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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 04-25-10, 07:09 PM   #1
kr5
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GT Alloy? (Gutterball frame)

Hey,

I'm thinking about buying a GT Gutterball. I've tried a few bikes and I just like the ride of this bike (but I'm also considering a Kona Paddy wagon).

Anyways, the frae is made from "GT alloy". Does anyone know what this is? Is it an aluminum composite, is it steel, is it a mix of materials? If it isn't steel, any thoughts on how the ride would compare with a steel frame?

I don't want to find, at the end of a ride, that I'm getting beaten up by the bumpy roads here in Toronto.

Thanks for any help.

Kent
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Old 04-25-10, 07:20 PM   #2
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Alloy is a blend of two different elements, most likely an aluminium and steel. Words can't describe how a bike will feel on the road. Just go to your LBS, and ask them to try a bike with an aluminium frame.
Read this page if you are still have doubts and whatnot.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:24 PM   #3
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Website says it's steel. The tubing seems rather thick. It's probably pretty heavy, especially with those deep rims.

The GT GTB, imo, is a great aluminum frame. Can't speak for the Gutterball though.

How much are you picking this up for? There are a lot of other more popular off-the-peg options, even here in Toronto.

Also pay us a visit at www.tofixed.com.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:27 PM   #4
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You guys should get together since both of you live in Toronto.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:27 PM   #5
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Alloy is non-tech speak for aluminum alloy. How the frame behaves on rough pavement is going to be more a function of geometry and main tubing size, but the particular alloy of aluminum isn't going to matter. The main issue is going to be the straight blade aluminum fork, that may result in a harsh ride.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:32 PM   #6
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Website says it's steel. The tubing seems rather thick. It's probably pretty heavy, especially with those deep rims.
Are you sure it's steel? The website says it has steel track ends, but says nothing about the frame material that I can see.

http://www.gtbicycles.com/usa/eng/Bi...GTR-Gutterball
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Old 04-25-10, 07:33 PM   #7
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Are you sure it's steel? The website says it has steel track ends, but says nothing about the frame material that I can see.

http://www.gtbicycles.com/usa/eng/Bi...GTR-Gutterball
Click on the "Features" tab. There's some poorly worded sentences there that say its steel. Peculiar!
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Old 04-25-10, 07:36 PM   #8
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Are you sure it's steel? The website says it has steel track ends, but says nothing about the frame material that I can see.

http://www.gtbicycles.com/usa/eng/Bi...GTR-Gutterball
"Steel reinforced track ends".

Zoom in on the pic. Those welds clearly show it's made of aluminum.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:39 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies, people. Deciphering material specs is a little tricky.

So is pricing. The Gutterball is going for CAD$850. I've read posts on here discussing bikes for under $500. In Toronto I just don't see those prices. Things seem more expensive here, for some reason.

I'm looking at:
GT Gutterball - $850
Kona Paddy Wagon - $700
Urbanite custom frame - $900
MASI Speciale Fixed Drop - $950

I've tried all four, and for some reason kind of prefer the Gutterball. It feels really fast and responsive. I've test ridden it a couple of times now. Also, it seems easy to maneuver. I feel like I can go down steep hills and make quick turns on it.

But, based on everything I've read, paying that money for an aluminum frame was seeming foolish. Also, I've noticed that it isn't a popular bike. I've only found one store that carries it. That puts up an orange flag.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:39 PM   #10
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So, material type is not a specification, it's a feature!
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Old 04-25-10, 07:42 PM   #11
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Right, it looks like aluminum, is listed as "GT alloy, but elsewhere says it's made of steel.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:46 PM   #12
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It's aluminum. I just called a friend of mine from Boise who has one to confirm.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:46 PM   #13
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kr5, I don't know where you saw the Gutterball, but it looks like you've checked out Urbane and Sweet Petes so far. Keep looking around. Try Bikes On Wheels. Urbane is great, but their Urbanite builds are wildly overpriced. Among the ones you listed I would go for the Masi, but even then for your first fixed I think you're better off going for a sub-$700 bike.

Urbane also sells KHS Flites, which are essentially Kilo TTs, and about the most popular bike on this forum.

Also, there's nothing wrong with getting an aluminum frame. They're generally lighter, more expensive, and many built-for-the-track frames are aluminum with carbon forks. They're just a harsher ride. I myself ride a Trek T1 and although it can be harsh on some bumpy roads like Bloor West, the weight difference, IMO, is worth it.

Last edited by cleanupinaisle3; 04-25-10 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:50 PM   #14
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Right, it looks like aluminum, is listed as "GT alloy, but elsewhere says it's made of steel.
Well, now that I look at the zoom of the track ends, it is quite clear that they are aluminum with steel reinforcing inserts. As Scrod points out, the welds clearly indicate aluminum and not steel and you can be certain that aluminum track ends would not be welded to steel frame members. My guess it's just some variant of 6000 series aluminum alloy.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:52 PM   #15
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If you're not sure if it's aluminum or steel.. Go to an LBS that carries it, and bring a magnet with you. If it sticks its steel, if it doesn't, it's aluminum.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:52 PM   #16
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The US price dropped from $769 for the '09 to $699 for the '10. The site does say the '10 is a steel frame, but I'm sure the '09 is aluminum. Maybe that accounts for the price drop. I have an '09 that I bought right before Christmas '09 for $600 CDN at a store that was closing forever. It was the cheapest SS option in Kingston ON. It is certainly light, and I love the way it rides compared to my mountain bikes, one of which is converted to single speed.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:54 PM   #17
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It's aluminum. I just called a friend of mine from Boise who has one to confirm.
Yes, I'm quoting myself.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:56 PM   #18
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cleanupinaisle3, I appreciate the advice. Do you think that paying over $700 is a waste of $$$ because I won't notice the difference in ride? Honestly, I was originally aiming for under $700, or a used bike, but the bikes I liked were just costing more. I started off by testing the KHS Urban Express, which has 24 speeds, but just found that the single speed bikes felt faster, which is why I'm now looking to get one instead. I will check out the KHS Filtes/TTs.

Scrodzilla, thanks for checking on the Gutterball material. I'm still not clear whether a) that means it sucks or b) material doesn't necessarily matter because it is only one of several factors that effect smoothness of ride.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:56 PM   #19
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Yes, I'm quoting myself.
Oh no you didn't!
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Old 04-25-10, 08:02 PM   #20
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Yes I did!

kr5 - if it means anything, my friend loves his '09.
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Old 04-25-10, 08:04 PM   #21
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Scrodzilla, yeah, that's good to hear.
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Old 04-25-10, 11:47 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Vixtor View Post
Alloy is a blend of two different elements, most likely an aluminium and steel. Words can't describe how a bike will feel on the road. Just go to your LBS, and ask them to try a bike with an aluminium frame.
Read this page if you are still have doubts and whatnot.
Aluminum is an element; steel is not. Steel and aluminum are not alloyed together, although aluminum is sometimes alloyed with chromium, which is also used in steel alloys.

A 4130 Cr-Mo frame is an alloy of chromium, manganese, and molybdenum, in addition to steel's requisite iron and carbon. A 6061 aluminum frame is an alloy of magnesium, silicon, copper, and chromium in addition to aluminum. The "T6" that usually follows refers to the heat treating.

/engineering lesson
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Old 04-26-10, 12:30 AM   #23
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I've tried all four, and for some reason kind of prefer the Gutterball. It feels really fast and responsive. I've test ridden it a couple of times now. Also, it seems easy to maneuver. I feel like I can go down steep hills and make quick turns on it.
This is what matters. If you don't feel 100% sure yet, keep riding whatever you can find, but ultimately it's you who has to/gets to ride it.
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Old 04-26-10, 01:25 AM   #24
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i have one and love it, but i would highly recommend getting a carbon or steel fork with some rake to it cause the stoke one picks up every vibration in the road. I would definitely recommend it even though the majority of people on this forum will go on about how its some cheap rip off of a track bike classic, what matters is that the bike is fun to ride and you seem to like it next time you test ride try and find pot hole or a rough patch if you can.
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Old 04-26-10, 06:40 AM   #25
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Swanny, can I ask, do you have an '09 or '10?
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