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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-01-14, 01:39 PM   #26
TransitBiker
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Originally Posted by puckett129 View Post
I'm not interested in a fixed gear bike but I'd drop $300 on one of those 7 speed city bike commuters. It looks like a nice bike to ride around town and not worry too much about it getting pinched.
You nailed it on the head there my friend. These are not THE solution, they are a way to get riding BSO or not, for some people, and if it gets taken, guess what, you're not out bucket loads of money.

That said, i think a lot of us on here would like to have something more substantial and thought out as our primary 2 wheels.

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Old 08-04-14, 07:35 PM   #27
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I've not seen the Critical Cycles single-speed/fixie in person, but I HAVE seen and ridden the SE Draft Lite, which has comparable specs (SE has two brakes, but a steel front chainring. Critical has one brake, but an alloy front chainring. Both frames are Hi-Ten steel). When I rode the SE, I was reminded a lot of the old Schwinns of the 60's and 70's, not the lightest bikes, but sufficient metal used to make them very strong such that they would withstand abuse and neglect of children. I had the impression that, other than potential flat tires, the SE (and by extension the similar Critical Cycles) would run for years.
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Old 08-04-14, 11:20 PM   #28
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full on racing getup & a cinelli saetta 105 leaned up on the tree....Not sure if he was for real & did races too or just threw a lot of money at bike commuting & noob. I'm not one to judge others.
erm...lots of people race. and most of them suck like me. 105 is barely race quality.
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Old 08-05-14, 12:52 AM   #29
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erm...lots of people race. and most of them suck like me. 105 is barely race quality.
Like i said, i'm not one to judge. He said he was using the bike to commute, which i personally found odd because its not at all what i would choose as my only bike.

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Old 08-05-14, 01:28 AM   #30
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to the OP, it looks nearly identical to my BSO, and to an SE bike, which has held up fine for a year (after tire replacement).

New BSO long-term test!
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Old 08-05-14, 01:46 AM   #31
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to the OP, it looks nearly identical to my BSO, and to an SE bike, which has held up fine for a year (after tire replacement).

New BSO long-term test!
Funny you mention SE, as i'm contemplating getting a tripel for when i dont need the uptown.

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Old 08-05-14, 10:18 AM   #32
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Like i said, i'm not one to judge. He said he was using the bike to commute, which i personally found odd because its not at all what i would choose as my only bike.

- Andy
If I was only going to have one bike, I'd make it a fast road bike, because that's my preferred riding style. I regularly commute on my Cervelo (more expensive than the Cinelli you reference), and I use it for weekend rides and group rides and centuries, so it's pretty versatile. But if my only bike was some utilitarian thing with a rack and fenders and all that jazz, I'd never ride it unless I absolutely had to. But that's just me.
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Old 08-05-14, 01:06 PM   #33
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If I was only going to have one bike, I'd make it a fast road bike, because that's my preferred riding style. I regularly commute on my Cervelo (more expensive than the Cinelli you reference), and I use it for weekend rides and group rides and centuries, so it's pretty versatile. But if my only bike was some utilitarian thing with a rack and fenders and all that jazz, I'd never ride it unless I absolutely had to. But that's just me.

To each their own.

It rains here a fair bit year round, and at the least fenders should be considered. Even if you're not riding in the rain, the ground can stay wet & puddles form and stay around for hours if not the rest of the day or into the next day. In winter, it can snow dump then get up to 55 and you get slush and salt. Bad for mechanical working parts & frame life, especially with the inevitable road crunk and sand in some locales. I've never seen anyone ride without fenders in those conditions.

- Andy
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Old 08-05-14, 01:17 PM   #34
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With these Critical bikes, it appears that you get what you pay for. If it is really attractive to you, I suggest you take the time to retension the wheels, disassemble and reassemble the bike, adjust the bearing preloads, grease everything, and change the goofy components. I'm not sure what the goofy components are, but I bought a cheap Nashbar fixie and had to change the plastic pedals immediately. It came with heavy, stiff tires. The ride was really quite nice, and the bike weighed only about 19 lbs. But the rims were heavy, and it would have been expensive to rebuild or replace the wheels. I might have done so eventually, but the bike got stolen from outside my house (when I lived in a suburb). It was my fault for not locking it.

If you take a look at the list I wrote above, you may realize that spending more up front is just as good or better.
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Old 09-22-14, 09:36 AM   #35
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Just sold an old bike and used the proceeds to buy the green one with the drop bars. It arrives Wednesday. Can't wait! I'll ride for a while and chime in on quality, etc.
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Old 09-26-14, 06:23 AM   #36
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Well, thread began in May, so not sure if OP is still interested.

Initial impression: couldn't be happier with this bike for the price. I feel like I got a great value. No surprises.

If anything comes up I'll dig this thread back out.
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Old 07-13-15, 07:53 AM   #37
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My Critical experience, for posterity:

Bought the pista, put it together, happy camper for a few months.

Decided the drop handlebars were just too narrow and unforgiving so decided to switch to the bmx-style bars for a more relaxed riding position. I wasn’t sure if the stem would accept the swap or whether the front brake lever would bolt onto the new bars. I couldn’t find this information on their site, so I called. (Granted, I am a complete idiot here because in retrospect it is TOTALLY obvious my stem wouldn’t work with the BMX style bars.) Customer service said, yep, no problem, bolt them right on and go. When the bmx bar arrived, they didn’t fit the stem, and the diameter was too big for the brake lever. So I ordered a new stem and brake lever on Amazon.

Fast forward a couple months, the seat post broke without warning. (As y’all are probably aware, this is a somewhat difficult situation on a fixed bike where you can’t simply stand up and coast to a stop.) I managed to save it without incident despite having a somewhat unwieldy backpack on. The part that broke was the insert at the top of the tube that clamps the saddle.

Fast forward to yesterday, the chain broke while going downhill. I was attempting to slow down for a stop sign, not using the hand-brake. The chain lodged between the spokes and the rear sprocket and I skidded to a stop without incident.

Question posed to the intelligent and endlessly helpful BF folks: am I too fat for a fixie (215 lbs)? I don’t know whether I should bother replacing the chain because maybe I’ll break that one too and not be so lucky next time.

tl;dr: my Critical Cycles bicycle is an evil and she’s trying to kill me.
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Old 07-13-15, 04:50 PM   #38
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I picked up this fixie about a month ago after curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to try riding fixed since I've never done so before. I'm 5'8" and just a hair over 200lbs (very muscular) and I've put close to 150 miles on this, since I alternate between it and my other touring (commuter) bike. The 52cm model weighed 25.5lbs out of the box and the components were all in-house branded and super low quality: apart from the heavy ass wheelset w/crappy hubs (~3kg) and more flex in it than a rubber band I think it rides pretty damn good considering the price. My main gripe is that the handlebars are too narrow for my broad shoulders (I typically run 44cm drop bars) and the saddle & pedals were absolute garbage. That being said I'd eagerly recommend it to anyone looking for a cheap bike to get around town, conditional on them having the proper wrench skills to get the chain line/tension just right (super important if you're gonna ride fixed) and torquing the lockring correctly (also important if you're riding fixed). I had it out the box and on the road in under 20mins and no problems since then. I didn't true the wheels (they both came slightly out of true) since brakepad rub isn't a concern, and I haven't popped a spoke yet so I think these wheels are pretty indestructible.
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Old 07-18-15, 11:27 PM   #39
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Curiousity got the better of me and I order the black 60C Frame with the BMX handle bars. I live on a Delta and the land is flat for miles. I am going to run it free wheel as I'm middle 70's in age. They are out of stock and Amazon.ca has yet to give me my delivery date. With a Canadian 77 cent US dollar the total came to $224 Canadian with free shipping. In tbe local stores the cheapest fixie/free wheel I found was a Fuji for over $500.

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Old 07-21-15, 06:02 AM   #40
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A fixie is typically made of hi ten steel.

Its not a bike any one is going to snatch up and look at it this way: all that weight will make you shed weight.
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Old 07-21-15, 06:58 AM   #41
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Since this thread seems open again, I'll tally my experience. I have a nice 1970 Raleigh Competition (original owner), but my commute bike was stolen. I decided to try a fixie with freewheel, so went to Amazon and read all the reviews. The Critical Cycles version didn't come off too well, with some consistent problems I didn't want, so I got a $200 Nashbar--the reviews were better than any other cheap similar bike I could find. I'm in my second week with it now, and it's fine. My commute is a virtually flat six miles; there are two spots where I need to stand up for 100 feet or so, and otherwise, the Nashbar gearing is the gear I was mostly stuck in, anyway. For the record, the Nashbar and the Competition are both around 22 pounds (haven't weighed the Raleigh in a while--just remembering as well as I can). I don't know how new saddles are, but the Nashbar one is about like the cheap Performance titanium one I put on the Raleigh 20 years ago back when saddles were black and plain, so I'm OK.

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Old 07-21-15, 07:30 AM   #42
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If they were using decent steel, for their frames, they'd be marketing it, so I assume it's just heavy, mild steel. Not cro-mo or butted tubing. As such, it will probably be a heavy bike with budget components. NTTAWWT. If I was living in a city, I'd be tempted to buy one as a lockup, outdoor beater. It would also get either a rear rack and milk crate, or a Wald front basket.
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Old 07-21-15, 08:14 AM   #43
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A fixie is typically made of hi ten steel.
What makes you think that?

The cheap ones definitely are. Lots of quality new ones are made from CroMo. Real Track bikes are made from CF.

Conversions are made from whatever bikes people can find. The better ones will be made from better steel.
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Old 07-21-15, 08:43 AM   #44
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Curiousity got the better of me and I order the black 60C Frame with the BMX handle bars. I live on a Delta and the land is flat for miles. I am going to run it free wheel as I'm middle 70's in age. They are out of stock and Amazon.ca has yet to give me my delivery date. With a Canadian 77 cent US dollar the total came to $224 Canadian with free shipping. In tbe local stores the cheapest fixie/free wheel I found was a Fuji for over $500.
The cheapest fixie/freewheel I found was at Big 5 sports and apparently is sold at Walmart too.

Kent Thruster Sequence Fixie Bike

Even has a flip flop hub!

At $99 out the door on sale (normally $149), I couldn't resist. I've used it to bike to the airport when I have no rollaboard to bring, just a backpack, because I'm not nervous at all about locking it up for days there.

The bike is heavy, it needed extensive fiddling/adjusting of its brakes and I immediately replaced the handlebars, pedals and saddle with stuff I'd removed from other bikes, but the drive train was fine and the wheels were true.
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Old 07-21-15, 09:24 AM   #45
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Unfortunately they are not in Canada like Amazon.ca. Walmart does not carry them here either. Plus they are all small frames and I need the 60cm one.
The one I ordered from Critical weighs 23lbs.
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Old 07-21-15, 11:21 AM   #46
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Unfortunately they are not in Canada like Amazon.ca. Walmart does not carry them here either. Plus they are all small frames and I need the 60cm one.
The one I ordered from Critical weighs 23lbs.
Not too bad. Weight looks pretty good.
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Old 07-21-15, 11:21 AM   #47
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let's face it, most adult bikes get ridden a few times, then rot in the garage forever. at which point quality is of no concern.
Sad but true...
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Old 07-21-15, 11:32 AM   #48
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if its too good to be true than it probably is
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Old 07-21-15, 12:19 PM   #49
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If they are Chinese bikes, like they maybe? One bike at $200 will pay wages for one person in a Chinese factory for 100 days. This is why there are no bikes being made in the USA and Canada anymore.
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Old 07-21-15, 01:03 PM   #50
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I see the seat post size is 25.4 mm which means they are certainly made out of the standard bottom of the barrel tubing used for bike frames. Disparagingly called gaspipe, better called hi-ten. Same tubing, more or less, as an old Raleigh Record or Peugeot UO8 and countless other bikes sold for the last century. It's not chrome molybdenum and it's not butted.

I don't see the problem with these. They are cheap bikes. I wouldn't want one. I could find a better used bike. But I know what I'm doing. For someone who wants to get something that'll work and who will figure out where to go from there, eh. These look fine. You could do better. You could do worse.

My advice to anyone who gets one is: learn to do your own maintenance. They probably don't need much, but if you don't do it, they will need more. And dumb easy-to-fix stuff like a loose crank arm bolt, if not dealt with immediately, can become an expensive repair.
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