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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 01-02-10, 04:17 PM   #1
NateRod
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Thinking of getting a cheap bike to keep at my folks'. SSFG or road?

So I sort of want to get me a cheap FG to keep at my parents' home in Puerto Rico for whenever I come visit for extended periods of time (such as right now. Been here for a week and a half and will be here for another two weeks).

Here's the thing: PR is hilly as ****, so if I want to get some real distance on the bike, I'll definitely need to hit some heavy slopes.

HOWEVER... my parents live in an area called Ramey, which is all built around an old Air Force base that now serves as an airport. This means that the area and a good chunk of terrain around it is mostly flat, with a few slight hills here and there. Nothing crazy. Terrain-wise, very similar to my current experience in NYC. Definitely manageable on SSFG.

Why not just get a road bike and be able to do it all? I prefer the simplicity of the SSFG. And again, if I will be down here on vacation anyways, then maybe instead of busting my ass tackling extra long distances and nasty hills, I can just get in some decent, more "leisurely" rides within a smaller area.

And also, if I'll get to use it once or twice a year, do I really want an expensive, hard to maintain road bike, as opposed to a cheap, easy to maintain FG?

Maybe I'm already answering my own question, but probably some of you may offer some more enlightening comments. Maybe someone will say "why not just get a cheapo MTB at kmart?" and that'll make perfect sense :B
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Old 01-02-10, 04:25 PM   #2
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I suggest one of two options--- an old steel road bike with DT shifters. They are entirely underrated. Or a cheap fixed gear (or conversion) with a reasonable gear ratio. I live in some serious hills, and it just took some adjustment after I relocated. I run a fixed/fixed rear to give me some variation in gearing. It is less about "simplicity" and more about bang for the buck. A cheap, new road bike (or mountain bike) will generally suck.
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Old 01-02-10, 05:45 PM   #3
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Just get something cheap from BD.
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Old 01-02-10, 08:08 PM   #4
wearyourtruth
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I suggest one of two options--- an old steel road bike with DT shifters. They are entirely underrated.
+100, a road bike certainly doesn't have to be expensive OR hard to maintain. a decent old steel road bike can be had for $300 that will do everything you need it to, and as long as it's not left outside in the elements its not like you are putting heavy milage on it, wearing out parts that will need to be maintained/replaced.
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Old 01-03-10, 12:04 PM   #5
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I suggest one of two options--- an old steel road bike with DT shifters. They are entirely underrated. Or a cheap fixed gear (or conversion) with a reasonable gear ratio.
Or even an old Sturmey-Archer 3-speed, if all you'll be doing is light recreational riding.
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Old 01-03-10, 10:27 PM   #6
NateRod
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Nice. Thanks guys. I was actually driving around the area today, just sort of "daydream cycling" as I went. Payed a lot more attention to the terrain and the possible routes than I had ever cared for before. A nice and simple SSFG will definitely get the job done. I might end up getting one of those Motobecane Tracks from BD

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Old 01-04-10, 08:30 AM   #7
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Lately I've really been loving my road bike. I've found that my roadie requires about as much maintenance as my fixed gear.
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