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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 09-17-09, 08:23 PM   #1
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Parts that i can skimp on.

I ride a bianchi sport-sx(Taiwan) conversion and want to build up a new bike. I plan on spending most of the money on the drive train and wheels, so i wanted to know if there was really any big difference in higher priced parts like headsets,stems,seatpost,bars or can i just buy cheaper stuff and splurge more on cranks and bb and wheels.

Also anyone know if an old Campy pista crank setup will be better than something more modern like sugino messengers.
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Old 09-17-09, 08:30 PM   #2
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Sure, skimp away. I use an alloy Tange passage headset that cost 19.00, works great.

Kalloy makes great alloy seat posts that can cost as little as 9 dollars

SR alloy bars and stems can be found used for very little.

A lot of the really fancy things have prettier finishes, maybe lighter in weight and a dash of cache.

Sugino makes great cranks, I have an old sugino AT and love it every bit as much as my Campy NR. For that matter I like the cheapie sakae sx that I have too.

Skimp away my friend
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Old 09-17-09, 09:38 PM   #3
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There are a few parts that are easy to skimp on: seatpost, bars, and stem are the best to skimp on b/c they don't really matter. I would invest in at least a DECENT headset so that it doesn't crap out on you in a month. Get a good saddle, though. Also, crank doesn't really matter that much. Unless you are sprinting at the track, you just need a crank that does its job. I say wheels and frame are the most important areas to drop dough.
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Old 09-17-09, 11:11 PM   #4
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I have put a fair amount of miles on my Tange headset with no issues to speak of, I think they make pretty decent quality products.

Velo-orange carries some nice classic style stuff too. Their Grand-cru needle bearing headset is on my want list.
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Old 09-18-09, 06:06 AM   #5
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I agree that frame and wheels are the places to drop the cash, and not the cranks. There's lots of hype around cranks that don't make a lick of difference on the vast majority of builds/conditions where they're used. I've also used inexpensive old headsets for many miles with no issues.
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Old 09-18-09, 06:15 AM   #6
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but then it depends on how much riding you plan on doing, how far you will be riding and what you want to achieve.

If you just want a bike to toodle about town on whilst looking good and going a max of 5-7km at a time, then pretty much anything will do. I used to commute 7km each way on a dirtjump BMX (35lbs) with the seat dropped all the way to build up my strength. It worked fine because it's not a long ride; it's fun to bunnyhop stuff on your commute too! now I ride about 25km each way, with a 4km long hill at the end, so a BMX is out of the question (for a pansy like me at least).
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Old 09-18-09, 07:23 AM   #7
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Things I have skimped on when I was initially building my around town beater are my cranks (Bulletproof), my headset (Cane Creek S2), both of which I have been using for about 4 years now. My handlebars are a pair of Coda mtb risers I got out of a bargain bin.

Things I wouldn't skimp on are your saddle, chainring, & cog. If you spend a little more for these up front you will be rewarded with a product that last a long time with regular maintenance.
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Old 09-18-09, 08:30 AM   #8
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Things I have skimped on when I was initially building my around town beater are my cranks (Bulletproof), my headset (Cane Creek S2), both of which I have been using for about 4 years now. My handlebars are a pair of Coda mtb risers I got out of a bargain bin.

Things I wouldn't skimp on are your saddle, chainring, & cog. If you spend a little more for these up front you will be rewarded with a product that last a long time with regular maintenance.
+1 a good saddle is important. One of my favorite saddles is the Vetta copy of the Turbo... and I found a stash of NOS ones cheap!
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Old 09-18-09, 08:51 AM   #9
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There are one or two places where it's ok to skimp and you won't have any issues. For example, when I built my fixed gear I skimped on the cranks, the headset, the brake, the seatpost, the stem, the bars, the BB, the frame, the hubs, the rims, the pedals, the clips, the tires, the saddle, and the chain.

I did get some classy Fizik bar tape, though. Never skimp on bar tape.

I ride it around 100 miles a week, give or take.
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Old 09-18-09, 09:06 AM   #10
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Once you have some ripped legs that can let you flex wheels and cranks from the saddle, and make a fully serviced BB creak, then you can start thinking about higher end parts.

Really, anyone buying high-end light stuff all over their first bike is either a tool or knows that cycling is going to be a huge passion.
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Old 09-18-09, 09:44 AM   #11
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What does it mean when I can get creaks out of a 35 year old BB that I haven't re-packed since march?
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Old 09-18-09, 09:50 AM   #12
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Agreed. There's a curve of diminishing returns with components; best bang for the buck is in the middle and lower.

OP, if you have the patience, you can get some great deals on eBay, Craigslist or local garage sales. Sometimes you buy the whole bike just for components. Sell what you don't need and use the cash for beer.

You won't find any good deals on track related stuff, though. Always some hipster in Singapore that bids stuff up to stratospheric levels.
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Old 09-18-09, 09:51 AM   #13
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What does it mean when I can get creaks out of a 35 year old BB that I haven't re-packed since march?

Time to get your bottom bracket repacked, dude.


They be waiting down at Club Ramrod.
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Old 09-18-09, 09:54 AM   #14
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Heey waaait a second
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Old 09-18-09, 11:34 AM   #15
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Don't skimp on the handlebar/stem - it's one of the most stressed components of a fixed gear. You torque on them much more than a road bike.
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Old 09-18-09, 11:56 AM   #16
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don't skimp on the chain. they have loads of colorful options out there. no reason to skimp on that at all.

in seriousness, most def. do not skimp on the seat. i did that on a bontrager mtb seat i found in the bargain bin. 10 bucks. they sell that scheiße on bikes. no wonder it was in the bargain bin. most unconfortable thing i've ever sat on.

my college desks were more comfortable than that.



aside: has anyone sitted upon one of the turbo re-release saddles? i want to know if they are comfortable as ppl say the originals were. thanks!
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Old 09-18-09, 04:03 PM   #17
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for the most part, a headset is a headset.

it's hard to beat the un-45 bottom bracket (for JIS square taper)

any forged crankset will work pretty well, flex isn't as much of an issue as you think

the shape of the bars matters more than their cost.

a seatpost just holds the set up, doesn't do anything more than that.

same thing with a stem (thompson is a little absurd)

Saddles get sat on for hours on end, get one YOU like, not one someone tells you that you should like

wheels: hand built is the way to go
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Old 09-18-09, 04:22 PM   #18
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for the most part, a headset is a headset.

it's hard to beat the un-45 bottom bracket (for JIS square taper)

any forged crankset will work pretty well, flex isn't as much of an issue as you think

the shape of the bars matters more than their cost.

a seatpost just holds the set up, doesn't do anything more than that.

same thing with a stem (thompson is a little absurd)

Saddles get sat on for hours on end, get one YOU like, not one someone tells you that you should like

wheels: hand built is the way to go

Good advice.
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Old 09-18-09, 04:28 PM   #19
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I recently finished a conversion and skimped on just about everything and then spent too much money. It turned out lighter than I thought it would... I'm not sure what the weight is, probably around 20 lbs give or take, not super light, but for a steel conversion it isn't bad. Unfortunately I'm still using the stock seatpost, stem, headset, and bars. All steel. I'll probably eventually skimp on replacing those parts too.
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Old 09-18-09, 04:33 PM   #20
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How did you skimp and spend too much?
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Old 09-18-09, 04:37 PM   #21
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I wish I knew.
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Old 09-18-09, 05:00 PM   #22
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aerospoke instead of spinergy
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Old 09-18-09, 07:10 PM   #23
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Jeans, sunglasses, vintage t-shirts, Starbucks lattes, and dumb little cycling caps.

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Old 09-18-09, 07:15 PM   #24
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Do not skimp on a cog and lockring. or you will most likely end up with a stripped hub. I used to tell people all the time it doesnt matter a cog is a cog, its a piece of metal. Until I found out first hand this is not the case. I would recommend a Milwaukee blue collar .
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Old 09-18-09, 07:26 PM   #25
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Aside from my previous tongue-in-cheek post, I would have to agree with RL927. Get yourself a top quality log and cockring.

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