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  1. #1
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    My "Dawes" from BikesDirect.com - upgraded

    I've asked a lot of questions and promised to post pics and a short review.

    Thanks for all the advice.

    Rims- Velocity Deep V's w/ Velocity hubs and DT Swiss double bladed spokes are the bomb. The blade is twice as wide as my old bladed spokes, and are razor sharp on the edge. Dangerous. Only drawback is crosswind stability/drag, but I haven't had time to test it because...

    SRAM TruVativ Omniums - the non-drive side spline was loose from day 1. I rode for a few days before going back to the shop, and then called SRAM. It wasn't an installation issue. They're sending my bike shop a new left arm. I'll admit that I wish I got Sugino 75's. I even saw Dura-Ace track cranks with Sugino bb for less than what I paid, so in the long run it's worth it to wait. I'm still limping the bike around but it's annoying with that jacked up crank arm... it's all loose and does not inspire confidence, and if the replacement is like this, will I get my money back? The non-drive side crank puller bolt is RAZOR sharp and when you ride, your ankle bone WILL lose its first layer of skin. I've repeatedly hit my ankle and it sucks.

    Dimension double toe straps suck. Don't get them. Soma Double strap toe clips are cool, and MKS flat pedals (don't know the name) are good... the sylvans would sort of hurt my feet when wearing all-stars, because all of your weight is pressing on the thin cages... the pedals I have are flat and with the toe clips are still very secure. The weigh a tad less, too.

    Nitto Riser bars are great, extremely light, and no complaints thus far. I have bullhorns (came with the dawes) and a set of Nitto Randoneur drop bars that I got for $9 plus shipping on ebay (stamped!) that I might try when I get some grip tape... The brake has nicked my top tube a few times so until I change the bars I've got an inside-out top tube protector on there. I know it doesn't match but I don't care.

    The bike weighs about 20.5lbs, and that's with carbon forks, lighter crank/bb, etc, and slightly lighter wheels/tire combos... but with a heavier seat. I'm guessing the 58cm Dawes is about 22.5lbs out of the box. Sorta heavy. It'll do.

    The Forte Axis Carbon fork was $80, has a 40 degree rake which is more aggressive than most of the track bikes out there, and weighs less than a pound. It's the best bang for the buck upgrade I've tried.

    I took the stem from my Fuji Track.
    The DAWES stem, seat post and clamp are absolute crap. Heavy, cheap, soft metal. The headset comes in second place in the crap awards, but a good headset is not that expensive. And for that matter, if I HAD to replace parts on a good bike, those are the parts I'd choose. I knew I'd be replacing them, along with the pedals, cranks, wheels, bars, seat, and so on. All that's left from the original bike is the frame and front brake.
    But I sold the Alex R500 wheelset w/ tires, tubes, freewheel (wobbley out of the box- bikesdirect needs to true wheels!!) for $100, FSA cranks and bottom bracket for $80, fork for $40, and so on, so the 58cm frame and front brake cost me about $110 shipped... and a lot of time. The cool thing about Bikesdirect bikes is that you can find a good frame/fork and basically sell the rest, with the fixed gear boom going on right now, and upgrade from there.

    For $329, the SST is a great buy, but I would go with the Windsor or Mercier if I did it again... My friend got the Windsor and it's a better Fixed Gear platform to work from, i/m/o, as it IS a Fuji Track, re-badged. It's the deal of the year as far as I'm concerned.





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  2. #2
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    I'm running a 48tooth chainring and 15 tooth dura ace cog, btw. The roads in Silverlake/Hollywood area aren't that steep, and I am usually slowed down by wind before my spin is maxed out... and it's sort of tough to skid stop with such a fast setup, but I like it for now.

    And the chainline is perfect with the Velocity/Dura-Ace/Omnium setup, to answer another question. 42.5.

  3. #3
    jpdesjar
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    looks like a fun bike...the brake lever placement is interesting, how does that work out for you?

  4. #4
    Don't Hate. Ride Among Us's Avatar
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    nice looking bike. i like that wheelset. i've seen those on ebay and wondered how they look. if it were my bike i would chop at least 1 inch off each end of those risers and... lose the tube pad and rim decals.

  5. #5
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    -rim decals will be off soon, but they aren't removeable with fingernails- it's serious business removing those decals. And that set I have has bladed DT Swiss and velocity hubs, much better than the ebay velocity sets. Not that the ebay's are bad- much better than Weinmann's.
    -bars are going to be drop bars when I get grip tape and lever in the mail tomorrow, but I like the placement of the bars. And I still think your bars should be at least almost as wide as your shoulders, so they're perfect.
    -brake handle couldn't be better- I run the cable through the grip and get lots of compliments. I can put my hands in the "rise" just outside of the stem to crouch down when riding fast, which I couldn't do with a normal brake... plus a standard brake lever will be angled toward the grip wherever I put it, and I don't want that.

    -goo gone and a credit card will have all decals that cane come off, off, very soon.

  6. #6
    No plan. peabodypride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilive41 View Post

    The Forte Axis Carbon fork was $80, has a 40 degree rake which is more aggressive than most of the track bikes out there, and weighs less than a pound. It's the best bang for the buck upgrade I've tried.
    It is actually a re-branded Kinesis fork. It is very high quality and the logos are not overwhelming. The rake is similar to that of most nicer aluminum framesets (concept, argon et al) and is exactly the same rake as a track pro stock fork.

  7. #7
    Ths Hipstr Kills Masheenz cc700's Avatar
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    the parts are all nice but together they just don't do anything for me.

    put that wheelset on a higher end frame with track drops and i'd probably like it, i dunno.

  8. #8
    Senior Member fluidworks's Avatar
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    Color is a bit all over the place for me. Black frame, silver components, gold hubs, honey saddle, and blue and red tt pad. Just losing the pad would help tie it together in my opinion.

  9. #9
    Don't Hate. Ride Among Us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilive41 View Post
    And that set I have has bladed DT Swiss and velocity hubs, much better than the ebay velocity sets. Not that the ebay's are bad- much better than Weinmann's.
    Huh? those wheels you have have been sold on ebay for a year. They're called "limited edition" Deep Vs by Bell's. The same black bladed spokes and gold nipples, etc. They show up every week or so. The hubs are velocity badged Formula hubs. To remove rim decals easy, use a hairdryer. They'll be off in 5 mins.

  10. #10
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    a lot of colors on there but i like it. im curious how the front wheel is doing w/ the brake on there... how's braking? and any damage to the wheel?

  11. #11
    Senior Member JayNev's Avatar
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    weird brake, and lose to Top tube protector if you want it to look nicer, and/or more cohesive. or just put black tape over the logos too. also, stickers off the rims. just simplfy it, if you are worried about appearance.

    but you already know about most of that, so nevermind!
    i'll coast when i'm dead

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