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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 09-05-06, 08:39 AM   #1
pitboss
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A discussion of budget fixed-specific frames/complete bikes

This thread is to discuss experiences with the variety of budget fixed gear application frames and complete bikes. Feel free to ask questions and discuss. Remember - this is a thread about various budget frames (not to include conversions) and complete bikes. Please keep it that way.

Do not post items that are for sale (on ebay, craigslist, or any similar site) in here at all.

There are a lot of questions about this topic - let's give readers the info they seek when looking into a budget fixed-gear frame or bike!

Thanks~
165
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Old 09-05-06, 09:32 AM   #2
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I have a brown Surly Steamroller and I love it. I picked up the frame used on Ebay about 4 years ago for about $200. It's not a light frame by any means, but nicely crafted with nice welds. This bike has gone through several transformations, from an all Campy drivetrain, moustache bars, bullhorns, several different brake levers (yes, I run a front brake...), Suzue hubs, Formula hubs, Flite saddle, a Brooks saddle, etc.....
Regardless of the setup, this steel frame is very comfortable and great for long distances. And I think I've finally settled on how I like this bike.
This is my current setup:


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Old 09-05-06, 09:41 AM   #3
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this thread is a good idea - for once, i will try and actually participate instead of just sit at home and think about ways I can be clever. Thanks BikeForums - you have given me life!
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Old 09-05-06, 10:12 AM   #4
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Having been worried about stock bikes (I went from Conversions to Custom Track), I was pleasantly surprised w/ the '05 fuji track. I think it is a great step up from a conversion, don't feel bad riding it in the rain/snow, and has some slack to be nice on the streets. It would also function pretty well as entry level at the track, but my other bikes geometry is more for the track and I can feel the difference.

Also, the frame is solid enough that, as many have said, replace parts as they break or you want to upgrade. Also, the stock isn't bling bling enough to warrant having to worry about it parked outside for 4+ hours.

Oh, I got a deal, not sure I would spend more than $400 on it though. Thanx 165.
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Old 09-05-06, 10:23 AM   #5
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I have owned a Pista Concept, and while I never used it for the track NOR is it budget, it is a sweet stiff frame. For riders looking for something in between a budget off-the-peg ride and a custom frame, look into the Pista Concept!

Thanks again 165! You are the bestest!
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Old 09-05-06, 10:54 AM   #6
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this is a great addition. thanks 165.
maybe there should be a similar one for conversion issues.
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Old 09-05-06, 10:58 AM   #7
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I also like the looks of the latest efforts from Bianchi on their San Jose and Pista offerings. Not my cup of tea, but might be good for others.
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Old 09-05-06, 11:01 AM   #8
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total fixed-gear newb here as mtnbiking has been my thing for 15 years, but i got the bianchi pista in late march - $450 - and love it for me. i use it as a training tool and try to do two 30 mile days on the streets of hilly alpharetta (atlanta) each week. longest ride thus far was 62 miles on the silver comet - a local rails-to-trails which is pretty flat. on the hilly streets my longest is ~40 miles.

no experience on the track, but that's what the bike is billed for on paper.

iride
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Old 09-05-06, 11:09 AM   #9
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I'll contribute something a little more meaningful than the snark i posted before:


IRO MarkV/Angus
This will undoubtedly be the most-recommended entry-level bike on here.
for $550ish you get:
- a solid DB steel frame with "track inspired" geometry (slightly steeper than "road"). for $100 more the Angus has a higher quality tubeset and no braze ons or holes.
- a good set of wheels BONUS: you can get fixed/fixed flipflop hubs for track/street gearing, or in case you ever do strip your threads.
- a decent drivetrain - no better or worse than any other stock entry level fix
- EXCELLENT customer service from Tony
- negatives? the MarkV has brake cable stops

Bianchi Pista
This will probably the second most recommended bike here
you get
- true "track" geometry
- a decent set of wheels, personally i think the IRO wheels have better rims.
- ho-hum drivetrain.
- fork drilled for a brake. rear is *not* drilled, making for a somewhat poor choice for a SS.
unfortunately everyone and their dog has a pista, and personally i think the chrome is fugly, not to mention the nasty unicrown fork that everyone swaps out.

Fuji Track/Windsor the Hour
These are the same bike. the Windsor is just the BikesDirect equivalent sold for $200 less. You decide if you're OK with that.
- Once again, you get a decent entry level frame with "track"-ish geometry
- however, the stock wheels are a step below the IRO/Pista level.
- same generic crank setup as every entry level fix.
- the hubs were recalled due to loose lockrings that stripped easily. Check this before you ride
- it has water bottle bosses
- the stock stem flops like a wet noodle

KHS Flite/Mercier KiloTT/Spicer generic Frame
I own a KHS Frame.
The KHS was a great value when it came with Sugino 75's. I think they stopped this ater the 2004 model year. if you can find an old one from back then, you can get a good deal.
- solid frame (reynolds cro-mo) with a couple interesting features - fender mounts and rack mounts. makes for a potential commuter frame. Drilled for brakes front and rear.
- crowned, round-blade fork. I'm not too crazy about the ride of this fork. I find it flexy, yet overly stiff, all at the same time.
- rounded out with a set of crappy components.
- the worst of the wheels i've listed so far. Quando/Sovos hubs on generic alloy rims.
- DA cog on an otherwise mediocre drivetrain
- same wet noodle stem as on the Fuji
- since you can get the complete bike on ebay for $350, shipped, it is an excellent base for upgrades. Replace the wheels *when* you destroy them with a set of IROs and you're still under the price of a stock Pista/Langster/IRO. (or sell the stock wheels and come out ahead)

My experience with the following bikes is limited to fondling them at the LBS

Redline 925
a very interesting commuter-style fix.
- steel frame with fender mounts and STOCK FENDERS!

Raleigh Rush Hour
i think this is getting discontinued and getting replaced with the One Way, which is similar to the 925.
- the decals are over the clearcoat, making them super-easy to remove
- drilled for brakes front and rear, but the brake cable stops are removable.

Surly Steamroller
solid Cro-Mo frame + crowned fork.
- clearance for super-wide tires (35mm i think) which is why i'm looking for one to replace my KHS

Specialized Langster
it's aluminum.
people here hate aluminum
and "compact" geometry
frankly i don't care
but either way IMHO it's overpriced for the component spec.
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Old 09-05-06, 11:53 AM   #10
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I'll add what i can.

I messengered on a fuji track frame for almost a year (until i got my custom) and it help up incredibly well. that said, nothing but the frame and fork where stock. the only dent the frame had on it was from the fed ex guy shipping it. I got hit on it 3 times, with no damage to the bike or me. I threw it around a lot (i'm pretty hard on my things) with no ill effects. it was pretty light (built with miche hubs, deep v in the back, aerohead in the front, superbe pro cranks, nitto steel drops) but not the lightests (probably around 18 or 19 pounds). it rode very well and the paint held up nicely. I would greatly recommend the frameset if you can get one, or just buy one and flip all the stock parts. (but i think the stock ones work with a new stem and different cog and lockring). PROS=durable and cheap, readily available CONS=stock parts not that great, sizing (center to top on the seattube)

also

the pake, which has been covered a lot on the regular forum recently. I like it. that said, i paid cost for it, but even for $320, it's probably still worth it. it's heavy and a little ugly (the fork. get the surly or soma crowned track fork and it'll look pretty good for a few bucks more), but it works wonderfully. I"m sure that mine is under 20 pounds (with deda alloy drops and phils/open pro, phil bb and sugino mighty track cranks). i got it to beat on, and i do just that...the paint is scratched, but not to the metal. (i think it may just be scratching the clear and discoloring the paint...not sure though). It rides well, very compliant and comfortable ride. I recommend.

also

the infamous tsunami track frame. I had the 04 one. (red with replaceable dropouts and round seattube). it was really stiff as far as i remember (i got rid of this one a while ago...actually i traded the frame/fork to my friend for the above fuji). the paint is not very good, i see it now and it has a bunch of little pink spots (think debernardi), but it's still on the road and not dented. he complains of the ride, but i personally like aluminum. I like this bike, i am thinking of getting another to tool on the track, but i don't that's howthink it's that great for the street. they're cheap and definitely rideable, if you don't mind aluminum. the only REAL problem i had with it was the marring the dropouts, and i threw the chain somewhat often. I never did figure out why ( i was using shimano 600 cranks with the stock 40 tooth chainring and a 14 tooth dura-ace cog.) my friend that has it now uses a chain tensioner and doesn't have the problem. so get one of those if you go this route, but it could have been the dropouts (which are no longer the same on the 05 or 06 models)

one more.

a leader frame. I was riding the 730tt (the time trial one) but i'm sure they're all pretty similar. i built it with the fsa vigorelli cranks, reynolds full caron fork, bontrager 20 spoke paired front wheel, both 650. one of those formula/weinmann rears, deda alloy pista bars, fsa carbon seatpost,...weighed 15.5 pounds with eggbeaters) This ride was stiff as HELL. very jarring. almost uncomfortable, (could have been the drop, cause it was just my wrists that got sore). but very fast. and agile, since there was no wheelbase. very much fun to throw around and fly on. great in traffic (but that could just be me...hahaha). it was loud. i couldn't tell if it was the cranks or the super oversize tubes, but it literally swooshed when i sprinted (which was cool, if you're into that). i liked it. sold it cause i'm back in wisconsin and it was the least practical of my bikes. It was pretty cheap, all built up it was less than $800, which i can live with. and it was black, which was cool (that was the theme).

yeah, i'll stop there because this is ridiculously long. and no one cares. i hope that helps someone, if not it was fun to reminesce (or however you spell that).

-jason

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Old 09-05-06, 12:10 PM   #11
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forgot to mention: the pista - no water bottle mounts, fwiw. i ride mine on the road so i added one of those stupid mount-to-the-seat post tri-set up-stoopid-things.


and i think the chrome f'n rocks.


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Old 09-05-06, 07:58 PM   #12
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I'll pimp the Rush Hour a little. Under $600, a trackish frame with no braze-ons other than the rear brake bridge that comes with everything you need to set it up as a singlespeed or fixed gear (or flip-flop). I put well over 1000 miles on it in 6 months, and it held up fine, with only the wheels going out of true by a couple of millimeters. It can be converted to a traditional fixie and gives a very clean look without decals or braze-ons (and you might be able to Ebay the leftovers for a few bucks). The biggest issue is that the paint chips very easily.
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Old 09-05-06, 08:58 PM   #13
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i liked my khs flight 100, but if i knew then what i know now, i probably would have bought something else. i think if your going to buy a new budget bike with the intent of upgrading the parts you should go with a pista.
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Old 09-05-06, 09:08 PM   #14
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NYCBikes CityFixed
Tig Welded Aluminum.
Rear brake bridge and cable guides(tig-ons?) on the top tube.
1 1/8" Head Tube.
Trackish Geometry.

I'll ignore the shop reputation here, but it is something anyone considering this frame should research before buying this frame.

Pros:
It's stiff and nimble. With the right wheelset and fork you can build this up for a reasonable price. The ride can be a little harsh, but at this price point I believe saddle, fork and tire choice make a bigger difference. Mine is a ton of fun to ride, I feel like I'm on a rocket when I mash down off of a stoplight.

Cons:
The welds are pretty standard for an imported AL frame. I opted for the clear coat which actually looks like a yellowish shellac. The frame was barely prepared before the finish was applied. There are actually 1-2 fingerprints underneath the clearcoat on this frame. The rear cable guides are welded to the top tube so it would be tough to remove them without damaging the frame. The complete prices on the website seem a bit high.
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Old 09-05-06, 09:21 PM   #15
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I personally owned a Pista, and it was an excellent bike within it's limits.

I even rode a 35 mile, hilly (Mt. Paran to Chastain Park) ride with fast roadies and it not only kept up (For a sec -like I said -limits.), but I even got a "nice bike" comment from one of the OCP dudes on his $5,600 rig.
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Old 09-05-06, 11:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baxtefer
IRO MarkV/Angus
This will undoubtedly be the most-recommended entry-level bike on here.
for $550ish you get:
- a solid DB steel frame with "track inspired" geometry (slightly steeper than "road"). for $100 more the Angus has a higher quality tubeset and no braze ons or holes.
- a good set of wheels BONUS: you can get fixed/fixed flipflop hubs for track/street gearing, or in case you ever do strip your threads.
- a decent drivetrain - no better or worse than any other stock entry level fix
- EXCELLENT customer service from Tony
- negatives? the MarkV has brake cable stops
A couple corrections / additions for the Angus:
- The fork is drilled for a brake. No brake mount on the rear bridge.
- Fork is also unicrown.
- The frame also has one water bottle mount on the seat tube.
- Also differs from the Mark V in that it uses a threaded 1" headset and quill stem.
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Old 09-06-06, 03:43 AM   #17
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What do you think about this new entry for the 2007:

http://www.konaworld.com/bikes/2k7/P...GON/index.html

Geo is quite relaxed but for 649 USD it's a good buy?
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Old 09-06-06, 07:02 AM   #18
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Lest we forget the IRO Jamie Roy.

I've had one of these for a couple years now and use it for a myriad of things including commuting and singlespeed cyclocross racing. Just install a cross fork or use the existing fork with a longreach brake and there is plenty of clearance for big tires. I ran a pair of 38c tires for a short while.
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Old 09-06-06, 08:41 AM   #19
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A friend of mine (she's 5'0) picked up a Fuji Track SE 43cm. If you or someone you know is looking for a very small track frame, but can't dish out the money for a custom, this bike does the job. Again, nothing great going on with it, but considering you can pick them up for ~300 bucks complete, it's worth looking into.
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Old 09-06-06, 09:06 AM   #20
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I've had very good experiences with my Surly Steamroller frameset. It has geometry similar to my Pacer road bike, which I find to be very comfortable and forgiving over long distances, yet still aggressive enough to go hard and fast. While I have only had it in a skinny tire, track bar, go-fast setup in the time that I've had it, I'm excited about exploiting the versatility of this bike to ride on more varied/off-road terrain. A swap of chainrings, a change of bars, and a variety of tires should accomplish this purpose. A perusal of FGG will reveal numerous setup options (I particularly like Todd Burpee's: http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2006/mar/NT650_aol.htm)

Here's where I'd ultimately like the bike to be:

The platform:
62cm Steamroller frame
Double-fixed high flange rear hub, Velocity Aero rim
High flange front hub, Velocity Aero rim
144bcd Suntour Superbe cranks
17t and 19t rear cogs
42t, 45t, 47t, 49t, 52t chainrings
Front brake and 'cross lever

Go-fast:
23c/25c tires
Track bars
Negative rise stem
49x17 (76") or 52x17 (80")

Off-road:
35c/38c tires (whatever fits)
Mustache bars
Positive rise stem
42x19 (60")

Commuting/errands:
23c/25c tires
Mustache bars
No rise stem
47x17 (73") or 45x17 (70")

This is definitely a good bike for obsessive tinkerers like me
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Old 09-06-06, 10:30 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldone
What do you think about this new entry for the 2007:

http://www.konaworld.com/bikes/2k7/P...GON/index.html

Geo is quite relaxed but for 649 USD it's a good buy?
I've always liked Konas. They're usually excellent value, especially in Canada.
The European prices, however are *expensive*

The Paddy Wagon's frame in Deda COM12.5 - the same material as the BareKnuckle.
The geometry is definetly road-like - but with a higher BB
The wheelset should be solid - formula hubs with Sun rims (an OEM mid-V rim that's quite heavy though)
I'd consider swapping out the cog for a DA though. I just don't trust cheap cogs.
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Old 09-06-06, 01:15 PM   #22
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I'm looking to buy an 06 REDLINE 925 next month. I was going to build a Sycip Javaboy. I just couldn't bring myself to spend 2 grand on it. The REDLINE, to me, is a poor mans Javaboy.
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Old 09-06-06, 03:37 PM   #23
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I have an 06 Redline 925. I am very happy with it, and will edit this post with detailed info later tonight.


Edit: Ok, here it is.


I've had homemade bumbike fixies for a while which I've always been wary about riding for anything other than the shortest of rides, but have always had great fun on them. The other day, I got doored and completely demolished my geared commuter/touring bike. I decided that I liked the fixed bikes and didn't ever actually "tour" and didn't need more than one speed for commuting, so I would replace it with a fixed gear bike that wouldn't fall apart whenever I rode it.

The obvious option was building up one of the frames that I already had with actual real track wheels, but I deserved a nice bike . So, I looked over the mass market fixies, with the option to go single speed (meaning I wanted something that came with a freewheel and dual brakes), and chose the Redline 925. It was the only thing I could get locally that could be either fixed or SS right out of the box, and the fenders were just icing on the cake.

Here are the bikes official stats:
Quote:
+ FRAME: Redline Chromoly Double Butted Main
Frame, with Fender/rack Eyelets.

+ FORK: Redline Chromoly, tapered

+ HANDLEBARS: Redline "Val" mustache
+ BRAKES: Tektro 57mm Reach Caliper
and Aero Levers

+ REAR HUB : Formula SB, Flip-flop, Fixed-F/W,
Low Flange 120mm OLD, 36h.

+ CRANKSET: Redline Alloy, 110mm Bcd,
w/42t Chainring.
+ TIRES: IRC Tandem 700 x 30c
+ FENDERS: PlanetBike Road/Hybrid, stainless

+ MSRP: $499
The most interesting thing about this bike is the fit. I am a large guy, 6'4". I usually ride a 58cm. I got fitted for the 925 at 54cm. I thought the guy at the LBS was crazy and made him promise that we could exchange it when my back started killing me. However, after a 35 mile ride over the weekend, it feels like a dream. The geometry is just different...it's compact road like, but there are a lot of differences between it and a regular compact road bike.

At the LBS, I had them remove the fenders and chain protector, and install Shimano clipless. I don't need fenders for what I do now, and if I ever do, I'll just slap em on again.

Now the topic that always comes up when the 925 is mentioned, the bars. They are Moustache bars that drop down. The way my LBS does it is to install the aero brake levers at the front of the outer side of the bars, so that the lever faces towards the outside of the bike. This gives you a very aero hand position on the nook inbetween the brake hood and the curve of the bar. Also, grabbing on to the very ends of the moustache bars seems to work. Unfortunately, these were the only hand positions that I could find, and after a long ride this weekend, I found the bars to be lacking (there isn't a "resting" position...which takes pressure off the hands, except for the hands right up near the stem which is very unstable).

So I swapped the bars out, and took this time to take the rear brake off, as the bike was so fun on fixed that I really had no interest using the freewheel at all. The rear brake had to stay with the moustache bars....there was really no way to use them without that brake hood.

I got bullhorns (homemade), which seem to work out much better for me. The geometry with the low-rise stem and high seatpost (for me) really tend towards them. The flat position is not quite upright but very comfortable, and the aero position feels great.

The saddle kind of hurt me on my long ride, I am considering switching it out but I assume I will get acclimated to it (have been using a padded saddle in the past). If you use padded shorts, you probably wont even notice it.


All in all it's a great bike, and I think it's the best value and function you can get in the price range, if you're looking for a sensible road ride rather than a track bike.

Last edited by ponds; 09-06-06 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 09-07-06, 02:58 AM   #24
jmraspa
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anyone know anything about pake frames?
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Old 09-07-06, 06:07 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmraspa
anyone know anything about pake frames?
Did you read at all before you asked the question? Seriously.
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Originally Posted by xthugmurderx, in this thread
the pake, which has been covered a lot on the regular forum recently. I like it. that said, i paid cost for it, but even for $320, it's probably still worth it. it's heavy and a little ugly (the fork. get the surly or soma crowned track fork and it'll look pretty good for a few bucks more), but it works wonderfully. I"m sure that mine is under 20 pounds (with deda alloy drops and phils/open pro, phil bb and sugino mighty track cranks). i got it to beat on, and i do just that...the paint is scratched, but not to the metal. (i think it may just be scratching the clear and discoloring the paint...not sure though). It rides well, very compliant and comfortable ride. I recommend.
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