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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 07-24-08, 07:10 PM   #1
mkr_d
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Let's talk about geometry.

I'm pretty new to the track bike / fixie thing although I've been looking into building a frame for over a year now. It looks like a feasible option at this point and I think it's a good starting point as far as learning to weld. The owner of the shop I work at used to build custom steel bikes (insanely nice stuff) back in the day and he'd be showing me the basics.

I want a commuter fixie that can take a beating. Not looking to do barspins and freestyle stuff (although I've got a BMX background), just something that will feel relatively solid and confidence inspiring.

Are there any bikes out there that have a sort of "baseline" geo that would be good to copy? I know for downhill mountain bikes, the Iron Horse Sunday is the bike that everything else is sort of measured against and I'm wondering if there's an equivalent in the track / fixie domain.

The Brooklyn Gangster looks like EXACTLY the kind of bike I want. Durable, geometry somewhat in the middle of the road as far as race vs. freestyle, and almost as importantly, aesthetically pleasing. I would maybe like a little less of an over-built characteristic (probably some cheap-ish moderately butted steel, brazed, no pierced ST, basic track dropouts).

Opinions? Suggestions? Resources I should look into? I'm totally new to the whole thing so any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-24-08, 10:42 PM   #2
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Masi Speciale Fixed (in my opinion -- it is what I ride). Soma and Independent Fabrication also have some really nice stuff you could duplicate.
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Old 07-25-08, 09:57 AM   #3
chase.
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for a commuter, you're going to want clearance for 38s or 32s with fenders, rack and fender braze-ons, probably a 73-74 HTA, and a 4-5cm BB drop so people can run the cranks they need to for their size. size it "long" instead of "tall" for more fit variety.

for what it's worth, the BMW gangster isn't that middle-of-the road; they designed it as a durable frame that would barspin a 700c. i'd call it closer to the trick riding end of the spectrum.
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Old 07-26-08, 01:00 PM   #4
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When I say "commuter" I just mean something that will get me to work a mile away and be fun to mess around on. Living in SoCal desert means no fenders then. No rack either since I don't ever ride loaded up.

Chase, is a 73-74 HT and 4-5cm BB drop pretty "standard" geo? I think I want something that will be just a bit more relaxed and street-oriented than a normal track racing bike, but still retain a quick feel.

I looked into the Brooklyn more and it's definitely not what I'd want. Too overbuilt and silly sizing.
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Old 07-26-08, 01:12 PM   #5
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you could just easily look at the geometries of bikes from their respective websites, you don't need to ask us
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Old 07-26-08, 01:14 PM   #6
mkr_d
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Since I'm so new to everything I had no idea if some bikes are really weird geometry-wise. Wouldn't want to copy a turd.
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Old 07-26-08, 01:33 PM   #7
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not looking to do barspins and stuff eh? but u like a bmw ganster... mmmhmmmm
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Old 07-26-08, 01:38 PM   #8
mkr_d
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Yeah, like I said I was pretty wrong about the function of that bike. Something like a Soma or an IRO would be much more appropriate for me to emulate I think.
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Old 07-26-08, 07:14 PM   #9
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73 parallel is the classic road geometry, while tracks can go up to 75 HTA. 80s crit bikes often had a 73.5 to 74 degree head angle for agile handling. 5cm bb drop isn't out of the ordinary for a track frame; certain production frames are in that range. the advantage of welding or fillet brazing is you're not constrained by the geometry of a lugset.
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Old 07-26-08, 07:40 PM   #10
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I really like the Motobecane Jury fwiw, it's going to be a copy of a surly steamroller (tarckish road geometry with generous tire clearance) but with brazeons.
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Old 07-26-08, 07:47 PM   #11
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look at some road bikes. felt, or cannondale don't have compact frames.
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Old 07-26-08, 07:55 PM   #12
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Cool, thanks for the help. I will be brazing so I'm unrestrained as far as geo goes.
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