Singlespeed & Fixed Gear - Satisfaction level of fixed-conversion vs. track bike
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06-06-03, 08:02 AM
I personally ride a new Bianchi Pista, and although it is one of the more economy-level "track" bikes, I think it was well worth the money to have a nice new shiny bike. I was considering trying to do a conversion, but I figured shelling out a little more (ok, a few hundred more), to have all new parts and everything was worth it.
I'm curious how others feel: If you are riding an older road frame, do you find yourself wishing you had a "true" track bike? If you are riding a track bike, do you wish you had just bought a fixed rear wheel and thrown it on that ten speed in the garage instead?
And I know everyone isn't either riding and old road bike or a new track bike; If you are riding an older track bike are you happy with it? (A friend of mine who currently has a new aluminum track bike sometimes says he wants to go back to an old lugged steel frame..)
I am very happy with my 1975 Schwinn that I converted to fixie. Being in NYC having an older bike that I didn't spend that much money on makes sense with the theft rate.
I would have to say that getting a new bike is a plus, but it takes all the fun out of getting an old frame...tearing it apart...and putting it back together the way you want it.
Also, for the price of a new bike you could have 3 or 4 older road converstions on hand for your riding enjoyment.
My only complaint is that I would like an older frame with track drop outs.
Other than that I am happy.
06-06-03, 10:03 AM
i think the sensation of riding a conversion is the same as a fixed. the only problem i really got into was when i wanted to start changing gears, or even chaning tires and stuff trying to get my chain tension right, and sometimes i couldn't run the gear combo i wanted. now with a track bike with long track drops i can run any gear combo i want.
the other thing that is more "fun" is having a quick handling bike. my steering is real steep so it's fun to dodge pot holes and stuff.
06-06-03, 12:10 PM
i've never had an actual track bike, just conversions.
that said, i certainly wouldn't turn one down if someone offered it to me.
06-06-03, 06:05 PM
Tough call,have had both.....I dunno,after building one up from a track frame just the way I wanted it,its tough not to like a real track frame,even if its one like mine with road race geometry.
06-06-03, 10:09 PM
I enjoyed building my bike, but then I enjoy building most things. Why buy a brand new car when you can pick one up for two hundred. The only problem is the motor is in the trunk and the top end is in the glove box. Now thats fun.
06-11-03, 08:38 PM
I love my fixie conversion. It works really well for me, especially since it's cost me less than $300 from the ground up (used road frame, new wheelset, new BB/cranks/pedals).
I'm actually looking to buy a new/used track frame though since my current frame is 53cm and I am 5'5" (meaning I need a 48cm). Right now I'm looking at 1) Olmo Gara Pista, 2) Gunnar Street Dog, 3) Surly Steamroller.
My only concern with the Gara Pista is that it might not be able to stand up to the rigors of Chicago rush hour. I know the Street Dog would (for an additional $400 it had better) and my concern with the Steamroller is that I heard a rumor the geometry was changed and there've been problems with a few riders (THIS IS UNFOUNDED, JUST SOMETHING I HEARD).
06-12-03, 02:56 AM
I found a beat up frame behind my dad's shed (1970 nishiki) and make a fixed gear out of it. It is light and fast, and I love it because I built it. I think there's real value in building a bike yourself. You will like it more.
That said, I think I will buy a track frame eventually and move my parts onto it. I love the super-tight track geometry.
06-12-03, 11:29 AM
a lot of this is really subjective.....
quick handling bikes can be a rush- but not if you're riding long miles or on bad roads. There is a fantastic purity about a track frame, though.
a high quality old frame is still high quality. New Drainpipe frames can be pretty expensive nowadays. Something to be said for reclamation projects, thrift, self-builds. Back in the day, riders wore out their old parts on the winter fixie. I still do; it reminds me of the old guys who taught me Fixed Wheel Lore on those snowy training odysseys......
I love the idea that road fixie frames (and off-road) are becoming fashionable (e.g., available new!) again. I've ridden a couple, but still like my old irons...
I drool over new bikes as much as the next guy, and there is something almost sexy about a new singlespeed or fixed gear bike. But to me, riding a fixed gear on the road is a state-of-mind. And fixing up an old beater, reusing parts where possible, bending/sawing handlebars, spray painting your frame, all that's involved with a conversion--that is just another part of the state-of-mind.
If I rode on a track, I'd probably want new set up vs. conversion.
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