SE Draft Lite Riding Review

SE Draft Lite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been a while now since I published my initial SE Draft Lite Review, in which I went over the components and other specifications of the SE Draft Lite fixed-gear/single-speed bike in detail.  Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to ride the Draft Lite many times and get to know how it performs, so I’ll now present my SE Draft Lite riding review.

As mentioned in our prior review, the Draft Lite’s frame and fork are made of high-tensile (Hi-Ten) steel, which can be a bit heavy — and at around 26 pounds the Draft Lite is certainly no air-weight carbon road bike.  However,  I believe that for most people the bike will not feel too heavy, especially for bikes in its price range (while MSRP is $389, you can often find the Draft Lite on sale for much less).  The Draft Lite certainly weighs less than many of the single-speed or fixed-gear conversions you’ll find on Craigslist.

On the plus side the Draft Lite’s frame feels really sturdy, and when I was standing up to pedal up steep hills I felt more stable than I’ve felt on some lighter, more expensive bikes.  In fact, I really enjoyed climbing hills on the Draft Lite.  The “caged with clips” pedals also added to my confidence while climbing, without requiring special shoes to ride.

The sturdy frame and the hardy 700x28c tires also absorbed some of the sting from bumpy roads, and also felt stable on gravel paths.  The bike also felt just right around turns, and the Draft Lite’s gearing was perfect for the somewhat hilly area where I ride.  It’s also nice to have the flip-flop hub where you can switch from fixed-gear to freewheel by flipping the rear wheel.

I kept both brakes on the bike, as I like to ride freewheel (and even like having brakes when riding fixed), and the Draft Lite’s brakes consistently did a fine job.  I found the bikes’ SE saddle to be decent, and I liked the feel of the SE grips.  During my review period, the Draft Lite became my go-to bike for general riding, and I really came to enjoy the bike because the Draft Lite felt good and was a lot of fun to ride.

The Verdict
The SE Draft Lite is a simple, fun bike to ride and is a good value for the price.  You can find more information about the SE Draft Lite on the SE Bikes web site.

 

Other Fixie/Single-Speed Bike Reviews:

8 comments to SE Draft Lite Riding Review

  • Michaelornelas209@yahoo.com

    This bike sucks my cousin bought this bike and that same day he got it it had frame damage

  • JTobar

    I have the red Draft Lite, and I love it. My first day riding it was awesome. Though, I did prefer my Fuji Classic, as I could stop a lot easier.

  • admin

    Hi Michael, I haven’t seen many comments around the internet of folks having frame damage — the frame seems pretty sturdy. Did he use the bike hard or perhaps just happened to get a bad one (I guess all products have a few duds)?

    Best,
    Rob

  • admin

    Hi JTobar, I had no complaints with the Draft Lite’s brakes. I’ve heard good things about the Fuji Classic — I guess at about twice the price of the Draft Lite, it’s brakes should be a bit better also.

    Best,
    Rob

  • Jon

    This is a fine bike, but comes without assembly instructions. Instead, they put in the box some completely useless generic owner’s manual. I have no idea why it is mentioned in the box that “instructions for assembly and use can be found inside the carton”.

    The chain guard is too small to fit it and the rear cable is too long. Sadly, you will need an SE Bike dealer, which is not easy to find for some of us.

    It is clearly a company that focus on themselves rather than the customer.

  • admin

    Hi Jon,

    Thanks for your comment. I’ve gotten bikes in boxes from many manufacturers, and this really seems common to almost all of them — they seem to assume that if you’re buying a bike in a box, you know how to put one together. That’s unfortunate, as many people do not. I think the other assumption is that if you don’t know, you’ll take it to a local bike shop (LBS). On that note, any LBS should be able to assemble the SE Draft, not just SE Bike dealers.

    If you prefer to assemble it yourself, luckily there are a lot of resources online. Here’s one: http://www.bikesdirect.com/instructionhelp.htm

    Also, there are a lot of videos on Youtube.com — you can search “assemble box bike” or similar. Here are a couple:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzUGWLhOZMA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaxeDqK2PF4

    Oh, and here’s one on trimming your brake cable:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66IYOM9ITWk

    Hope this helps!
    Rob

  • Joelle

    I would like to thank you for this review. You review that bike for what it is instead of comparing it to some 800 $ to 1200 $ (and up) bikes… For people who are in search of a decent ride to go around the city and do not have near a thousand dollars to spend, this review is very usefull. I just bought the SE Draft Lite and should be able to ride it saturday. I can’t wait 🙂

  • admin

    Thanks Joelle, hope you have fun on your new bike — it is a fun bike to ride!

    Best,
    Rob

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>