Shopping for an everyday commuter bike? Our SE Bikes Draft Lite Bike Review of the 2016 bike model will help you determine if SE Draft Lite is the best pick for you. The single-speed bike features wide tires for increased stability and traction, regardless of the terrain you’re riding on.
So, let’s begin with the basic characteristics this bike delivers. It offers:
- Urban design with a single-speed setting, and include fender and water bottle mount
- Wider tire clearance for muddy, wet, or uneven terrain riding
- A medium frame build/profile
- It has Kendra 700 × 28 c tires and double-wall rims Kwest tires
- A 16T freewheel that requires little maintenance and a KMC chain that’s durable and rust-resistant
For those looking for a low-maintenance bike, with reasonable power, this is a good option. It’s not the most durable, nor is it going to power you up steep hills, as it’s a single-speed design, but for daily commuting, you should be fine with this bike.
The bike has a sturdy frame and a rugged build. It’s available in four frames sizes including 49 cm, 52 cm, 55 cm, and a 58 cm model. The manufacturer suggests:
- The 49 cm for riders 5’2’’ to 5’5’’
- 52 cm for 5’4’’ to 5’7’’ bikers
- The 55 cm model for 5’6’’ to 6’0’’ bikers; and,
- A 58 cm for those who are 5’11’’ to 6’3’’ in height.
The bike has a Hi-ten single-speed frame, SE alloy crankset, resin platform pedals, and the tires are 700 × 28c. The wheels feature 36H hubs and double-wall rims to prevent punctures or ripping of the wheels, when riding on different terrains, over rocks, pebbles, or other obstructions on the road. It’s straight, the steel-leg fork will help reduce impact when you’re riding on bumpy roads; however, it’s not going to eliminate the bounce you feel like a dual-suspension bike would. The classic seat style rounds out the body’s frame. It isn’t fully padded, nor is it as comfortable as larger seats, but for a daily commuter, and riding distances of 5 to 20 miles, it should be comfortable enough for most people who purchase this bike. There’s always the option of buying a seat cushion or padding as well, to help increase riding comfort if you’re on the commuter for longer distances.
Braking Power & Handlebar Design
This bike has alloy-caliper front and rear wheel brakes, affording you extra stopping power when you need it. The brake levers are a 2-finger system, that sits on the handlebars, so you don’t have to remove your hands from the handlebar while riding. It’s SE riser handlebar is flat on the edges so your hands sit comfortably on top, and you can remain upright while riding without having to hunch over. The handlebar is 580 mm wide, so it’s suitable for riders who prefer keeping their hands in closer or want a wider grip when they’re biking for extended periods on this commuter.
What Consumers Like/Dislike: The Pros & Cons
With several commuter bikes available, you need to know what the best and the worst features/aspects are, before you choose to invest in this model. Especially since it is a 2016 model, and isn’t available everywhere, you need to do sufficient research to help you decide if it’s the best pick for your daily riding needs. Here are some pros and cons that customers indicate about this bike.
The SE Draft Lite Pros
Some excellent features this bike offers are
- The bike has extra-wide wheels; this helps you remain erect and maintain stability when riding on different terrains; the wider wheels also help you dig through mud or wet roads, especially since the single-speed setting is not going to power you through challenging hills or road conditions
- There are multiple sizes to choose from; the four different models allow every rider, regardless of their height, to find the perfect fit, so they don’t have to adjust the seat too low or too high, to accommodate their riding needs
- Double-wall rim tires are durable; they aren’t going to puncture easily nor are they going to lose air, even for bikers who are using the commuter bike for daily riding
- It’s a single-speed model, meaning it’s cheap to maintain; you won’t have to replace chains, gear shifters, or other components, that typically get damaged in higher-end and higher-priced bikes
- It’s lightweight and won’t slow you down; the bike weighs about 27 pounds
Draft Lite Cons
- It’s a single-speed bike; although this reduces the maintenance needs, it also limits your riding performance, speed, and power
- There’s some assembly required, and for those who don’t have experience with bike assembly, get ready for up to two hours of trying to figure out how to put the pieces together
Apart from these concerns, most reviews on Amazon seem to be positive. It’s a simple bike. If you’re looking for a fancy design, multiple gear shifting options, and speed settings, you’re not getting it with this bike.
Who’s it for?
Although it’s not currently available on Amazon, it’s available through the manufacturer’s website for under $300. And, with a 3.5/5-star rating on Amazon, it’s a decent option for those who need entry to mid-level commuter, for daily rides or every other day use. It’s a good pick for
- College students who are looking for an affordable bike
- Those looking for a commuter for even/level terrains
- People who want a low-maintenance bike that will last a few years
We like the basic design of this bike model. It’s not too heavy, weighing about 27 pounds, and is available in four frame sizes. However, as SE Bikes Draft Lite Bike reviews suggest, it’s not a top-of-the-line bike, and it’s not the best commuter you’ll find for the price. If you’re an avid rider who wants the best, this isn’t the bike for you. If you’re looking for a SE Bike model and don’t want to pay for the newer 2019 or 2020 models, this might be a good option to consider buying.