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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 04-11-10, 01:59 AM   #1
RFC
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Post your LD SS/FG bikes

What the hell, all of the other forums have one of these threads.

Seriously, I have been riding more and more SS (about 50%). Nothing yet over 50 miles, but I want to extend that this summer.

Presently, I am riding the Mad Max Ti Frankenbike below. It is a conversion from a good, but no name Ti road bike I picked up for a song. At 14-15 pounds, it is an absolutely deadly Sunday morning poser killing rocket. It is perfect in all but two ways: 1) For the long haul, I need a size or two larger; and 2) Because it has vertical, rather than horizontal or rear dropouts, I am limited to a small number of "magic gears."

What I am thinking about is finding a new or vintage road frame with horizontal or rear dropouts to build up.

So, please inspire me. What are you riding? What is your gearing? All thoughts and opinions welcome.

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Old 04-11-10, 05:55 AM   #2
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I ride a KHS uno fixed gear and I also have a Surly 1x1 with 700cc wheels .Sorry no pics as I don't have a camera right now. I like to keep my gear ratio at around 68-74 gear inches. These are my commuter bikes which I also use for long distance rides and centuries. Longest distance so far has been 176 KM's. I love the simplicity and realibility of SS/FG drivetrain and I have no plans of going back to gears. Riding with SS/FG is so much more interesting and more fun then riding with gears.
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Old 04-11-10, 07:17 AM   #3
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1988 Trek 400 I salvaged from the dumpster.
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(1991 parts cannibalized from a PDG Series-5)
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Old 04-11-10, 07:01 PM   #4
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You guys have much better looking white garage doors than I do...



This is my daily commuter and long distance single speed. I've taken it on numerous 100 mi and 200 km rides. This picture is about a year and a half old but it looks pretty much the same except that I've traded out the Brooks saddle for a Selle San Marco Regal (holds up better in the rain). I'm currently running 46 x 18 gearing and Conti Ultra Gatorskins 25c tires. The odometer is going to turn over 10,000 miles sometime in the next month or so.
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Old 04-11-10, 08:38 PM   #5
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You guys have much better looking white garage doors than I do...




This is my daily commuter and long distance single speed. I've taken it on numerous 100 mi and 200 km rides. This picture is about a year and a half old but it looks pretty much the same except that I've traded out the Brooks saddle for a Selle San Marco Regal (holds up better in the rain). I'm currently running 46 x 18 gearing and Conti Ultra Gatorskins 25c tires. The odometer is going to turn over 10,000 miles sometime in the next month or so.
I really like that bike and have been considering the Volpe / San Jose and the Surly Cross Check. I guess that is a common decision point for many. Do you have an opinion about how the two bikes compare? Also, what do you suppose your bike weighs?

Thanks
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Old 04-11-10, 09:20 PM   #6
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I really like that bike and have been considering the Volpe / San Jose and the Surly Cross Check. I guess that is a common decision point for many. Do you have an opinion about how the two bikes compare? Also, what do you suppose your bike weighs?

Thanks
Here is my San Jose:




I also just built up a Cross Check for LD and light touring around the Athena 11 drive train. The two have very similar geometry; however, I have noticed that the San Jose tends to feel a bit snappier and less flexy when accelerating. The Surly feels a bit twitchier in the steering, but all in all a bit more stable into fast corners. Both are great over rough terrain, but the Surly seems to absorb the punishment a bit more in the rough patches.
San Jose: ~20 lbs. Surly: ~22 lbs.

FWIW: Get the San Jose if you want a dedicated SS/FG, get the Surly if you want something more versatile. I love my San Jose and am quickly falling in love with my new Cross Check as well, just need to log a few more miles on it before its official.
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Old 04-11-10, 09:35 PM   #7
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My long distance SS bike is a San Jose as well. It's an extremely comfortable bike for miles of 100 rides or more, handles well when loaded down with some weight and is stable at speed. Against a Crosscheck, it would decide on your budget and how much you want to customize your bike. For the price, a San Jose is a bargain... mine is mostly stock after two years and I've had pretty much no problems with it at all, though the paint chips if you sneeze on it. Building a Crosscheck from the frame up will cost more and be a bit of a pain if you're not the type to sit around wondering about the virtues of different cranksets and the like, but will probably be a better deal dollar-for-dollar and obviously leave you the option of throwing on gears if you like.
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Old 04-12-10, 12:21 AM   #8
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I really like that bike and have been considering the Volpe / San Jose and the Surly Cross Check. I guess that is a common decision point for many. Do you have an opinion about how the two bikes compare? Also, what do you suppose your bike weighs?

Thanks
Seems like a lot of folks can't decide between the two and end up with both. I have a Cross Check as my geared brevet bike. The two are very similar on paper, but I have to say they feel different. The Cross Check feels quite a bit heavier and more solid to me. Flying down hills at 40mph feels very safe and steady on the CC while the Volpe starts to feel a little twitchy at high speed. Of course handling differences could be due to the fact that I have a front rack and handlebar bag on the CC and not on the Volpe. I'd have a hard time if I had to choose between the two. The CC feels like it could go anywhere... dirt roads and even single track are doable. The Volpe doesn't seem quite as tough, but feels a little more nimble climbing hills. Of course, as Feaduin points out, the San Jose is a pretty great deal for a do-anything single speed. The only thing I don't like about the San Jose is that I prefer the horizontal dropouts of the Volpe to the San Jose's track ends just because track ends are kind of a pain in the butt with full fenders. But that's a pretty minor niggle.

I've only weighed my Volpe using the highly scientific bathroom scale method and it was right around 20 lbs as pictured (but without the tool bag).

Last edited by lonesomesteve; 04-12-10 at 12:28 AM. Reason: Forgot to answer your question about weight.
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Old 04-12-10, 02:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by lonesomesteve View Post
Seems like a lot of folks can't decide between the two and end up with both. I have a Cross Check as my geared brevet bike. The two are very similar on paper, but I have to say they feel different. The Cross Check feels quite a bit heavier and more solid to me. Flying down hills at 40mph feels very safe and steady on the CC while the Volpe starts to feel a little twitchy at high speed. Of course handling differences could be due to the fact that I have a front rack and handlebar bag on the CC and not on the Volpe. I'd have a hard time if I had to choose between the two. The CC feels like it could go anywhere... dirt roads and even single track are doable. The Volpe doesn't seem quite as tough, but feels a little more nimble climbing hills. Of course, as Feaduin points out, the San Jose is a pretty great deal for a do-anything single speed. The only thing I don't like about the San Jose is that I prefer the horizontal dropouts of the Volpe to the San Jose's track ends just because track ends are kind of a pain in the butt with full fenders. But that's a pretty minor niggle.

I've only weighed my Volpe using the highly scientific bathroom scale method and it was right around 20 lbs as pictured (but without the tool bag).
I checked out your blog. You guys are animals.

Great info. Thx.

I just located a 2006 Volpe frame. It appears to be in good condition and the guy is asking $300. What do you think it is worth. Also, are the horizontal dropouts long enough to give you a couple of gears of adjustment?
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Old 04-12-10, 08:54 PM   #10
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I checked out your blog. You guys are animals.

Great info. Thx.

I just located a 2006 Volpe frame. It appears to be in good condition and the guy is asking $300. What do you think it is worth. Also, are the horizontal dropouts long enough to give you a couple of gears of adjustment?
The price seems like it's in the ballpark although I might offer a little less. I bought mine new in 2006 as a complete geared bike and paid about $900. So the price should be pretty much the same as a Cross Check frame.

The horizontal dropouts are plenty long enough to allow some choices on gearing. If you can't get the exact gearing you want, a half link will probably solve the problem.
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Old 04-16-10, 10:20 PM   #11
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Home built frame with Reynolds 531 tubing. Magistoni cottered steel cranks, Ghisallo wood rims, 27mm Dugast tubulars, Carradice bag, V/O sprung saddle. Great solo all day bike on flat-to-rolling roads, but club rides in the mountains are tough. Even with the flip-flop hub (49x19 fixed, 24 tooth freewheel on the flip side) I end up riding by myself, so it's only going to remain a single speed until I get the Sturmey-Archer hub built into a wheel.

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Old 04-17-10, 06:13 PM   #12
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That's a really lovely bike.
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Old 04-17-10, 09:46 PM   #13
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OK, many thanks for all of the advice. Here is where we stand. I bought this 2006 Volpe frame from a knowledgeable MD cyclist (who convinced me that the color in the BB is residue from frame treatment).

Now to start planning the build. Do you recall the BB length on your Volpe? Also, did you use a hyperglide spacer/cog conversion kit or a flip/flop with a freewheel? I have used both and for a number of reasons prefer the hyperglide conversion.

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Old 04-18-10, 06:12 PM   #14
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OK, many thanks for all of the advice. Here is where we stand. I bought this 2006 Volpe frame from a knowledgeable MD cyclist (who convinced me that the color in the BB is residue from frame treatment).

Now to start planning the build. Do you recall the BB length on your Volpe? Also, did you use a hyperglide spacer/cog conversion kit or a flip/flop with a freewheel? I have used both and for a number of reasons prefer the hyperglide conversion.

Nice looking frame you got there. Sorry, but I don't know the BB length. I'm just using the original BB and cranks that it came with. I had a new rear wheel built with a Surly fixed/free flip flop hub.

Have fun building that baby up.
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Old 04-24-10, 10:24 AM   #15
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Sorry if I am threadjacking a bit here, but I am wondering what gear inch range all you fg/ss riders are using. I'm looking to start doing some light touring and ld rides and don't want to use my geared race bike.

Nice bikes by the way!
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Old 04-24-10, 11:05 AM   #16
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Sorry if I am threadjacking a bit here, but I am wondering what gear inch range all you fg/ss riders are using. I'm looking to start doing some light touring and ld rides and don't want to use my geared race bike.

Nice bikes by the way!
My question as well. My road bike above is 72 inches, but that is a push for long rides, particularly with hills.
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Old 04-24-10, 11:21 AM   #17
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Here's my 1993 Litespeed Classic:



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Old 04-24-10, 02:02 PM   #18
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My fixed gear runs between 65 and 70 inches for most purposes. I almost always use a flip-flop hub with a freewheel of around 50 inches for going up and down the mountains.

Semi-interesting factoids discovered only after years of research: In the flip-flop days of the Tour de France the "typical" fixed gear was 46x16 (77 inches) with a 20 tooth freewheel (62 inches). For the biggest mountains (unpaved road in the Pyrenees, Alps, etc.) they often used a 20 tooth fixed cog and a 24 tooth freewheel (51 inches). The smallest TdF gear I have heard of is 45x24 (50 inches) and the largest is 49x15 (88 inches). The average speed for the entire course in those days (1910-1920) was 17 to 19 MPH, including walking 30 pound bicycles over the mountain passes. And interestingly enough, the sport at that time was kind of similar to today's randonneuring, with very long stages (200 to 300 miles), random checkpoints, and little to no outside help permitted. Randonneuring with a fixed gear is probably the closest thing modern-day riders can come to replicating the early days of the Tour. Fun, eh?
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Old 04-26-10, 07:32 PM   #19
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My Serotta OS Track about 200k into a 300k recently.



Sorry about the bad picture, I'd just brought my phone. 74.5 gear inches.

Finished up the 300k in 13:30 total time, not bad for my first brevet. Not sure if I'll ride this or my road bike on the upcoming 400k.

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Old 05-14-10, 10:03 AM   #20
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Hi All,

I thought I'd show you how the 2006 Bianchi Volpe came out.

Right now it is geared 42x16/18 with double rear cogs. This gives me a road gear and a trail gear. The 32mm Panaracer Urban Max tires are bulletproof and perform pretty well on gravel trails with moderately technical aspects. However, I'm going to trade them out for lighter 28's.

I am really getting to like the cyclocross geometry -- road bike like feel with stable front end.

At any rate, this should be a fun summer bike to rack up miles and tinker with.





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Old 05-15-10, 09:44 AM   #21
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tis no more, built up a 29r with the parts... but will be fg long rides on the new steed with fat slick tires.
this was from a dirt road century year before last.




i do miss the cross check...
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Old 05-15-10, 09:56 AM   #22
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Just finished repainting it



I use it for crawling around the Adirondacks, lots of backroads and firetrails.
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Old 05-15-10, 02:25 PM   #23
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nice. thats hot. love it.
i'm trying to do the monstercross thing with my soma build (replaced the crosscheck linked below).
currently running h-bars. might pick up some woodchippers...
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Old 06-21-10, 07:38 AM   #24
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Old 06-21-10, 10:08 AM   #25
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