Just wanted to share my impression of the Nashbar Hounder. I've seen threads about it but no review, so I thought I'd write this up for anyone considering one.
It arrived a few days after ordering via FedEx. the bike was mostly assembled, I just had to put on the front brake, wheel, stem and handlebars. I also pulled the cranks and put on 1/8th inch (brand as well as size) 46t 165mm cranks. with the 16t cog it gives a gain ratio of 5.9, which works quite well in the Sandhills of NC. The new cranks upset the chainline slightly, but it's tolerable. And FWIW I put on Shimano M520 pedals. I also put a Continental Ultra Sport 25c tire on the front, and kept the stock 28 on the back. The frame is listed as CrMo but only the downtube and seat tube sound like it. The wheels were almost true out of the box, which was nice, and the lockring was dogged down sufficiently tight. The safety decals and labels on the rims peeled off easily, leaving it with a subtle black and silver look. Very classy.
After assembly and a celebratory beer, I took her out for a spin. There was a little bit of noise from the off center chainline, but it was barely noticeable. Everything felt nice and smooth. The steel frame felt nice and i was pleasantly surprised at the responsiveness. There was a slight buzz in the handlebars, but that was due to my not tightening the stem well enough. AFter fixin that it was very pleasant. The saddle is a cheap one, but fit my anatomy nicely and I will probably keep it. The seatpost clamp is the older, four part style and is a pain to adjust.
As with any bargain bike though, there are some downers. The flatbars were uncomfortable at first, but that may be just because I've been riding road bikes for so long, and need to get used to it - but I think it will be the next thing to be swapped out. The rims are drilled for Schrader valves, which isn't a huge deal, except I prefer Presta. All the bolts on the brake calipers are six-sided nuts, not Allen bolts, which doesn't affect performance but makes maintenance and adjustment tedious. The stock nuts on the axles are cheap and soft, easily rounded if you aren't careful. The component group in general is low end, but not trashy. The bike itself is pretty heavy but at this price you can't be picky.
Over all, it's a pretty nice bike, especially at this price. I'm quite happy with it and would recommend it for anyone looking for a super cheap way to enjoy the wonders of fixed gear.
Of course, there's pictures. Sorry that all I have for a camera is a phone...