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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 05-14-10, 08:00 AM   #1
confounded
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shopping for a fixed gear/single speed

Thanks to all of you for the great info and sharing of ideas on this site. My friend pointed me here a couple weeks ago and I've been reading everything I can on fixed gears/single speeds. This is definitely a starter bike for me - will be using it for daily commuting of about 5 miles over the streets and through the parks of NYC. I had a mtb for about 5 years and didn't ride it much. A quick, nimble road bike is definitely more appealing.

My original idea was to buy an old/used road bike at a flea market and rebuild into a fixed gear. Having read up on that, I am convinced I don't have the time, patience, tools, or skills to do that properly.

The same friend mentioned above bought a Kilo TT on the advice of a friend of his and has been very happy with it. I've taken it for a couple spins and while his frame is too big for me, I do like the feel of the bike.

The other day I rode a 2010 Fuji Classic Track ($550) at my LBS. It's very nice and they do provide a lot of benefits as far as upkeep and whatnot. I do like that concept. And they have it in orange, which is a bonus for me if I'm buying new. Another bike shop is closer to me, and while they are a Fuji dealer, all they have access to right now is a 2009 Fuji League ($700) - very nice bikes but more than I was planning on spending. I suppose I could ask if they can order a Fuji Classic Track for me and offer the same upkeep benefits as the other shop?

Having said all that, I'm also considering ordering from BD. There seems to be quite a bit of disagreement on here about the benefits of doing so, but price is certainly a consideration for me. If I'm going to be as happy with a Kilo TT or Windsor the Hours as I would be with the Fuji, I'm not sure the $200+ is worth the added services from the bike shops. The LBS I prefer charges $45 to assemble a bike and has never charged me more than $5 to adjust something (the benefits of living in Harlem instead of Soho I guess) so I'd have to use their services *a lot* to balance the cost savings from a BD v. LBS purchase.

So I've given all that background to ask a few questions.

1. Which BD bikes are made in Taiwan v. China? I definitely *don't* want a Chinese bike, but I'd be fine with a Taiwanese bike - they've been making bikes for decades - my gf's 1979 Raleigh was Made in Taiwan. She was made in Taiwan. I'm cool with Taiwan.

2. I see the Fuji League is a lugged frame, but is that really going to make a difference for me? The price is over 2x that of a BD bike and $150 more than the Fuji Classic Track.

3. What's the difference between the Windsor the Hours v. Windsor Clockwork?

4. Anyone know of good resources for NYC area used bikes? Craigslisters charge a premium for used equipment around here, especially fixed gears. Just saw a Kilo TT listed for $450. Huh?

Thanks for your patience and please don't turn this into a BD v LBS thread. Not my intention. Just trying to decide which bike is best for me.

Thanks so much.
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Old 05-14-10, 08:25 AM   #2
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Hey jpticar -- Unfortunately, my buddy's frame is a 57cm. I'm probably a 53. Thanks though. And good luck.
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Old 05-14-10, 08:27 AM   #3
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No prob, good luck on your search.
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Old 05-14-10, 10:40 AM   #4
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Did a little additional research (revisited 2 bike shops) and it turns out both of the Fuji bikes I was considering are made in China. That makes those much less interesting to me.

Also got an email back from BD saying that both the Mercier Kilos and Motobecane Messenger are built in Taiwan. From what I've read on here about those bikes, the Kilos sound like the better bikes.

What is the relative advantage of the TT Pro over the TT/Stripper?

Last edited by confounded; 05-14-10 at 10:42 AM. Reason: grammar. gah.
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Old 05-14-10, 12:19 PM   #5
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just get the standard kilo tt, comes with brakes and is the cheapest. pros are sold out i think.

"PRO Upgrades from the regular Kilo TT:
Pro-grade Forged Aluminum Sugino Track crankset (130 BCD)
Custom Alex SUB 30mm V-Aero section wheelset - Wheelset alone is worth $350 to $400
Precision Sealed Bearing Hi-flange Hubs
Tektro RL570 cross top lever + R350 front brake - Valued at $40
Custom paint colors
KMC Gold edition chain
Fast rolling Kenda Koncept Lite Kevlar bead tires"
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Old 05-14-10, 02:00 PM   #6
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Thanks. Website says the Pro is available June 1 (about 2 weeks). Might be worth the wait.
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Old 05-20-10, 10:20 AM   #7
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My Kilo TT Stripper gold digger arrived this morning. Took it to the LBS to assemble and they were super cool about it. Will take my first ride this afternoon and post pictures soon.
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Old 05-20-10, 10:58 AM   #8
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Congrats on getting in on the Fixie Scene!

I did a conversion myself, and It's not that bad. It all depends on how far you want to go with it. If you find a decent frame with a good paint job for a decent price, than the conversion can be a fun project.

I found an old 70's soma frame that had no rust on th frame itself (the bottle cages, some of the little bits of the bike had rust), and the paint job was in great condition, so basically I got a nice frame/fork for 50 bucks at a garage sale.

Plus the Handlebars/quillstem/cranks were alle in great shape, so it was pretty easy to convert. About the only thing I need to get still is a decent headset, and maybe a new BB. Those are still the originals, and while they work just fine (on of the reasons I havent done it yet), they could definitely be upgraded. Since I am a casual rider, I don't mind the older HS/BB, but yea, the conversion itself was easy.

That said, my girlfriends dad has a bike obsession and has pretty much all the tools I'd need to work on a bike: Crank Pullers, Freewheel removal tools, Chain whips, spanner wrenches, etc etc, so I didn't have to worry about tools.

All THAT said, It's a lot easier to work with bikes designed for Fixed/SS. But I like my conversion. The lugged frame is pretty to look at, and if it wasn't for the 200 (on sale from the normal 269!) dollar wheelset, I'd have probably spent 100 bucks total on the bike,
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