile in traffic but not twitchy and you can ride it through and over gravel, mud and grass. just a pity, for me, that i can’t fit fatter tyres. probably not a problem for most people, and if you’re really wanting fat tyres you’re probably in the market for a cyclocross or tourer frame, but for me 700×40 tyres would be heavenly. i take on a reasonable amount of dirt in any commute and the geometry of the frame is so nicely settled that it’ll handle it no worries. the tyres will be the limiting factor.

the bike feels like it’s been built to the purpose for which it is being sold. it’s not a roadie or track frame jammed into the fixie genre. it’s a bike build for getting around on, feeling good on and – hopefully – looking good on.

i ride because i enjoy riding and this bike is an enjoyable ride. i’ve detailed a few minor gripes but i’m always looking forward to me next ride on this bike because it rides right. it’s the first bike out of the shed at the moment. if the gold coast weather hadn’t been so miserable it would have gone on some longer rides already.

conclusions
at less then $200 delivered this frame is a crazy bargain, and it came with a decent bottom bracket and stem. i wanted a bike that i like riding but also something that i could leave at the pub or beach without sweating about it. the mojo bike fixie frame has delivered on both of those with a tough and cheap bike that rides better than it has any right to.

you can get funky custom builds at mojo bikes. the chick is not included.

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