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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 10-12-06, 01:56 AM   #1
rustang
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big name vs. budget frames: lets be honest...

really now...how much of a difference is there between some big name famous frame (merckx, rensho) vs a mercier, windsor, IRO, etc? and i'm not talking racing, or 100 year life expectancy, i'm talking geometry, stability, handling, short distance ride comfort, etc.
basically, for 'around town' riding, is it really possible that one is going to be that much noticably better than the other? keep in mind, this is just frames, not components. also, again, we're talking riding to the store, running errands, etc. nothing serious.
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Old 10-12-06, 03:49 AM   #2
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You managed to narrow the playing field so much that it's hard to argue. You won't notice a difference between a $200 or $1200 ride in only 2 miles. Life expectancy and components are a factor because the whole point of having nice **** is that it won't break in 3 months. How many hardcore commuters trust a bikesdirect special day in and day out? How many of the stock components are still on there?
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Old 10-12-06, 04:08 AM   #3
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why am I still falling for this ****?
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Old 10-12-06, 06:03 AM   #4
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I'm very suspicious of the stoked comments about how fantastically a ______ frame rides. Responsive, stiff etc. I think most of that is placebo.
But then I never rode high-end frames, or even midrange ones.
I know for a fact that weight matters quite a lot, but that has as much to do w/components as with the frame/fork. Geometry, handling... there's too much individual variety aming rider preferences so I don't think there's a meaningful quality difference between frames.

Mind you, all this refers to low end, but rideable bikes compared to premium stuff. There's definitely a noticeable drop in quality if you try out a real POS. Also, racing is a whole different ball game.
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Old 10-12-06, 06:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euphoria
You managed to narrow the playing field so much that it's hard to argue. You won't notice a difference between a $200 or $1200 ride in only 2 miles. Life expectancy and components are a factor because the whole point of having nice **** is that it won't break in 3 months. How many hardcore commuters trust a bikesdirect special day in and day out? How many of the stock components are still on there?
Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten.
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Old 10-12-06, 07:28 AM   #6
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Geometry doesn't matter, assuming both frames have been made to the exactly same specs. Tubing and materials will be the deciding factors here. If you have a stiffer tubing, the bike is naturally going to respond a little bit quicker than the other bike. Whether or not that's preferable in an urban environment is completely up to the user. As far as durability, high end tubing is not more durable than straight gauge cro-mo, so the cheaper frame could possibly win out in that battle. I notice a huge difference from my high end 853-built bike over my 520 beater, but for around town usage, of course there's no difference aside from the variances in geometry. Go with fit first and then materials, provenance, color, abilitytomatchyrdeepVstotheframe.
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Old 10-12-06, 07:34 AM   #7
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Anyone who believes you need a high-end frame for riding around town has more money than brains. ANY frame will get you around town, a decent one will do it quite nicely. If you think you need to spend $600 + for a frame that will see less than 10 miles a day then you're kidding yourself plain and simple.

I suppose it used to be that people bought custom frames because they couldn't get a decent fit with an off the rack frame, but I think it would be very rare these days for someone to be so oddly proportioned as to not be able to find a frame that fits well enough for around town riding.

If you want a high end frame for around town, and can afford it great. Justify it anyway you like, There are plenty of good justifications for buying quality products, but the idea that it will perform noticeably better or last significantly longer in "around town" capacity is kinda silly.
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Old 10-12-06, 09:22 AM   #8
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For the track it makes ALOT of difference. Fit and weight can win a race. I've raced an intro, 300 dollar (1992 price) GT track bike and their 853 custom order track bike. The bikes rode like night and day.
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Old 10-12-06, 09:23 AM   #9
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Personally, I like my cheap bike. I don't care that the guy who passed me (or that I just passed) has a $$$$ frame. I ride for fun and I've ridden high end bikes with the disappointment that they simply don't ride as well as I thought they would--they rode great, but there was no "magic". Rather anticlimatic if you ask me.

I would like an expensive frame such as a Vanilla someday, but it is purely for aesthetics and appreciation for a artisan-crafted frame, not performance or snob factor.
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Old 10-12-06, 09:30 AM   #10
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my noni and my iro are two completely different rides. like sfcrossrider said, things can be like day and night sometimes.
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Old 10-12-06, 09:37 AM   #11
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My old road conversion and my old (but not very ridden before me) super-nice track bike ride like night and day. This might have as much to do with components and maintenance as it does with the frame, although the geometries are pretty different.

That said, I prefer the crappy bike for around-towning, because it's fun and small and I don't have to worry about messing it up. Plus, it's plenty comfy for short rides that involve as much slow-going traffic as hauling ass.

For long training rides the crappy bike sucks and the nice bike is lovely. If I hadn't gotten it for free though, I probably wouldn't have dropped too much money on a new frame.
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Old 10-12-06, 09:39 AM   #12
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i asked because i was having a discussion/argument with a friend last night. he claims his mercier frame is so uncomfortable that he can't even ride it the half a mile to and from work, so now he's about to get a rensho. he used to ride some fancier frame (cant remember the name) but had to sell it, blah blah. my skepticism as to the 'necessity' of this fancy ass new frame is dismissed as me having never ridden anything better than budget bikes. regardless, i just can't believe that there is any real noticable difference when you're riding less than a mile a day. just wondered if i was really just ignorant to the magic of brand names, or if dude is just making excuses.
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Old 10-12-06, 09:41 AM   #13
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Do you really need a bike at all if you're going less than a mile a day?
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Old 10-12-06, 09:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustang
we're talking riding to the store, running errands, etc. nothing serious.
you already answered your own inquiry
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Old 10-12-06, 09:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustang
i asked because i was having a discussion/argument with a friend last night. he claims his mercier frame is so uncomfortable that he can't even ride it the half a mile to and from work, so now he's about to get a rensho. he used to ride some fancier frame (cant remember the name) but had to sell it, blah blah. my skepticism as to the 'necessity' of this fancy ass new frame is dismissed as me having never ridden anything better than budget bikes. regardless, i just can't believe that there is any real noticable difference when you're riding less than a mile a day. just wondered if i was really just ignorant to the magic of brand names, or if dude is just making excuses.

Tell your friend that either he is a complete and total wuss, or his frame doesn't fit right. Come on, I can ride a ****in' big wheel a half mile without significant pain.

What is he the Princess and the Pea? "Oh! Ow! I think I just rolled over a pea on this terrible rock hard frame! I don't know HOW the peasants can stand it."

Last edited by mattface; 10-12-06 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 10-12-06, 09:49 AM   #16
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if having a fancy new frame will actually get him out riding, i'll just let the whole thing slide. if not, well, i been riding by myself anyway, so no real difference. i'm not trying to 'prove him wrong', our conversation just got me thinking about it, that's all. i've never bought into the hype about expensive **** for layman use, regardless of the type.
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Old 10-12-06, 09:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustang
if having a fancy new frame will actually get him out riding, i'll just let the whole thing slide. if not, well, i been riding by myself anyway, so no real difference. i'm not trying to 'prove him wrong', our conversation just got me thinking about it, that's all. i've never bought into the hype about expensive **** for layman use, regardless of the type.
Do him a favor and take the Mercier off his hands.
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Old 10-12-06, 09:53 AM   #18
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Anything inane can be justified if you spend enough money.

No one in their right mind would spend $500 on sneakers to play basketball at the park occasionally, but many people jump at the chance to buy high end athletic wear just to be seen at a party where they will serve no function whatsoever.

Practically speaking, Payless knockoffs would do the trick...but most Americans couldn't bear to go low end if they can afford it. Or worse, if they have found a way to increase their debts.
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Old 10-12-06, 09:54 AM   #19
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your friend might be onto something, but i dont knnow if a rensho is the answer.. i dont have one.. im just guessing a new rensho is pretty stiff and some of those rensho angles would make the spanish inquisition proud, then again they could be the most comfy smooth rides around, juvi had a silver bridgestone that you couldnt ride and get off saying all frames are the same

the difference between an iro i had to the spx frame im riding now is like going from 69 bug to a brand new car..ask gravity hurts, hes had 50 track frames and im sure every one has felt different

im all for budget.. but if youre really into bikes.. you should treat yourself sometime,the good thing about track bikes right now is they hold their value (unless you paid stupid money..), so its easy to buy and sell until you find the one thats for you.

i guess i could have just said i think all frames feel different but i just had a big cup of coffee
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Old 10-12-06, 09:55 AM   #20
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i love my debt, don't you ever question that again.
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Old 10-12-06, 10:12 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipper
many people jump at the chance to buy high end athletic wear just to be seen at a party where they will serve no function whatsoever.
juvi-kyle just quietly wept and someone in HUF just shuddered for some reason, unbeknownst to them at the time.
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Old 10-12-06, 10:14 AM   #22
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juvi-kyle just quietly wept and someone in HUF shuddered for some unknown reason.
ha, thats awesome.
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Old 10-12-06, 10:14 AM   #23
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All frames ride differently. Geometry, size, construction methods, chainstay length, overall wheelbase, stiffness... To say exclusively that expensive frames by dint of the fact that they're expensive will ride better is untrue, but usually when you pay for a more expensive frame you'll get better thought out geometry and finer materials.
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Old 10-12-06, 10:15 AM   #24
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I'm gonna buy a Yamaguchi for delivering sandwiches.
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Old 10-12-06, 10:21 AM   #25
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my merckx track rides the exact same as this shops alpha mercury. sarcasmmmmmmm all you haters. sarcasm!
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