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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 12-20-08, 05:13 AM   #1
detonics
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Help to Build/Search a bike

Hi guys,

This is my first post in the forum, guess Im a newbie! All this while i've just been reading and searching the web;great site, lots of tips and infos and great people too.

I've been wanting to own a fixed gear bicycle and just recently I got the change to do the purchase. Got myself a classic LOOK frame built with assorted classic parts. Stripped the bike and convert it into a Fixie. The feel? It's awesome and addictive! I'm standing at about 5ft11 and now I just think the bike is a little small for me. It measures 53cm C-T and 55cm C-C, thus leaving me many scares at the knee (hitting the front brake when I miss the skid).

I need your opinion&advise on how should I go from here. I need a bike that is versatile; for tricks and comfort for commuting.

First Option: To buy either:

1. Surly Steamroller (Complete &New)
2. IRO (Green Group Buy) not sure Mark V or Angus (Second hand-complete)
3. Vintage Colnago (Just the frame)

Second option: To build a bike using my old Raleigh frame (Not sure which model). See attachment.

- 58cm C-C and 54.5 C-T
- Do you guys think that this frame is suitable for the above? If NO, I really appreciate any suggestion.

Please help me guys, I need to decide soooooon. Your time,advise and opinion is very much appreciated.Thank you.

Cheers!
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Old 12-20-08, 07:34 AM   #2
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I need your opinion&advise on how should I go from here. I need a bike that is versatile; for tricks and comfort for commuting.
I'm going to go totally against what some of the people on this forum will advise so just think of me as the grumpy old barsteward in the corner with the cup of tea, wearing the kakhi shorts and a ratty old bike parked by his shoulder (fixed of course). That's a pretty literal description actually, apart from the bit about the cup of tea.

You want comfort and good for commuting?

Take the bike you have and sort it out. There is no way you can be comfortable on that bike, though thousands will come on here and claim you can be. Bulldust. It's a fashion statement, nothing more.

Get the bars up a bit. You don't have to get them up at saddle height like I need because you're not in your fifties with all the physical compromises that entails, but you can't honestly claim to be comfortable for any distance on that bike. Get the bars up high enough, and the saddle at a half reasonable angle (flat works for normal wombats) so that you're not carrying all that weight on your hands. You only need enough weight on your hands to maintain steering - if you can't take your hands off the bars in your normal riding position without falling forwards, your setup is wrong. The fashions dictate otherwise but you quite pointedly asked for 'comfort', not fashion.

Secondly, put a useful gearing on that bike. I'm not sure how many gear inches that works out to but with gearing like that, there is no way you can ride at a decent cadence. Again, you can take your fashion statement and stuff it. 70 gear inches gets recommended because it allows you to ride in the typical urban environment PLUS ride at realistic speeds with a decent cadence. A good rider who's take the trouble to develop his pedalling action can run a cadence well past 120 which equates to about 40 km/hr with the above mentioned 70 gear inches. A more normal cadence of 90 equates to 30 km/hr and in the real world, it's not often you're going to maintain speeds higher than that.

You HAVE a good bike, it's just set up badly - you can sort it out for the cost of a rear cog. But the fashion conscious will get all upset with me and tell you it's okay to have the bars where they are and to run the stupid gearing. Tell me, can you slow down easily using your legs alone? No? Are you comfortable doing stop start stop start riding such as you get on a suburban street with cross roads every hundred metres or so? Of course not. Reduce that gearing. And how do your hands feel after half an hour? Pretty sore? Get those bars up to somewhere sensible.

Of course, the alternative is to leave the bike as it is. There are plenty like it featured on this forum ... but not one of them meets your criteria of 'versatile', 'comfortable' or suitable for 'commuting', but if you're young enough and style is important, you can ride anything anywhere.

Richard

and for those I've upset - I'm tired, I'm grumpy and probably had one too many clarets. My opinion is honestly stated but I've probably trampled on some toes. I apologise for any upset caused by the manner in which I expressed my thoughts.
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Old 12-20-08, 11:41 AM   #3
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not to jack this thread...but what do people here think of as an acceptable drop from seat to bars? I think I've got 2 inches on my setup.
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Old 12-20-08, 12:11 PM   #4
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^^^that really depends so much on an individual's body, comfort, riding style, intentions, et cetera.
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Old 12-20-08, 12:22 PM   #5
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^true. I'm thinking of commuting and distance riding. Just kind of trying to get an idea of what's avg.
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Old 12-20-08, 12:29 PM   #6
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average is irrelevant.
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Old 12-20-08, 07:24 PM   #7
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Thanks europa for your honest opinion. I am quite comfortable riding the bike, 50km is alright just a little sore on the palm, more discomfort on the ass area( probably due to cheap saddle) and keep pushing it to the back. I'm using the black bike for tricks and fun play but I found it a little small since i keep hitting my knee on the front brake(not the lever)

As for the gearing, I agree with you. The reason being is I want to get high skid patches count. My area is not that hilly and I am able to climb most (except mountains) hills so far.

I'm keeping the black bike as it is as I think its not worth to spend more on it since it's small. Thus I'm looking for a new bike with better ratio suitable for tricks (60%) and commuting purposes(40%). Any suggestion on the Surly, IRO and raleigh? Please help me guys... Tq
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Old 12-21-08, 04:11 AM   #8
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Anyone?
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Old 12-22-08, 02:41 AM   #9
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^ I am guessing the CC is the top tube and CT is the seat tube.
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Old 12-22-08, 04:02 AM   #10
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Yes, C-C is the top tube while the C-T is the seat tube.. Why am I not getting much respond.
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Old 12-22-08, 10:15 PM   #11
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Cheers to Europa! Your older and wiser than most on here. I agree with your suggestions and thoughts on fashion. For some reason, fashion trumps comfort/utilization in a certain sub-culture. However, you may have missed the part that the frame he's riding is too small.

People seem to like the Surly. A friend of mine has one for commuting, and he has it set up so its very comfy. The only problem is that he wants to put real fenders on and he can't (no eyelets). there are other options for wet days. He has a clamp on mud flap.

The IRO's seem like a good choice as well. beefy dependable stuff from what I hear. Never ridden one though. I see quite a few on the streets of Boston, so it seems people are happy.

I'd keep that Colnago for non-commuting purposes. I would hate to lock a Colnago up in the same spot day after day thinking that someone is eyeing it.

Raleighs are wonderful bikes. I own two. A nice 531 racer from the 70's and a 3 speed from the 60's. Depending on the bike, you may appreciate the Raleighs geometry for commuting a bit more than a more aggressive track geometry like the IRO and Surly. I don't know what Colnago you got, but it probaly has some aggressive Italian geometry.
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Old 12-23-08, 04:08 AM   #12
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Why am I not getting much respond.
Because most people couldn't care less about helping someone decide which route to go.
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Old 12-23-08, 09:01 AM   #13
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Because most people couldn't care less about helping someone decide which route to go.
People don't have to decide for me, I just need some input/suggestion/opinion so it somehow can help me to decide. I believe some people here can share their experiences with those bike I mentioned. Btw, thanks dude.
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Old 12-23-08, 09:06 AM   #14
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Tradtimbo,

Thanks for the reply. I do not own the colnago just but the LBS is selling the frame, which model they are not so sure. My initial plan was to build the Raleigh into a Commuting bike till I wonder if it is suitable for trashing/tricks. Guess it's more suitable for commuting/cruising?

Now either the Surly or IRO...Geeeee....
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Old 12-23-08, 11:49 AM   #15
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People don't have to decide for me, I just need some input/suggestion/opinion so it somehow can help me to decide. I believe some people here can share their experiences with those bike I mentioned. Btw, thanks dude.
You're right. Some people can and want to share with you, but MOST people see a lot of threads very similar to this one and don't care which route other people go. If this thread was about something that people hadn't seen before, there would be more replies. You're also being fairly impatient, as this thread is only three days old, and was only a day old when you bumped it the first time.

It's pretty safe to say that when a thread doesn't go anywhere, it's because people aren't interested.

So that is the answer to your question. And I am hoping that your thanks was not sarcastic, as I legitimately answered your question.
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Old 12-23-08, 12:30 PM   #16
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Don't convert any of these bikes, get a Kilo TT or something similar from Bikesdirect.com

The red frame and the black frame that you have pictured are basically junky old hi-tensile crap-heaps.

Your LBS is probably going to rip you off on the price of the Colnago because they know you don't know anything.
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Old 12-23-08, 12:48 PM   #17
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People don't have to decide for me, I just need some input/suggestion/opinion so it somehow can help me to decide. I believe some people here can share their experiences with those bike I mentioned. Btw, thanks dude.

Fit is the most important thing so if you can test ride any of these bikes, do so. Surlys and IROs are great bikes, you'd be happy with any of them. Since you've had on fixed gear, you probably have a good idea of what level of components you want/need.

A bike best suited for commuting is not going to be your best trick bike or vice versa.

Make sure your commuter bike can take fenders and at least a rack in the back.

Another big help is to use the Search function. There's been hundreds of threads on Surlys, IRO's, Kilos, Pistas, barspins, guidos, hipsters, and microwave ovens. After a while, people just no longer have the energy to respond to yet another thread on the same subject.


I'd also pass on the Colnago. It's either low end from the 70's/80's or will cost you a small fortune and be better suited to rebuilding as a roadie than a fixed gear.
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Old 12-23-08, 06:09 PM   #18
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And I am hoping that your thanks was not sarcastic, as I legitimately answered your question.
I meant it honestly since you at least posted something rather than just walk away and you are right somehow. Agree that this thread is not something new, comparing IRO with Steamroller. Need to get an idea if I should build the raleigh or better get a new one...

Sorry about the impatient, need to grab the bike above soon since my LBS has only one and the other guy is waiting for my decision. Cheers!

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Old 12-23-08, 06:13 PM   #19
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Thanks Bbattle and sanchez,

The LBS is selling the repainted plain frame(no decals at all)+fork for about $420. Expensive?
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Old 12-23-08, 09:08 PM   #20
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Skip it. I just got a Colnago Master frame for less money and while the fork looks used and probably isn't original to the bike, the frame looks NOS.

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Old 12-29-08, 06:52 AM   #21
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HI,
Thanks for the inputs. I decided to go with the New Model 56cm Steamroller as the IRO is quite similar size to my black LOOK. Need some tuning here and there and I'm set for a ride, hope I'll like the bike.

Cheers!
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