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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 06-06-09, 03:39 PM   #1
froley
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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.
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Old 06-06-09, 03:53 PM   #2
steveymcdubs
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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.
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Old 06-06-09, 04:02 PM   #3
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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. Reason: grammar
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Old 06-06-09, 04:16 PM   #4
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Well, repeating what some people say ready, a track bike is a bike suited for use at the velodrome. Track bikes are fixed gears, but fixed gears aren't track bikes.

For $1300 you've got a good chunck of the market to go with, i'll suggest going to the LBS and seeing whats available. If you want mailorder, bikesdirect or maybe Iro are good suggestions.
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Old 06-06-09, 04:54 PM   #5
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IMO, if you've got $1300 to spend, I would spend about 1/3 of that building a decent SS cruiser out of used parts, and then spend the rest on something else


If you're not doing it for fashion or performance, there's no real need to spend that kind of money on it.


IMO, you'd be best suited to find a used bike that you like, and just fix it up from there.
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Old 06-06-09, 05:03 PM   #6
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That is a ton of money to spend on a fixed gear.
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Old 06-06-09, 05:18 PM   #7
PedallingATX
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2009 Jamis Sputnik
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Old 06-06-09, 05:20 PM   #8
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2009 Jamis Sputnik
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Old 06-06-09, 05:39 PM   #9
froley
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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?

Quote:
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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?

Last edited by froley; 06-06-09 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 06-06-09, 06:00 PM   #10
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Anyone here play drums?
I did until I had too much trouble owning and lugging a set around the city...
so much fun though!
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Old 06-06-09, 06:36 PM   #11
froley
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I did until I had too much trouble owning and lugging a set around the city...
maybe you need one of these...


sonor jungle. 16 bass drum, 10 tom, 14 floor tom. Infinitely portable. Wish I never sold her..
But were talking bikes here. sorry
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Old 06-06-09, 06:48 PM   #12
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You won't want to lock up or abuse a $1300 singlespeed- a nice new entry-level track bike off the shop floor shouldn't be more than $800 or so, and under $500 for something nice on the used market.
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Old 06-06-09, 07:26 PM   #13
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Would it be sacrilege to modify a Fixie so it will coast?
Just make sure you have two brakes if you go SS. Front only would be fine if you're fixed.
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Old 06-07-09, 08:51 PM   #14
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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).
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Old 06-08-09, 01:49 AM   #15
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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.

Last edited by CharneK; 06-08-09 at 01:53 AM.
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Old 06-08-09, 01:53 AM   #16
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you guys rock. I have a lot to consider.
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