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  1. #1
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I've got about 3k miles since May on my Centurion LeMans conversion and want a new bike, for fit/comfort reasons, but also performance.

    It will be used primarily as a commuter/road bike. 2x daily 8mi solo sprints thru suburban traffic, with 40-100 mile weekend rides mostly in relatively fast (25+) pacelines. It will have front brake, 49x16/17, bullhorns most likely.

    I love riding my current conversion and use it for all the above, but it could be a bit more comfortable (mainly ride feel) and definitely more nible (but not neccessarily track bike nimble) as the Centurion has a long wheelbase and a high center of gravity it handles like a truck (goes straight, but too slow on turns). Its a 61cm cromo/high tensile frame with a 57cm top tube and could be more responsive when applying power. My other bike is a 57cm (with 58cm top tube) Lemond Poprad cyclocross bike which is much more nimble and doesn't feel as harsh, almost cushy in comparision to the Centurion.

    I'm hands on familiar with Surly Steamroller and Soma Rush frames and the Lemond prebuilt, but don't have much knowlege of what frames (beyond the Surly/Soma) may be a good fit for road use and fixed gear. I am aware of Raleigh Rush Hour, IRO, Bianchi, Gunnar. But I don't know enough to know which may work better for me.

    What I am looking for are suggestions on frames, less known or popular, that may fit this desire, with the result of a built up bike being around $2k or less, with willingness to put more relatively into frame vs. components and upgrade as the older ones wear/break.

    Al
    Last edited by noisebeam; 01-19-06 at 09:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Patrick Barber weed eater's Avatar
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    people say really nice things about Kogswell.

  3. #3
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    Ditto - you're probably best looking at a Kogswell for your needs.

  4. #4
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Thanks to both of you! I'm curious as to why either of you thought this was a good option. (i.e. what did I say that made you say Kogswell)

    I've been trying to open their website since the weed eaters message, it about half way done. (all the words are up, but not yet images or links to download the pdf.)

    This is a longer term project for the next few months so I have time for suggestions and learning.

    Al

  5. #5
    Doortrapper popluhv's Avatar
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    You can achieve a longer wheelbase on any of the above mentioned frames by changing out the fork. That is an easy change that will set you back about $65 (or a whole lot more, if you choose). To my knowledge, the Soma's geometry is more track oriented, the Lemond is basicaly a road frame with horizontal dropouts. You could use those as refernce points when deciding how "tight" or "slack" you want for geometry.

  6. #6
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Jitensha has a fixed frame made w/more road geometry.

    http://www.jitensha.com

    They're based in Berkeley, CA. Bikes look nice.

  7. #7
    Patrick Barber weed eater's Avatar
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    i recall folks saying that their Kogswell frames were comfortable to ride (one person said he was going to use his for light touring), yet nimble and fun to ride as well. Pretty much what you are after -- something nimbler than your basic oldie conversion, but not track geometry.

    Also, they're reasonably priced, and they make brakes and hubs to fit their frames, too. Also, very important to me and maybe less to others, they're LUGGED! Woo hoo! and have eyelets for fenders etc. And room for decent sized tires. And are really pretty.


    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    Thanks to both of you! I'm curious as to why either of you thought this was a good option. (i.e. what did I say that made you say Kogswell)

    I've been trying to open their website since the weed eaters message, it about half way done. (all the words are up, but not yet images or links to download the pdf.)

    This is a longer term project for the next few months so I have time for suggestions and learning.

    Al

  8. #8
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weed eater
    Also, they're reasonably priced, and they make brakes and hubs to fit their frames, too. Also, very important to me and maybe less to others, they're LUGGED! Woo hoo! and have eyelets for fenders etc. And room for decent sized tires. And are really pretty.
    I will be willing to spend a bit more for nice looks

    I don't expect I'll ever put fenders or larger than 28c (I'm a 25c user mostly) on this bike, but wouldn't mind if the option was there.

    Al

  9. #9
    jack of one or two trades Aeroplane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    I've got about 3k miles since May on my Centurion LeMans conversion and want a new bike, for fit/comfort reasons, but also performance.

    It will be used primarily as a commuter/road bike. 2x daily 8mi solo sprints thru suburban traffic, with 40-100 mile weekend rides mostly in relatively fast pacelines. It will have front brake, 49x16/17, bullhorns most likely.
    Noisebeam, you are my evil twin on the opposite side of the country. LeMans conversion... since May... 8 mile commute... long rides on the weekend... Bullhorns... Front brake... <shudder>. You are a little bit taller than me, apparently, but that can be ignored.

    That said, I third (or fourth) the suggestion of a Kogswell. Smooth rider. Fender and fatty friendly. Another option is the IRO Rob Roy; Cro-mo, CX geo, fender friendly, curvy stays for comfort. They are closed temporarily right now though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Irwin Goldstein
    Men should never ride bicycles. Riding should be banned and outlawed. It is
    the most irrational form of exercise I could ever bring to discussion.

  10. #10
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    Kogswell for a few reasons: affordable high quality frame for the price. Lugged, good standover height -- the headtube is slightly longer above the top tube, giving you better reach and a more flexible position (a la Matt Chester). The frame's set up for a variety of uses -- Dave/Calculator has one and I've ridden it in person. It's very comfortable and is quite the versatile machine. If you're looking for a road bike that's fixed then I'd go with the Kogswell. The Steamroller is a close bet but the aesthetic and the fact that it's much more minimal and non-lugged are strikes against it for the price range.

    I have a Soma as my daily rider but it has done double duty at the track. It's actually my favourite and most comfortable bike in the stable and while I've done metric centuries on it, I think a Kogswell would be more suitable for long distances and ultimate comfort.

    Plus Matthew posts here. And that's another plus in my book.

  11. #11
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    Pretty no?




  12. #12
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Y'all have been great help, giving me new leads. The Kogswell does indeed look nice. So nice I may need to get this project going so I am done before May (it was going to be a birthday present to myself) Of course I'll use the time to find other options, but looks like I couldn't go wrong.

    Since we are showing pics here are a few of the Centurion conversion (weight 22.5lbs including accessory/cage brackets):


    Before I put on new bars, cranks, saddle, but you can see the geometry better (any comments on the geometry?):


    Al
    Last edited by noisebeam; 01-19-06 at 10:50 AM.

  13. #13
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    How does one decide on a frame if one can't ride it first - for example the Kogswell G? Sometimes by LBS has built up fixed gears (mainly Steamrollers or Somas), but rarely in my size.

    Al

  14. #14
    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    ^ re. geometry... looks like it has a short TT in relation to the ST, standard roadish angles, parallel 73's probably, a *really* long wheelbase and a slightly bent fork. (or not, I always think that forks look bent)
    {o,o**
    |)__)
    -"-"-

    O RLY?

  15. #15
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baxtefer
    ^ re. geometry... looks like it has a short TT in relation to the ST, standard roadish angles, parallel 73's probably, a *really* long wheelbase and a slightly bent fork. (or not, I always think that forks look bent)
    Does this geometry assessment match with my ride feel assessment that it handles like a top heavy truck. (i.e. not very nimble, hard to corner sharp, unwieldly)?

    It is a 61cm frame (ST) and has a 57cm TT.

    I too thought the fork looked bent in the photo and checked in reality and it doesn't appear to be. I had LBS put in new headset and they too didn't notice bent fork. There is also no incident in past that would have caused bent fork.

    Al

  16. #16
    keep it pretend visitordesign's Avatar
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    i just received the kogswell that i won in the raffle last week. the geometry looks pretty good. the frame feels heavier than most track frames, but as it looks like i'll build it up as a wet-weather beater, i don't really mind the extra weight. i'm pondering getting it painted before i decide how to build it up--which might be a little while anyway as i need to build up a custom frame that i've been waiting eons for first.

    as an alternative to a conversion though, the kogswell seems like a no-brainer. if you're not looking for the braze-on/boss-free simplicity of a real track frame and want to run a brake/brakes, mount a bottle cage or a fender/fenders to the frame, kog's yr uncle.

    if you aren't going to be taking advantage of any of the bosses, braze-o's or pre-drilled holes, you may find their presence annoying and might want to look at one of the more inexpensive trackier frames.

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