Singlespeed & Fixed Gear - Motobecane Track [opinions and issues]
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07-02-11, 06:31 AM
So, last month I purchased and received a Motobecane Track bike from BikesDirect. I needed a cheap introduction to fixed gear bikes and I feel like the Motobecane has done me well. I've ridden it basically every day and had minimal issues with it:
-Lockring was loose for a good while. I had to take it to my LBS to get things tightened up. Things have only gone well since then, though.
-Chain line is NOT straight. I feel like this is actually a big problem for me, as what I really like about fixed gear bikes is their simplicity and efficiency. It's bothering my OCD that the chain line isn't aligned. I've moved the washers and spacers to get it as close as I can, but it's 1) still not perfect 2) made the wheel shift to the left... Not helping me OCD either.
-I had to true it within a few weeks. It was extremely wobbly within a few days/weeks of riding it, but a quick true made it good enough to ride. It's... not perfect, but the margin of error is minimal and I haven't had the time to perfect the wheel yet.
-One of the straps broke, but I just fixed it by clipping in the broken part... Regardless, I bought new pedals, clips, and straps. Mostly because I felt like it would be a nice upgrade.
Regardless, it's still been a really great bike to me. My buddies and I drove our bikes down to San Francisco and mashed around those hills and just rode around all day and my bike was able to handle everything for the most part. I haven't replaced my tires yet, despite playing around with long skids and bar skids pretty often (though I just ordered new tires.)
I also really like the look and geometry of the frame thus far. It's treated me well and I'm happy with the bike. I have a few questions to put out there though:
What can I do about the chain line? I don't like having the hub uncentered. Should I just put it back and have 4-5MM off? (It's like 1-2 MM off right now.)
What are important things to upgrade and in what order?
If I like these track geometry frames, which frames would be a good idea to eventually upgrade to? I was thinking about eventually getting an NJS frame, but that's years from now. [: What are good stepping stones into the track frame world?
Sorry for all of the questions and the long post, but I figured I should make my first post count for what it's worth and get as much help in one go as I can. Thank you in advance and have a great day! :D
the pedals/straps and the saddle would've probably been the only things I considered upgrading for a bike that price. I wouldn't want to spend too much building up that frame personally. Maybe a different wheelset too since you can easily just throw that on whatever you upgrade to
if you're not talking about replacing the bike until years from now too, then none of the 'eventual' bike upgrades seem worth mentioning either :) Though it does make justifying upgrades easier I suppose if you're serious about how long you plan on waiting.
as far as the wheels not being trued and the lockring needing to be tightened, that's standard for a BD bike. I hated the straps on my kilo with a passion and actually (and foolishly, though I had a brake) rode without any for a while before I sold it
07-02-11, 07:10 AM
Haha, I like the pedals and clips I got for my bike a lot. MKS Sylvan (cheaper, but nice) and Soma Double Toe clips. They fit my style. And I just picked up some cheap double toe straps for them. I'm a bit motivated to pick up either Plemons Double Toe Strap (not as much anymore, since the initial awesomeness faded), Saglife, or Toshi's. The latter two seem like great quality items and would last me through all of my other upgrades and onto whatever my new bike would be. (:
As for saddle, I was considering a leather one. Opinions on that? And for a wheelset, I'm drooling over this one:
Don't think I'm some punk with all of the money in the world though. I can't afford these right now, but they're just amazing. I prefer the box rims over the v's people around me love.
And I feel like I'll want to upgrade to a better frame within a year or two, so that's why I'm just working on the other, more interchangeable parts right now.
I meant before you upgraded in regards to the pedals/straps
I have a leather saddle and I like it a lot (sell san marco regal), but you have to be delicate with some of them. I had the wind push over my bike once (shamelessly taking a photo of my bike) and it scuffed up the side pretty good.
Those wheels and hubs are very nice, but they're like 2x the price of your entire bike at the moment, that just seems.. weird, but yeah, no reason you couldn't just keep those forever. There's a thread around here where some people fight over what wheels are the best and dick wag over who did what first, you shouldn't have to go back more than 2-3 pages to find it
07-02-11, 08:52 AM
Haha, true. I wouldn't plan on upgrading my wheels yet anyways, I have a lot of other stuff to change out before that, like my saddle, nicer drops, new cranks/chainring, etc. My wheels are still running well, just have to get them properly true'd. Haha. And... having wheels costing more than the rest of my bike is just horrible. ):
07-02-11, 09:57 AM
i had a Track for a few months, i thought it was a great starter. your ass will thank you for replacing the saddle. the bars are decent, but the tape needs to go. great choice on the pedals. a big consideration should be a new cog and lockring. the stock BD stuff is trash. if you're on a budget, check out All-City, Eighth Inch, and Scrod has some good deals at Retrogression.
07-02-11, 12:52 PM
Just gonna throw this out there. If you like the geo of this bike, don't get a track bike. As far as saddles go, you just need to try them since everyone likes different things. As for the wheels deal cheap "low profile" wheels that seem to be pretty good are those sun rims. You can check them out on velomine as well.
07-02-11, 01:09 PM
I agree, the geometry of the Motobecane Track is very relaxed. If you like it, stick with it for awhile. Try out other bikes, if you can, along the way and see how you feel about them.
Most wheels need tensioning/truing after the first few hundred miles anyways. They're not the lightest and the hubs aren't the smoothest... but the stock wheels on the Motobecane Track are not bad. I've found them pretty easy to true, and I've been able to repack the hubs to a satisfactory smooth.
07-02-11, 02:26 PM
@Philthy Bastard: Haha, I agree about the grips and saddle. My friend's who ride my bike for a little think they're more comfortable, but after a good distance they just... aren't. ): Good idea on changing the cog and lockring though. I was considering if getting a lockring tool/chainwhip was a good idea as well. Yes, no?
@bryyando: You make a good point, the Motobecane is pretty relaxed. ]: I'd like to try out more trackish frames, but I haven't had the chance yet. Most of my friends have pretty relaxed geometries as well. (Road conversions, Gavin Fisso, and Windsor the Hours.) What changes in riding style should I expect if changing to a more track geometry?
Also, thanks for the sun rim idea. I put them to the back of my mind and forgot to get back at them. They look like decent rims and will be a fair amount cheaper to try out on my bike than the Mavics. Haha. M13 vs CR18?
@yummygooey: Agreed. [: Here's what I'm starting to wonder though... Should I really continue truing these wheels myself or should I just take it to a shop?
EDIT: Just going to throw this out there, because the chainline is bothering me more than it should. What is a good, cheaper crank/chainring/BB combination that'll help me line everything up? ):
07-02-11, 05:27 PM
What cranks are you using?
07-03-11, 01:18 AM
... a big consideration should be a new cog and lockring. the stock BD stuff is trash...
Stupid lame waste of money. A cog is a steal circle with teeth shapes cut out. It's not an upgrade you will ever notice when riding. It's like changing out your seat post clamp wtf
I've been using a no name cog and lockring on my dura ace hubs for over 2 years with no issues at all.
07-03-11, 03:30 AM
@Squirrelli: I'm using the stock cranks. I have no idea what these are.
@stryper: That might be true, but this lockring has just slipped on me a few times and that's been bothersome. I might not need to do anything anytime soon though, since it's been fine since I got it tightened.
07-03-11, 03:33 AM
Can you post a picture of your rear hub that shows cog and lockring?
07-03-11, 04:01 AM
Sure, no problem. [:
I broke my BD locking when I tried to tighten it, it is really cheap. I agree you should replace especially if you plan to swap out cogs to try different gearing.
As for your chainline if it really bothers you you may be able to get it closer by changing your bottom bracket to a different spindle length. find out what bb you have now, then you should be able to calculate what you need by how much you want to move the chainring.
Edit: this assuming you keep your cranks. If you buy new cranks you should see if the manufacturer recommends a bb.
07-03-11, 07:25 AM
Haha, I'm pretty happy with my 46-15 gearing for the most part though. Only time it was really hard was climbing in SF, but we could push through regardless. I'll eventually swap it out, but I'm not sure when I'd need to.
Also, I was just talking about that today. I mean, the stock cranks don't seem to be anything amazing, so I've been trying to find a nice crankset to replace it. And I'd just get a new BB to match it. Weird thing though is that the BB is 103. And if I measured right, I think I'd need a 97 BB to make it fit. Kind of an odd length, I think.
07-03-11, 07:38 AM
Sure, no problem. [:
You've got your cog on backwards. That's why your chainline is off.
07-03-11, 07:46 AM
@TejanoTrackie: I'm pretty certain it's not backwards. Also, if I turned it around, it would shift my rear chain line to the left, which would make it worse.
07-03-11, 08:06 AM
IDK. Your photos make it look like the chain is practically rubbing on the spokes. Something is wrong there.
07-03-11, 08:47 AM
Cog looks right to me. The stock cog on the Track has a big lip on it that would be very evident in either of those photos. It looks like the angle of the picture is what makes it look like the chain is rubbing the sp0ks.
The stock BD cogs suck, but they'll do their job for a decent set of miles. Only change it if you are OCD, it wears out, or you need to change your gearing.
A good lockring isn't that expensive. A $10 investment now might save you many times that amount when it prevents you from stripping your hub threads.
yeah I mean, even if you were to do something that was a "Stupid lame waste of money" you would only be out $30 or so and you'd still have better parts. You can grab a surly or all city cog from UC for <$20 and a $10 lockring from scrod or a $5 one from wabi, $15 if you grabbed a dura ace or something
07-03-11, 09:16 AM
Surly cogs have or used to have issues with being extremely noisy.
07-03-11, 09:20 AM
Surly cogs have or used to have issues with being extremely noisy.
Mine is loud, Its pretty new maybe 5months?
my surly was pretty loud when I first put it on, but after I had put about 50 miles or so on it I either have managed to completely tone it out or it is much much quieter.
07-03-11, 09:32 AM
Mine has gotten quiter but it still is pretty loud, mostly cause i dont ride my bike.
07-03-11, 05:14 PM
Mm, sounds like something good for me to look into. [: How can I tell when my cog starts to wear?
And yeah, it's not rubbing against the spokes. Sorry for the bad angle.
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