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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 06-23-09, 12:42 AM   #1
lovrin
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Just starting out....help?

Hey guys, I'm just getting into fixed gears so I really don't know much about them, but I want to buy one pretty soon. I'm looking for an affordable one, preferably between $300-$500. I have a Bert's Bike and Fitness near my house, so there's an outlet store right there for me to go to, but I'm sure there's more places to go. Can you guys recommend me some bikes for starters(even though a lot of them are the same?) haha, sorry if I seem clueless. I was looking at the Schwinn Cutter, looks very affordable and sleek and is indeed a fixed gear, but then also found the SE Racing Draft Lite bike. I'm gonna wanna ride this almost everywhere I go, so I really need some help. The main thing that's holding me down is money, so that's where the big issue is. Any recommendations/advice/anything is appreciated.

Thanks so much,
Dan

Last edited by lovrin; 06-23-09 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 06-23-09, 05:29 AM   #2
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Use the search function.
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Old 06-23-09, 11:08 PM   #3
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So I've decided on the Schwinn Madison. It says it has a flip-flop hub, but i don't know if it comes set up as fixed or if I have to install it myself, which I currently lack the knowledge on how to do. Any help with this one? Here's the link of where I'm buying it from...
http://bertsbikes.com/itemdetails.cfm?LibId=51622

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Old 06-23-09, 11:46 PM   #4
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It says right there:
"The rear flip/flop hub features both a fixie and a singlespeed freewheel so you can switch it up"

What is up with the sizing:

xsmall
small
medium
large
xlarge

Thats not an acceptable way to size a frame! Make sure that you get that straight before you order it.
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Old 06-23-09, 11:54 PM   #5
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be sure to stay away from the cutter and the draft, they're super heavy hi-ten frames with crap components.
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Old 06-23-09, 11:55 PM   #6
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Yeah, it's actually...like a place haha, so I'm gonna go there, get sized up and see which fits me.

But wait, i realize it's both, but how do I know how if it's gonna be set up as a fixed or set up as a freewheel when I get it. I emailed them about it, but I don't know if I'm gonna get an answer.

And if so, how do I switch it around? I searched but didn't find any step by step instructions, it might be simple though, but since I'm not really knowledgeable on this, I don't know.

Sorry, I'm pretty clueless when it comes to this so sorry if I come off as stupid.

Last edited by lovrin; 06-24-09 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 06-23-09, 11:56 PM   #7
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be sure to stay away from the cutter and the draft, they're super heavy hi-ten frames with crap components.
Yeah, I already decided on the Schwinn Madison.
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Old 06-24-09, 12:15 AM   #8
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once you see it....you should understand
if you dont, then i wont feel sorry for you
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Old 06-24-09, 05:46 AM   #9
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The Madison comes in yellow?
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Old 06-24-09, 08:14 PM   #10
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And if so, how do I switch it around? I searched but didn't find any step by step instructions, it might be simple though
That's exactly what you do.
You turn the wheel around.

Tool's needed:
15mm wrench or adjustable wrench.

Step 1: [strike]Cut a hole in the box.[/strike]
Loosen the axel nuts on the rear wheel.

Step 2:
Remove rear wheel, turn wheel around, put wheel back on.

Step 3:
Tighten axle nuts.

Have your bike shop show you how.

Last edited by beeftech; 06-24-09 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 06-24-09, 09:02 PM   #11
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Good idea going to the LBS to get sized-The Madisons' seem to be larger than
their sizing dictates- My '08 Large had a sticker stating for riders to 6'1"',
I'm nearly 6'3" and it fits great w/ a fist of seatpost, all stem spacers intact-
My reach is still a little long, I still think I need a shorter stem-
Awesome fun, fast, sturdy (I'm 240#, not a creek outta this thing in 2 months)
bike- Deals still to be had-Performance in my town had the 08 (Blue) Models
a couple of weeks ago for $350.00! Its insane the amount of attention this bike
gets-It's a major chick (and often, dude ) magnet.
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Old 06-24-09, 11:22 PM   #12
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It indeed does come in yellow, pretty exciting. Yeah, I figured you had to turn the wheel around after researching a bit more on it.

What's also convenient is that I have a few friends who also know what they're doing, so I could have them show me. I really would like to learn how to actually mess with some of the bike, so it's easier and more fun(AND I know what I'm doing if something goes wrong), with first hand learning with them showing me show/what I'm doing.

Also, since I'm graduating in a few days(yeah...I'm young haha), I'm getting a $300 boost from my mom to help pay for it. I'm really excited to get this bike. Any other tips you guys offer?
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Old 06-24-09, 11:44 PM   #13
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Any other tips you guys offer?
1. Develop a healthy fear of death.
2. Ride like its the last day of your life.
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Old 06-25-09, 01:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Good idea going to the LBS to get sized-The Madisons' seem to be larger than
their sizing dictates- My '08 Large had a sticker stating for riders to 6'1"',
I'm nearly 6'3" and it fits great w/ a fist of seatpost, all stem spacers intact-
My reach is still a little long, I still think I need a shorter stem-
Awesome fun, fast, sturdy (I'm 240#, not a creek outta this thing in 2 months)
bike- Deals still to be had-Performance in my town had the 08 (Blue) Models
a couple of weeks ago for $350.00! Its insane the amount of attention this bike
gets-It's a major chick (and often, dude ) magnet.
Yeah, I'll be sure to do that. I've heard good things about the guys at Bert's. I believe it's only a Western New York located store? Either way, I'm sure they'll help me, seeing I'm not extremely tool savvy, I'm sure they'll offer tips and stuff.

Wow, $350! That's so cheap! I'm just going with the '09, mostly because it's the most updated and recent model. That's nuts though, I'm SO excited to get it! Riding around Buffalo is gonna be a blast.
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Old 06-25-09, 01:31 AM   #15
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brake or no brake?
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Old 06-25-09, 01:43 AM   #16
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I'm actually starting out with brakes, remember it's my first time(on a fixed), I don't wanna kill myself. But I do plan on removing the brakes once I can handle it.
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Old 06-25-09, 11:41 AM   #17
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I highly reccommend Campus Wheelworks on Elmwood Ave. Very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful staff. When I was building my bike up, I was in there every other week, and they were happy to give plenty of free advice. Naturally, I reciprocated by buying a bunch of stuff there, and reccommending them to people....just....like...this.

Bert's is allright, but they also sell a lot more than bikes (atv's, motorcycles, etc.), so you may not get the same kind of service.
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Old 06-25-09, 12:21 PM   #18
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I highly reccommend Campus Wheelworks on Elmwood Ave. Very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful staff. When I was building my bike up, I was in there every other week, and they were happy to give plenty of free advice. Naturally, I reciprocated by buying a bunch of stuff there, and reccommending them to people....just....like...this.

Bert's is allright, but they also sell a lot more than bikes (atv's, motorcycles, etc.), so you may not get the same kind of service.
Actually my friend just told me about them yesterday, and as soon as we go riding together, he wants to go there, so that's most likely what I'm gonna do. I'm definitely gonna need all the advice I can get and coming from a staff like that knows what they're doing.

Yeah, I'm just gonna learn most of the basics at Bert's, like what I've mentioned in my previous posts and when I get more into it, probably go to Campus Wheels like you mentioned. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 06-25-09, 01:39 PM   #19
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It indeed does come in yellow, pretty exciting. Yeah, I figured you had to turn the wheel around after researching a bit more on it.

What's also convenient is that I have a few friends who also know what they're doing, so I could have them show me. I really would like to learn how to actually mess with some of the bike, so it's easier and more fun(AND I know what I'm doing if something goes wrong), with first hand learning with them showing me show/what I'm doing.

Also, since I'm graduating in a few days(yeah...I'm young haha), I'm getting a $300 boost from my mom to help pay for it. I'm really excited to get this bike. Any other tips you guys offer?
Go and test ride the madison and then go and test ride some other fixed gears to at that shop, other shops, and the used market if you can.

Get clips and straps.

You said you would be removing the brakes, I suggest keeping the front brake on the bike unless you just HAVE to do bar spins.
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Old 06-25-09, 02:56 PM   #20
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dont remove the brakes. My first fixie had no brakes and I have almost been hit a good amount of times because of it. My bike now has a front brake and riding is much more enjoyable. I'm acctually gonna get a rear brake soon here, riding down some of the mountain roads here is still pretty nuts just having a front brake.

But yes the Madison is a nice ride. I was looking at getting one a while back.
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Old 06-25-09, 03:59 PM   #21
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lovrin hope you don't mind me piggy backing of your op, but im kind of in the same boat, although I've already bought my bike. first let me say i have been reading for about a week or so and have read all the stickies and used the search function thoroughly.

i got a felt brougham from my lbs and love riding it as is. but im interested in making it more personal and what not. i want to make it a work in progress and upgrade, paint and install new parts. i have my desired pedal layout as mks sylans soma cages and some soma double leathers. i want to make this bike to fulfill my adrenaline side and want to be able to do barspins and some of the more technical tricks. i was wondering if i could get any suggestions on bars or other necessities to try and make this thing out to be what i want. thanks in advance and keep in mind my limited knowledge. also i know i wont get on this thing and own the road or all the tricks, but i have patience. thanks again.
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Old 06-25-09, 04:25 PM   #22
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I'm actually starting out with brakes, remember it's my first time(on a fixed), I don't wanna kill myself. But I do plan on removing the brakes once I can handle it.

Why?
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Old 06-25-09, 04:41 PM   #23
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1. Develop a healthy fear of death.
2. Ride like its the last day of your life.
3. lube your chain before someone else does it for you
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Old 06-25-09, 04:54 PM   #24
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i have my desired pedal layout as mks sylans soma cages and some soma double leathers.
sylans suck if you ride in street shoes, which i assume you do becuse you mentioned tricks. I recomend GR9s.
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Old 06-25-09, 05:33 PM   #25
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you are in fact right, id probably wear my vans or sambas. ill look into the gr9s, thanks dayvan.
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