Jamis Sputnik Fixed Gear Road Bike Pro Review - By kwc
- 46×16 drivetrain with flip-flop fixed/single-speed hub, FSA Vero cranks
- Reynolds 631 size-specific tubing
- Ritchey Comp cockpit
- Sizes: 50, 53, 55, 57, 59 (tested), 62cm
- Weight: 18.9 lbs
- MSRP: $900
Of the various bikes I’ve ridden, none has attracted as many unsolicited, positive comments as the Jamis Sputnik. This may not seem unusual, but I’ve ridden $7000 carbon fiber masterpieces and the Sputnik is a $900 steel frame bike. It doesn’t even have gears. How is it possible that this is the coolest bike I’ve ridden? Retro simplicity. Composite materials like carbon fiber may have spurred new innovations in the field of bicycle design, but the simple, matte-black Sputnik is a modern appeal to the past. I was riding the Sputnik around Sea Otter when a kid came up to me. “Is that a Sputnik? My dad has one. It’s awesome!” That little encounter expressed the appeal of the Sputnik to me: retro enough for dad, cool enough for son.
The Sputnik is one of several bikes that Jamis is targeting at the urban commuter market. It is a “flip-flop” bike that offers a bit of versatility to this market, while still maintaining simplicity and durability. Flip-flopping may be bad in politics but its fun in a bike: the rear wheel has both a fixed-gear side and a single-speed side. Mount it one way and you have a fixed gear. Mount it the other and you have a single-speed. Jamis designed the bike for the road, so if you’re looking for a track bike you may wish to start elsewhere.
Before I get into how it rides, lets take a little detour and talk about why you would even want to ride a fixed gear or a single speed.