For the past two years, I have ridden a fixed-gear road bike from Wabi Cycles, an L.A.-based boutique brand. I am in love with the bike, which combines the traffic-friendly advantages of a fixed gear (fast response, quick starts and stops) with the frame geometry, relative comfort, and speed of a road bike. My Wabi Lighting model climbs hills in a sprint and cranks up past 25mph on the flats, a race car of a bike made of scandium that leaps to start with its uber-light 16-pound build.
This month, the company unveiled a new version of the Lightning made specifically for “less height-gifted cyclists,” as the company puts it. The “mini” Lightning has smaller 650C wheels (instead of the standard 700C wheels) and a 42cm frame. It fits riders from about 4 foot 9 inches tall to 5 foot 3 inches.
Women, kids, and smaller men are the market for the 42cm bike, which weighs an incredible 14.1 pounds fully built! Standard gearing is 46/16T, which achieves the same “gear inch” spec as with the 700C Lightning bike. Wabi offers multiple gearing options to pick from when you order a bike.
It has a carbon fork. You can buy a freewheel hub if desired, which allows you to coast without your legs spinning on the fixed gear.
The Lighting comes in orange and black, and it costs $900. A single front brake, “bullhorn” handlebars, and a solid, fixed gear for fast, connected-to-the-bike control are standard inclusions on this sweet new mini ride made for the city or the open road.