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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 07-09-04, 08:34 AM   #1
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Cheap singlespeed commuter

I love my Bianchi fixed gear, but it's not working out as a commuter bike. I need a bike to which I can add fenders and a rear rack.

I don't have much money to spend on a new bike, but I can afford the Van Dessel Straight Up. Does anyone have any dope on that bike or any other inexpensive singlespeed I should look at with fender and rack eyelets? The Straight Up moustache bars look goofy. Do you get used to 'em over time?

Another thing, I prefer road geometry and 700c wheels.

Thanks.
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Old 07-09-04, 08:38 AM   #2
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What's wrong with a rack like this:

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Old 07-09-04, 08:48 AM   #3
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How far are you commuting? If it's not distance, but stuff, get a bigger bag.

They make a LOT of fenders that are quick release... No braze-ons needed
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Old 07-09-04, 08:56 AM   #4
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South Fulcrum,

I bought one and the bolts rub my thighs when I pedal. Maybe I didn't spend enough money on it ($5 in the bargain bin at a car parts place).

Anyway, another thing is I had to use a different seatpost to get it to work. I have a Campy aero seatpost that I have polished and looking nice that I'd like to keep on the Bianchi.

NT,

I only ride 3 miles on my commute, but sometimes like yesterday rode about 12 miles total since I rode to our bike club meeting. I've considered a backpack or bag, but I still feel like I need fenders. When the roads are wet I drive to work when I could easily ride if I had fenders. I've already bought Freddy Fenders. I guess I messed up. I'll think about the clip ons.
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Old 07-09-04, 09:06 AM   #5
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I know there's other possibilities to make the fenders and rack work on the Bianchi, but for around $250 I could get the Van Dessel. Then, on nice days when I'm carrying nothing into work I blast into work on the fixie (fenders, rack and all add weight). On messy days or when I need to stop at the grocery on the way home I grab the SS.

Maybe I don't need two bikes to commute with, but it just seems to simplify things.
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Old 07-09-04, 11:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshot
The Straight Up moustache bars look goofy. Do you get used to 'em over time?
I have a StraightUp X 7. The moustache bars are poorly suited to commuting because there is not much room to mount stuff on them compared to a flat bar.

Many folks think that the stock bar doesn't have enough (read any) drop and replace it with a Nitto moustache bar with a bit of a drop.

I have the stock bar, fenders, and a rack on my X7 and I have owned it a couple of years. I use it only as a rain bike now and spend most of my time on my Pista. For a winter commuter I use a Specialized Hard Rock. I gave the Specialized away this Spring and now I am looking at a Redline Monocog or Bianchi Rollo for next Winter's commuting unless a decent Cyclocross bike finds it's way into a thrift store near me before September or October.

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Old 07-09-04, 02:12 PM   #7
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For some reason I have wanted one of these ever since i started getting back into bikes.

More than you want to spend but would be great for your distance.

http://www.broadwaybicycleschool.com/broadwaybike.html
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Old 07-09-04, 03:12 PM   #8
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For some reason I have wanted one of these ever since i started getting back into bikes.

More than you want to spend but would be great for your distance.

http://www.broadwaybicycleschool.com/broadwaybike.html
That's cute...I want disc brakes on my next commuter bike, though.
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Old 07-10-04, 06:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonshot
I love my Bianchi fixed gear, but it's not working out as a commuter bike. I need a bike to which I can add fenders and a rear rack.

I don't have much money to spend on a new bike, but I can afford the Van Dessel Straight Up. Does anyone have any dope on that bike or any other inexpensive singlespeed I should look at with fender and rack eyelets? The Straight Up moustache bars look goofy. Do you get used to 'em over time?

Another thing, I prefer road geometry and 700c wheels.

Thanks.
Are you looking to replace the Bianchi or get a whole new bike? If a whole new bike I'd check your local craigslist.com listings for older road bikes which usually have alot of the options you are looking for. If you are looking to replace the Bianchi, check into a Surly Crosscheck frame or a Karate Monkey. Selling the Bianchi frame (provided this is the route you are looking at) can finance most of the Surly frame. I've got a fixed crosscheck, it's got the mounts you want and plenty of tire/fender clearance. Moustache bars are great, but the Van D version looks like a poor attempt - the Nittos are where it's at. I've got room to mount a light and a computer in near the stem which is all I really need.

My setup, no fenders in this shot.

Last edited by riderx; 07-10-04 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 07-10-04, 11:15 AM   #10
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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. That's how you start long rambling posts, isn't it?

So this morning about 9:30 AM I decided to get on my bike and ride about 6 miles to a bike shop that I have never been in before because the Electra website says they are the local dealer. It's a beautiful day, about 75 degrees, the ride was nice, just a few hills, nobody yelled at me or tried to run me off the road.

I get to the bike shop and take a look at the electra bikes. OK, first these things are too frigging big, and weight? Let me tell you about weight. Boat anchor. Aero? Why don't they put parachutes on the things. I look at some more bikes, giant simple single, not a bad bike if you made it steel instead of aluminum, replaced the handlebars, the tires, and the stem. But really, if that frame was steel we might be onto something.

On to the next bike shop where I looked at a breezer uptown. The thing has lights, fenders, and an internal 7 speed hub. OK, this looks good. They let me take it for a test ride. I feel like i am in a lounge chair. My back was straight and I was sitting on this bike like a sack of potatos, straight up. Aero? Screw aero, we want comfort!

No thanks, this thing is supposed to be the bike for the masses? It's a toy for the masses, upright, not even a nod to aerodynamics, and it has the sort of seat that at first feels great but you know after 5 miles will rub u raw when it chaffs the skin off ur thighs.

Onto bike shop number three, I had to stop for some food and something to drink since im a fat slob and we are up to about 12 miles or so now. I look in this shop and see the same things i saw in the other shops: Giant sedona, Giant cypress, Giant ocr3, then some more landwhales-- ratfink, giant simply too bigs. The salesman comes over and says, "Can I help you?"

By this time I am skeptical and i sort of shake my head and the guy says,"Tell me what you're looking for and I will see if we can find it."

So I tell him:

"Something steel, singlespeed or internal hub, fender, rackmounts, doesn't weight 40 pounds."

And the guy ends up saying, "Nope, don't have anything like that."

So, here we have it, there isn't anything like that available. And why the hell not?

So I'm on my way home and without noticing it i realize that all of the houses have become very nice, manicured lawns, people are outside scrubbing their cars, and the guy I just passed said hello to me. The woman washing her car smiles and says hello to me. Then it hits me, this is the market for all those comfort and cruiser bikes, rich people and their toys. Joe breezer may say he wants to make bicycle commuting a dream but why did he make his bikes big bloated upright turds? Because people buy the idea of a commuter bike, they don't actually buy a bike to commute on.
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Old 07-10-04, 12:15 PM   #11
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i think you want something like this:
http://www.sjscycles.com/store/vIndex.htm?item2953.htm

the problem today is that they dont make light steel frames with skinny tubes at
the lower end of the market. everybody wants aluminium or at least fat tubes. So
you just get cheap oversized steel frames that weight a ton. Everything
else is a niche and therefor expensive.
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Old 07-10-04, 12:22 PM   #12
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hmm...so you need a budget commuter, eh?

chicago schwinn or 80's japanese bike frame
lockring/loctite fixed
fenders
28c tires or their 27" equivalents
front brake
3speed bars
fenders
rack

ALL of this but the fixed cog can be found in the trash/thrift stores, and it makes for a really fun project! screw buying a totally new bike!
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Old 07-10-04, 12:45 PM   #13
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Yeah, it looks like it's coming down to that. The Straight Up will likely need several upgrades before I'd be happy with it and I can't afford an $800 bike right now.

I certainly have no problem with riding a recycled 80s road bike as long as it's got a decent frame and wheels.
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Old 07-10-04, 01:20 PM   #14
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The bike i was on this morning is a 70's fuji fixed with 700x28's, but my current quest is for something a little less roadbike and a little softer on my ass, frankly.

Not suspension soft, not big assed cruiser can't get even remotely aero soft, just a realistic no frills singlespeed bike. Or maybe a three speed/coasterbrake.

Maybe what i really want is a 1x1 or one of those iro frames, make my own thing, but damn why does something so basic have to cost so much? I don't even need high end ****, not a gram weenie at all.
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Old 07-10-04, 01:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurremkarm
The bike i was on this morning is a 70's fuji fixed with 700x28's, but my current quest is for something a little less roadbike and a little softer on my ass, frankly.

Not suspension soft, not big assed cruiser can't get even remotely aero soft, just a realistic no frills singlespeed bike. Or maybe a three speed/coasterbrake.

Maybe what i really want is a 1x1 or one of those iro frames, make my own thing, but damn why does something so basic have to cost so much? I don't even need high end ****, not a gram weenie at all.
What about one of these:

http://www.kogswell.com/df.html

It seems to be exactly what you are looking for. Pretty cheap too. Here is a good photo of one set up:

http://www.kogswellowners.com/pics2/...tmore/kogswell

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Old 07-10-04, 01:59 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jinx_removing
What about one of these:

http://www.kogswell.com/df.html

It seems to be exactly what you are looking for. Pretty cheap too. Here is a good photo of one set up:

http://www.kogswellowners.com/pics2/...tmore/kogswell

330 with free shipping? Yes, that does seem to be a great deal! Thx for sharing. Now when they make some more 54's i might just do that.
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Old 07-10-04, 02:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurremkarm
330 with free shipping? Yes, that does seem to be a great deal! Thx for sharing. Now when they make some more 54's i might just do that.
Those won't be available in 54. The frames are last years (closeout), that's why the price is so good. A friend of mine picked one up. They are pretty nice for the money. You might want to check the top tube length and standover on the 56, it just might fit.
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Old 07-10-04, 02:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurremkarm
Maybe what i really want is a 1x1 or one of those iro frames, make my own thing, but damn why does something so basic have to cost so much? I don't even need high end ****, not a gram weenie at all.
A complete Crosscheck runs around $850 I believe and is pretty much what you want except for the gears. You could strip them off and sell them to help fund building a fixed/SS wheel.
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