Cyclist Magazine Review
Steed Thoroughbred single-speed bike review
Finding the ideal commuter bike is like trying to dress for the London Underground in a winter rush hour: it is a very tricky act to balance. Steed aims to help you sidestep any dilemma by offering the Thoroughbred, a bike that it says blends good looks with practicality at a fair price.
London-based Steed Bikes was founded this year by designer and fitness professional Ian Steed. He says he started the brand with the desire to create his dream bikes: stylish, fun to ride, durable and affordable.
A classic city-style single-speed bike, the Thoroughbred immediately impressed me with its good looks and it was a similar story once the pedals started turning.
It's neigh bother
In the saddle, the comfort of the Thoroughbred was an early defining attribute. The 28mm Kenda tyres combined with the high-tensile steel frame and forks provide an smooth ride that takes broken and uneven surfaces in its stride.
The build of the frame, with a compact rear triangle, gives the bike really solid power transfer that works nicely alongside the carefully chosen 44/18 gearing to make short work of small suburban ramps and – with a bit of leg work – even some harsher climbs.
It helped significantly in traffic, too, as quick accelerations and accurate handling make navigating lights and stationary vehicles simple.
The Steed comes fitted with eyelets to mount bottle cages, mudguards and racks, which should imbue the bike with year-round adaptability. The Promax rim brakes that the Thoroughbred comes equipped with are well-modulated and powerful, coping well downhill and in stop-start situations in the dry, although I didn't have the opportunity to thoroughly test their performance in the wet.
We're not judging books...
Although appearance is a subjective matter I really do think Steed has done well in the Thoroughbred. It is a handsome bike, and those handle grips and saddle score in the eco department as well as the looks department, being made from vegan leather.
That's not the only environmentally conscious thing about the bike either: Steed has partnered with the International Tree Foundation to pledge that a tree is planted in fragile ecosystems – such as areas of deforestation – for every bike purchased.
From the horse's mouth
Thanks to the Thoroughbred's sensible components list and simplicity of design, I think Steed has attained one of the biggest advantages of a single-speed bike – riding pleasure with minimum fuss.
Each ride, whether that be on inner city roads or through the suburban landscape, was easy, fast and comfortable.
What's more, at £425 it's more affordable than most of its competitors and comes with a lifetime guarantee. Steed may be a foal in the stable of the single-speed city bike market, but for a first attempt its Thoroughbred does have a bit of a kick.