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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 03-17-09, 11:18 AM   #1
addyp
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Best frameset for really long rides

I'm looking to build up a fixed gear specifically for really long rides(100 to 300 miles) and was wondering if anybody had some advice on the matter as far as a good, comfortable frameset. I already have a bianchi pista that I've done 100 on but it starts getting uncomfortable after 60 or so. Don't want to do a conversion, rather start with something new
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Old 03-17-09, 11:23 AM   #2
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You're best bet is to go with something that has more relaxed geometry. Perhaps an IRO?
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Old 03-17-09, 11:24 AM   #3
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Jamis Sputnik
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Old 03-17-09, 11:46 AM   #4
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Most fg/ss framesets designed for street use have road geometry so most should be comfortable for long distance. I don't think you can go wrong with most steel framesets out there.
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Old 03-17-09, 05:50 PM   #5
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surly crosscheck!
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Old 03-17-09, 05:59 PM   #6
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in this order, from best:

1) a carbon one
2) a ti one
3) a steel one
4) an aluminum one

don't worry nearly as much about geometry as about bottle mounts. i do "long" (only done 100 miles once, done 50 or so more frequently) rides on a track geo bob jackson w/ a pista (drop) stem with no problems whatsoever. the more important things are the carbon fork, the titanium stem, the carbon seatpost and the selle san marco rever k saddle.

re-emphasis on bottle mounts though, seriously.

ed: wait, when you say uncomfortable, can you be more specific? back pain? joints? butt? wrist?
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Old 03-17-09, 06:00 PM   #7
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the more slack the geo, the better off you will be on long rides. I would suggest something like a steamroller.
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Old 03-17-09, 06:16 PM   #8
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I say convert a touring bike. I know that's not the answer you want, but it's the easiest way. Most fixed gear bikes are either track or road geometry, if you want something more stable there really i sno beating a touring bike.

And Sp00ki, you forgot Zertz!
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Old 03-17-09, 06:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by addyp View Post
I'm looking to build up a fixed gear specifically for really long rides(100 to 300 miles) and was wondering if anybody had some advice on the matter as far as a good, comfortable frameset. I already have a bianchi pista that I've done 100 on but it starts getting uncomfortable after 60 or so. Don't want to do a conversion, rather start with something new
Bianchi San Jose. End of discussion.
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Old 03-17-09, 06:30 PM   #10
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Bianchi San Jose. End of discussion.
A single speed CX bike is the be-all and end-all for triple-centuries? Really?
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Old 03-17-09, 06:33 PM   #11
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Surly Crrrrrrrross Check! It's pretty versatile
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Old 03-17-09, 06:41 PM   #12
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A single speed CX bike is the be-all and end-all for triple-centuries? Really?
Damn straight. Replace the 'cross tires with road tires, add a rack on the back to hold all the food and supplies like rain jacket, and off you go. Chromoly double-butted steel, drop bars, front and rear brakes, what else do you need?

The OP did a century on a Pista, for cornholio's sake, he doesn't need a custom Sakkit to go a measly 300 miles.
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Old 03-17-09, 06:55 PM   #13
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Damn straight. Replace the 'cross tires with road tires, add a rack on the back to hold all the food and supplies like rain jacket, and off you go. Chromoly double-butted steel, drop bars, front and rear brakes, what else do you need?

The OP did a century on a Pista, for cornholio's sake, he doesn't need a custom Sakkit to go a measly 300 miles.
We also don't have any idea what kind of budget he has.

Don't get me wrong, it's a great bike, but nowhere near "end of discussion".
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Old 03-17-09, 07:03 PM   #14
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Happy St. Patrick's Day, Jabba. I'm celebrating with a bit of Jamesons single malt.

Do you have any suggestions for the OP? If not, end of discussion.
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Old 03-17-09, 07:10 PM   #15
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no real budget here cause I plan on doing 100+ rides every couple weeks. Just want to make my money count.
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Old 03-17-09, 07:20 PM   #16
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Happy St. Patrick's Day, Jabba. I'm celebrating with a bit of Jamesons single malt.

Do you have any suggestions for the OP? If not, end of discussion.
I would second the Cross-Check, put forward the Surly Long Haul Trucker as it is similar but with more relaxed geo for greater comfort over long distances.

addyp, I'm not really 100% sure, but I get the impression you're looking to stick with a single-speed. Is that correct?
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Old 03-17-09, 07:50 PM   #17
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addyp, you may want to check out the Rivendell Quickbeam, or grab a used frame like this Schwinn Paramount touring frame I got off eBay.



The Quickbeam has a nice geometry for long rides and is designed to be a "multiple geared" fixed gear bike. Good for varied terrain. LINK

Older frames have the horizontal dropouts for easy singlespeed/fixed conversion and you can pick and choose the geometry and tube set you like. Paramounts are lugged with Reynolds 531 tubing, very nice to ride at any distance. I think the used frame market will give you the widest number of choices.

addyp, after you've test ridden the San Jose, go check out the Surly Cross Check and the Long Haul Trucker.

You'll really need to ride these bikes to get a feel for what is most comfortable for you.

Or, talk to some custom builders about what you want a bike to do and let them create something for you. I can recommend Bilenky Cycle Works. Take a look at their models, give them a call and talk about what you want. They can easily put horizontal or track dropouts on whatever model you like; stretch a top tube a bit, add extra bosses, etc.
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Old 03-17-09, 07:55 PM   #18
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I do a lot of 100-200 mile rides and in my experience a basic road style geometry frame, regardless of material, is plenty comortable for an all-day ride. There are plenty of SS/FG frames that fit this mold. The Jamis Sputnik suggestion is a good one. The carbon fork helps. More importantly, the contact points, bars, pedals, and saddle are critical. A double century is not the best time to experiment with a new saddle or new handlebar.

Getting a slack assed touring bike like a LHT or cross check is overkill unless you are planning a multi-day tour with a full load. For a single day ride, you are better off with something lighter and a little more nimble.
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Old 03-17-09, 08:01 PM   #19
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getting properly fit by someone experienced should trump any difference in frame material

also to suggest that carbon is more comfortable than other material across the board is just wrong, there are plenty of unforgiving carbon frames that take power transfer into account over comfort

custom steel frame would be best in my opinion, but it's obviously a decent sized investment
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Old 03-17-09, 08:01 PM   #20
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i'll 2nd the sputnik. 631 steel + carbon fork + relaxed geo = long term comfort. longest i've done on mine was ~110mi, but it was great.
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Old 03-18-09, 12:30 AM   #21
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+1 for the Bianchi San Jose. I ride a converted Bianchi Volpe which is the same frame as the SJ, except it has semi horizontal dropouts instead of track ends. I ride my Volpe mostly as a SS rather than fixed. With a Brooks B17 saddle and cushy 32C tires it is an extremely comfortable bike. I've done 200km rides on it and was definitely gassed at the end, but not sore.

Other things I think you have to have a decent long distance bike:
- room for fenders with at least 28C tires (probably depends on where you live, but in western Washington where I live, a long ride often involves some rain).
- Bosses for two water bottles.
- Enough trail to ride no-hands comfortably (allows you to sit up and stretch, dig a Cliff bar out of your pocket, zip your coat, etc. without stopping).
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Old 03-18-09, 01:22 AM   #22
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I do a lot of 100-200 mile rides and in my experience a basic road style geometry frame, regardless of material, is plenty comortable for an all-day ride. There are plenty of SS/FG frames that fit this mold. The Jamis Sputnik suggestion is a good one. The carbon fork helps. More importantly, the contact points, bars, pedals, and saddle are critical. A double century is not the best time to experiment with a new saddle or new handlebar.

Getting a slack assed touring bike like a LHT or cross check is overkill unless you are planning a multi-day tour with a full load. For a single day ride, you are better off with something lighter and a little more nimble.
but along those long distances he may experience rain which is why the CX or LHT may be better because of its allowance for fenders and racks
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Old 03-18-09, 07:33 AM   #23
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Check out the Salsa Casseroll.
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Old 03-18-09, 11:43 AM   #24
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Check out the Salsa Casseroll.
+1

Casseroll single is IMO the best "off the rack" solution for singlespeed ultradistance riding.
32mm tire clearance with full fenders
double bottle bosses
Moto-Ace handlebar (personal favourite)
Surly hubs to Salsa Delgado rims (strong 32h setup)
Swap out that saddle for something that won't saw you in half on a 400k - 500k ride, and you're set.
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Old 03-18-09, 11:47 AM   #25
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definetly pick up something with decent tire clearance so you can run slightly larger tires
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