Bike Review – Quella Bicycle Varsity Single Speed Bike

Bike Review – Quella Bikes Varsity Single Speed Bike
There is a beautiful Zen-like feeling to riding a single speed bicycle. The Quella Varsity Single Speed is a British designed and built single speed / fixed gear bike; perfect for city life or running errands around countryside lanes. My Quella Varisty Cambridge has just clocked over 5000 kilometres — so it seemed timely to write a review of the ride.


My first road bike was a steel framed Peugeot, for which I paid £50 to a family friend. I have a great emotional connection to that bike and frame — to the simplicity and retro looks that it has, and the adventures that it has taken me on. Yet, when the bottom bracket seized in its shell and the forks were mangled by a white van man, I decided it was time to look for another classic looking steel frame commuter bike that would uphold the Zen and do the 'Steel is Real' club proud.

My search led me to the London based company Quella Bicycle. Their range of urban inspired single speed bikes came to my attention because of their elegant looks, British design, and high quality components. The Nero was the first bike that Quella released, and the Varsity is a more up-market style-led sibling.

The core of any bike is the frame. The Quella Varsity uses a Cro-Mo 4130 steel track frame and fork; the track-inspired geometry provides a snappy and responsive feel to the steering, while the steel tubes provide comfort and a reassuringly stable and balanced ride. The frame and fork come in a number of different British university inspired colours — mine is the beautiful Cambridge Blue.

The Varsity frameset is fitted with Quella's own-built 45mm depth wheels, using sealed bearing Joytech hubs that have the flip-flop capability to switch the ride between single speed and fixed gear on the rear. The wheels are impressively solid, and they continue to roll smooth and true even after some fairly notable knocks and bumps. The Kenda 25c Tyres that they are shod with are also proving resilient, with no punctures recorded to date.

Braking comes in the form of Radius Dual Pivot Caliper brakes, controlled with simple flat-bar levers. The brakes are strong in their action and performance on the Quella wheel's braking surfaces; although I have to admit the stock pads only lasted around 1000 kilometres before I switched them out for ones with a more durable compound.

Finishing kit is composed of a shiny Quella Premium Bullhorn Handlebar, wrapped in leather-effect bar tape; accompanied by a matching stem and seat-post. The gear crank is a classic looking CNC aluminium shaft, fitted with a 44 tooth chainring. These components all seem to be lasting well, and even with plenty of exposure to the weather they are not showing signs of rust or corrosion — a good gauge of quality.

Finally, it is the intricate details that really set the Quella Varsity Cambridge apart from other single speed bikes. The saddle for example, which looks very much like an Italian fi'zi:k Arione, complements the colours of the tyres and bar tape perfectly; while the pastel yellow rims match impeccably with the pastel blue frameset. This is a pretty bike, no doubt there; it certainly earns itself many complimentary remarks when I ride it around town.

To summarise, the Quella Varsity Cambridge is a classic — both in design and execution; it looks like a heritage steel single speed bike, but with components and colour schemes that will stand the test of time and fashion.

My Quella is a reliable (and beautiful) workhorse; now fitted with a Pelago Front Pannier Rack and a Restrap Rando Bag, it comes into service for daily shopping trips, commutes, and even for some longer distance rides along the coast.

This is a timeless ride, with classy looks and a top performance; all for a very reasonable retail price.

>> Shop the Quella Bikes Varsity Cambridge Single Speed Bike at Quellabicycle.com here <<

Review – Quella Bikes Varsity Single Speed Bike

Review – Quella Bikes Varsity Single Speed Bike

Review – Quella Bikes Varsity Single Speed Bike

Review – Quella Bikes Varsity Single Speed Bike



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