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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 04-26-10, 02:56 AM   #1
Triple8Sol
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Upgrade Time: IRO Mark V Pro vs. Jamis Sputnik vs. Soma Rush

Currently riding a KHS Flite 100 custom build and looking to upgrade the frameset on a minimal budget. I ride fixed only just for fun and running errands on the street, no commuting or tricks, just hopping on/off/over the occasional curb/step. I encounter plenty of hills and also hit the local outdoor 'drome off-hours once in awhile. Appreciate your opinions and experiences, so please let me know what you think! Here are my thoughts and questions:

Wouldn't mind upgrading this double butted 520 to slightly better steel so I've been considering the IRO Mark V Pro & Jamis Sputnik w/631 and Soma Rush w/Tange Prestige. None of these are straight gauge and they're all heat-treated, right?

Lookswise, I've really been wanting something more streamlined. Always hated the fender eyelets on the KHS since I'll never run them on this bike. Things like that and cable guides are a deal-breaker for the next frame, so none of those 3 have them. IRO goes a step further and gets rid of the rear brake mount, so that's a plus since I only run an emergency front brake. All the others are drilled for both, which isn't a big deal. I really like that the lack of water bottle bosses on my KHS, which I wouldn't use anyways. IRO has 0, he Soma has 1 which I can prob live with, but the Jamis has 2 which is an eyesore so I"m not so sure. Each frame is offered in either white or black or both, so I'm mostly indifferent for color choice. A horizontal tt w/no slope is a must, and they all have it. Tight tire clearances are a must, as well as the ability to fit 700x25-28 tires, so correct me if I'm wrong, but all 3 seem to fit that criteria?

After coming from an old Fuji conversion, I've enjoyed the nimble track geo of my KHS from day one and everyday for the past year with no concerns re: toe overlap or twitchiness. Of course the trade-off is that I've sacrificed some comfort on longer ~30 mile rides, but I've been able to live with it. If I'm reading the geometry charts correctly, the IRO/Jamis are more relaxed, so the Soma wins on this one, right? Jamis comes with a CF fork which would be nice for soaking up road vibrations, but then I hear it'll only clear a 700x23 tire. Can anyone confirm/deny if that's true of any of the 3? Although I prefer the classic look of the curved/lugged fork on the Soma/KHS, I actually kind of like the look of the IRO's straightblade fork, but how will that affect the ride/handling vs. the curved ones on all the others? I'm not asking about rake, just fork design.

Last edited by Triple8Sol; 04-26-10 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 04-26-10, 04:21 PM   #2
sharpsandflatts
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I don't have a whole lot to add other than that I ordered a soma rush which is being delivered today. I looked a the IRO angus as well (basically a threaded version of the mark v) but was turned off by the road geo, straight blade fork, and nonremovable (?) decals. I'll be able to give you more impressions on it once I get it built up hopefully tomorrow.
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Old 04-26-10, 05:36 PM   #3
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I've had all three (2005 Mark V Pro back when you could get it without the hideous typeface, the 2009 Sputnik, and the 2008 Soma Rush). Of the three, my favorite was the Sputnik, I quite liked the matte black finish and the more relaxed, road-esque geometry. My only real complaint about the Soma was that the paint job on it is so ****ing lousy you can, as one BF member once put it, "just by looking at it." Also, of the three, the Sputnik can be pretty difficult to find as a frameset (although I did hear a rumor Jamis had recently started selling framesets, I have yet to see one available either online or at my LBS...then again I never bothered to ask whether they could order one). If you prowl craigslist, you might be able to find a cheap used Mark V for cheap (if you don't mind used)—last week I saw one for $150 that included a frame/fork/headset that I almost purchased to build up as a beater/lock-up/bar hopping bike, but unfortunately it wasn't my size.
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Old 04-26-10, 05:48 PM   #4
Triple8Sol
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I'm not sure if the Sputnik is sold as a frameset either, unlike the other 2, but I'm not too worried. If I find a used complete I can just swap the parts over to my current frame and sell it that way.

Anybody know answers to any of the questions in my first post?
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