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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 07-29-08, 12:41 PM   #1
thegreatcr
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Redline 925 vs. BikesDirect SS/FG

Hello!
I am looking to make my first fix gear purchase. As one uneducated in bicycles (for the most part) I was hoping someone could compare the components on a couple bicycles for me. Specifically, I was wondering if there was a significant difference in quality (components; frame included) between the Redline 925 and the Motebecane Messenger (on BD) or between the Redline and the Dawes SST?

I searched the forums with no luck so here are the links for convenience:

http://www.redlinebicycles.com/adultbikes/925.html
vs.
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/trackbikes.htm

Any help is very much appreciated!
And if anyone wants to get involved in my specific bike choice--beyond the comparison of components--I will be riding around town with some pretty solid hills, potholes, obstacles, etc. (I live in La Jolla if anyone knows where I am talking about). So I want something a little more commuting oriented than actually track oriented... maybe wider tires, more gear inches, etc. Hope that helps! Thanks!
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Old 07-29-08, 01:30 PM   #2
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The Messenger has steeper angles, a higher bottom bracket, and shorter chainstays making it more of a "track bike." The 925 on the other hand has longer chainstays, lower bb and a bit more relaxed angles, more of what you would expect for a road bike. In practical terms this will make the messenger feel twitchier and the 925 smoother and more stable feeling (I realize that this might be meaningless, but try to ride the 925 and a track bike to see what I mean). Longer chainstays will also give you a little more heel clearance if you ever plan to use a rack and panniers. With very short chinastays you just end up kicking them every time the pedals go around. Finally the sloping top tube on the redline will give you a little more ball room on the same sized bike than the moto

The frame and components will be about the same at any price point. I would suggest you worry more about which fits your needs and body than about the build quality. The 925 seems to be a well thought out fixed commuter (though I've never ridden one) and for my money is better looking than the moto. The messenger is really a different kind of bike and one that appeals to me less, but might be what you are looking for.

The SST is somewhere between the two in terms of geometry.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:03 PM   #3
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Much thanks for all the valuable information!
I spent a few weeks riding my buddies Windsor "The Hour" that he got from BD. I enjoyed it a lot, but when I got on the redline yesterday it felt a bit more relaxed and a bit more stable.
Is this more a result of geometry, as you suggested, or can it be due to the wider tires that were on the Redline?

I think that I'm really leaning toward the Dawes at this point given the price. Can I expect it to feel closer to the redline than to the hour?

Thanks again!
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Old 07-29-08, 02:13 PM   #4
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925 is a great bike for 99% of the riding you'll ever do. It also comes with fenders, so you can keep dry when you do it in the rain.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:59 PM   #5
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There's a very basic intro to bike geometry here: http://www.australiancyclist.com.au/...aspx?aeid=4537. The tires will make a difference too, but a couple of degrees in the head and seat tube and 2cm in the chain stays makes a difference you really can feel.

I have no idea how the the sst will handle. It's chain stays are almost as short as the Moto's, but it's head and seat angles are the same as the middle sized 925. You'll have to let us know what that ads up to.
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Old 07-29-08, 09:44 PM   #6
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So regarding the original question about components:
Is it true (as stated on BD website) that the Dawes SST has:
"The precision bearing wheelset is normally only found on bikes starting at $900."

And what about the crankset and the other components? Do they really ad up to a bike that is sold for 695 elsewhere as claimed?

Basically I want to know, assuming that geometry is not an issue (either will work), what is the better deal? The Dawes at 329 or the Redline at 550?
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Old 07-30-08, 08:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegreatcr View Post
And what about the crankset and the other components? Do they really ad up to a bike that is sold for 695 elsewhere as claimed?

Basically I want to know, assuming that geometry is not an issue (either will work), what is the better deal? The Dawes at 329 or the Redline at 550?
The Dawes is basically the same bike as the SE Lager which goes for about $200 more. The components on the Redline don't look any better than those on the Dawes. Unless I really liked the way the Redline rode more, I couldn't justify buying it over the Dawes.
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Old 07-30-08, 08:57 PM   #8
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I have a Kilo TT and an SST and I prefer riding my SST. I don't understand why people want a track geometry for street riding, it's a lot less comfortable and most track frames have overlap in the <54cm sizes.

I rode fine with overlap for the first month I had my Kilo TT, but after having almost ate it badly because of the overlap, I never want to have to deal with it again. I love my SST.
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Old 07-30-08, 09:26 PM   #9
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pardon my ignorance, but what do you mean by overlap?
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Old 07-30-08, 09:55 PM   #10
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toe overlap, where your toe clip overlaps your front wheel so that when you turn your wheel the tire hits your toe clip. It's not an issue unless you're going really slow (because you can't turn your wheel very sharply when you're at speed). The first few times it happens you'll barely be bothered by it, unless you almost smack your head into a truck like i almost did.
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Old 07-30-08, 11:31 PM   #11
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thank you! Stoked to order the Dawes once I confirm my the acquisition of my new job (and, as a result, my increased cash flow).
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