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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 04-27-06, 11:25 AM   #1
Newbie77
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Advice for a novice on buying a single speed...

I'm new to the world of single speeds and don't know much about them. I borrowed a bike from a friend for a month after I sold my car and really loved it. After riding a mtb for years, it was a breeze to whip around DC on a single. Lightweight, simple, easier to dodge road raging city drivers without thinking about shifting. It was great!

Now, I want to buy a single spd for commuting to work/errands/etc but didn't want to plunk down a ton of cash on one just yet. One, bikes get stolen all the time around here. Two, I wanted to get used to a single before I put the big bucks into one I really love. However, I just don't want to buy a car for a while and need something reliable.

A friend suggested puting a "WTB" on Craig's List for some older bike models that folks might want to be getting rid of for a few bills. The only problem is, I don't know what are good '03/'04/'05 models to look for.

Do you have any suggestions? I'd really be grateful if you could tell me what bikes you guys loved from those years and how much you think a used one might cost.

Thanks so much! I really appreciate it!
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Old 04-27-06, 11:28 AM   #2
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You could take a thriftstore roadbike, tear off the deralieurs and replace the rear wheel. Simple as that... google sheldon brown.
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Old 04-27-06, 12:33 PM   #3
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you should take out a loan and buy a really good bike, u only live once!
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Old 04-27-06, 12:59 PM   #4
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Find a bike with shimano type freehub, put a gusset 1-er on, take a couple links of chain out, strip a chainring off and all other drive train stuff. And pedal on. Or go spend a bunch o money on a readymade. ~jg
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Old 04-27-06, 01:09 PM   #5
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get any crappy geared bike, the crappier the better and take off the derailleurs. shorten the chain, pick a gear on the cassette/chainrings that you like and voila, instant single speed. if you've got horizontal dropouts, you can even change which gear on the cassette you use. chain should be taut, but don't worry if there's a little slack. make sure the brakes are solid.

i live by eastern market, hit me up if you wanna ride.
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Old 04-27-06, 02:55 PM   #6
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or if you want a decent ready made bike, and have a few bucks (500-600) look at the raleigh rush hour, bianchi pista, specialized langster, or any other similiar offerings from a bunch of other companies that I can't think of off the top of my head.
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Old 04-27-06, 03:03 PM   #7
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langster's the only one of those three that comes built up for single speed. the other two are fixed, but are easily modifiable to ss. also, beware the finish on the pista, it can be seen from space. in dc you're best off with an ugly looking bike that rides smoothly.
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Old 04-27-06, 04:08 PM   #8
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i think all three come with flip-flop hubs and bmx freewheel cogs are cheap, get whichever of the three you think rides the best.
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Old 04-27-06, 10:00 PM   #9
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There's also the Redline 925 which is more of a commuter style. Moustach bbars and fenders are standard.
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Old 04-27-06, 10:07 PM   #10
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This bike is also pretty cool.

Van Dessel Country Road Bob

I recently did a conversion and it was great. But I was lucky. I had a lot of parts laying around in my garage left over from upgrades on my road bike. My only big expense was a back wheel.

Had I actually needed to go out and buy stuff like a decent saddle, tires, pedals, stems etc. I could have easily spent almost as much as a Rush Hour or Langster.
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Old 04-27-06, 10:55 PM   #11
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or you could always find an old road bike that has a freewheel hub and just redish the rear wheel and use a bmx style freewheel
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Old 04-28-06, 07:25 AM   #12
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That's pretty sweet, never seen that one. The first time i've ever seen fork ends with a derailleur hanger.

Also, what Spud said. How it rides is infinitely more important than how it looks. Good luck dude.


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Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
This bike is also pretty cool.

Van Dessel Country Road Bob

I recently did a conversion and it was great. But I was lucky. I had a lot of parts laying around in my garage left over from upgrades on my road bike. My only big expense was a back wheel.

Had I actually needed to go out and buy stuff like a decent saddle, tires, pedals, stems etc. I could have easily spent almost as much as a Rush Hour or Langster.
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Old 04-30-06, 10:38 AM   #13
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wow! thanks, everyone!

Well, to be totally honest, a lot of this is way above my head. I've never taken apart a bike or done more than adjusting the seat and fixing a tire on my old bike. (when I said I was a novice...I meant it). But I've got a lot of friends out there who might know what you guys are talking about.

Even still, I'm looking forward to this being a lifelong obession so I'll have to get up to speed on my vocabulary so I can actually understand what you're saying!

This is the ideal bike I'd like but I'll have to save a bit for it.
http://www.bianchiusa.com/06_san_jose.html

That being said, that Van Dessel was pretty sweet too.... Ah, decisions!

Thanks for all the good advice! I'm excited to keep reading this forum.
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Old 04-30-06, 11:08 AM   #14
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hey there newb77 I am pretty much in your same excact boat - I first thought I'd start off by picking up a super cheap fg by either buying a windsor/motobecane/mercier and then upgrading the parts, or I was gonna try (without much bike building experience) to convert an old road bike - so I came here looking for advice in the smartest way to go. Thanks to all the response (and all rather confusing to me) what I decided to do was to go with a "nicer" and little more expensive IRO complete bike Mark V with front brake and am anxiously awaiting its delivery. The customer service of IRO cycles gets very high marks around here and Tony is building me the "blackest Mark V possible" inspired by this thread -
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php...highlight=mark -
with as many all black components as he can get his hands on oh yeah!! Since I made the order I have made some other purchases like a formula wheelset, some extra tires, some eggbeater c pedals and some sixsixone Launch spd shoes. Aw man I'm soo excited for the bike I can't stand it. Oh yeah, I know I'll need to order up some bar tape to throw on the drop bars that come stock, can anyone give me ideas or opinions on what would to look into??
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Old 04-30-06, 11:53 AM   #15
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Buy the shiniest one.
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Old 04-30-06, 04:05 PM   #16
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conversions are fun and satisfying. a $20 garage sale/ thrift store road bike is the way to go. build a wheel if u want to go fixed. the whole thing will be well under $100.
look for a 80's japanese sport bike, sekai, nishiki, fuji etc....
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