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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 03-01-09, 09:40 PM   #1
Syscrush
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Jamis Sputnik - why not?

Went to the LBS on Sat and looked at the Jamis Sputnik for the 3rd time in as many months. It's on clearance price now so I'm thinking that it might be time to consummate my lust for that machine. I took it for a spin and really loved how it felt. It was my first fixie ride and I just went around the block, but I have to admit that I'm hooked - the experience was what I hoped it would be and I'm definitely keen on taking the plunge on a nice bike that I'm excited about.

I've done my research and it seems that this is a pretty highly-regarded bike for the price, and that the clearance price is a pretty good deal. Issues I've seen mentioned are that the rims are kinda soft & low-spec (despite having good hubs), and that they often need truing and tensioning as they're shipped. Also something about chains too short as shipped, but I don't quite get what that means or how it can happen.

So, anyhow, I've drooled over the bike, like the styling a lot, like the relatively light weight (under 20 lbs, feels lighter than that - I guess I'm so used to my heavy hybrid) a whole hell of a lot, and really enjoyed the ride.

Given all this plus an out-the-door price of under $950 CDN, is there any reason not to buy this bike? Looking around, I haven't really found anyone saying stuff about the Sputnik that they really disliked, so I'm inclined to go for it (tax refund is due tomorrow so I wanna get a cool bike and a nice haircut. ).
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Old 03-01-09, 09:49 PM   #2
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unless you're a manatee or want a bike that is gonna make you a sundae, i'd say buy it.
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Old 03-01-09, 10:13 PM   #3
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for the record, i'm a total shill for this bike. that said, CDN$950 ~= US$750 and strikes me as fair, but not a steal. nonetheless, you should buy it.

as you've gathered, OEM parts are passable at best. my suggestion: part it out as time & funds allow...keep what you like, sell/upgrade everything you don't (yes, wheels first). for me, this was literally everything but the frame!

admittedly, my standards are quite high...but the frame is certainly worthy of much better. you will not be putting the proverbial lipstick on a pig.

Last edited by dookie; 03-02-09 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 03-02-09, 01:22 AM   #4
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buy it
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Old 03-02-09, 02:05 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
Issues I've seen mentioned are that the rims are kinda soft & low-spec (despite having good hubs), and that they often need truing and tensioning as they're shipped.
The problem has less to do with the rims and more to do with machine built wheels with spokes that are not properly tensioned or stress-relieved. Make sure the LBS corrects the spoke tension and those wheels should last a long time. Ride it a hundred miles or so, then recheck tension....if they did it right the tension should still be high. Unfortunately a lot of LBSs are incompetent when it comes to wheels. Nonetheless, finding a competent wheelbuilder to adjust your wheels (properly) should make them problem-free for years.
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Old 03-02-09, 02:25 AM   #6
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the only thing i dislike about the sputnik is the price. it's on the pricey side but i suppose that's due to the nice frameset.
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Old 03-02-09, 06:45 AM   #7
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Thanks to all for the comments and advice.

I woke up this morning with my tax refund in my bank account - might be time to make this happen!
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Old 03-02-09, 07:15 AM   #8
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the only thing i dislike about the sputnik is the price. it's on the pricey side but i suppose that's due to the nice frameset.
+1. I understand the frame is very well-made, and with the carbon fork, lighter than all the standard chromoly frames out there (steamroller, kilo tt, etc).
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Old 03-02-09, 03:47 PM   #9
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for the record, i'm a total shill for this bike. that said, CDN$950 ~= US$750 and strikes me as fair, but not a steal.
It's not as simple as a straight currency conversion, because the out-the-door price includes taxes which vary from region to region.

Anyhow, when I went back to buy it they knocked it down further, so my final price including swapping to bullhorn bars, taping them, and fitting a front brake plus assembly & all taxes is $905CDN. They didn't have SPD pedals in stock so I'll be picking up a set from the local Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Quote:
nonetheless, you should buy it.
DONE! I'm pretty stoked. I'll post pics when I get it home.
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Old 03-02-09, 03:58 PM   #10
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that sounds like a pretty great deal, considering how much more expensive bikes are in Canada this year.
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Old 03-02-09, 04:37 PM   #11
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I think the sputnik is probably the best off-the-shelf fixed gear/ss. My old LBS stocked a lot of Jamis stuff and it's all great.

I'd get it!!
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Old 03-02-09, 09:48 PM   #12
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I've had one since Nov last year and like it. However, for true fixed gear, the bottom bracket may be a little low, and I can toe-strike in slow corners with my cheap plastic clips on mks track pedals. Love the carbon fork for the soft ride.
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Old 03-02-09, 10:13 PM   #13
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I've had one since Nov last year and like it. However, for true fixed gear, the bottom bracket may be a little low, and I can toe-strike in slow corners with my cheap plastic clips on mks track pedals. Love the carbon fork for the soft ride.
That's good to know - hopefully I'll get a bit more clearance with the SPD's.
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Old 03-02-09, 10:35 PM   #14
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canadian tax and taxes on tax is a killer.
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Old 03-03-09, 12:10 AM   #15
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Jamis makes great bikes. I have a Xenith road and couldn't be happier.
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Old 03-03-09, 07:13 AM   #16
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canadian tax and taxes on tax is a killer.
Tax ended up being 5%. I don't know if it was a promotion from the shop, or if bikes are exempt from the provincial sales tax (which would be another 7%) - but I was only charged the federal sales tax.

Of course, we don't see the import duties and tarrifs.
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Old 03-03-09, 07:38 AM   #17
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That's good to know - hopefully I'll get a bit more clearance with the SPD's.
another data point...i've had not a single instance of pedal strike in ~5k miles. i'm using shimano spd-sl road pedals on 170mm cranks.

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Old 03-03-09, 07:32 PM   #18
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I love my sputnik...

My biggest issue when I got it was the crap saddle which shredded my ass...

The FSA bottom bracket has held up surprisingly well over the last year and a bit...

On both wheels, the fifth spoke ahead of the valve stem has broken...I'm told this is most likely due to a thin spot in the rim causing uneven spoke tension...It looks kind of neat to have one silver replacement spoke on each wheel in the exact same spot...The wheels on the Sputnik are definitely it's weakest point...The shop I bought mine from had to spend a lot of time tension balancing them...

The BB is a bit low and I've had a couple of scary pedal scrapes but *knocking on wood* no crashes due to pedal strike yet...

The Ritchey Comp post, stem and bars are a step up from the usual stuff...The stainless hardware and durable finish is appreciated...I don't think you would be necessarily be getting a better post, stem and bar than the Ritchey Comp stuff if you spent more money...

The frame is well made with decent welds, nice track ends with built in adjusters and a brazed on seatpost collar...The matte black paintjob has held up reasonably well (though there was a short curly hair in the paint under the downtube)...
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Old 03-03-09, 08:40 PM   #19
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another data point...i've had not a single instance of pedal strike in ~5k miles. i'm using shimano spd-sl road pedals on 170mm cranks.
Similar story here but using 175mm cranks and Time ATAC pedals. With toe clips installed I do get some slight toe overlap but it doesn't happen clipless.
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Old 03-03-09, 08:42 PM   #20
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another data point...i've had not a single instance of pedal strike in ~5k miles. i'm using shimano spd-sl road pedals on 170mm cranks.
That might be the difference - I've got 172.5 on mine.

Last edited by Wake; 03-03-09 at 08:44 PM. Reason: rm image
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Old 03-03-09, 08:57 PM   #21
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Tax ended up being 5%. I don't know if it was a promotion from the shop, or if bikes are exempt from the provincial sales tax (which would be another 7%) - but I was only charged the federal sales tax.

Of course, we don't see the import duties and tarrifs.
Was it bought at curbside in Toronto? I have heard them say they don't charge one of the taxes on bikes under 1k (not sure if every store does this or just theirs). I saw a sputnik at bikes on wheels a couple of months back for like $650.
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Old 03-03-09, 09:34 PM   #22
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Was it bought at curbside in Toronto? I have heard them say they don't charge one of the taxes on bikes under 1k (not sure if every store does this or just theirs). I saw a sputnik at bikes on wheels a couple of months back for like $650.
I think it applies to all stores in Ontario.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:10 PM   #23
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wish i had known about the jamis b4 i bought my KHS.

sweet bike bro.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:54 PM   #24
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I think it applies to all stores in Ontario.
That sounds right.

I got it from "Bikes On Wheels" in Kensington Market in Toronto. Horrible name, but seems like a good shop and they kind of specialize in fixies. 90% of why I bought there is because I like Kensington, I'm down there most weekends with my wife getting groceries or whatever, and the staff was always nice to me when I went in to look around without buying anything. Then the Sputnik went on clearance and it was on!

It's supposed to warm up a bit later this week, I'm looking forward to picking it up and taking it for a spin.

BTW - those SPD-SL pedals seem wicked and they look perfect on the bike. I think for now the convenience of being able to share the same pair of shoes for my touring bike and the new fixie (plus the convenience of the recessed cleat on my MTB-style shoes) will outweigh the desire to switch to something sexier.

I have to admit, this really nice new bike is starting to make me a lot more style-consious. I hate like hell to put lights, a bell, a computer, or bottle cage on it. I almost want to ditch my backpack for a messenger bag and leave my Bellistic on the peg in favor of my black-with-flames skullcap toque.
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Old 03-04-09, 11:17 AM   #25
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nothing wrong w/lights/bell/cages/computer...just means you actually ride it!
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