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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 03-24-09, 08:25 PM   #1
dozens
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Regular VS Cross (Kilo TT, Messenger or Clockwork VS Fantom Cross Uno

Hey all, to begin with I am another dude about to buy a fixed gear bike from bikesdirect and have a quick question right off the bat about regular frame versus a cross frame.

I knew nothing of cross frames before seeing the Fantom Cross UNO on BD and getting intrigued by the fact that it could accommodate beefier tires, which to someone who has never had a road or track bike before sounds good to me in that I can put beefy tires on it and ride it on not-so-smooth terrain a little and not have to worry so much about all the crappy roads in my town. It seems like wit track bikes you blow a lot of tires vs my never having have blown one on my MTN bike. Am I right in these assumptions?

What else am I getting/losing between it and say the Kilo TT? What other differences are there?

Thanks!
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Old 03-24-09, 10:00 PM   #2
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i have the fantom cross uno and regularly ride offroad with the stock tires and 38x14 gearing. great bike. the only thing it cant do is run gears
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Old 03-24-09, 10:07 PM   #3
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with a cross bike you're not going to be able to fit that large of a chainring, which will limit your gearing choices.

also, the reason a lot of people on the road get flats is because they don't check their tire pressure frequently enough. a typical skinny 110psi tire can lose 10-30psi in a week, which will result in more frequent pinch flats especially if you hit a lot of potholes, etc.

on a kilo you can run 25 and some 28 tires, which should be sufficient for most roads. i've rode 23 tires on loose gravel paths and some rough streets and i've never flatted from a pinch flat if i pumped up before the ride. but the fatter tires do soak up noticeable amounts of shock compared to a 23.
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Old 03-25-09, 01:54 AM   #4
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with a cross bike you're not going to be able to fit that large of a chainring, which will limit your gearing choices.
This is wrong. A frame's chainring clearance depends on the shape of the chain stay a lot more directly than on what genre of frame it is. I know that the manipulated ("dented") stay on my crosscheck permits more or less as big a ring as you want with a 42mm chainline. The Fantom Cross Uno also apparently has a manipulated stay (pic). Looks like there is a fair amount of room there. Bikesdirect's web site doesn't state exactly how big a ring you can fit on there but maybe he will come in here and let us know.


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Old 03-25-09, 02:50 AM   #5
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you're absolutely right. but ss cross frames generally will have less chainring clearance than a track frame. i'd be surprised if you could get a 46t on the FCU and still keep a 42mm chainline. i can run a 44t on my bianchi san jose, maybe a 45t, but a 46t rubs ever so slightly (although admittedly, my chainstays are not manipulated/dented like yours shown).

it also depends on the spacing of the rear dropout, where wider = less clearance.
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Old 03-25-09, 04:35 AM   #6
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• My Messenger can fit 28mm road tires which are fine for all but the worst (paved) roads.

• The other big difference is cantilever brakes on the Uno vs. caliper brakes on the trackish bikes.

• I've got the Messenger (although it's now a 7 speed IGH bike) and my friend has the Uno. Both are capable bikes and either would be a good choice.
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Old 03-25-09, 05:44 AM   #7
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you're absolutely right. but ss cross frames generally will have less chainring clearance than a track frame. i'd be surprised if you could get a 46t on the FCU and still keep a 42mm chainline. i can run a 44t on my bianchi san jose, maybe a 45t, but a 46t rubs ever so slightly (although admittedly, my chainstays are not manipulated/dented like yours shown).

it also depends on the spacing of the rear dropout, where wider = less clearance.
That pic is the FCU chainstay---that's why i thought there would be more clearance. Point taken though---you're probably almost guaranteed a pretty good clearance with a nominally "track" frame, but clearance on ss cross frames depends a bit more on the foresight of the builder. That's a bummer than Bianchi didn't do it to the San Jose.

I've actually heard of people "manipulating" their own chainstays or having a pro do it. I'd be skeered to do it myself but it seems like a worthy mod if you know what you're doing, your frame is steel and you can handle the possibility of chipping your paint. It can't be too pricy to have someone do it as the framebuilder will just be basically whacking your frame with a hammer, maybe with a piece of hardwood or something in between.

With respect to your last point, apparently the FCU has a 120mm hub in the back so the angle of the chainstay shouldn't be too huge of an issue.
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Old 03-25-09, 03:01 PM   #8
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Old 03-26-09, 03:46 PM   #9
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Old 03-28-09, 03:28 PM   #10
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Old 03-29-09, 03:11 PM   #11
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Thanks for the cog talk, but honestly guys I'm a little novice for all that. Maybe you could advise me on what cog sizes I should look for? How many teeth, etc? I'm 5'11" and about 165lb, and I ride a lot, but casually, although I'm looking to beef that up with this new machine.

And again, please explain to me any differences in what makes this Cross bike different from the other fixed gear bikes offered by BD. I'm looking to buy very soon.
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Old 03-29-09, 03:31 PM   #12
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And again, please explain to me any differences in what makes this Cross bike different from the other fixed gear bikes offered by BD. I'm looking to buy very soon.
The uno has cantilever brakes, the others have caliper brakes (or in the case of the kilo, no brakes). Cantis have a different feel, but aren't necessarily bad. They give better clearance for fenders, and bigger tires.

The Uno, in particular, also doesn't come with brake levers on the hoods, they are on the tops (though you can add aero brake levers). while the motomess and clockwork (and a few others) have aero levers on the hoods.

The uno has substantially lower gearing out of the box than the other BD bikes. This means it's very nice for trails and living in hilly areas, but you may spin out on roads and flats. This can be remedied by putting a very small cog on the opposite side for riding on the street, while keeping one side for riding trails. Or get a second rear wheel for road riding. The provided 16T on one side, with a 13t on the flip side would give you approximately the same gearing as the BD road bikes for the flip side. A 14t might be a happier medium, depends on where you live.

The uno, being a cross bike, comes with cross tires and you'll have to buy slicks if you want them on the road.

You should stop bumping your threads with ellipsis. It's annoying and makes you come across as sarcastic, considering people were at least trying to be helpful. Or maybe since this is SS/FG, irony is the go-to approach?

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