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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 04-11-06, 06:29 PM   #1
RedDeMartini
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Are we worrying too much about parts?

More riding less spec’ing…

As a free thinking group of folks we seem to have avoided many of the pitfalls of mainstream marketing but spend a lot of time discussing parts. Cost of, quality of, etc. This wouldn’t be bad, but I don’t get the impression that any of us are far from high levels of Ramen consumption and yet we spend small fortunes on parts that are perhaps a few percent better than cheaper parts.

That isn’t to say they are all bad, but for every IRO there is a Suzue.

Like the man said, its better than Meth, but we seem to be spending a lot of time hot-rodding our bikes. It’s a way to participate when you can’t ride but I can’t help but feel it increases the same kind of consumption we try to avoid.

Fer example, Phil hubs and Chris King headsets are great and you are paying for greatness. But are they worth it?
Track front wheels, Track specific cranks and other overly specific stuff is great for aesthetics but rarely necessary.
The Surly Steamroller has a great geometry but a Taiwanese bike of 4130 steel, on a decent size production run should not be $430.00.

At our recent Critical mass there were loads of college kids with cobbled together beater bikes having just as much fun. I know I am faster, but I also know that little of that is the bike. I can build a great conversion bike for very little, and it will look ****ing cool.

So, why do I pursue fancy parts, scour CL, rack up a tab with the neighborhood LBS?

Anyone want to join in?

For the sake of full disclosure this author has a golem-like love of his 1977 Cuevas-built, all Italian, Paris Sport track bike, so he understands and needs support.

Precious…
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Old 04-11-06, 06:32 PM   #2
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Wow, I didn't read any of that.
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Old 04-11-06, 07:07 PM   #3
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computers + bikes = broke and endless happy = give in you know you wanna
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Old 04-11-06, 07:27 PM   #4
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I've thought about this plenty before. Excellent explication, though.

I'm currently sore from the amount of riding I've been doing, so I'd like to pretend like I'm already doing all of the riding that I can. I have long since dropped the weight weenie demeanor in favor of the buy-it-once argument. That said, I still have trouble rationalizing certain premium items. In fact, I'm selling off some of my gear that I thought would last me the rest of my life. It's nice to know that this stuff has resale value.

Investment is the counter-argument. I work in a shop and my job is, very frequently, to read people and figure out if they just want to sink more money in a POS walmart bike, or if I can actually convince them that they need to invest. Sometimes I get people in the shop that actually want to go the long haul and I know that they'll benefit from quality parts.

All of that said, the worst thing in my world is someone with a $3000 whip that rides 40 miles/week or less. If that's you and you're reading this, get on your bike right now. If you ride hard and can rationalize dropping $300 on some campy record cranks-- go for it. Ride them to hell.
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Old 04-11-06, 07:55 PM   #5
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I just stripped a ****ing thread on my ****ing stem. Out of all the threads to strip on a ****ing bike
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Old 04-11-06, 08:17 PM   #6
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fancy parts get you laid, and that is all that matters
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Old 04-11-06, 08:24 PM   #7
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I'm ashamed of my old 105 cranks on a bike with campy drops.
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Old 04-11-06, 08:46 PM   #8
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No.
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Old 04-11-06, 09:01 PM   #9
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Quit talking like we all think exactly like you, I for one hope to god I'm not a flipping clone, so I don't say things like "us the group, went for a ride today."

Last edited by endform; 04-11-06 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 04-11-06, 09:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endform
Quit talking like we all think exactly like you, I for one hope to god I'm not a flipping clone, so I don't say thinkgs like "us the group, went for a ride today."
+18
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Old 04-11-06, 09:49 PM   #11
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sick-ass parts is what makes planning your build/dream bike fun.
nobody ever thinks like...

"aww shiznit, I'm worrying too much about the phil hubs, i'll just go withe the quandos and be done with that part."

instead, everyone thinks like...

"aww dang, is sugino 75's all I can afford!?WTF!? I'll get laughed at so hard on FGG and nobody will ever remember my bike! I think I can take a few more weeks of wonderbread and ramen to upgrade to the campys or D-A's."
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Old 04-11-06, 09:58 PM   #12
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sick parts, cheap parts, big rides, commute, bling, beater, fun, hooray!
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Old 04-11-06, 10:06 PM   #13
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y'all just jealous
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Old 04-11-06, 10:18 PM   #14
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Why do I lust after nice bike parts?

Because about seven years ago I inherited a high-quality MTB from the early 80s-- and I instantly noticed the difference between riding "good" parts vs. the wal-mart crap I'd grown up with. It was a revelation-- almost 20 year old thumbshifters that still worked. Metal brake levers that didn't threaten to crumble at the mere suggestion of sunshine. There was no way I could ever go back. I bought a used $2k mtb for $500 and experienced a similar revelation. It all adds up. It makes sense to like your bike; to believe in the components and know they're worth overhauling rather than just pitching into the nearest landfill. It brings you closer to the bike. It turns what would otherwise be a yuppie-friendly spending / oneupsmanship oddessy into a personal relationship with materials, craftsmanship, absolute quality and a sense of accomplishment.
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Old 04-11-06, 10:43 PM   #15
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Dude, I worry my skinny little ****ing head off about parts. Then I get on my bike and don't worry about parts anymore.

We're also a self-selecting bunch. The people who "worry," post.

And then there's the whole dayjob thing.


I really wouldn't worry much about it.
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Old 04-11-06, 10:46 PM   #16
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Form over Function. Function over Form. Who cares, it's all good. Do I think it is silly that someone will pay more for something that says NJS? Yeah but who cares. Everyone has to have interests and if your interests lie in Japanese race bikes, great. My uncle wastes a lot of money collecting ever worthless piece of Star Wars memorabilia he can find. What ever makes you happy. And honestly if you invest two grand into something that is you main source of transportation and you never have to pay for gas or insurance, well hell you can't even get a cheap car for that. So I say pimp that *****. Get the tires to match the wheels to match the hubs to match the frame to match your shoe, etc. Me, I'll stick with my surly - she's ugly, but she loyal.
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Old 04-12-06, 12:20 AM   #17
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frankly, on a fixie, it could be your life. don't think $100 double straps are worth the money? snap a christophe heading downhill into 4 lanes of traffic..think that $10 chain from nashbar works fine? ditto. some parts may be fashion over function, but if you ride fixed/brakeless you've already gotten rid of pretty much everything you don't need.

so the real question should be not if we are spending too much on parts, but are we spending enough? don't you love your life enough to dura-ace it?
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Old 04-12-06, 12:22 AM   #18
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you guys need to get re-aquainted with peanut butter jelly time...its cheap as hell and way more filling/ better tasting than ramen (granted im a cheap noodle mongrel myself, nothing does the trick better than an old PBJ)
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Old 04-12-06, 01:47 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FridgeRobot
you guys need to get re-aquainted with peanut butter jelly time...its cheap as hell and way more filling/ better tasting than ramen (granted im a cheap noodle mongrel myself, nothing does the trick better than an old PBJ)
i like to make ramen with a big spoonful of PB added.
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Old 04-12-06, 02:26 AM   #20
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this is all unreadable
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Old 04-12-06, 06:45 AM   #21
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Make no apologies for buying quality.

Buy what you can afford.

Shut up and ride.

Life's too short to drink cheap beer.
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Old 04-12-06, 06:50 AM   #22
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"for every IRO there's a Suzue"?

phalse.

suzue jr's may fail, and have poo for bearings. IROs will not, and have smoothe beatinrs. and cost just a bit more. you picked a terrible example.

but other than that i generally agree. beaters are cool.
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Old 04-12-06, 10:26 AM   #23
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No.

Do we worry too much about parts? Well, considering this is a bicycle discussion board, all my other worries in life (which vastly out-rate my bicycle worries) aren't really on-topic. Since all you hear are bicycle-related worries, it makes it sound a lot more frenetic and life-impacting than it is.

"For every IRO there is a Suzue" - I have no idea what this means. That there are both good and bad quality budget hubs available? That there are both sellers of inexpensive fixed-gear frames and makers of a range of bicycle components?

As for the steamroller, (which you've slandered NUMEROUS times), it fits a niche. It sells well. It's a quality frame. If it's so overpriced, how come other people aren't making the same thing and selling it for less?
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Old 04-12-06, 10:33 AM   #24
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hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! i have a good job, make plenty of money, don't eat ramen or drink pbr, and am gettin' a custom frame which i will procede to bling to the n'th degree (phil wood, chris king, etc etc etc). hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!! hardeeharhar!!!!!!!

a am also an a$$hole. wealthy. but an a$$hole nonetheless.
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Old 04-12-06, 10:36 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queerpunk
"for every IRO there's a Suzue"?

phalse.

suzue jr's may fail, and have poo for bearings. IROs will not, and have smoothe beatinrs. and cost just a bit more. you picked a terrible example.

but other than that i generally agree. beaters are cool.
this is exactly what Red is talking about, suzue juniors have a bad reputation here because it is the cheapest track hub available, and lots of new fixed riders use them incorrectly/fail to maintain them and then post on here how bad they are; IRO is a rebadged formula hub, but everyone here talks about them being IRO hubs. His point is to stop worrying about brand name and get out and ride. to add my own 2 cents on that statement, if you can afford it and like it, great go buy it; if you can't don't worry get what you can and enjoy it. As far as being worth it, yes i think Phils are totally worth it, lifetime warranties are great.

in regards to the quoted text, what is a/are beatinrs? and please explain how IROs (formula hubs) will not fail.
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