If your're feeling charitable, maybe you can help a newb out
Iím sick of seeing the world through a car windshield, so Iíve started biking. I borrowed my dads low end multi geared bike and have been loving it. However, Iím going to get a new bike soon, and I need a little direction.
When I ride my fathers bike, I never shift gears, so Iím looking to go single speed, since I love to coast. I understand from some cursory reading from these threads that one can build a pret outty cool bike from different components. This appeals to me. However:
My price range is around $1300 American dollars. I have no idea what thisíll get me. I donít know what my priorities should be for components I.e. what parts demand top dollar and what parts I can skimp on, if any.
I keep hearing people talking about ďtrackĒ bikes. Are these synonymous with fixed/single speed?
What Iím really looking for is a nice, comfortable, smooth ride that will work well in an Urban environment. Iím going to be commuting to work & school, but this is only six miles each way at the most. Some areaís are hilly, but I know I can tough em out. I know that I cant just throw a bunch of parts together, and Iím sure thereís an art to building a nice bike. I plan to research it thoroughly, I just need a push in the right direction.
Or am I delusional and should stick with something off the shelf?
Thanks for your time.
Track bikes are fixed and have more 'aggressive' geometry, meaning that you'll be in a more bent over position most of the time. There are tons of non-track commuter bikes out there that are less than $1300. In fact, you'd be able to pimp the hell out of the bike with a budget like that.
I use my bike for the same reasons that you mentioned and for urban exploring, day trips to beaches, etc. and I absolutely love it. I picked up my 2006 Bianchi San Jose for about the equivalent of $350 (I traded another bike for it and some cash) on Craigslist. New ones MSRP for $850, but you should be able to find new, slightly used bikes for cheaper on Craigs.
You could also try checking out the Commuter forums for more ideas.
Hello wow for $1300 I would get the San Jose Steel that already comes with fenders and use the rest to buy nice pedals shoes and bottle cages. OH and a bell
the difference between a "Fixed" gear like a track or Pista bike and a SS singlespeed is that a fixed gear is fixed. this means that if the bike is moving the pedals are turning. you cannot coast. a single spped is just that a singlespeed freewheel (like a BMX bike) you can coast. some single speed bikes come with a "flip flop" hub that allows you to ride eitherway.
OH where are you from?
Last edited by Bianchigirll; 06-06-09 at 04:03 PM.
Right on. Thanks for the great info.
Funny, my next was question was going to concern weather or not spending $1300 on a bike was too decadent.
So, buy something for less money and pimp out as needed? OK, cool.
Would it be sacrilege to modify a Fixie so it will coast?
Originally Posted by Bianchigirll
OH where are you from?
I'm from Rochester, NY.
BTW, I hope I didn’t come across as some ignorant well off dude who wants to jump on a bandwagon. I recently sold a drum kit in order to fund this.
Anyone here play drums?
You're definitely set as far as your budget goes. That amount will get you a Masi Speciale Fixed - which I highly recommend - as well as some other stuff you'll probably want. I recommend a helmet, a light, a good lock, and a pair of shorts/bibs for when you want to start riding more (it's addictive).
I'll second the Masi, it's what I want. My second choice would be a Raleigh Rush Hour. I commute on a Lager but I recommend the Fuji Track (since I think they have the same geometry but the Fuji has better stock parts).
Don't spend everything on the 'bike'. Get a decent frame with quality parts. Then I recommend getting the basic tools so that you can maintain and fix your own bike. Things like a few wrenches, bottom bracket removal tools, freewheel remover, chain braker, and crank puller. Most problems you run into with your SS you can fix yourself. You'll learn about bikes and it's rewarding to fix your own bike. Be sure to get yourself a nice floor pump, tire levers...things that the bike parts need. Get a good head/tail light, maybe a good backpack you find comfortable to ride with, and a HELMET. Helmets save lives and cars are generally oblivious to your existence.
Good luck and spread the stoke!
Edit: Forgot to mention a lock. Get a good lock, not a walmart $15 combo cable lock. Get a good Krypto U, or a hardened steel chain. Something that says to a would be thief "move on to the next bike, this one takes to much effort". There are threads here about proper bike security and sheldonbrown gives good info as well. Read it and learn.