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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 12-22-05, 04:24 PM   #1
katio
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Courier Bike Q's

Hey guys,

I need a new bike for a messenger job and was wondering if anyone had some suggestions on frames. I was sent here by the road bike posters, apparently the couriers aren't very welcome there. I was interested in multiple gears though, sorry, I know this is the wrong forum for that but I figured someone must know something that can help me. Thanks.
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Old 12-22-05, 04:26 PM   #2
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Buy one of the other messengers' old bikes.

Last edited by eyefloater; 12-22-05 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 12-22-05, 04:35 PM   #3
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i guess a rigid mtb with 1" slicks. i used to have a bridgestone mb-3 back in the day and i ran it that way. really nice bike—lugged steel frame, amazing ride. i ran mine ss but it came with gears. i'd scour ebay and whatever.
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Old 12-22-05, 04:38 PM   #4
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I would check with other couriers in company and see what they roll. SS and fixies are generally the norm.
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Old 12-22-05, 04:39 PM   #5
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Head up to Freewheel bikeshop on Hayes and Clayton and talk to Travis.
Get a membership there too that way you can do your own work.

Look on craigslist.org plenty of used stuff to go around.
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Old 12-22-05, 04:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynikal
SS and fixies are generally the norm.
not in nyc
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Old 12-22-05, 05:01 PM   #7
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here are some pros ideas:

NYBMA FAQ
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Old 12-22-05, 05:21 PM   #8
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use whatever you are comfortable with - you'll be sitting on your bike A LOT. as you go you will pick up any needed maintenance skills.
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Old 12-22-05, 05:28 PM   #9
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cross bikes make great commuters city bikes...
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Old 12-22-05, 05:36 PM   #10
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You need my kona cruiser. It's even got a "stars and bars" paint job!
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Old 12-22-05, 06:11 PM   #11
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I've never been a courier but I have ridden in SF. I vote for beater rigid MTB with slicks as well. Those street are nasty. I was riding a road bike that happened to be running 700x28 tires and I was very glad.
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Old 12-22-05, 07:19 PM   #12
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If I were doing messenger work I'd probably run a rigid steel MTB frame with 1x8 setup (one chainring in front, eight speed cassette in the rear). Old Shimano rapid fire shifter. Slick tires. Used, undesirable saddle. Replace quick releases with sold nut axles or allen key skewers. Maybe some Sun Rhyno Lite rims and Deore / Ritchey / cheap sealed hubs. Maybe a nice basket in front. Take any "fancy" brand name logos off it or cover it in stickers to deter theft.

Find the frame at a bike coop for free or cheap. Build it yourself.
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Old 12-22-05, 07:29 PM   #13
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I'm sorry if this is you or a friend or something....but mags? Come on.....Those things are junk, if you get a quality wheel build with durable rims and a set of high flange track hubs you can get a bullet-proof wheel
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Old 12-22-05, 08:05 PM   #14
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I cant imagine working in SF... i work in dc on an old track bike with a 47x17 ratio which im sure would not be useful at all over there. itd probobly be more like death.

Personally, i would either dish out some cash on an older cannondale cyclocross, or build up a 1 chainring x 6 (or 7) cogs, sorta road bike... id advise Lightweight fenders or any sort of rain deterant hardware, usually the black 3x plastic ones are under 20 bucks and i think look totally sweet. If you decide to ride fixed or track... id take into consideration a rack on the back or figure out what handlebars you can carry the biggest boxes on the safest, when your legs are always moving and a box slips off your bars, you are gonna kick it around...
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Old 12-22-05, 08:15 PM   #15
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my cross bike is my city commuter for the winter. it's an older steel pinarello cross frame with a straight-blade steelman fork. durable as all get-out and clearance for wider tires, should i desire (no fender mounts, but i'm thinking of adding the SKBs that don't require braze-ons). if i mess'd, it's what i'd use.

since i added top-mount cross levers, i'm considering:

ditching the drops and switching to bullhorns (rare that i use the drops)

ditching the STI road levers and switching to bar-end shifters (they're bullhorn-compatible, and since i rarely use the drops, i rarely use those brake levers)

ditching the front derailleur and replacing the 39 and 52 rings with a single 44 (it's rare that i use the 52 in front and i also rare that i use the 25 cog on the cassette)
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Old 12-22-05, 08:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katio
Hey guys,

I need a new bike for a messenger job and was wondering if anyone had some suggestions on frames. I was sent here by the road bike posters, apparently the couriers aren't very welcome there. I was interested in multiple gears though, sorry, I know this is the wrong forum for that but I figured someone must know something that can help me. Thanks.
Goto any used bike store and look for yourself a bike, bikes abound, no need to wait on ebay or somesuch.

How much do you ride now per day?
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Old 12-22-05, 08:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunning
my cross bike is my city commuter for the winter. it's an older steel pinarello cross frame with a straight-blade steelman fork. durable as all get-out and clearance for wider tires, should i desire (no fender mounts, but i'm thinking of adding the SKBs that don't require braze-ons). if i mess'd, it's what i'd use.

since i added top-mount cross levers, i'm considering:

ditching the drops and switching to bullhorns (rare that i use the drops)

ditching the STI road levers and switching to bar-end shifters (they're bullhorn-compatible, and since i rarely use the drops, i rarely use those brake levers)
that's exactly what i did. cross bike w/ bullhorns w/ bar end shifters and cross levers. it works well if you don't shift too often. i like bar end friction shifters especially if you aren't religous about rear der. maintance. any slack in the rear der. can be automatically adjusted for.
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Old 12-22-05, 09:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slopvehicle
Find the frame at a bike coop for free or cheap. Build it yourself.
Try the Bike Kitchen, 18th and Alabama. Open Tuesdays 7-9 pm and Saturdays 11-4, and, starting in January, Thursdays 7-9 pm. There are loaner bikes you can use while you build one.

It's 30 bucks for a year's membership, which includes a free frame from upstairs.
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Old 12-23-05, 12:12 AM   #19
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Old steel mountain bike frame. 1-1.5" slicks (I use panaracer t-servs w/ kevlar belt). Wide, comfy seat, high hbars for a comfy heads-up position, STRONG WHEELS (I build my own w/ phil hubs, lots of spokes, heavy rims, 3 or 4 cross.) If you're going geared, the low ones are more important than the highs, IMHO. Old used parts are great because no one will want to steal them (except those wheels of mine, use good locks.)
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Old 12-23-05, 12:15 AM   #20
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i dont understand how anyone can use a track bike in san fran, is it just pure hell or what?
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Old 12-23-05, 07:48 AM   #21
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Just get anything that fits. As time goes along, you will figure out what you do and don't like about the bike. Then buy a better bike you know will suit you when you get more money. Your first paycheck is going to be pretty low if you are starting out (mine shure was), so you probably don't want to be spending unecessary money on a bike. Once you buy a second bike, you will have a backup.
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Old 12-23-05, 12:00 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrashGear
i dont understand how anyone can use a track bike in san fran, is it just pure hell or what?
it's totally do-able (maybe depends on where you live), but you get intimate knowledge of the hills (or to be more precise the valleys).
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Old 12-23-05, 12:21 PM   #23
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It's not that hard. I go from downtown to upper haight all the time, easy. Only part of town I ever have trouble with is twin peaks, or getting from the marina to haight. fortunately neither of those are trips i have to do very often.
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Old 12-23-05, 12:26 PM   #24
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Gearing to match the terrain is what it is all about.

47x18 is what I use mostly and there are only a few hills that would really suck, however all of them are easily circumnavigated.
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Old 12-24-05, 12:54 AM   #25
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track in san fran intrigues me... for a few weeks, i had to ride 42x17, and i could ****ing crush my way up wisconsin, georgia, and connecticut here in dc... but going downhill was stupid. what ratios you ride in SF?
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