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  1. #1
    Live Deliberately. davidmcowan's Avatar
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    Commuter Gods bestow your wisdom.

    I've got a dilemma.

    I recently got an old schwinn fixed gear ($100). I outfitted it with fenders, tape, slimed the tubes, and bought new tires ($70). It had been acting up since I first got it but just a little. Recently it got bad and knowing that it was a crank/bottom bracket issue I brought it into the shop. I already own a road bike and a mountain bike that I use specifically for those purposes, the fixie was my commuter/lock anywhere without worrying bike.

    It turns out that the fixed gear wasn't put together right which caused the eventual destruction of the drive train. I enjoy riding fixed but it would cost $250 to repair and replace all needed parts! The trick is that I could get a Bianchi fixed gear at the bike shop for $500 brand new. However, would I be able to lock up a new Bianchi without worry? Would I be able to tank it through the winter with no problems? Unlikely.

    I don't know what to do here. What would you guys do?

  2. #2
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    I would buy a new Bianchi, lock it up and worry. Then after worrying myself sick, unlock and ride it.
    Bike riding Northern gentleman.

  3. #3
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Im riding a 300.00 sportymama fixie/ebay special as a commuter
    and couldnt be happier. Its seen snow, rain and blown up farm
    roads and has only required the occasional spoke, nuts and bolts
    retightening. Relatively speaking, its the same as the Bianchi as far
    as parts spec but 250.00 less.
    Just something to think about !!

  4. #4
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Thou shalt buy a winter beater.


    I have spoken.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    Get the bike you want. I'm lucky in that I live in a low crime area, but with a little bit of common sense you can keep a nice bike in a large city.
    I have a cousin who lives in Amsterdam, he rides what are called "junkie" bikes, and they get stolen all the time. His girlfriend rides a custom touring frame and has had it for years. My cousin doesn't like carrying a bike up the flight of stairs to his flat, so he leaves it outside, overnight, usually attached to a tree with a cheep chain and small padlock, or worse, just shoved into the back ally (although he says he pulls some trash on top of them as cammo). His girlfriend's rig lives in the living room at night. She has a quality lock that she uses diligently.
    I honestly believe that the vast majority of the populations' ability to access the value of a bike is solely based on the quality of its paint job. The cost of an expensive bike is less than that of a cheep car, the car is easier to steal, and no one really sweats parking it on the street.
    $250 bucks? Get what you want, get a good lock, unlike my cousin use the lock (or better yet don't leave your bike laying on the sidewalk) and chances are good that you will have years of service from that frame.

    --A

  6. #6
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    Building a FG on a bicycle with vertical dropouts is tricky. It can work but constant attention is needed. Many invest in an eno ecentric hub which is expensive to solve the chain tension problem.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/white-hubs.html

    The Bianchi Pista is nice. Are you familiar with the Bianchi San Jose? It's a single speed with beefier tires and frame. When going to the Bianchi dealer look at both. They are very different. Your choice would depend on what kind of bicycle you are after.

    http://www.bianchiusa.com/06_specialty.html
    Last edited by georgiaboy; 07-09-06 at 01:13 PM.

  7. #7
    Live Deliberately. davidmcowan's Avatar
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    -=£em in Pa=-,

    I checked out some of her ebay specials and they look alright. You can't mount fenders on those bikes though, can you? It just seems ridiculous to pay all that money to have them revamp my old bike when there are all of these new, funky bikes online here. I would really dig a flipflop hub on a newer nicer bike, Ya know?

  8. #8
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    My Mercier does have holes to mount fenders.
    The only thing I would say negative about the Kilo TT overall is
    the toe overlap. Very inconveniencing sometimes, but Im used to it now.
    you can look at my Sig. File mess below to see what bike I am most happy with !
    I love the control fixed gives in snow and the no-maintanance aspect of
    it. I occasionally hose off the cow dung and squirt some Marvel Mystery oil
    on the chain !!

    I might also suggest looking at the RedLine 925. Fixed, fendered and very
    affordable ! There is a used one on E-Bay right now.

  9. #9
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    (1) Tell LBS to take a flying leap.
    (2) Buy any bike at a garage sale for $15. Ride that bike until you fix your first bike.
    (3) Take your broken bike to the basement and figure out how to fix it yourself.

    BB $20
    BB tool $15
    Chainring $25
    Cog $20
    Chainwip $20
    Chain $15
    Chain tool $25

    I'm being super generous, and I figure you couldn't be out more than $140 to replace the drive train yourself. Probably you don't need to replace all of it (or even nearly half of it). Your LBs is just trying to sell you a new bike. Screw them. Fix it yourself.

  10. #10
    Urban Biker jimmuter's Avatar
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    I had a similar issue, though it was not a fixed gear. I got the parts on the cheap and attempted to fix it myself. I ended up taking it to the mechanic for the finishing touches and to check my work. The original estimate to fix it was close to $300 and I ended up spending about $200 and a lot of time. Just get the mechanic to fix it or buy something else is my advice.

  11. #11
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcowan
    -=Łem in Pa=-,

    I checked out some of her ebay specials and they look alright. You can't mount fenders on those bikes though, can you? It just seems ridiculous to pay all that money to have them revamp my old bike when there are all of these new, funky bikes online here. I would really dig a flipflop hub on a newer nicer bike, Ya know?
    With plastic zip ties, you can put fenders on almost any bicycle. I have put a set of fenders on a Trek Madone. It did require cutting slots on the side of the fenders for the brakes.

  12. #12
    Live Deliberately. davidmcowan's Avatar
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    CB HIT,

    Pics?

  13. #13
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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  14. #14
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcowan
    I've got a dilemma.

    I recently got an old schwinn fixed gear ($100). I outfitted it with fenders, tape, slimed the tubes, and bought new tires ($70). It had been acting up since I first got it but just a little. Recently it got bad and knowing that it was a crank/bottom bracket issue I brought it into the shop. I already own a road bike and a mountain bike that I use specifically for those purposes, the fixie was my commuter/lock anywhere without worrying bike.

    It turns out that the fixed gear wasn't put together right which caused the eventual destruction of the drive train. I enjoy riding fixed but it would cost $250 to repair and replace all needed parts! The trick is that I could get a Bianchi fixed gear at the bike shop for $500 brand new. However, would I be able to lock up a new Bianchi without worry? Would I be able to tank it through the winter with no problems? Unlikely.

    I don't know what to do here. What would you guys do?

    Come on guys. How can you recomend a new bike without getting more specific details as to what the problem is?
    What sort of "an old Schwinn" is it? Is it something worth fixing up? Also your explaination of the problem is way too vague. What do you mean that the fixed gear wasn't put together right. Not properly installing a fixed gear can result in destroying your hub, but it shouldn't kill your bottom bracket. In any case, you probably don't need to spend $250. It sounds to me like the LBS is trying their best to sucker you into buying a new bike. Specifically, what new parts do you need?

  15. #15
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    I'd say if the frame isn't damaged, then fix the problem yourself. At least it gives you a good reason to buy some tools you need for your other bikes. Squeakywheel listed what you need though you'll probably need a crankpuller and lockring tool as well. Read Sheldon Brown's articles on making your own fixed gear bike and have fun saving yourself some money!
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



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  16. #16
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    I vote for fixing the fixie as well. I'm converting an old Volkscycle right now, and I can't imagine not being able to replace every part on it at least once for $250. If I don't replace the rear wheel so far I'm into it cheapo 27" tires, tubes, chain, and of course the fixed cog. My commute is super short so it could last me years at this price. But a little mechanical knowledge I would say is a must. Without I would have replaced my cottered cranks and old school bottom bracket. They're ugly, but I plan on riding them as long as I can. I got the bike for free, so for roughly $50 I have reliable transportation. I have no desire to buy a new bike now

  17. #17
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    I would buy the $350 Bikesdirect fixie (Mercier "The Hour"), fit it with a front brake, and have a cheaper "lock anywhere" bike than a Bianchi....plus it doesn't have the "steal me" name like Bianchi has.

    Or just go to goodwill and grab an old 10-speed or english racer that is in decent shape, and make it as reliable as possible, and then ride it till the wheels fall off.
    -------- __@
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    ---- (*)/ (*)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Ring Ring, Ring Ring, the bell went Ring Ring Ring.

  18. #18
    Senior Member CigTech's Avatar
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    I would do the 10.00 bike and take your time fixing the old one.
    May your feet keep move'n with the wind to your back.

    CigTech

  19. #19
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Fixing the old one should cost WAY less than $300. I just built a fixie for something like $400 total I think... and $250 of that was the wheels (I needed new wheels). And I didn't go bargain basement, I got some of Sheldon Brown's less expensive stuff.

    Also you don't need that many fancy tools.

    I made my own chain whip, take a board for a handle and screw a short length of old chain to it. Screws through the links into the board work great.

    I used a hammer to install the lock ring. It has two notches for the lockring tool, but a hammer + any non-damaging tool (I used a small block of hard wood, or you could use a brass drift, a really dull chisel, etc) will allow you to tap it on or off.

    Get a SRAM chain with a master link, then you don't need a chain tool, and it only costs like $4 more than a normal chain. (You shorten it by driving out the pin in whatever link you want to stop at, I used a punch, but you can use the right sized nail or screw if you want... just measure twice you'd need a chain tool to reassemble the link if you make it too short).
    Treasurer, HHCMF Club
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  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    No advice on the buy or fix question - but I wanted to relate an interesting sighting...

    I saw a road bike, chained to a lamp-post. The frame was wrapped in black electrical tape, shifter levers painted flat black, with some flecks of paint having come off and aluminium showing through - and a peek at the rear reveals a carbon record RDER - closer oberservation reveals that this is one very well set up road bike, in urban camoflage!

  21. #21
    RIP Gonzo So Cal commuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeakywheel
    (1) Tell LBS to take a flying leap.
    (2) Buy any bike at a garage sale for $15. Ride that bike until you fix your first bike.
    (3) Take your broken bike to the basement and figure out how to fix it yourself.

    BB $20
    BB tool $15
    Chainring $25
    Cog $20
    Chainwip $20
    Chain $15
    Chain tool $25

    I'm being super generous, and I figure you couldn't be out more than $140 to replace the drive train yourself. Probably you don't need to replace all of it (or even nearly half of it). Your LBs is just trying to sell you a new bike. Screw them. Fix it yourself.
    I'd also take it to another shop, see if they say the same thing. If they have a WAY different opinion and are correct, tell the first LBS to blow it out their poop shoot, and take your business elswhere.

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