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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-26-09, 07:07 PM   #1
Nocturnal
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Single Speed for a Clyde...

I am getting interested in the idea of a single speed/fixie bike for my short commute and quick urban trips, plus to be honest I also love the clean lines and looks of them.

I have a Long Haul trucker that I love and like the Surly brand...would the Steamroller be adequate or perhaps build up another LHT as a single? Found a Steamroller online for a good price...thoughts? Other recommendations for a 35yr athletic uber-clyde?
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Old 04-26-09, 10:53 PM   #2
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If you want the clean lines, then don't build up another LHT unless you plan on using an ENO hub. The LHT has vert dropouts, and you'd need either the ENO hub or a tensioner (which would ruin that "clean" look.)

The Steamroller is a nice frame, but here's the issues I have with it:
- only one set of bottle brazes
- no cable guides for rear brake (and you want one if you're rolling singlespeed)

You can easily solve the cable guide issue though, with a set of classy chrome bolt-over cable guides.
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Old 04-27-09, 03:15 AM   #3
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I have never heard anything bad about a steamroller from anyone who has one. A lot of guys are using them for Cross bikes, so they must be tough. I would also look at the Bianchi San Jose and Masi fixed.
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Old 04-27-09, 07:22 AM   #4
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Ah, right, the dropout. I have seen the Bianchi and will look into that, also perhaps converting a CrossCheck to single...
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Old 04-27-09, 08:31 PM   #5
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u might want to check out the van dessel country road bob, its a single/fixie/derailleured cyclocross bike...

it has an eccentric BB and a derailleur hanger and comes complete as a single speed/fixie, but u can build it up to a geared bike, if u find that single speed isnt ur thing or if u need a another geared bike in the near future... and its a cyclocross bike so u can run fenders, 35/38C tires and racks... been thinking of getting one...
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Old 04-27-09, 09:02 PM   #6
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When I got a single speed two years ago I narrowed it down to the Steamroller and the one that Masi made. The Steamroller had no braze-ons for racks and fenders, but its got plenty of clearance for bigger tires (I'm using 700 x 32s), while the Masi (at that time) didn't have clearance for wider tires. I was leeaning towards the Steamrooler and finally bought one primarily because I got a slightly used one cheap ($250). The Streamroller has worked out great for what I intended it to be - a workout bike (20-30 miles on flat ground). Since that time Masi has introduced a SS with wider tire clearance and braze ons, and that's the one I'd buy; it would give me more versatility. Both are steel.

I'm thinking of changing my hybrid into an IGH commuter so I went by the local Masi dealer a few weekends ago and looked at the cross bike (the Special CX I believe). Its got a steel frame & fork, clearance for bigger tires (I like bigger, softer-riding tires), braze-ons front and rear, slightly shorter top tube than the Surly Cross Check. . . . way too nice a bike to leave on a display rack gathering dust. I might have to go back there with my wallet and put it on the road . . .
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Old 04-28-09, 10:37 AM   #7
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Have you looked at the IRO Phoenix? It looks like the replacement for the IRO Rob Roy. Longer wheelbase, relaxed geometry, two bottle mounts, braze-ons for a rack and fenders.
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Old 04-28-09, 12:44 PM   #8
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Have you considered a single speed Cross Check?
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Old 04-28-09, 05:35 PM   #9
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I got a Kona Humu a couple of months ago. It's great! It's also a tank.
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Old 04-28-09, 06:30 PM   #10
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I got a Redline 925 and I've loved it. It's controversial but bikesdirect has a bunch of single speeds that are very reasonably priced. The single speed salsa casserole looks nice too.
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Old 04-29-09, 03:16 PM   #11
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Its also possible to find a magic gear for our frame that will let you get perfect chain tension without using the tensioners. just have a look at

http://eehouse.org/fixin/formfmu.php

You are limited with your gear ratio but very doable and alot better than the tensioners. I am just waiting for a new chain ring to sort mine out good luck with it.

I'd recommend a horizontal dropout like the cross check as mentioned earlier and bypass all this messing with magic gears and such.
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Old 04-29-09, 06:22 PM   #12
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Hmm, I've never heard IRO before, but I like what I see, though do they have the durability? A single speed Cross Check is probably a better choice than a Steamroller. Probably have to paint it though; beef gravy is a bit too out there for me. Though I do love some nice colored deep V rims for both practical and stylistic reasons. A nice mimimilist zippy bike that can take my larger height/weight. A lot to ask, I know.

Then I can keep my LHT fully clothed with all the racks, fenders, cages and everything else.
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Old 04-29-09, 06:35 PM   #13
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I weigh about 230 pounds and have put many, many miles on my IRO Mk V. Have not broken it yet, and expect I won't. I put 35mm tires on it (they just barely fit), and it makes it into a pretty robust street machine. It does have stops for a rear brake. But no fender eyelets. Somewhat aggresive geometry (but not as much as a real track bike); makes me feel like superman on it.

jim

p.s., I highly recommend staying away from magic gear, if you can. Yes, it can work. But its a chore to set up, limits your gear choices, and means you have to replace the chain frequently as it elongates. Certainly don't buy a bike with the intention of doing it; its only a passable solution if you already are tied into the bike. If then.
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Old 04-29-09, 07:31 PM   #14
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Do a search for IRO and you'll get a million threads in SS/FG about how much they love IRO. My Rob Roy is solid, reliable, and bulletproof. Paired with Deep V's, it'll survive a direct hit from a howitzer. The Phoenix looks to be the Rob Roy's replacement. Plus Tony @ IRO is an excellent guy.
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Old 04-30-09, 09:30 AM   #15
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Fixed Gear

At 320 (down from nearly 400) I am also an uber-clyde. I have been very happy with my Redline 925. Mine has drop bars and no fenders but it does have eyelets for racks/fenders and plenty of tire clearance.

IMHO the tire clearance is extremely important. On a fixed gear you cannot glide, stand and unweight for bumps, I use a larger tire than normal. I ride 700x28 Conti Ultra Gatorskins on my road bike but on the fixed gear I ride Avocet FasGrips in 700x32.

My Redline only has one bottle mount but I plan on having a local builder add another. I ride the fixed gear for ALL of my flat rides regardless of distance. Enjoy!

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