Hi, thanks for taking the time to deal with me.
So I'm in the market for getting myself my first fixed gear bike, and though there are probably millions of choices I sort of have my sights set on a few bikes. If anyone wants to throw in their 2 cents as to which bikes they prefer I'm all ears, currently I'd like to get a fully built bike that is around the $500-600 range (less would be great though), that's of a good quality above all else.
The first is a Charge Plug . I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this bike or the Charge brand. Also does anyone know anywhere I could simply order one online, I wouldn't mind finding a local retail store to order from the distributor but I figure it would just be easier if it could be ordered directly online. Also does anyone know the pricing for one of these bikes?
My second choice is a SE 700c Matte Black Lager . Once again I was wondering if anyone has had experience with the SE brand? Its a bit on the high end for me in terms of pricing though, but if its worth it I wouldn't mind.
Finally I am in a dead even for third between getting a Black IRO Mark V or a Black Surly Steamroller. I'm stoked that the IRO can be easily purchased online, the price is also right, and honestly I'm probably going to end up ordering one at this rate, but does anyone know if there is anywhere I could find the Steamroller online in black?
I'm also considering the Mercier Kilo TT but I don't really like having massive lettering all over my bike.
Anyways just a few bikes I'm thinking about, I've read a lot on the fourm about the last three but haven't heard much of my first two choices so I'd like to hear what you guys have to think. Thanks in advance for any input and especially any shopping advice or links.
Personally, I think the IRO is the best deal for a fully built entry level fixed gear. All of the parts that come on it are pretty good, and you won't have to mess with replacing anything on it right out of the box. Hell, even the wheelset that comes on them is pretty nice.
The steamroller is also a decent choice. A lot of people have them and love them. Just not my cup of tea with the whole fattie tires fit fine and large amounts of room for fenders. But a stout bike none the less.
The kilo would be a great way to go if you can get your mind off the massive amounts of decals. Some of the parts are junk and will need to get replaced, but the whole package is pretty cheap, and because of that, you get to keep some money in your pocket for the specific upgrades you want (wheels, saddle, bars and stem would be the things to upgrade on this bike).
Uno Pista NJS (by Fujishiro), NYCbikes cityfixed, '85 Centurian Dave Scott, Witcomb Track Bike
The SE and Mercier are the same bike, probably built at the same Taiwanese facility, set up with the same CRAP components, BUT, they are still a good deal.
The Charge is set up with nice components, but is plain gage (not butted) tubing, so it could be on the heavy side. For your first fixie I wouldn't worry about weight, so this might be the best choice.
The Steamroller is the nicest of this group. They are on the heavy side, so you won't be racing on it, but they are well built, and made for the street.
Personally, I encourage newbs to do what I did. Get an old road bike for $15 at a garage sale. Buy the cheapest wheelset you can find, and make a conversion. Only buy parts that you absolutely need to get it on the road. Ride it for about a year until you become a good, strong fixed rider, then move up to a nicer ride. You will become comfortable on the conversion not realize how bad it sux until you get a proper track bike. Once you make that change, it is like a breath of fresh air, a new machine.
Mercier Kilo TT Pro, Schwinn Le Tour Conversion, Free Spirit polo beater, Cervelo P2T, aluminum tandem.
Actually the Lager is more like the Dawes SST. The Kilo TT is different. The TT also comes with decent parts, more than what you would expect on a $300 bike imo. The $200 eBay bikes have parts I would consider crap.
For what you want (price/spec), I agree that IRO would be a good choice.
thanks for all the advice, actually I did mess around with a cheep conversion for a few months (not a year though) but that is primarily why I want to get a devoted fixie for myself. So after figuring the cost for any one of the bikes, and any nicer components I would probably get I was just about to order an IRO, but I ended up getting the Charge Plug Racer instead, I just couldn't resist. I actually made the decision when I was walking around outside to go get some food and a guy on one was parking his Plug, it was like some kind of devine fate, he was even nice enough to let me try it out (something I almost never do with my bikes). Thanks for all the advice and I'll definatly be around on these threads.
The bike that I would recommend you getting is a 2008 Rocky Mountain's Boroughs. They're very solid bikes and come with a great Velocity wheel set and decent parts out of the box. It's more of a track bike than a standard fixed gear and cost around $750-$800.