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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 11-18-08, 01:07 AM   #1
Scalawag
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What I plan on getting...

Alright well I've been lurking this board for a longass time and have determined a few things:

1) Bianchi Pista, Kilo TT, "What's a good gear ratio?", hipster/hypebeast/trend*****s, people unable to make aesthetic choices themselves, aerospokes etc.

2) Y'all are smartasses. (omg new thread)

3) Once in awhile you've got some good advice.

I've ridden fixies a bunch before, but never owned one. I've been road biking for years though, but I always tend to ride mine like a fixed... constant peddling, as little stopping as possible, seldom change gears... So I'ma throwdown on something.

I'm thinking an IRO (again, not a big surprise for a first bike right?), but mainly because I appreciate their business practices and quality, plus I like the fact I'm getting something custom right out the gate. That rules.

I'm about 5'7", and am stuck between the 50 and 53, being that the sandover height difference of about half an inch really won't make that big of a deal. Should I go for a higher seat with a smaller frame or what?

Other than that I'm set on getting a 46/18, I live in a pretty hilly area (Northern NJ) and wanna use this to commute. The rest of the details are rather superfluous. I'm gonna twine some bits of the frame, get a Brooks leather saddle and tape... Going for a black woodsy sorta old fashioned kinda thing. I dunno, it's not a huge priority, I just wanna goddamn ride.

Any advice? Cheeky comments welcome. I realize the IRO "phase" may be over, being that a lot of the interest in these was from a few years ago, but I don't wanna be another bikesdirect n00b, and I'm not really trying to shell out more than I need to for the quality I'm looking for. But any alternatives are appreicated... You already can figure out my pricerange.

Thanks dudes.

Last edited by Scalawag; 11-18-08 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 11-18-08, 02:41 AM   #2
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Read Rivendell's thoughts on standover height - no, they aren't talking about hipster fixies but their thoughts on standover height are still valid. The Europa (fixed) in my avatar has been with me since the mid 80's and the top bar fits with Rivendell's thoughts and she has NEVER bitten me in all those years. My sports bike is similarly tall and has never given me a problem.

If you buy a frame that's too small, you'll have trouble with reach and trouble with bar height - no, fancy, expensive necks don't always solve the problem.

Standover height is grossly over emphasised - it's not that critical. The height of the head stem and the length of the top tube are far more important as these position the handlebars. Modern fashions dictate frames that are too small, which is fine if you are very fit and very strong, unlike most people.

In reading this, you need to consider how you'll be setting it up - being an old phart, I ride with the bars at saddle height but if you want the head down, bum up look, a smaller frame may be a better choice because the lower the bars, the shorter the horizontal reach ie, you need a shorter top tube.

But it's not precise. Just be clear about what you want, set the bike up that way in the shop, sit on it and remember that it'll feel a bloody sight worse on the road. Better still, go for a test ride - around here, test rides don't go beyond the car park and I read with envy some stories about people taking bikes for a day or two. Test riding is the best.

Gearing - look at the speed you normally travel at and set the gearing to suit that with a cadence of about 90. For me, I ride at around 30km/hr so for me, 70 gear inches works well. I can spin out down hills but am going fast enough not to be frustrated and can climb most things I face, not to mention getting off the line easily in traffic. I'm not saying you should USE that gearing, but if you can achieve it, you can up the gearing for faster riding or drop it if you find the hills too much of a pain, all with a simple change of a rear cog. That's my thinking anyway, based on practical thinking which, of course, is inappropriate in some threads around here.

Whatever you do, put fashion second. Yes, I know that's heresy on here, but if the bike doesn't work for you, it'll become a fashion accessory, not a bike. Get the thing set up right, THEN make it look the way you like.

Richard
desperately trying to resist the urge to build a new bike because he doesn't have the money dammit
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Old 11-18-08, 07:49 AM   #3
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But it's not precise. Just be clear about what you want, set the bike up that way in the shop, sit on it and remember that it'll feel a bloody sight worse on the road. Better still, go for a test ride - around here, test rides don't go beyond the car park and I read with envy some stories about people taking bikes for a day or two. Test riding is the best.
This is good advice. Since Northern NJ is fairly close to IRO HQ, I'd call them up and ask if you can come out and test ride. Everything I've read makes it sound like they're super nice and accommodating about that sort of thing. 15 minutes on each size would probably tell you everything you need to know. Take advantage of living near the company you want to buy from anyway!
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Old 11-18-08, 11:55 AM   #4
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Definitely. I've actually already contacted them about stopping by, and they said it would be no problem at all. Function is totally a priority for me right now, because there's no way in hell I'm going to get excited about making a bike look nice if it doesn't ride nice. I'm definitely very anal about function.

The gearing I have brings me to about 69 gear inches, which is I think is fine for my terrain and the shape I'm in. I'm only 21, but I have pretty bad knees (made the mistake of doing cross country throughout high school, haha)... So I figure it's better to start lower and go up than start up, get frustrated, and be forced to go down / not wanna ride.

With what you guys said, I'm leaning to the 53 now... I sat on a 53 Bianchi at the LBS the other day and it felt about right... Even looked pretty small. But I think that's where I'm at. All the fixies I've ridden were friend's conversions and whatever they had laying around, and none of them ever fit me right, because duh, they weren't mine. So I'm pretty psyched to get something that's made for me.

As for fashion, I have nothing to prove. No one rides fixed around here, and though I'm in the city often, I'm not trying to jump into any circles because of a ridiculous custom. I want everything subtle. I'd get a matte black if I could, haha. I just like to ride, man.

Anyway, thanks for the tips guys... Anything else? I like how my welcoming of dick comments drove them all away.
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Old 11-18-08, 12:04 PM   #5
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you should probably just get the IRO that is the closest fit to your road bike, i say assuming that your road bike fits properly since you said you've been riding for a few years.
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Old 11-18-08, 12:15 PM   #6
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Yup, that would be the 53... I just measured out my current frame.
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Old 11-19-08, 02:05 PM   #7
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Ordered!! So psyched.

And BTW, since I saw some harsh vibes going around towards IRO as of late, I just wanna say they were way cool. I called up, second ring they answered... Went through the bike part by part, then Tony came on and we did the same thing. Told me 2 weeks at most, even with custom wheels. Hell yeahhhh.
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Old 11-19-08, 02:11 PM   #8
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i guess it's too late to chime in but I'm 5'8" with short legs and I ride a 53 IRO.
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Old 11-19-08, 02:16 PM   #9
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Sounds good to me, that's what I ended up getting. Apparently the frames run a bit 'small' too, unlike Kilo's, so it should be perfect according to what I've heard here + Tony's shop manual thing.
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Old 11-19-08, 02:28 PM   #10
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I dont get the obsession with the bianchi bikes? There is about a thousand of them in the city where i work. I would go for the IRO Angus.
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Old 11-19-08, 02:29 PM   #11
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I think you missed something he did order an I R O
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Old 11-19-08, 02:32 PM   #12
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Yeah man, haha, I was pointing out that from lurking these boards, there are certain BLATANT trends you can observe... Bianchi being one of them. Not knocking them, but it's like constant. Same with the BD/BI completes. And I even realize at one point everyone was building up IRO's but all in all they suit me and aren't too flashy.
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Old 11-19-08, 02:33 PM   #13
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I think you missed something he did order an I R O

My bad, good choice.
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Old 11-19-08, 02:34 PM   #14
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There is a guy who rides one around town, they are pretty nice looking. I also dig the Soma frames.
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