Review: Fairdale Flyer Standard

fairdaleflyer

By Stephen Haynes

When the folks at Fairdale put together the Flyer they were thinking of people who ride their bikes occasionally, and casually at that. The intention was to create a bike you can pick up and ride with little fuss, little maintenance, and be happy about the experience. This bike is just as comfortable cruising the strand as it is rolling over railroad ballast and everything in between.

Company founder Taj Mihelich (and BMX freestyle pro) says, “the whole point of Fairdale is to try and get people to find their love of cycling…I spent a lifetime on bikes and I want to create bikes that help other people experience some of that. It’s sometimes counter-intuitive to put a casual rider on a singlespeed bike. However, inexperienced riders are often confused by derailleurs and their required maintenance. Having a bike that they can keep going is a huge key to keeping them riding.”

The Flyer lived up to its ethos for this reviewer. I fell in love with the bike on the first pedal stroke. From its stylish split top tube to its swept-back Archer Bars, the bike put a smile on my face every time I mounted it.

Having only one gear proved to be a bit difficult at times in our hilly neighborhood, but as Mr. Mihelich says, “Sure, with a singlespeed you might have to get out of the saddle to climb a hill now and then, but the plus side is that it will simply (mechanically) work.” Meaning, the simple and rugged design of the bike is meant to take abuse and keep working.

A military green paint job, kissed with just enough color to keep it interesting, keeps the Flyer looking classically “cruiser.” A step-through option is also available, and either build comes in white as well.

I found that the Fairdale Flyer exists somewhere between two traditions: the BMX cruiser and the classic beach cruiser. It seems like the brainchild of someone who wants something a little more comfy than a BMX cruiser, without losing the ability to throw down some urban assault occasionally. It’s perfect for someone who wants to put little thought into whether or not their bike will work when they need it to, without sacrificing style or performance. For $440, it’s a steal.

Fairdale SkateRack

Along with the Flyer, Fairdale was cool enough to send me one of their skateboard-carrying devices, aptly named the SkateRack, available for $44. This coated aluminum rack can attach to any standard cargo rack (pictured is a Salsa rack; Fairdale now has their own aluminum cargo racks for $40). It simply hangs on the top bar via two hooks. A couple of Velcro straps secure it from swinging out on turns.

Load your skateboard into the trucks slot and secure the deck across the middle with the provided bungee strap. (For more info and a hilarious introduction to the SkateRack, check out Fairdale’s website). This rack worked really well for me and is super-easy to set up. If you skate, save your legs for skating your favorite spot and get yourself a Fairdale SkateRack.

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