Hey i was wondering if anyone has some advice for me on choosing a bike to get. I have been biking for a few years but doing mainly touring. I want to get a fixed gear bike and was wondering what route to take. I just ordered a fixed gear bike for my wife off bikes direct ( the motobecane messenger ) and it actually feels pretty good. i had a few of my fixie friends look at it and ride it and they say its not bad. I was considering getting the Mercier kilo TT. http://bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/kilott.htm I wanted to know what people think. (anyone out there actually have one?) i really don't want to spend that much but want a good durable bike with good components. Does anyone have any advice on different bikes for 550 or less. Or advice on building one up for the same? How do people feel about the Bianchi Pista because there is a shop here in town i can get a complete for 550 is that worth it or can i find it cheaper? let me know
MadDog if you enjoy wrenching you could always get a BikeIsland frame (from what everyone's said it's the Kilo TT frame) and get parts... but I don't know how much you'd end up saving, if anything, over the bikesdirect complete-bike; the upside being you could do better components.
On the otherhand you could just get the complete bike, decide whether you're committed to fixed-riding, and upgrade as parts wear out.
I just spec'ed out a build that I'm going to start once my G.W.Bush check comes in, using one of the Bike Island frames. My total is shaping up to be around 540, and that's lower than yours would be (I have lots of parts in my parts bin, and can get some stuff pretty cheap).
As much as I hate to say it (because I advocate using existing materials instead of buying new, which causes more items to be manufactured, which has all sorts of implications... this will be my first "new" bike ever, and I'm still torn), your best bet (economically speaking) is probably to get that Pista. Plus, you'll have the instant gratification of getting a rideable bike as soon as you pay for it. Learn about it as you go; replace/upgrade parts as they wear out.