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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 08-16-08, 04:18 PM   #1
cooleric1234
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Relative Speed of Redline 925

I know this question is fraught with variables, but let me explain myself. I have two bikes, a heavy hybrid with fat tires that I modified to be a commuter (trekking bars, rack, panniers, etc.) and an (slightly above entry level) road bike. I have found myself using the road bike commuting to work a lot more recently because it is so much faster and more fun than my heavy, slow hybrid. Some of that is weight, some of it is the position, wheels, etc. of the hybrid.

I'm seriously considering getting a Redline 925 as my commuter. But I notice this years model has a more "relaxed" geometry and bullhorn bars. I know this is subjective, but I'm just wondering if it will feel more fast and zippy like my road bike or more like an upright clunker like my hybrid. I'll test ride one first, but I'd just like people's opinions who've ridden this year's model. I tried comparing the geometry charts, and it's hard to really say. I realize a big variable here is the single speed versus geared comparison, try to separate that issue if at all possible.

I know the bullhorn bars don't offer a "drop" position, but can you grab the ends and rest your forearms on the flat section and get lower? Thanks.
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Old 08-16-08, 04:49 PM   #2
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what?

road bike is WAY faster if you're even trying. the 925 will feel more like a road bike than a hybrid but it won't be as fast without gearing changes.
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Old 08-16-08, 05:17 PM   #3
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I'm sure there are faster (quicker feeling) bikes in that price range, if that's your main criteria.
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Old 08-16-08, 05:56 PM   #4
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I'm sure there are faster (quicker feeling) bikes in that price range, if that's your main criteria.
In retrospect I could have explained more, I just didn't want to get wordy. The reasons I don't keep commuting on my road bike are many. I'm getting flats with the skinny tires (I'm about 6'5" and 190 lbs) so I want to have 700x28 tires. I also don't want to put too much wear and tear on my road bike. Mostly I love the idea of the simplicity of the single speed/fixed gear in terms of maintenance. I'm tired of all the time I spend adjusting/maintaining my bikes. My commute can be tough on bikes. So I want a middle ground, I want to go as fast as I can and be as aggressive as I can while not having to worry much about durability, maintenance, and flats. Meaning I don't want a typical track bike/fixed gear with skinny tires and no brakes. The 925 seems like a good compromise, but I'm not sure.

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road bike is WAY faster if you're even trying. the 925 will feel more like a road bike than a hybrid but it won't be as fast without gearing changes.
I know the gearing of a road bike versus SS/FG makes a huge difference. I guess the essence of the question is this: is the 925 more like a road bike made into a SS/FG or a hybrid bike made to be a SS/FG?
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Old 08-16-08, 08:32 PM   #5
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Looks pretty road-ly.
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Old 08-16-08, 09:05 PM   #6
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Cooleric1234:

I bought a Redline 925 for primarily the same reason as you: for commuting. Mine is only 10kms one way with a bridge in between.

The 925 is my first FG bike. I was apprehensive about riding it FG since the terrain here is not too flat. But I followed Sheldon Brown's strong recommendation of trying it fixed gear before deciding to go SS. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the elevations changes are manageable (stock 42x15). Mind you, I picked up the bike last night and have only gone for one 55km ride with rolling hills. Right now, I don't want to switch to SS, fixed gear is so much fun! You gotta try it to believe it.

To answer some of your questions, I find the Redline to be the most comfortable among my three bikes. The geometry seems to be more relaxed than my Giant OCR3. Plus being steel, the ride is SO much more comfortable on the Redline than the Giant.

The bike rides fast, especially over slight to moderate inclines. The pedal strokes are fluid, even and consistent. I find that standing up to ride up is MUCH easier on the FG than on the road bike. On the road bike, I somehow end up with too easy a gear for pedaling standing up. I find riding downhill fast more challenging - I spun out today coming down a highway off-ramp. Thank god for front and back brakes!

Bullhorn bars: I find them to be comfortable enough. I prefer to do long distance rides, but for less than ~100km rides, I would think that they would be comfortable enough. Since you come from a hybrid bike, the bullhorns might be an improvement. My reach is shorter than average, but I don't have any discomfort after today's ride.

After riding FG, the regular road bikes seem mundane. But I will stick to the road bike for now for climbing Mount Seymour

Get the Redline!
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Old 08-16-08, 09:27 PM   #7
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napoleoninrags:

Awesome input! Thanks a bunch.

On a side note I'm having a hard time finding this one. As I said, I'm 6'5" so I'm pretty sure I'll need the biggest frame. Redline doesn't have them in stock anymore, preparing for next year's model. It's kind of a specialty item so not many dealers carry them in stock, especially the biggest one. After a bunch of phone calls I finally got ahold of someone who says they have one. I can't get there until Tuesday though so hopefully it's not gone!

I strongly dislike the 2009 model, plus it will be more expensive I'm sure. They have a floral pattern on a white bike and white handlebar tape and a saddle with white accents. It was originally the ladies model but apparently so many guys liked it (who ARE these guys?) they decided to make it the men's model too. With the price hike of next year's model I doubt I'll get a discount on this one.
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Old 08-16-08, 10:48 PM   #8
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Hope you get that bike! You could always call and put a deposit on the bike with a credit card to prove that you are a serious buyer. The bike shops must be in between the 2008 and 2009 stock.

I had settled on the Raleigh One Way after comparing it to the Bianchi San Jose and the Masi Speciale Commuter; that is until I saw the Redline. It seems like an excellent value for the (Canadian) money.

Yeah, the white 2009 doesn't appeal to me as much as the 2008. Easy to get dirty, especially in the Pacific Northwet.

I appreciate and admire the clean, elegant aesthetic of a pure fixed gear bike as much as the next guy, but in my situation function is before form. So I like having the fenders. I put on a rack as well. With some panniers, I should be good to go.

Happy commuting.
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Old 08-16-08, 11:08 PM   #9
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what?

road bike is WAY faster if you're even trying. the 925 will feel more like a road bike than a hybrid but it won't be as fast without gearing changes.
I can't believe I'm reading this. Changing gears has nothing to do with speed. Watt for watt, a fixed gear bike will always be faster on flat ground and in calm air. All that gears on a bike do is make it easier to match the rider to the conditions he or she is riding in.

If you manage to match those conditions on a fixed gear bike, you will be faster than on a road bike.
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Old 08-16-08, 11:59 PM   #10
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My average speed went way up and my times lowered when I switched to a single speed bike instead of a geared bike. On sections of the ride in which I would have normally down shifted to a easier gear on the geared bike I am now forced to get on with it.
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Old 08-17-08, 12:13 AM   #11
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I can't believe I'm reading this. Changing gears has nothing to do with speed. Watt for watt, a fixed gear bike will always be faster on flat ground and in calm air. All that gears on a bike do is make it easier to match the rider to the conditions he or she is riding in.

If you manage to match those conditions on a fixed gear bike, you will be faster than on a road bike.
umm, considering the 925 has 42/16 i can go considerably faster with higher gearing. sorry but i can't control a 200 rpm spin.
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Old 08-17-08, 02:03 AM   #12
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umm, considering the 925 has 42/16 i can go considerably faster with higher gearing. sorry but i can't control a 200 rpm spin.
But if you took a 925 and put a bigger ring and smaller cog on it, you would be faster on it than you would be on a geared road bike with the same geometry.

I've tested my theory. My best average speeds on my perfectly flat commute with no wind have been on my fixed gear. Also, one summer I did several 10 mile out and back time trials. My personal best was the time I did the course on my fixed gear.
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Old 08-17-08, 07:11 AM   #13
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All that gears on a bike do is make it easier to match the rider to the conditions he or she is riding in.
I think that's what everyone meant by saying the road bike will be way faster. That's the way I understand the problem at least, I just didn't feel it necessary to expound upon something that I thought was a given.

I still haven't rode fixed/ss yet. I was curious about my time maybe not being much slower because of the hills, as someone mentioned above. You've just got to power through the uphills. Of course, you can lose some on the downhill as well.
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Old 08-19-08, 05:22 PM   #14
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Hope you get that bike! You could always call and put a deposit on the bike with a credit card to prove that you are a serious buyer. The bike shops must be in between the 2008 and 2009 stock.
I went today and the bike was gone. I called an hour before closing on Saturday and it was there (supposedly). They are closed Sunday and Monday. It was gone by Tuesday night. Being 6'5" I'm pretty sure I'd need the biggest frame, I didn't even bother with the 54 cm one. It sure looks like a nice bike though, oh well.
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Old 08-20-08, 02:59 AM   #15
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I went today and the bike was gone. I called an hour before closing on Saturday and it was there (supposedly). They are closed Sunday and Monday. It was gone by Tuesday night. Being 6'5" I'm pretty sure I'd need the biggest frame, I didn't even bother with the 54 cm one. It sure looks like a nice bike though, oh well.
Man, that sucks! 54 would be really small for you.

Here is a list of all Redline dealers within 50kms of the the 80210 zip code. Maybe there are some shops that you haven't called yet.

As mentioned before, my second choice was the Raleigh One Way, which you might want to consider if you can't find a 925 in your size. From all accounts, you get a lot of bike for the price. It comes with an aged Brooks saddle and Brooks bar tape and looks absolutely beautiful (in the picture at least). The frame is Reynolds 520 ChroMoly, unlike all the others that use the manufacturer's generic steel. Only thing is, the bottom bracket is higher than the 925, Masi Speciale Commuter or the Bianchi. The top tube on the Masi is probably the highest of the three. Btw, the Bianchi comes only as single speed.

Good luck with the search!
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Old 08-20-08, 07:20 AM   #16
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As mentioned before, my second choice was the Raleigh One Way, which you might want to consider if you can't find a 925 in your size.
Thanks again for the input and for the list of dealers. I had found that online and I started working my way down, but this shop was near the top so maybe I can find something down the list further.

The Raleigh looks nice, but I have two problems with it. The wide 35 tires are what I'm trying to get away from with my hybrid (700x38). It just seems slow and unresponsive, I thought 28 was a good compromise. I know I could change them, it's just some extra cost. Plus I've heard a Brooks saddle requires maintenance (proofhide?) and is not good to be in the rain. I'm kind of speaking about something I don't know much about though, so I'll have to research it some more. That bike is definitely in the running though.
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Old 08-20-08, 07:31 AM   #17
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But if you took a 925 and put a bigger ring and smaller cog on it, you would be faster on it than you would be on a geared road bike with the same geometry.
unless there are hills, or winds, or stops and starts. You know real world conditions. Much like a car engine your body cannot match itself watt for watt at different speeds. Some cadences will allow for higher power and some will be more efficient. Gears allow you control over this.

While I personally think 28s are a great size for commuting getting flats with 23s should not be an issue if you're using decent tires and keeping them properly inflated.
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Old 08-20-08, 07:06 PM   #18
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Too bad you lost the bike, but it may have been better. I had a black 56cm 925 and I'm 5' 10" at my straightest. I found the fit was good, not too big. For you I think it would have been too small. I think they changed some of the frame geometry since the black model, but for whatever reason they still don't make anything above 56.
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Old 08-21-08, 12:03 AM   #19
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i repeatedly visit this thread hoping someone excerpts the theory of relativity... but it keeps not happening.
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Old 08-21-08, 07:24 AM   #20
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As can be seen by the relativistic gamma and beta equations below, relativistic effects only come into play as you approach the speed of light. You'll have to go to the road forum for people who claim they go that fast.

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Old 08-21-08, 08:06 AM   #21
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In retrospect I could have explained more, I just didn't want to get wordy. The reasons I don't keep commuting on my road bike are many. I'm getting flats with the skinny tires (I'm about 6'5" and 190 lbs) so I want to have 700x28 tires. I also don't want to put too much wear and tear on my road bike. Mostly I love the idea of the simplicity of the single speed/fixed gear in terms of maintenance. I'm tired of all the time I spend adjusting/maintaining my bikes. My commute can be tough on bikes. So I want a middle ground, I want to go as fast as I can and be as aggressive as I can while not having to worry much about durability, maintenance, and flats. Meaning I don't want a typical track bike/fixed gear with skinny tires and no brakes. The 925 seems like a good compromise, but I'm not sure.
I am 6'5' and 190lbs also. I ride 25mm conti ulltra gatorskins for long distance rides and my 8 mile commute. I get a few flats but thats bicycling. I think you might be disappointed with 28mm tires.

After reading you comments I would suggest, if you have any kind of bicycle mechanic skills, that you convert an old road bike to a fixed gear. It sounds like you want to buy new but if you have the time and ability, I think you are the perfect candidate for a conversion.
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Old 08-21-08, 04:40 PM   #22
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Too bad you lost the bike, but it may have been better. I had a black 56cm 925 and I'm 5' 10" at my straightest. I found the fit was good, not too big. For you I think it would have been too small. I think they changed some of the frame geometry since the black model, but for whatever reason they still don't make anything above 56.
Interesting. I know they started measuring the frames differently based on the compact geometry. I thought it was just a difference in numbers and the biggest frame (56 cm) would correspond to traditional geometry well over 60 cm, maybe I'm wrong.
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Old 08-21-08, 04:43 PM   #23
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I am 6'5' and 190lbs also. I ride 25mm conti ulltra gatorskins for long distance rides and my 8 mile commute. I get a few flats but thats bicycling. I think you might be disappointed with 28mm tires.

After reading you comments I would suggest, if you have any kind of bicycle mechanic skills, that you convert an old road bike to a fixed gear. It sounds like you want to buy new but if you have the time and ability, I think you are the perfect candidate for a conversion.
Thanks for the input, I may consider that. I put a 700x25 on my rear tire and we'll see what happens. I may just be having bad luck lately. I went years without a flat in Ohio but I've had like 5-6 in the last month here. Some of that was my fault as I didn't change the tube properly.

I know this information is probably all over the place, but for conversion kits all I see are a single cog with spacers. Don't I need something to keep the chain tensioned? These kits are relatively inexpensive, but I thought it was a pricey endeavor. Am I wrong?
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Old 08-21-08, 06:17 PM   #24
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its geared 2.625
or 42/16

use sheldon browns gear calulator
it will give you the relative speed @ rpm
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Old 08-22-08, 05:41 AM   #25
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I know this information is probably all over the place, but for conversion kits all I see are a single cog with spacers. Don't I need something to keep the chain tensioned? These kits are relatively inexpensive, but I thought it was a pricey endeavor. Am I wrong?
Heres an idea...

Can you convert your existing road bike to fixed/ss and upgrade to a better road bike? You already know you like it's ride. Do you have vertical drop outs?
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