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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 07-16-09, 08:42 PM   #1
A~Bomb
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College Commuter SS / FG Suggestion

Hey guys, I'm a college student and I just moved off campus, so I'm thinking about getting a new bike for commuting to and from class. My apartment is about 3 blocks from campus, and it's totally flat, not a hill in sight. I've seen a lot of guys on campus with fixed gear bikes, and I like the simplicity and look of them. I'm not looking to spend a lot of money, and I don't really want to build up my own, and I won't be riding more than a few miles a day, so it's not like I'm going to be rough on the components. What do you guys suggest for a good, low price bike for a light commuter?
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Old 07-16-09, 08:52 PM   #2
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Price range please.
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Old 07-16-09, 08:52 PM   #3
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bikesdirect.com
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Old 07-16-09, 08:54 PM   #4
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3 blocks is a commute? I think I would hate that - give me at least 3 miles.

as for your question, there are a million threads on this topic. I'd check those out. I also recommend a frame that will accommodate a rear rack. If your main goal is to commute to school (carry books) and not ride more than a few miles as well as keep the cost low, I'd build up a conversion, buy some new wheels, wider & durable tires, rear rack & fenders.
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Old 07-16-09, 08:54 PM   #5
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i wouldnt ride a three block commute.
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Old 07-16-09, 09:01 PM   #6
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I wouldnt take a bike worth very much to campus. Stuff is always getting ganked there. Make sure to get a top tube pad. I know at my UF they repaint the damn bike lock places every semester with really soft pain that rubs off on your frame.

I was looking at these Gavin bikes on ebay the other day. Looked legit.
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Old 07-16-09, 09:05 PM   #7
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i wouldnt ride a three block commute.
Thanks for staying on topic.

Let's put the budget at $500 max. I wouldn't use a basket, and I don't like the look of fenders. If it's that wet, I'd probably skip biking and just walk to class. All I'm looking for is a simple ss / fixed gear that isn't way expensive.
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Old 07-16-09, 09:09 PM   #8
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Dawest SST. I got this bike to commute from school to home as well as groceries shopping. Fun, easy to ride. Has the option of SS/FG. Decent components. And a decent wheelset. $320 shipped. Comes with 2 brakes for just in case moments.
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Old 07-16-09, 09:11 PM   #9
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if youre spending 320, might as well just get a kilo
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Old 07-16-09, 09:38 PM   #10
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Thanks for staying on topic.

Let's put the budget at $500 max. I wouldn't use a basket, and I don't like the look of fenders. If it's that wet, I'd probably skip biking and just walk to class. All I'm looking for is a simple ss / fixed gear that isn't way expensive.
who said anything about a basket?

so, in other words, you want to be cool like the other fixed-gear riders you see -- not commute, not ride more than 3 miles, not ride if the weather is a little bad, not ride enough that your components wear down. got it.

well, then, forget what I wrote and buy the fashion bike that will make you new friends.
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Old 07-16-09, 09:50 PM   #11
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seconded on the SST. I ride one its a good intro to the SS/FG world and it wont break the bank. and you can always upgrade if you become more into the riding aspect.
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Old 07-16-09, 09:51 PM   #12
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I am a college student and take it from me, do not ride a nice bike to school and leave it locked for more than a couple minutes. However, you can find a nice, light old steel lugged from and do a killer conversion for less than 500 easy. Bikeisland.com has some very budget minded wheel sets and for all other stuff Ebay is always good and your lbs also is a good place to start. What college are you at?
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Old 07-16-09, 09:51 PM   #13
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Honestly? For a 3 block commute on flat roads only during fair weather, it really doesn't matter what you have. Check craigslist for a beater bike, clean it up and add some new grip tape, and you're set. If you plan on riding more than that around campus and such, put more money into a craigslist or ebay search, or pick up a Kilo.
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Old 07-16-09, 09:51 PM   #14
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or maybe motobecane messenger? I like the look of that over the SST.
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Old 07-16-09, 09:55 PM   #15
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who said anything about a basket?

so, in other words, you want to be cool like the other fixed-gear riders you see -- not commute, not ride more than 3 miles, not ride if the weather is a little bad, not ride enough that your components wear down. got it.

well, then, forget what I wrote and buy the fashion bike that will make you new friends.
You're right, I won't ride if the weather is bad, and I won't beat the crap out of the bike either. But I'm not buying a fixed gear because I want to look cool or impress people. I just want a good quality bike that doesn't cost a fortune, and i just happened to want a fixed gear.
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Old 07-16-09, 10:04 PM   #16
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id say get a kilo if you really dont want to build something or look around too much
but you should scan ebay and craigslist or go check out the lbs in the area
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Old 07-17-09, 08:05 AM   #17
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http://bikes.urbanoutfitters.com/
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Old 07-17-09, 09:06 AM   #18
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I commute on a fuji track. Cost me ~$300. No complaints.
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Old 07-17-09, 09:22 AM   #19
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A~bomb:
One of those Republic Bikes from urbanoutfitters would probably be perfect for you. If you're riding it 3 blocks on nice dry days with no hills, it'll be plenty of bike. Plus, it looks nice.

A lot of people on this forum will give you **** about being a trendster or something, and one of those urbanoutfitters bikes certainly won't give you internet cred, but it really is a good choice for someone like you.


Just a tip though:
If you get this bike, the hardcore hipster faux-messengers on campus will not respect you. They're a bit of a joke amongst people who pretend to know a lot about bikes, this forum included. I know you'll say you don't care, and that very well may be true, but I'm just putting it out there. If you care about that kind of stuff, just get a KiloTT and say you're doing it because it has better components and tubing. There's nothing wrong with that.

Last edited by dsh; 07-17-09 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 07-17-09, 10:02 AM   #20
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For 3 blocks to your main location, any sub $500 new fixed / free is going to be fine.

Republic would be fun
Kilo would be good (for < $500 shipped you can afford the Pro, even)

Heck, anything from BD would be fine.
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You don't need to dress up like a spandex super hero to ride your bike.
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Old 07-17-09, 06:26 PM   #21
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A~bomb:
One of those Republic Bikes from urbanoutfitters would probably be perfect for you. If you're riding it 3 blocks on nice dry days with no hills, it'll be plenty of bike. Plus, it looks nice.

A lot of people on this forum will give you **** about being a trendster or something, and one of those urbanoutfitters bikes certainly won't give you internet cred, but it really is a good choice for someone like you.


Just a tip though:
If you get this bike, the hardcore hipster faux-messengers on campus will not respect you. They're a bit of a joke amongst people who pretend to know a lot about bikes, this forum included. I know you'll say you don't care, and that very well may be true, but I'm just putting it out there. If you care about that kind of stuff, just get a KiloTT and say you're doing it because it has better components and tubing. There's nothing wrong with that.
I've checked out the Republics already, and I like the amount of customization for the price. I'm not looking for respect, and I know some of the hardcore guys can be real d-bags when it comes to stuff like that. At this point, I think I have it narrowed down to either the Republic or a Kilo TT. I'll have to get a front break for the Kilo, but that's not a big deal. There are a lot of drivers and pedestrians who don't know how to deal with cyclists on my campus, so I think a front brake is good to have just in case.
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Old 07-17-09, 06:29 PM   #22
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I've checked out the Republics already, and I like the amount of customization for the price. I'm not looking for respect, and I know some of the hardcore guys can be real d-bags when it comes to stuff like that. At this point, I think I have it narrowed down to either the Republic or a Kilo TT. I'll have to get a front break for the Kilo, but that's not a big deal. There are a lot of drivers and pedestrians who don't know how to deal with cyclists on my campus, so I think a front brake is good to have just in case.
get a coaster brake. and promenade bars.
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Old 07-17-09, 06:53 PM   #23
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If you're gonna buy a new bike, don't choose it based on a 3 block "commute." It could have no tires and it would be good enough for that. If you want a new bike, use some criteria that'll actually make it worthwhile, for instance, a fun 10 miles around town or something.
A bike that cost more than a mediocre lock would be wasted on that distance, considering the risk of leaving it locked up on campus.
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Old 07-17-09, 08:03 PM   #24
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Have you looked into IRO?

I bet you will end up riding more than a few miles a day. When I was commuting in college, I would typically ride anywhere from 5-15 miles a day. And I lived one block away from the school. It's addicting.

Get a good lock too.
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Old 07-18-09, 02:05 PM   #25
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For short distances, get a kick scooter like this one I have:

http://www.xootr.com/kick-scooter_mg.html

Speed-wise, riding these is like fast jogging.

You can fold it up and take it with you into class or onto a bus or subway.
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