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  1. #1
    Splendidly
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    Apr 2010
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    Charge Plug Racer
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    where have all the mountains in london gone...?

    Hey guys, hope you're all well. I'll keep this succinct...

    Riding along the other day... hit by a massive realisation... my bike's a piece of crap.

    Definitely set on buying a single speed bike and i've narrowed it down to three potential choices.

    1. Kona Paddy Wagon 2010
    2. Charge Plug Freestyler 2010
    3. Specialised Langster

    Kona and the Charge at pretty much both dead even for me... I can't fault either's componentry. Just wanted a second or third or fouth opinion on what people would sway to and why? I've always ridden XC mountain bikes and I'm riding in traffic most of the time with straight handlebars. Few colleagues have told me straight bars are no competition against the drop downs in traffic... any thoughts.

    As i'm not a proper road cyclist.. what's the geometry like on the paddy wagon? its got that retro thing going on which is cool, but in terms of the technical, is it good for weaving and getting amongst the london traffic or more just a cool looking type you don't wanna push too hard. I did read somewhere the frame is based on somewhat of a track design.

    I'm basically in that headspace where i can't decide anymore...?

    Lastly, to complete the due diligence, are there any other decent singlespeeds out there which I should consider before lay my money down...? I just want something that's basic, able to take a bit of being tough love and looks decent?

    Not sure if I managed to keep it succinct, but any input's great.
    Cheers

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Davis/Lafayette, CA
    My Bikes
    1984 trek 460 conversion, 2008 Lynskey R320, Peloton track bike, 1990's MBK trainer, 2004 Fisher tassajara, 70's Raleigh Gran prix. 70's moto mirage conversion (stolen), 80's Shogun Kaze (sold)
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    well, first of all what mountain bike do you ride? a mtb with slicks can be great for city life, but if your bike is a piece of superstore garbage then you might be better suited with a nicer mountain bike. just throw slicks on it (schwalbe big apples seem popular). I have a friend that rides faster on his cheap mountain bike than on the fixed gear i loaned him.

    flats/risers are nice for commuting. keeps you higher up to see traffic better. My favorite commuting bars are bullhorns. arguably i dislike drops the most (though with brake hoods they're not bad). you can always put bar ends on your flats/risers to give an extra hand position.

    the kona and charge are comparable, relaxed road geo that will probably feel better to someone coming from a mountain bike (compared to more aggressive "track" geo). iirc the charge has kind of a low bottom bracket, so maybe the kona is better? thats only a concern if you're riding fixed.

    see what you can give some test rides first though to see if this is something you want to pursue.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Charge plug's are pretty bomb proof and seeming built precisely for the environment you are going to be riding in. Neat, spare and bomb-proof! Not the lightest but something that can put up with every day city roads and living quite readily. I like it muchly! As for a bike that is "basic, can take a bit of tough love and looks decent", it fits the bill nicely.

    Alas I cant comment on the other bikes outside of saying that they too also look like excellent options, I just dont have any hands on to lend any insight.

  4. #4
    Comanche Racing PedallingATX's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    Deep in the heart of Texas
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    Presto NJS build, Specialized Allez Pro w/ full Dura Ace and Ksyrium SLs, 1990something Specialized Sirrus
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    I'd go with the Kona...but that's just me. For what it's worth, my friend has one with some non-machined black deep vs and riser bars and it looks uber-clean.
    skinnytire

  5. #5
    Splendidly
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Thanks guys- appreciate the feedback, took them both out for a spin again on Tuesday night and in the end I went with the Charge Plug Racer over the Paddy Wagon and the Plug Freestyle which I'd ridden earlier. I threw another one in there for comparison as well, the Bianchi Pista, but the Plug Racer felt slightly more comfortable although the BIanci really did look the business. I think eventually I would like to change the gearing to be similar to the Bianci (46T up front), but i'll give it some time before that one...

    The one thing I did notice however were the size of the tyres on the Plug Racer which were a bit big for my liking. I'm not sure if those tyres will stay...any recommendations for something skinnier that would suit?

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