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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 01-29-09, 11:09 AM   #1
GrantMeThePower
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Help me choose a ss/fixed

Hi all...this is my first post, but i'd really appreciate some help. I look forward to joining in on the community. I was directed to this site from one of my friends that I ride fixie with. I'll try to keep this short.

I'm looking for a new bike but I'm not sure what would be best for me.

I do ride to the video store or the market or whatever, but most of our rides are in the 30-50 mile range. We are trying to work up to doing centuries. We do one big ride a week, and throughout the week I will ride another 10-15 miles. Basically, i need something I can be on for long periods of time comfortably.

We average about 13-14mph on our rides, with typical max speeds about 23-24mph. We're riding on streets (obviously) so we are doing a lot of stopping and starting at red lights. What i'm trying to get at is that I'm not looking for an absolutely FAST bike to maintain top speed, but acceleration is important. Though I want comfort, a beach cruiser is clearly not the right choice.

I've riden mountain bikes for a long time, but never road bikes. I dont quite understand the nuances of road bike geometry vs. track bike geometry, though I'm learning.

The bikes i've been looking at are:
Bianchi Pista
IRO Mark V
Raleigh Rush Hour
Scwhinn Madison
Masi Speciale Fixed

I ride with the same two guys and they have very differing opinions and I'm not sure what is best. One guy thinks the best choice is the Bianchi Pista...the other thinks that a vintage frame converted to ss is best.

To rank the importance for me:
1. Comfort for long rides
2. Efficency (my current bike feels like it saps the energy pedaled, rather than utilizing all of it)
3. Speed
4. Agility
5. Cosmetics

Thank you all so very much for your help.
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Old 01-29-09, 11:13 AM   #2
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i bought a Pista out of the gate. i really like it, but then again i haven't ridden anything else.
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Old 01-29-09, 11:33 AM   #3
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Here's a crazy idea. Test ride some of those.
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Old 01-29-09, 11:46 AM   #4
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If you're looking to do long distance riding and don't have much experience with road bikes I would stay away from a traditional track geometry bike like the pista. Also the pista will not come with brakes so that's an extra necessity if you're looking to ride it single speed. Any of the other bikes you're interested in offer a more slack geometry suitable for longer rides. I can vouch for the MASI being a very good quality bike, so are the rest of the other bikes however I have not owned those.

If you're not familiar with bike sizing go to your bike shop where you can test any of the bikes (except for IRO) mentioned and they should help you with fitting and sizing.
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Old 01-29-09, 12:46 PM   #5
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Here's a crazy idea. Test ride some of those.
sarcasm noted...that being said, it is very difficult to test ride many of these, and I would be ordering sight unseen. That is why i was hoping to get some useful insight from those more knowledgeable and experienced than I am.

It is also not helpful to walk in a store that carries one or the other brand, but not all as you wont be riding back to back and seeing what you think.

Finally, I can't take a test ride for miles. They usually let you ride it in the parking lot, and its hard to get a really good feel for it.
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Old 01-29-09, 01:09 PM   #6
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i highly recommend the Mark V, though I haven't ridden any of the others you mentioned. The Masi sure is purty, though.
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Old 01-29-09, 02:18 PM   #7
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i know this is the ss/fixie forum, but if your interested in comfort efficiency and speed, why not go for a traditional roadie or better yet, a touring bike?? more relaxed geometry, wide gear ratios...
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Old 01-29-09, 02:22 PM   #8
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sarcasm noted...that being said, it is very difficult to test ride many of these, and I would be ordering sight unseen. That is why i was hoping to get some useful insight from those more knowledgeable and experienced than I am.

It is also not helpful to walk in a store that carries one or the other brand, but not all as you wont be riding back to back and seeing what you think.

Finally, I can't take a test ride for miles. They usually let you ride it in the parking lot, and its hard to get a really good feel for it.

good luck getting good information here. some people are awesome and super helpful, others are just dicks. they will tell you to use the search function, but that does not always yield the proper result. asking for specific information is some times like pulling teeth. if you know exactly what you are looking for the search function works great, but if you don't know what to search for you come up empty. you will get a lot of sarcasm and a lot of rude comments. but again some people are awesome and can help you out immensely. sorry i am not one of those people. I'm new to this as well, and i am learning as i go. my advice is troll a lot, you will learn a lot more that way, i have.
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Old 01-29-09, 02:44 PM   #9
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i know this is the ss/fixie forum, but if your interested in comfort efficiency and speed, why not go for a traditional roadie or better yet, a touring bike?? more relaxed geometry, wide gear ratios...
Haha...you make a very good point! That was my initial thought when i got into this. I said to my friends who already were riding fixed, "what's the point? why NOT get gears?" but now that i've done some riding with them I appreciate the simplicity of the style and the fact that the people i ride with all ride fixed I want to stay with that.
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Old 01-29-09, 02:45 PM   #10
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i've ridden the pista and the Madison. If you are going to go SS, get the madison, it is drilled for rear brake, the pista isnt. Also, IMO the pista is a bit to ubiquitous.
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Old 01-29-09, 02:47 PM   #11
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good luck getting good information here. some people are awesome and super helpful, others are just dicks. they will tell you to use the search function, but that does not always yield the proper result. asking for specific information is some times like pulling teeth. if you know exactly what you are looking for the search function works great, but if you don't know what to search for you come up empty. you will get a lot of sarcasm and a lot of rude comments. but again some people are awesome and can help you out immensely. sorry i am not one of those people. I'm new to this as well, and i am learning as i go. my advice is troll a lot, you will learn a lot more that way, i have.
Hey Meepers-I'm new to fixed gear bicycles but i'm not new to the wonders of the internet so I know very well how a lot of people on forums are. You get the good and the bad. I just try to add a bit more good to it all. Thanks for your words and i'll see you around.
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Old 01-29-09, 03:05 PM   #12
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Hey Meepers-I'm new to fixed gear bicycles but i'm not new to the wonders of the internet so I know very well how a lot of people on forums are. You get the good and the bad. I just try to add a bit more good to it all. Thanks for your words and i'll see you around.

I've used other forums where people have been nicer and more helpful, that's kind of what i was getting at. then again i have used forums where people are down right *******s. there is another forum, not going to say which one, that people are complete dicks here on bike forums. SS/FG isn't to bad, but i think i have gotten more trash talk then help. but i agree, bad with the good. I'll take the insults and sarcasm to get the information i need.
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Old 01-29-09, 03:07 PM   #13
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Have you considered a Surly Steamroller? or a Jamis Sputnick? I'm comfortable for 50 miles on my Soma Rush which has more track than road geometry, but would probably be more comfortable on one of those...plus I don't believe you can typically buy complete Rushs.

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Old 01-29-09, 03:09 PM   #14
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One thing you'll be looking for is slacker geometry. For example a 72 degree headtube is more relaxed than a 74 degree headtube. More relaxed angles in the headtube/seattube will be more comfortable on longer rides. There are more factors than that, but it is something to consider.
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Old 01-29-09, 03:35 PM   #15
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Have you considered a Surly Steamroller? or a Jamis Sputnick? I'm comfortable for 50 miles on my Soma Rush which has more track than road geometry, but would probably be more comfortable on one of those...plus I don't believe you can typically buy complete Rushs.
I looked at the Soma...Delancey is it? but its just too much money.

I haven't looked into the Surly or the Jamis. Back to the research i guess! haha
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Old 01-29-09, 03:36 PM   #16
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One thing you'll be looking for is slacker geometry. For example a 72 degree headtube is more relaxed than a 74 degree headtube. More relaxed angles in the headtube/seattube will be more comfortable on longer rides. There are more factors than that, but it is something to consider.
What is the downside to slacker geometry?
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Old 01-29-09, 03:51 PM   #17
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Less responsive handling. Possibly a slightly less efficient saddle to pedal position (I'm not entirely sure if that's correct).
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Old 01-29-09, 04:59 PM   #18
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good luck getting good information here. Some people are awesome and super helpful, others are just dicks. They will tell you to use the search function, but that does not always yield the proper result. Asking for specific information is some times like pulling teeth. If you know exactly what you are looking for the search function works great, but if you don't know what to search for you come up empty. You will get a lot of sarcasm and a lot of rude comments. But again some people are awesome and can help you out immensely. Sorry i am not one of those people. I'm new to this as well, and i am learning as i go. My advice is troll a lot, you will learn a lot more that way, i have.

+200
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Old 01-29-09, 05:20 PM   #19
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+200
srsly, TROLL a lot? you mean _lurk_ don't you?
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Old 01-29-09, 05:28 PM   #20
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+1 on the fit thing. Especially if you are ordering sight unseen, I think it's a very, very good idea to get a proper fit. That means using a fit bike, not having someone eyeball you and put you on a random bike to see where the spindle is under your knee. Often a place that does fittings like this will credit the cost of the fit to a bike purchase, too.

It's certainly possible to do centuries on a fixed-gear, and some people even tour on them.
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Old 01-29-09, 06:09 PM   #21
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troll, lurk, same thing. i found out more information by reading through 3 pages of people getting flamed up then finally getting answered then by asking or finding anything from the search function. i learned things i wasn't even looking for and used. it seams the asking/search function works about 15% of the time. reading through pages and pages of people raging on one another and getting far off topic helped more. plus some times it was amusing.
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Old 01-29-09, 06:27 PM   #22
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I think the problem you're finding is that by the time you ask:

What color is fastest, and what flavor of the week bike, yadda yadda yadda...see where this is going?


It's not a matter of being a dick, but after seeing (let alone responding) to the same questions, post after post, year after year after year...................................................well, the people with the information get tired of repeating it.

So when someone says something curt like "Use Search Function" they're really just trying to say:

Kind new rider to the wonderful world of two wheels without gears [or potentially a freewheel hub]; the selection you've asked for - the [x] is [x]. I've also had the opportunity to ride every single bike in your selection and think that [based off real world information I have about you including height: [x], weight [x], sexual preference and political orientation - you should purchase [based off my expert knowledge in the field of all things fixed wheel/SS] a [x].

But they figure the answer is buried, somewhere.

<---Personally, I've been around for a long time, but have ridden exactly ONE SS bike and ONE fixed-gear bicycle. Would I recommend it, of course I would. Would it be the best option for you. How the heck would I know?!?!?!?!

So maybe I am a dick. /shrug
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Old 01-29-09, 06:41 PM   #23
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I think the problem you're finding is that by the time you ask:

What color is fastest, and what flavor of the week bike, yadda yadda yadda...see where this is going?


It's not a matter of being a dick, but after seeing (let alone responding) to the same questions, post after post, year after year after year...................................................well, the people with the information get tired of repeating it.

So when someone says something curt like "Use Search Function" they're really just trying to say:

Kind new rider to the wonderful world of two wheels without gears [or potentially a freewheel hub]; the selection you've asked for - the [x] is [x]. I've also had the opportunity to ride every single bike in your selection and think that [based off real world information I have about you including height: [x], weight [x], sexual preference and political orientation - you should purchase [based off my expert knowledge in the field of all things fixed wheel/SS] a [x].

But they figure the answer is buried, somewhere.

<---Personally, I've been around for a long time, but have ridden exactly ONE SS bike and ONE fixed-gear bicycle. Would I recommend it, of course I would. Would it be the best option for you. How the heck would I know?!?!?!?!

So maybe I am a dick. /shrug
thanks for telling me to use the search function. i didn't think of that. if you read up you will see my first post had that point in it. if you don't know what you are looking for the search function is useless. you don't get the right response. i will say i have not ask a question about hight weight. i asked about gearing, and gear inches, and was helped out without being flamed. i did ask about bars, not knowing what kind they were and i was flamed for that. i searched and seeing as the picture was blurry and i couldn't read what they said i was flamed, and side bar. the person flaming me was a bit wrong. i searched for said bars and they still were not it. my point was this board has more *******s on it than any other i have encountered. sorry, second most, the other is a local board and mostly just the "web guy" is a dick. my point was to read the pages of flaming and people going off on each other, much like now, to get an answer. it works better. i read almost every new post, the main way i learn about my bike.
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Old 01-29-09, 07:09 PM   #24
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I looked at a lot of those, wound up with the Masi. Tried it at my LBS first though, and that's what I'd recommend for you too.
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Old 01-29-09, 08:43 PM   #25
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I used to read and post to another forum before Bike Forums, oh yeah, Craig's List. Those people were so obnoxious and sarcastic, I couldn't stand it. It would be tragic to get those attitudes on BF.

Be funny and cute sometimes, but please don't be nasty.
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