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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 03-07-08, 11:12 AM   #1
olderbikerzzz
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Am I too big for one of these?

I'm looking at getting started commuting to work, and I went to use the bike I have collecting dust, a 05 specialized rockhopper 19".


Anyway, transit is 7 miles and I have a hard time doing half that on this bike, upon further research I think I landed on the problem, is that the bike is the wrong size for me. The front fork has the squishiest shocks ever, which I read is absorbing some of my effort. The front handlebars are the wrong height, which is why my arms, wrists, and neck get sore (I've been soaking up sheldon browns website. RIP, i just found him and he is gone) while at mr browns site I started reading about fixed gear bikes, and I am really interested in it, but, years of riding the car and not being active might preclude me from these bikes, they look so delicate hehe. I'm 6"3, maybe 6'4" and 240 lbs. I'm going to be riding to work for health reasons as well as to stop the gasoline addiction. I'd also be using it for daily errands. I work 13 hour shifts at a hospital so the bike will be unattended for long periods of time, but I think I will be able to park it in front of security, or maybe in front of a camera or 2, so that should offset some of the danger, but I dont want to spend no 500-600, 1 the money isnt there, 2 i want to get my feet wet, perhaps if i like it upgrade later (much later)

So of course I found the bikesdirect offerings, and I see all the bashing, but I also see all the LBS praising, so I kind of gotta take it with a grain of salt. I wasnt terribly impressed with my LBS, when I bought my rockhopper at the LBS they filled the tire so overfull that it exploded from the slight vibrations in my car on the way home, about stunned me and f'd my hearing up for a few days. When I returned to the shop they didnt seem that shocked, they put a new tire on it and said it was ready to go.. the tire frame was warped from the explosion though which he pretended he didnt notice... anyway, long story short, I'm sure there are bad internet companies, just like there are bad LBS's. Like mine! So, LBS supporters, lay off. I have no intention of going back there.

I found 3 bikes, all very similar, but slightly different. The motobecane messenger seems to be the most complete out of the box, the kilo TT seems to have a large following, and the Hour looks interesting too. So then I do more research and people say to spend a few more dollars and get an IRO. Now my researching takes me off there, but for the life of me I cant find the IRO that is a few dollars more, they seem to be close to twice as much when factoring in shipping. The bikesdirect all run about 350 shipped, the IROs about 700 shipped. Is the group deal price that IRO has on the main page bringing the bike down to 500 or so? I'd maybe spring for a max of 500.

So what would you do if you were me? The moto, the windsor, the mercier or the IRO (if it can be had for 500 shipped) if you were 6'3 240 lbs looking for a bike to tool around town with and get to work 7 miles away? (i'd be taking the sidewalks at first, i live in an area with a very large retirement community and they're really not all there - but hopefully as I gain confidence and fitness I might be taking the bike road)

So basically, I'm looking, I'm searching, I'm reading this forum and searching google in general, but I had a few questions regarding me specifically, thank you and please forgive the new thread.
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Old 03-07-08, 11:25 AM   #2
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If I were in your position, I'd either find a better LBS and see what they have or buy a Kilo TT.

Just make sure that whatever you buy fits you, or you'll be unhappy in the long run.
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Old 03-07-08, 11:28 AM   #3
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The IRO will be close to 700 shipped, I think people forget that their idea of an "inexpensive" bike is considerably different than that of someone wanting to try out a fixed gear or single speed ride for the first time. That said, the Kilo TT is going to be your best bet in that price range. Its a solid frame, with track ish geometry, and the price cant be beat. I would suggest it over the other Bikes direct fixed gears in that price range because it has a much nicer fork. Your other option is to convert a bike, Sheldon's website has loads on that topic and there are any number of threads here about it, basically, you can find an older road frame that fits you with horizontal dropouts and buy a wheelset though I would suggest if you want to get on the road asap a Kilo TT is your bag. Bummer you have a less than competent LBS, but welcome to BF.
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Old 03-07-08, 11:47 AM   #4
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I know everybody here always jumps to praise the kilo for it's great value,but since the OP is looking for a commuter i think a conversion is a much better choice.They can often be bought at a reasonable price on craigs list and give a comfortable ride,can be fitted with panniers most have flip flop so the OP can start out SS.It sounds like the OP hasn't ridden in a while and wants to get back into it and i don't think a 7 mile commute is a great way to learn and appreciate fixedgear riding.
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Old 03-07-08, 12:25 PM   #5
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thanks for the responses guys.

ok i'm between the messenger and the kilo. messenger because it comes with brakes, and kilo because everyone says its such a good deal (my lemming herd instincts are kicking in here lol)

now is the kilo that much better? it will never see a track, it is just gonna move me to work and back.

also, what do you reckon the weight limit would be on either one? if I went grocery shopping, or to the library i'd prefer to take the bike, and fill up a backpack at least. with groceries/books and my body i might hit 260, would this bike handle that no problem? or am i obsessing about the weight issue too much and should just chill out and ride it?

The sizes avail closest fit for me are messenger 61 cm and kilo is 60cm.
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Old 03-07-08, 12:38 PM   #6
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thanks for the responses guys.

ok i'm between the messenger and the kilo. messenger because it comes with brakes, and kilo because everyone says its such a good deal (my lemming herd instincts are kicking in here lol)

now is the kilo that much better? it will never see a track, it is just gonna move me to work and back.

also, what do you reckon the weight limit would be on either one? if I went grocery shopping, or to the library i'd prefer to take the bike, and fill up a backpack at least. with groceries/books and my body i might hit 260, would this bike handle that no problem? or am i obsessing about the weight issue too much and should just chill out and ride it?

The sizes avail closest fit for me are messenger 61 cm and kilo is 60cm.
You shouldnt have problems with either of them riding to the store, library and home. The Kilo TT i suggested often because it has a MUCH nicer for, it's a lugged crown fork, which is preferable, and the brake difference is all of about 15 dollars at most if you put a brake on, the parts can be found cheap or free off of other bikes. Thats the mindset at least, the Kilo is a solid bike, and thus the Bikesdirect forum favorite. I wouldnt obsess about the weight issue too much, bikes are pretty solid things.
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Old 03-07-08, 12:49 PM   #7
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I have a question about the Kilo TT. The top tube seems to be very long, is this ever a problem, or am I making this up in my head?
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Old 03-07-08, 05:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by olderbikerzzz View Post

also, what do you reckon the weight limit would be on either one? if I went grocery shopping, or to the library i'd prefer to take the bike, and fill up a backpack at least. with groceries/books and my body i might hit 260, would this bike handle that no problem? or am i obsessing about the weight issue too much and should just chill out and ride it?
Your weight shouldn't be a problem...I'm 6'5" and around 300lbs. And I've been riding a cheap ass frame for about a month now with no problems.
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Old 03-07-08, 07:38 PM   #9
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please ride on the road as soon as you feel the least bit comfortable doing so

you might find this page helpful regarding safe road use

fun and safety will increase on the road

Last edited by doofo; 03-07-08 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 03-07-08, 07:55 PM   #10
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Your weight shouldn't be a problem...I'm 6'5" and around 300lbs. And I've been riding a cheap ass frame for about a month now with no problems.
With what wheels? It's not usually the frame that's the problem with clydes.
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Old 03-07-08, 08:07 PM   #11
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get the kilo and replace the wheels and stem with something tougher. thats what i did. i've lost weight since riding but i was about 270 when i started and am down to almost 240 and with deep v's and a nitto stem my kilo feels very strong underneath me.
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Old 03-08-08, 08:26 AM   #12
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With what wheels? It's not usually the frame that's the problem with clydes.
Stock wheels off my friends IRO until I get my V's laced up.
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Old 04-08-08, 09:30 AM   #13
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UPDATE!

It's been a busy few weeks since the initial post, here is what i did;

I got a nishiki frame off ebay, its 62 cm and oh so perfect. its just the right height too, a nice sized bike. the horizontal bar just barely tickles my boys when i straddle it. i think i'm in love.

the wheels had to go, i got a pair of wheels described by ya'll as too heavy, and by the dealer as durable beaters for commuting everyday on. hah, good, they can hold my ****** up!

of course problem after problem has been besetting me. this is the first time i ever built a bike up. i did everything manually myself except build the wheels, i just really wanted to ride fast so i got them in the end premade.

of course they have this funky plug for the pump, prestas or somesuch. i like the universal schraders since my car pump works on them, now i need to get a special pump (i hate specialized stuff) but then i can finally ride!

i have Queen's song riding around thru my head like crazy, i just wanna ride my bicycle!

i'll post pics of this sweet ghetto ride once everything is done, thank you for the previous help and please check for obvious errors in the done machine, i never built a bike much less a fixed gear bike, but i did absorb Sheldon Brown's website, so I am confident it is going to be great.
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Old 04-08-08, 09:38 AM   #14
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schrader adapters = $.2

There's probably a big jar of them on the counter at the LBS.
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Old 04-08-08, 11:08 AM   #15
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+1 on schrader adapters.
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Old 04-08-08, 11:13 AM   #16
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Nothing wrong with stout wheels!

Depending on how skinny your tires are, a car pump may not develop enough pressure for them. 28's have to go to 80-100 psi, far beyond even Hunter S Thompson's experimental tires. 25's and 23's go up well past 100.
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Old 04-08-08, 11:33 AM   #17
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Nothing wrong with stout wheels!

Depending on how skinny your tires are, a car pump may not develop enough pressure for them. 28's have to go to 80-100 psi, far beyond even Hunter S Thompson's experimental tires. 25's and 23's go up well past 100.
A car pump should handle 100+ psi in an itty bitty bicycle tire unless it's a really crappy one.
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Old 04-08-08, 11:37 AM   #18
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My bad, thanks for straightening that out Kemmer
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Old 04-08-08, 11:39 AM   #19
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I thought this was going to be another 'Big Wheel' Thread
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