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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 06-15-09, 04:21 AM   #1
nerobro
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BD bike, rent for the rest of the season or <insert option>?

So, I've recent started track riding.

I've been renting bikes from the track every time I go. It's not a "bad" thing. The rates are reasonable, at $5 a day. And the bikes are high quality, being schwinn paramount track bikes. They're old, but they came from waterford if I understand schwinns history right.

That said, I'd like a bike of my own. I can't change gears on the rentals, and I don't like the tires on them. Also, the biggest point of contention is that they have these selle san marco saddles on them. They cause me pain like you wouldn't believe. :-)

It should go without saying, that this bike will live on the track, and only be used on the track. I've got road bikes for roads.

Now looking for a track bike gets interesting. Track bikes seem unduely expensive in comparison to their multi speed breatheren. You can get a complete, taigra equipped fuji for the same price as their track-comp bike. WTF is up with that?

BD carries "A" bike they call a track bike. That's the Windsor Hour. I've not seen bad reviews of the bike, which is good. However I'm also allergic to quill stems. And there's no way of garunteeing I"ll get a threadless bike if I order it. The other bike I'd be intersted in is the Dawes SST-AL. I've had good experiences with Dawes bikes. My Lightning 1000, and my friends Haymaker 1500 both are serving us well. The only lesson I learned was to take the time to re-tension the wheels before you put them into service. They're built like crap ;-)

The Hour is $299. The SST-AL is 359, and comes with deeper section rims, and brakes as part of the deal. Obviously the brakes would be taken off, and sold, making the bikes only $30 or so apart.

Though the coupon expired, I do expect others to show up. My other option was to go through performance and buy a Fuji Track Comp. That would have run me $680, with the 15% off coupon. And I'd get $68 in store credit as I'm a member. Even as such, $612 is a big bullet to bite on a single purpose bike.

I should stop by my local non chain bike shop to see what they can do for track bikes. Something tells me they will also be in the $800-1200 range.

Right now, I'm leaning towards the Dawes SST-AL. To me dawes is something of a known quantity. And the big tubes on the aluminum frame lead me to believe it will be a little stiffer than the hour.

Now the balls in your court. Tell me not to buy anything, and rent till I get bored, tell me what else to buy, or tell me i'm on the right track. .... no pun intended.

EDIT: The Windsor clockwork seems to be a sane option too. It's $319, and comes with those wonderfully sellable brakes. And has a threaded headset. So is, and does the Dawes SST

Last edited by nerobro; 06-15-09 at 04:26 AM.
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Old 06-15-09, 05:03 AM   #2
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the windsor don't have quill stems anymore, unless you buy one of those odd sizes they have. People usually praise the Kilo for the street, i don't know about for the track though.
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Old 06-15-09, 05:08 AM   #3
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the Kilo has real track geometry not road geometry. It is a rebadged KHS Flite 100. Damn nice bike! Go with that and make your own minor adjustments. If you can swing the extra cash...wait for winter and save a bit more...pick up a Fuji Track PRO...the weight is almost nil and the stiffness is catamount! If you absolutely can't wait...pick up the KiloTT!!!
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Old 06-15-09, 05:11 AM   #4
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Might be worth asking in the actual track forum.
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Old 06-15-09, 09:38 AM   #5
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the Kilo has real track geometry not road geometry.
it doesnt, but it leans towards it and would be perfectly suitable for use.

id strongly consider aluminum or even carbon over steel if you can swing it.
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Old 06-15-09, 10:18 AM   #6
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Going Fuji Track Pro is completely out of the question. $1200 is to much money. Period.

I did some research, track bikes, depending on event, vary from "very sharp" to "darned near road bike" geometry. I've never found a bike that I couldn't make steer as sharply as I like. And when riding in traffic I'd much prefer a bike that errs on the stable side to one that has almost no trail.

OKey, so the Kilo TT is a KHS flite. Good to know. HAs anyone ridden the SST-AL?

I posted here because the likelhood of someone riding the SST-AL is much, much greater here. Race forums seem to know well known race equipment, and that's it.
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Old 06-15-09, 10:28 AM   #7
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Not to add another option but I believe Bikes Direct is supposed to release a Dura Ace spec'd aluminum track bike by end of summer. Might want to wait for that.

On another note, a roadie showed up at the track this weekend on a bone stock Windsor Hour and hung at the front the entire day.
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Old 06-15-09, 04:35 PM   #8
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interseting, perhaps it's time to e-mail them. :-) I've heard good things about the hour, but there are seemingly better deals on BD. If I get a bike with brakes, brakes are a sell able commodity. And or, it gives me the optoin to ride it on the street if I were so inclined.
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Old 06-15-09, 05:35 PM   #9
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I'm from Chicago too. Which Performance Bike has the Track Comp in stock?
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Old 06-15-09, 06:32 PM   #10
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you get what you pay for
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Old 06-15-09, 06:42 PM   #11
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Wow! 5 bucks a day.
Pretty hard to beat that deal.
I know, help the economy buy stuff.
But 5 bucks a day.
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Old 06-15-09, 10:37 PM   #12
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Tgscord... Well, they weren't in stock. I'd have to pay, and they'd order.

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you get what you pay for
That's not an answer to the question I posed. It's a "truism" that barely holds water.

Pick the industry, and there's better, and worse buys all over the place. Bicycles especially, as they're a well developed mature product. If you don't need the support of a LBS (and I do not.) you have a wide range of places to get the same quality equipment at an even wider range of prices.

I paid less than $400 for one of my road bikes. Equal hardware at performance is $700. Where's the benefit in paying the $700? Yes, I got what I paid for, i got a lot more for my dollar than if I went with the fuji at performance.

The qualities that make a good bike, aren't necessarily defined by price. I paid $103 for the frame on my "other" road bike. Does that mean I have a crap frame because I paid so little for it? It's a $1000 frame.... *grumbles some more* If you have something constructive to add...

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Wow! 5 bucks a day.
Pretty hard to beat that deal.
I know, help the economy buy stuff.
But 5 bucks a day.
No kidding. Quite a conundrum. Say the least i'm not in a severe hurry to find a new ride.

So, there was progress today. I hit up every local bike shop. Albertos, George Garner, Deerfield Cyclery, Northshore Cyclery. Best price I found was one that matched performance, for a bike that's not as pretty. George garner has some 2-3 year old Allez Pro's for $804. Albertos has a last year Fuji Track Pro, a used bike, for $800. They could also do the fuji track, for $400 + 200 to make it track ready. Deerfield could only say they would order from the trek catalog.... $1000-2000 there, and they could do their botique brands for me as well. Again, starting in the mid to high 4 digits. Northshore said they could swing an Origin8 Uno for me, and we'd have to swap the handlebars on it. For $575.

If i'm going to spend $200 on upgrade parts, why start with the fuji track frame? why not just go for the Hour, Messenger, or SST-AL?
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Old 06-15-09, 11:21 PM   #13
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How much does the ability to customize your track bike matter to you? You mentioned gearing.
How often do you ride on the track?
The obvious issue is that you can rent 100x for the cost of your own bike that you got a good deal on, and you're not paying for any of the things like tires & grip tape when they wear out.
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Old 06-15-09, 11:40 PM   #14
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jesus you're such a consumernazi-econofacist-capitalismo it's not even funny. you're using walmart logic, and it's well documented how that turns out.

GET THE HOUR OR KILO IF YOU DON'T WANT BRAKES.

if you're so stingy, why on earth would you pay for things you don't need, like brakes?

the SST-AL, messenger, clockwork, and rest aren't ANY better for the track than the aformentioned brakeless ones.

adriano's confused track geo with trail. the kilo has fast handling. it's not as fast as some but it's definitely responsive enough to be considered 'track' geometry.

you could rent until the 800 dollar dura-ace moto team pro comes out, but if you don't want to spend money then i don't really see many options for you...

and if you don't like the idea of a BD bike then get something else.

honestly i'd get a bianchi pista from last year for 500 or so. you'll end up spending that on a kilo if you want to change the tires and saddle- which if you don't like the rentals' you'll never like the stock kendas and velo saddle on the kilo.

seriously though- pay small amounts of money over and over bit by bit or pay a lot more for something that you know you'll be happy with. since you want nice tires and a saddle that you like and want to change cogs and ratios, i'd get a bike from a good reputable LBS that will hook you up. if they can take stock stuff off they may give you a deal on your choice of parts.
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Old 06-16-09, 12:47 AM   #15
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How much does the ability to customize your track bike matter to you? You mentioned gearing.
How often do you ride on the track?
The obvious issue is that you can rent 100x for the cost of your own bike that you got a good deal on, and you're not paying for any of the things like tires & grip tape when they wear out.
Getting the gearing right is something that matters to me a lot. I ride the track two or three times a week.
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jesus you're such a consumernazi-econofacist-capitalismo it's not even funny. you're using walmart logic, and it's well documented how that turns out.
Be careful there. You're not treading where you think you are. :-) I buy exactly one product at walmart, and it ain't bikes. I'm a good shopper, and I do my part to keep local businesses around.

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GET THE HOUR OR KILO IF YOU DON'T WANT BRAKES.

if you're so stingy, why on earth would you pay for things you don't need, like brakes?

the SST-AL, messenger, clockwork, and rest aren't ANY better for the track than the aformentioned brakeless ones.
But I want an aluminum frame. And the SST-AL comes with what looks to be better wheels. And brakes have some value, and are sellable if that's the case.

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you could rent until the 800 dollar dura-ace moto team pro comes out, but if you don't want to spend money then i don't really see many options for you...

and if you don't like the idea of a BD bike then get something else.
Something tells me the Dura-ace Moto Team would be a better bike than the one I took for a spin today at albertos. It would also be new, instead of having all the marks of being well loved (read: lots of charecter) by the previous riders. And at $800 it would be a superior bike to the fuji track comp that I could get from performance.

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honestly i'd get a bianchi pista from last year for 500 or so.*snip*
seriously though- pay small amounts of money over and over bit by bit or pay a lot more for something that you know you'll be happy with. since you want nice tires and a saddle that you like and want to change cogs and ratios, i'd get a bike from a good reputable LBS that will hook you up. if they can take stock stuff off they may give you a deal on your choice of parts.
None of the local shops are bianchi dealers. That seems like something i should, and will, investigate.

My problem with the tires on the rentals are the fact the tires are very, very old. Or at least they behave like they're very old. The saddle.. well i'm weird, velo saddles suit me just fine. Though the selle italia on the used track pro was nice.

I'm not completely trying to cheap out here. I am also not going to spend $1500 on a 2 day a week bike. When I walked into the bike shops today, I wasn't asking them to match BD's price. If someone had shown me an aluminum framed bike for $600 today, I would have gone home with it. Or, more accurately, taken it to the track with me.

What do you consider a good LBS? I went to ... four today? None of them were ready to talk getting the right sprockets or saddle for me. I don't think they play that game at the sub $2000 level.

No matter what bike I buy, I will need to buy a couple of chain rings and a few sprockets to go with it. That's a fixed cost no matter what bike I buy. I would bet that I could sort things out to say, three ratios by year end, but that's not something anyone can predict at the moment.

I don't think you can say that I'm not giving the local option a fair chance. And the last bike I bought, was from a local shop. I had to go elsewhere to get the proper fit parts... as they didn't carry narrow enough bars or a short enough stem. Sadly the "shop support" isn't a factor for me. I do (quite literally) all of my own bike work. I"m normally not happy with the works i see come out of bike shops. Brakes are setup sloppily, gears still make some noise. LBS's see me for tubes, and whatever tools I may not already own.
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Old 06-16-09, 01:36 AM   #16
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a lot of bike shops are no better than crack dens in that nothing good comes out of them.

i didn't mean to berate you for your cutthroat lowest-price-sells remarks but i don't think you should just give up after seeing four shops strike out. the fifth could be a savior.

what i was meaning to say is that a great shop... not just a good one, but one that is really top notch and will do anything to keep a customer happy and riding... that kind of bike shop will say "hey, you want particular things like chainrings- we can get them at distributor cost and save the stuff(like brakes) you don't need, so let's make a deal that you might not get just reselling parts"... then you could get something aluminum like a giant bowery and even get it with the parts you want, without having to have such a high extra cost on top of the bike purchase.

any bike shop that won't talk about customization below the 2large level isn't on my good list. from a business standpoint, it probably takes more time and money in consultation in relatively small sales than it is worth... but from a service/customer satisfaction standpoint i don't think companies can afford not to take everyone's needs into consideration, and if i sense that going on i will spend my petty cash elsewhere. anyone can get me a bike, i go to shops for SERVICE. precious few shops understand this.

then again, some of my favorite shops are co-ops... not custom builders or boutiques. even my favorite boutiques are run more like a co-op.

i think some people are crazy to spend more than 50 dollars on a two day a week bike...

that said i have three bikes and ride every day, which if you do the math comes out to barely more than two days each... and i definitely don't share equal usage, equal miles, or equal investment/cost into each of them. i'm not affluent by any means but i have the privilege of a few bikes, and i would have rather spent more on the bikes that see the least amount of saddle time because the enjoyment i get from them is NOT proportional to their cost, it's proportional to the percieved performance i get from their intended use.

so basically, what i'm saying is that your cost is YOUR cost, and your choice of how much to spend and justification of that choice is really not something you need to ask us about...

i haven't ridden the aluminum dawes but i'll put my money on telling you that a kilo is going to be a WAY better track racer than a dawes sst-al ::for the money:: provided you're changing the gearing and the tires and losing the brakes ... maybe in your area you can sell the brakes for 30 dollars, but i think i'd spend 15 for them, tops... even unused.

you may want aluminum but honestly the sst-al doesn't impress me at all as a track racer. i'd rather have a bowery if i was stuck to aluminum, and i can actually test ride one before i buy it.

that said, my kilo is great and i fully recommend it to those who want a cheap bike.

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Old 06-16-09, 05:22 AM   #17
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See if Chicago is interested in selling a 55cm Paramount track and let me know =) I could always use another one.

That being said go with the Track Comp. I rode one on Boulder and it was an excellent track bike. It was stiff and stable at speed which is pretty important on a 45 degree banking. Upgrades wont be required until you are winning races in the 4s, even then you would have a competitive bike into the 3s. One of the unfortunate things about Performance is they are unlikely to allow you to switch stems/bars for a better fit like a LBS would, but such is life.
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Old 06-16-09, 08:55 AM   #18
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adriano's confused track geo with trail. the kilo has fast handling. it's not as fast as some but it's definitely responsive enough to be considered 'track' geometry.
72.5 head tubes are not traditional track geometry. get over it.
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Old 06-16-09, 09:22 AM   #19
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Schwinn Paramount rentals? Luxurious. Well, it just becomes a matter of how much money you are spending on rentals. If you go frequently enough, purchasing a bike will seem more logical. It's the same with renting anything really. If you are going to use the hell out of it, why not go ahead and get a new bike? If you don't go that much or are just a seasonal rider, perhaps renting makes more sense for you.

I will say though that if you decide to get a track bike for the track, I would go ahead and shell out the extra cash for a nice track bike. A Kilo TT on BD is $350 or you could get a light-weight/aero aluminum frame from a maker like Fuji for about twice that much. The difference is noticeable (especially if you opt for nice wheels). In a large sense, the few extra Benjamins you shell out won't amount to much because you will have used the bike so much by the time you want to get rid of it. Those frames are so cheap now anyhow ... hard to pass up. However, if you aren't very hardcore or are more seasonal, the Kilo TT is probably the better buy though.

EDIT: Also, Nero, assuming you aren't getting a 2009 FTP, the price is going to be much lower than $1200. $900 tops, most I see are about $800 at brick-and-mortar stores. On eBay or CL, used, you'd prolly pay $500 to the mid $600s for an '08. A terrific deal if you aren't concerned about having the newest body style.
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Old 06-18-09, 04:38 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc700 View Post
a lot of bike shops are no better than crack dens in that nothing good comes out of them.

i didn't mean to berate you for your cutthroat lowest-price-sells remarks but i don't think you should just give up after seeing four shops strike out. the fifth could be a savior.
I tried REI, and performance too ;-) Sadly, I didn't get to calling the shop in palatine yet. I'll darken their doorstep tomorrow I think.

Quote:
what i was meaning to say is that a great shop...
I'll poke around, but I think to reach the great shop zen.. I'll need to head downtown to a joint like yojimbos.

Quote:
then again, some of my favorite shops are co-ops... not custom builders or boutiques. even my favorite boutiques are run more like a co-op.
I make good use of the co-op in chicago. Two friends have wanted bikes, and they're on stupidly tight budgets. I got one of them a rough looking, but perfectly operational Trek 820, with the right size frame for $80. It's hard to beat that.


Quote:
i haven't ridden the aluminum dawes but i'll put my money on telling you that a kilo is going to be a WAY better track racer than a dawes sst-al ::for the money:: provided you're changing the gearing and the tires and losing the brakes ... maybe in your area you can sell the brakes for 30 dollars, but i think i'd spend 15 for them, tops... even unused.

that said, my kilo is great and i fully recommend it to those who want a cheap bike.
That's the thing. I'm not so sure. The dawes comes with better wheels. I'm going to blow $100 on chainrings and sprockets no matter how I go with this.

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See if Chicago is interested in selling a 55cm Paramount track and let me know =) I could always use another one.

That being said go with the Track Comp. I rode one on Boulder and it was an excellent track bike.
It will be the day if I make it to the 4's. But I'm going to try. Something tells me that northbrook ain't selling their rental bikes. :-)

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Originally Posted by devilshaircut View Post
Schwinn Paramount rentals? Luxurious.*snip*

I will say though that if you decide to get a track bike for the track, I would go ahead and shell out the extra cash for a nice track bike. A Kilo TT on BD is $350 *snip* However, if you aren't very hardcore or are more seasonal, the Kilo TT is probably the better buy though.

EDIT: Also, Nero, assuming you aren't getting a 2009 FTP
The bikes are beautiful. And as far as I can tell, ride quite well.

If money were my only concern, I'd rent the bike untill the cows came home. It makes me nervous not knowing a 51cm bike will be waiting for me each day. I want the ability to make the bike "mine." I'd like a computer, a saddle that doesn't leave me crying, bars that are wrapped with something other than cotton web.... These are things you can't really fix on a rental.

If the KiloTT is $350, and the SST-AL is $359... Why would I chose the steel bike with the box section rims over the aluminum bike with aero rims? I think I'd kinda like a review of the SST-AL by someone who has owned a few good bikes. Is the only functional difference the BCD on the crank?

Well, now the coupon expired... But Performance can get the FTP for $1200, and the FTC for $800. I don't care about it being the latest, just "new."

We'll see how long I waffle. I may well end up waiting till the 20% Performance coupons hit ;-) Or I may try what I did with the Draft I bought. Buy the bike, and figure that I may end up selling it. Hmm... do I want to play guinea pig?
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Old 06-18-09, 07:33 AM   #21
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Nero:

$500, 1 day left, 1 bidder: http://cgi.ebay.com/08-FUJI-TRACK-PR...3A1%7C294%3A50

Don't waste your money on the BD bikes if you want to go dedicated track. I'm not saying they aren't good bikes or that steel isn't good enough. Personally, I have a Kilo TT and love it. But it just isn't the same as having specifically-designed track bike. When the difference is only a couple hundred dollars, I think that makes the decision easy (for me at least). The FTP is one of the nicest entry-level track bikes you can get and it is a great time to buy one now that they've revamped the body style.
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Old 06-18-09, 09:41 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by devilshaircut View Post
Nero:

$500, 1 day left, 1 bidder: http://cgi.ebay.com/08-FUJI-TRACK-PR...3A1%7C294%3A50

Don't waste your money on the BD bikes if you want to go dedicated track. I'm not saying they aren't good bikes or that steel isn't good enough. Personally, I have a Kilo TT and love it. But it just isn't the same as having specifically-designed track bike. When the difference is only a couple hundred dollars, I think that makes the decision easy (for me at least). The FTP is one of the nicest entry-level track bikes you can get and it is a great time to buy one now that they've revamped the body style.
theres no reason to pass on bikesdirect unless you are overly concerned about the brand. their available track options are more than enough until you reach a very competitive level. that said, there are better aluminum options at the moment. the true bikesdirect track bike is coming. the word is that it will be a fuji track pro clone with duraace cranks and hubs. it will undercut the price others of similar caliber, and i think it would be worth the wait if youre interested in something like that! i would shoot mike an email.
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Old 06-18-09, 09:51 AM   #23
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I assume a BD FTP clone would be on par with the actual FTP. If it really has a Dura Ace groupset on it, it could even be better than the FTP. But I do think that if he could get that bike for $500 vs a Kilo TT for $350 (or a Kilo TT Pro for $450), the extra $50-$150 would be well spent. That's not a lot of money, and you are getting a lot of bike for it. But like I said before, if he just wants a bike - not necessarily just for the track - the Kilo TT is more than adequate.
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Old 06-18-09, 02:48 PM   #24
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I have a 60cm Dawes SST AL and love it. Wheels were tensioned and true right out of the box. All I had to do was attach the bars, front wheel seat and tighten the lockring. It comes with the freewheel, rear brake caliper and lever in a bag ready to install if you wish (I didn't) I've put about 200 miles on it in the month or so that I've had it. The frame seems to be very stiff and tracks straight as an arrow. Right now the only upgrades I'd like to do are changing the seat and the bars. everything else is adequate for me right now. I think that at 360bux this bike was good deal. Down the road I could deal with some new wheels as the stock ones (Alex Sub) are a little heavier than I was expecting but still not an anchor by any means.

Dawes SST AL FTW! (crappy cell phone pic)

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Old 06-18-09, 03:16 PM   #25
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Looks good. Is that a wheel cover? Polo?
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