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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 09-07-05, 02:35 PM   #1
ba ba bikey
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Van Dessel Country Road Bob

I am in the process of researching fixies, with the intent of buying a starter model, as well as building one up, and I came across this beautiful bike.


Apparently they are about as hard to find as Kentucky Fried Spotted Owl though, cuz I can't seem to find any place that stocks them, let alone has one I can ride. Anyone have or ridden one of these? Comments, opinions?

Also, for IRO Bikes what would be a more Ideal starter fixer, the Mark V or the Jamie Roy? The difference is only a few dollars, but I wonder if one is more suited to a particular riding style than another. It will be more of a commuter to/from work and on the weekends, rather than something I use on a track.
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Old 09-07-05, 02:42 PM   #2
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They have them here at Cambridge Bicycles. They're sort of heavy in my opinion...surprisingly so given the components. Other than that, it looks like a nice bike; I've never taken one out for a spin.

As for IRO, the Jamie Roy is more "roadie"-ish (nearing "touring") in geometry than the Mark V, but for your purposes, the difference won't be huge. It sounds like either one would work fine. It's more about whether you want steel or aluminum (and black or white).
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Old 09-07-05, 05:04 PM   #3
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I am the pround owner of one myself, though the earlier version (w/ the curved top & down tube). I got mine from these guys:
http://www.piermontbike.com/istar.htm
Though it'll be a whole lot easier in person (i think).
In regards to their value/utility, i find them great for commuting, be it 10 mins or an hour. The geometry is pretty relaxed (compared to track geometry), feels like cyclecross, though i've never ridden cyclecross, hm...
Also, there is enough clearance to put on fenders and run wide tires, another perk for commuting.
~ellis
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Old 09-07-05, 08:55 PM   #4
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http://www.63xc.com/chrisa/crbob.htm

here's a good review of the 2002 frame, with a 'cross build. i kinda dig 'em as well...
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Old 09-08-05, 10:39 AM   #5
MB4
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I have the 2003 version, with the curved frame tubes. The ride is really good - not harsh at all. The top tube is a little short for me, and I fixed that problem with a longer stem. I use it daily to commute to work. Like the previous poster said, plenty of room for fenders and fat tires. No complaints.
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Old 09-08-05, 10:59 AM   #6
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Did you all find yours at LBS's? I am in Southern California, and am having a hell of a time finding a place that sells these. I even called Van Dessel to no avail.
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Old 09-08-05, 05:22 PM   #7
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Contact http://www.commuterbicycles.com/. They had a 2003 frame (unbuilt) last year.
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Old 09-15-05, 03:53 AM   #8
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I, too, have the earlier model with the curved tubes. I love this bike, with the exception of one thing- the paint job. At this point, it's almost more chips than paint, especially the downtube. The chips are mostly from locking it up to various things. One good whack with the u-lock is all that is needed to chip the paint. I don't think it's a huge issue, but it just makes the bike look a little cruddy.

I love it because it's beautiful and unlike any other bike I've seen, with the curved tubes. Also, the ride is pretty good and the handling is more nimble than any other bike I've own. I run it on the side of the flip flop hub thats the single speed with the freewheel rather than as a fixie, though I sometimes think about making the plunge and going fixed.

I've been riding mine seven days a week for nearly four years now. It's my main commuting and everything else bike. I bought mine at Rapid Transit in Chicago.
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