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  1. #1
    zombie
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    Looking to get a start in SS/Fixed!

    My situation is this. I'm 6'4" and weigh about 170-180 Approximately a year ago I was given a year old (2008 I believe, not 100% tho) Trek 1.5 from my father.

    This bike is wonderful, I ride it nearly every day to work, school, and when time allows the long haul of up to about a 50 mile ride through town and country. I live in Iowa City, IA and I never run out of places to ride to.

    With my normal every day commute (come rain or shine!) I ride this thing, I'm just always worried I'm riding it too hard. Or that possibly the rain or other adverse conditions may take an extra toll on this bike. I'm also worried it may not fit me quite like a bike should, my father being about an inch shorter than me and slightly shorter legs.

    So I'm look to put together a new one, with a more rigid build, a little better fit, and hopefully no worries come rain, snow, gravel, mud, curb, commute or just general work like groceries or carrying me to a friends. I'm thinking a flip flop SS/Fixed would be perfect. Decently low maintenance and straight forward.

    I've been looking into Surly because of their versatility when it comes to accepting larger wheels (I plan on riding clear into winter) and their support from all LBS. The steamroller has peaked my interest mostly because of it's cost and simpleness. I'm looking to make an investment, I want this to be something I keep with me for years to come. Is that going to come from Surly? From the steamroller? Are there others more suiting?

    Also, is it within my interest to skip the LBS and purchase parts individually online? Is purchasing the tools and learning the craft worth it? Or is the stock(stock being bought/assembled through LBS) good enough? Should I purchase stock and replace what I find to be inadequate?

    My budget upfront is about $900. Going much higher than that is pushing it right now but I'm able to drop money into it over the course of a couple of paychecks if needed. I'm also willing to wait for a larger upfront but the season is upon us, so strike while the iron is hot I figure.

    I'll be checking this thread frequently and posing many questions along the way I'm sure. Any tips or pointers would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member bleedingapple's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCatbr3ad View Post
    My situation is this. I'm 6'4" and weigh about 170-180 Approximately a year ago I was given a year old (2008 I believe, not 100% tho) Trek 1.5 from my father.

    This bike is wonderful, I ride it nearly every day to work, school, and when time allows the long haul of up to about a 50 mile ride through town and country. I live in Iowa City, IA and I never run out of places to ride to.

    With my normal every day commute (come rain or shine!) I ride this thing, I'm just always worried I'm riding it too hard. Or that possibly the rain or other adverse conditions may take an extra toll on this bike. I'm also worried it may not fit me quite like a bike should, my father being about an inch shorter than me and slightly shorter legs.

    So I'm look to put together a new one, with a more rigid build, a little better fit, and hopefully no worries come rain, snow, gravel, mud, curb, commute or just general work like groceries or carrying me to a friends. I'm thinking a flip flop SS/Fixed would be perfect. Decently low maintenance and straight forward.

    I've been looking into Surly because of their versatility when it comes to accepting larger wheels (I plan on riding clear into winter) and their support from all LBS. The steamroller has peaked my interest mostly because of it's cost and simpleness. I'm looking to make an investment, I want this to be something I keep with me for years to come. Is that going to come from Surly? From the steamroller? Are there others more suiting?

    Also, is it within my interest to skip the LBS and purchase parts individually online? Is purchasing the tools and learning the craft worth it? Or is the stock(stock being bought/assembled through LBS) good enough? Should I purchase stock and replace what I find to be inadequate?

    My budget upfront is about $900. Going much higher than that is pushing it right now but I'm able to drop money into it over the course of a couple of paychecks if needed. I'm also willing to wait for a larger upfront but the season is upon us, so strike while the iron is hot I figure.

    I'll be checking this thread frequently and posing many questions along the way I'm sure. Any tips or pointers would be greatly appreciated!
    I'll chime in having owned a surly... I still have my cross check, I got it because of the reviews of the bike and a friend who had some friends of his go down to Argentina and race cyclocross on them... I took mine across the country, have crashed it quite a few times and its still kicking... Even after getting the seat post fused in and having to F-up parts of the frame its still kicking... That said, is surly the only game in town? No. Sadly they are no longer made here like most other bikes (unless you drop some coin) and thus you can get something equally as good for cheeper...

    Personally I am of the mind to do my own bike work. Depending on what city your in you may find a co-op that has tools you can use or a LBS that has a set of tools for the more DIY oriented to use... I think in the long run if you have the time and money, the DIY route is the way to go... you learn a lot, you get to know your bike and you only have yourself to blame.

    If you wanna get crazy DIY and have a super bomber comute bike, you can do what I do and take a decent 26" mountain bike and throw 700c wheels on it (GT outpost and my current redline monocog project). this will make for a super bomber 700c bike and leads to some fun parts and learning this also gives you options for winter tires of both the 26" and 700c variety. you can also run the monocog flip flop and not worry much about busting around town on it (yea im digging mine a whole lot)... Another route is to wait for the new scramblers to come in and get one of those... I have built/ridded one and they are lots of fun (even more so at $150 for frame and fork shipped)...

    The steamroller is a nice ride. could you find something cheeper to meet your needs yes. a lot comes down to what you as a rider need/want. I would spend a bit of time on here reading some old posts similar to what you are aiming for then come back with some more follow up questions.

    some things to consider are function verses style, how flashy do you want your bike (AKA if in the city a thief magnet) what are you willing to sacrifice in regards to function and or style. do you want to be worrying about the abuse this bike will take and that it will look warn. you want that "oh ****" moment if you crash and scratch your bike?

    hope some of this helped and keep us posted on your progress...

  3. #3
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    MrCatbr3ad,

    Your thinking is spot on. The Steamroller is a good, not-a-single-crap-part bike, Purchase from your LBS. This will give you bargaining power. Want different tires? Good. The LBS will do a swap. Most likely no charge. Want fenders? Saddle change? Pedals? You will get all these things and have a live human being in front of you to discuss options. Doing your own maintenance (or trying) is again spot on thinking. No need to go nuts with tools but talk to your LBS about starter tools. Make a stubby 15mm wrench (maybe Sears is the best place for this), tire irons, a spare tube and patches part of your purchase. I have every confidence you will walk out with a very much to your liking bike.

  4. #4
    .;/., cleanupinaisle3's Avatar
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    Your seatpost does look rather high on that Trek. Your bars are angled awkwardly and your saddle angle seems to be very aggressive. The frame looks like a 56 cm. I think for someone of your height you should be riding a 58-60 cm.

    That said, it's a beautiful bike. And the Steamroller is a great, functional first fixed gear. Not as flashy as your Trek, but it will most certainly satisfy the rider in you. Just make sure you have the bike fitted properly!

  5. #5
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    Agreed. Go stock then customize to your liking. Building up a whole bike will require too much investment in tools that you may only use once a year. If you're the kind of person that enjoys working on your bike, you'll have plenty of chances to change things up and acquire tools as need be.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    that sucks that your trek doesn't fit you.

    1. seatpost height
    2. saddle angle
    3. handlebar angle

    go to a bike shop and get someone to help you out with sizing a bike.

  7. #7
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    Coincidentally, I'm replying to you from Iowa City myself. Glad to hear that you're enjoying riding around here. I completely agree and recommend the loop up across the Coralville dam or the one past Sugar Bottom and through North Liberty.

    I agree that your current bike setup is a bit odd. Typically, you start with the brake levers vertical and the top of the saddle horizontal and go from there. Looking at your setup, I suspect you're either aiming for a fairly upright sitting position or that you have long legs and a short torso.

    A classic frame geometry should leave you with a "handful" of seatpost between the saddle and frame. You've got about double that. On the other hand, it looks like you've got a compact frame, so you should maybe have 6" of seatpost showing, but really no more.

    All in all, I agree with you that your current frame looks a bit on the small side. However, I wouldn't be too worried about being too rough on the frame. Aluminum is typically built oversize since it tends to fail catastrophically (i.e. without stretching or bending). After many many miles, you may start to hear some creaking that ends up being a crack in the frame, but by then everything else will be worn out too.
    The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare. -Juma Ikangaa

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