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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 08-05-07, 05:14 PM   #1
Mangor$m
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Thoughts on Surly Steamroller???

I'm looking to purchase my first fixed-gear and the Steamroller seems to be at top of my list of entry level fixies.
LBS recommended it to me and I absolutely fell in love with the ride when i test rode it the other day.
I've sifted through the numerous threads on surly and fixed-gears and purchasing your first fixed-gear but i guess i really want reinforced opinions.

I plan on riding it daily...commuting at least 15 mi/day on the weekdays all year round in the MD/DC area...probably more.
What are your thoughts?
Any immediate upgrades necessary (esp. during wet/icy conditions in the winter)?

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-05-07, 05:27 PM   #2
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the steamroller complete is a pretty good deal for the price.
nice frame with huge tire clearance.
an pretty good wheelset and serviceable parts. All in all a pretty versatile bike.

what would make it even better would be eyelets for fenders - especially if you're planning on riding it year round. But P-clamps could be good enough.
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Old 08-05-07, 05:31 PM   #3
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yea i was concerned about putting fenders on there with the lack of eyelets but i guess p clams could suffice.

thanx baxtefer!
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Old 08-05-07, 07:23 PM   #4
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The Steamroller is nice but for hard core commuting I might go for a Bianchi San Jose instead. It has aj extra set of bottle bosses, rack and fender eyelets, canti bosses, massive tire clearance and overall it's just an awesome versatile frame. You can use it for fixed touring, fixed road riding, fixed cyclocross and of course fixed commuting.

OK, truth be told, I would buy a Bianchi Volpe frame and run it as a fixed---it's exactly the same as the San Jose, but with forward facing horizontal dropouts and a derailer hanger. Maybe you would prefer track ends for aesthetic reasons, but i really appreciate how much easier wheel changes are with horizontal drops, particularly when running fenders. And it makes sense to retain the option to gear up your bike somewhere down the road. The cross check has similar versatility and awesomeness if you're set on surly.

Last edited by mander; 08-05-07 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 08-05-07, 08:56 PM   #5
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i have a steamroller with a flip/flop hub. i love it and do everything on this bike...50 mile road rides, commuting, dirt roads, xc mtb trails, and even the occasional cyclocross race. i liked it compared to the cross check because i wanted simplicty and clean lines. i commute but never run fenders, so i didnt care about the lace of mounts.
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Old 08-05-07, 09:07 PM   #6
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The Steamroller is definitely one of the best deals going, but if you're looking at riding 365 in all conditions, you should consider the Cross-Check, or if you're set on fixed gear/single speed, the IRO Rob Roy. Both bikes have canti-mounts, which will be very handy in snow, and have eyelets for mounting fenders and racks.
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Old 08-05-07, 10:19 PM   #7
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appreciate the advice.

yea i was looking at the san jose also...still an option.
i've pretty much ruled out any Iro's b/c there aren't any dealers remotely close to me and I want to be able to test ride it first.

keep it coming.
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Old 08-05-07, 10:47 PM   #8
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I commute on a steamroller 3-4 days a week at 26 miles round trip and it's great. Although, I don't have any real need for fenders since I live in Southern California. It's smooth and comfortable. I found that it climbs amazingly well compared to my old fixed conversion road bike. Like a previous poster, I do prefer front facing horizontal dropouts, but it really isn't that big of a deal. I like the extra tire clearance and plan to take it off road some time. I already have the tires for it, just haven't tried them yet.

I have a friend that rides a Redline 925 and loves it. That bike comes standard with fenders and is a great price for a fully built bike.
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Old 08-05-07, 10:53 PM   #9
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Steamroller

Hi,
I just got the Steamroller last week. I did look at the San Jose but decided against it because I wanted a faster ride. Only upgrade I have done so far is changing the gearing from 48x17 to 42x17. The frame looks
pretty much bullet proof, thus a little on the heavy side. That will be my only complaint. I was going to buy
the frameset and build it up myself but when I added all the parts it came out way more than buying a
a complete bike so I just bought the complete bike.
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Old 08-05-07, 11:38 PM   #10
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here is mine:

39x17
chris king hs
rear surly hub, mavic cxp22's
selle flight saddle
ritchey stem, post, bars
shimano r400 levers
shimano r600 sq. taper cranks
Attached Images
File Type: jpg mybike.jpg (37.3 KB, 353 views)
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Old 08-06-07, 10:06 AM   #11
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nice xccx.

most likely i'll be picking up my steamroller from LBS today.

i cant wait.
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Old 08-06-07, 12:33 PM   #12
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That's a nice looking bike XccX.

I'd have put a stem with more rise on, like a Salsa SUL 135 and a set of On-One Midge bars. But I've really grown to like my Midge bars and they work best up high.

What size are those tires?
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Old 08-06-07, 01:35 PM   #13
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That's a nice looking bike XccX.

I'd have put a stem with more rise on, like a Salsa SUL 135 and a set of On-One Midge bars. But I've really grown to like my Midge bars and they work best up high.

What size are those tires?
thanks. i agree about the midge bars but i had a certain budget for this bike and i was able to get a bunch of parts on discounts. the tires are 30's, but i have run 32 michelin muds (which are probably wider than 32) with no problems. currently i'm running skinny road slicks and taking it out on the road for 30-50 milers. i love this bike!
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Old 08-06-07, 08:23 PM   #14
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There are 2 Steamrollers on Philadelphia's Craigslist. http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/390037417.html
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Old 08-06-07, 10:30 PM   #15
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I roll a Steamroller. I built up my own build so I have way overbuilt wheels and generally stuff yo ucould kill a bear with. Just keep it steeped up with Frame Saver and wipe it down in winter when you get in and it'll be fine.
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Old 08-07-07, 02:28 PM   #16
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race. blades.
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Old 08-07-07, 02:38 PM   #17
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My brown Steamroller is really cool. How about your's?
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Old 08-07-07, 03:37 PM   #18
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i'd rock the living ******** out of a steamroller if money were coming out of my *******
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Old 08-07-07, 04:05 PM   #19
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Hey there,

After a ton of test riding and researching, I was between the IRO and Steamroller complete...similar price and quality ranges.

Both have a really solid parts set on the complete bike, compared to Pista, Fuji track, Rush Hour (which is a step up, but I don't know who can tolerate the width of that TopTube), etc.

The Surly has a slightly longer than normal top-tube for the frame size, also it has a slightly more relaxed fork rake....if you're coming from a regular road bike, this bike will feel a little more "home-y" at first than a bike with more track-ish geometry.

The drive train felt rock solid to me as well. Personally, I'd much rather have a upper-mid quality bike to begin with, and enjoy my purchase. Rather than a lower quality Fuji, etc where I would always be thinking about how soon I will want to upgrade the cranks. If your bike shop is throwing in pedals, I say bite the bullet!
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Old 08-07-07, 05:29 PM   #20
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Steamroller thoughts

If you actually plan on commuting aboard a Steamroller, think twice. The frame has no provision to mount fenders or a rack -- so prepare yourself for getting extra dirty and for carrying a courier's bag. What's more, if you use a reasonable tire (700c x 28 for example), there is unlikely to be room to mount a clip-on front fender. To me, these issues remain disappointing after having owned a Steamroller for several years. Unfortunately, the shop that built up the frame for me never mentioned this aspect beforehand and simply handed me the fenders from the old bike.

A surprising number of manufacturers now offer complete fixed gear models. For commuting, it might pay to start your search with the Redline 9-2-5, which has a steel frame and fenders. Specialized has a number of fixed-gear models that can accept fenders, but the frame is aluminum and will ride more harshly.

Finally, remember that commuting aboard a fixed gear bike makes the possibility of a flat tire even more odious than just using the bike for training or fun riding. You'll need a pair of box wrenches as a minimum for the rear wheel and something to center the wheel when reinstalling. The chain might need to be broken as well. You want the most "flat-proof" tires you can find. (I settled on Continental Contacts with good results so far.)
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Old 08-07-07, 05:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Hi,
I just got the Steamroller last week. I did look at the San Jose but decided against it because I wanted a faster ride.
Why is a Steamroller faster than a San Jose?
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Old 08-07-07, 05:39 PM   #22
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Finally, remember that commuting aboard a fixed gear bike makes the possibility of a flat tire even more odious than just using the bike for training or fun riding. You'll need a pair of box wrenches as a minimum for the rear wheel and something to center the wheel when reinstalling. The chain might need to be broken as well. You want the most "flat-proof" tires you can find. (I settled on Continental Contacts with good results so far.)
Yikes! I never knew it was so hard. I must be changing flats wrong, because it just takes me one wrench to get my wheel off.
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Old 08-07-07, 06:06 PM   #23
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Finally, remember that commuting aboard a fixed gear bike makes the possibility of a flat tire even more odious than just using the bike for training or fun riding. You'll need a pair of box wrenches as a minimum for the rear wheel and something to center the wheel when reinstalling. The chain might need to be broken as well. You want the most "flat-proof" tires you can find. (I settled on Continental Contacts with good results so far.)
You're making this sound far more complicated than it actually is. You only need one wrench and you center the wheel by eyeballing.
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Old 08-07-07, 06:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgray View Post
If you actually plan on commuting aboard a Steamroller, think twice. The frame has no provision to mount fenders or a rack -- so prepare yourself for getting extra dirty and for carrying a courier's bag. What's more, if you use a reasonable tire (700c x 28 for example), there is unlikely to be room to mount a clip-on front fender. To me, these issues remain disappointing after having owned a Steamroller for several years. Unfortunately, the shop that built up the frame for me never mentioned this aspect beforehand and simply handed me the fenders from the old bike.
You're doing this wrong too.

p-clips for fenders. and there's plenty of room under the fork crown for 28's and a full fender.
If you really want a rack, then there are still options.
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Old 08-07-07, 06:33 PM   #25
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Why is a Steamroller faster than a San Jose?
The San Jose came with wider and nobby tires.
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