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 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.
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