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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 06-03-10, 05:55 PM   #1
rayn
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Help choosing single speed bicycle

Hey everyone I'm completely new to this forum and the bike scene and was seeking serious help. After a week of searching the internet I still can't make up my mind on which bicycle to purchase. I don't ride much, I'd just ride this bike around casually and for exercise. Can anyone recommend me a single speed with hub, brakes, and free wheel bicycle? I'd like to spend no more then $400 if possible, but if that extra $ will make a huge difference then I guess I have no choice. Forgive me if I sound stupid, I have no knowledge of these bikes whatsoever.

I was looking at these republic bikes, they seem to look very nice compared to other bikes I've seen but I've read good and bad things about this bike, such as bad brakes and handle bars. They run at $400.

http://www.republicbike.com

Then I checked out a bicycle shop a couple blocks from my house and they had a Bianchi Pista Via Brera on sale for $670, but the price is kind of an issue.

http://urbanvelo.org/wordpress/wp-co...a-brera2-1.jpg

Other then that I've been looking at various websites like http://bikesdirect.com/products/wind...work.htm#specs

Any help would be much appreciated!
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Old 06-03-10, 06:27 PM   #2
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OK. First of all, do you want a single speed (SS) with a freewheel, or do you want a fixed gear (FG) that does not have a freewheel. The Bianchi Via Brera is a FG and the Windsor Clockwork is a SS.
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Old 06-03-10, 06:34 PM   #3
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I want a single speed bike with a flipflop hub, the bianchi via brera I saw was switched over to a single speed with brakes.
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Old 06-03-10, 06:45 PM   #4
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Well the Via Brera is a good bike, but a little overpriced based on the Bianchi name. The only thing you'd want them to change is the freewheel to one with more teeth for lower gearing, since stock gearing is quite high. If you buy the Windsor, you'll probably spend at least another $100 to change the pedals, saddle and freewheel (again to lower the gearing), plus to have the shop true the wheels, make adjustments and tighten things properly. The components on the Windsor are not as nice as the Bianchi, but certainly adequate. Personally, I'd suggest you spend a little more and deal with the LBS, unless you feel that you can do all assembly, adjustment and maintenance yourself.
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Old 06-03-10, 07:03 PM   #5
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One thing I'm not sure if I liked or not about the Bianchi is the seat and handle bars, there made from wine cork material which looks nice but something I'd have to get used to. Are there any other bikes you can recommend that isn't costly, but qualifies for what I'm looking for without having to go and change the parts?
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Old 06-03-10, 07:11 PM   #6
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It's pretty hard to find something in the price range you are considering that won't require some changes such as the saddle. The advantage of something like the Windsor is that you are starting at $300 delivered (free shipping) and have $100 left over to make changes. You really won't know what you like until you actually ride the bike.
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Old 06-03-10, 07:23 PM   #7
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Go for the Mercier Kilo TT or a Motobecane Messenger, both are far better quality and lighter frames than a Windsor. They are great entry bikes with quality frames that have decent parts on them. Think of the bike as something you can really keep for decades and you can just use when you upgrade parts when you need them. I'd also consider picking up a used vintage frame. Look on Craigslist. People are selling their vintage bikes like crazy and they are usually some INSANE deals on really quality frame. A nice frame in the 80s is still going to be a nice frame and plus you'll make everyone in the bike shop jealous when you take it in for a tune up. Just my two cents.

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Old 06-03-10, 07:48 PM   #8
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Ok so now I guess its between a Mercier Kilo TT and a Raleigh Route 1 (geared bike) which was offered to me at $480 with lifetime warranty at a bike shop a few blocks from my house. I know it isn't a single speed, but I'm getting really anxious and just want to start riding already. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-03-10, 08:00 PM   #9
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I'd get the Raleigh. Looks like it would serve your needs better. If you don't want to mess with gears, just put it in one gear and leave it there. And with the LBS just a few blocks away, it's real easy to get service and parts quickly. BTW, the Kilo TT is a FG, so you'd still need to get a freewheel for it.
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Old 06-03-10, 08:58 PM   #10
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blasphemy! gear bike on a fixie forum? Dude, I just started riding fixie in the past few years and I honestly can't look back. There is something different about just being truly connected to the road in a way a geared bikes could never relate to.

Now in reality, if you live in an insanely hilly air, don't get a fixie because it doesn't make sense. But if you live in a suburb or city area with normal streets, you'll be really happy with a fixie or singlespeed. Maintenance is way easier, 90% of the stuff you can do on your own if not all of it. You are spending money on less number of parts so therefore you'll be able to get better QUALITY stuff for the same amount of money. Go for the Mercier Kilo TT if thats what you are looking at. For the love of god though, don't get a republic bike. The parts aren't great, and the frame isn't anything special. I'd hate to think what kind of cheap taiwanese metal allow they use on those hubs. I'm not going to trust a company that doesn't even tell you where their parts are really coming from/why brand of parts they are using. Hope that helps, enjoy the new ride whatever you get man.

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Old 06-03-10, 09:13 PM   #11
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Hills should not stop someone from riding fixed gear. I live on a hill, I have to climb everyday and it only makes me work harder to get up and down those hills.
Look at SF for example, steep ass hills everywhere...
Taiwanese make a lot of frames and parts that are very reputable, don't bash on something that you don't konw about.
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Old 06-03-10, 10:53 PM   #12
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It's 50/50 here, I live in the valley so there's definitely a lot of hills, but nothing too steep. One of the reasons why I'm considering single speed is because of my budget. Now that I'm getting a good offer on the Raleigh Route 1 at a LBS, I might settle with a geared bike.
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Old 06-03-10, 11:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rayn View Post
One thing I'm not sure if I liked or not about the Bianchi is the seat and handle bars, there made from wine cork material which looks nice but something I'd have to get used to. Are there any other bikes you can recommend that isn't costly, but qualifies for what I'm looking for without having to go and change the parts?
The stock bianchi seat i have on my Pista is awesome. It makes the Turbo Italia saddle everyone loves look like complete crap. It's honestly amazing!!
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Old 06-04-10, 12:01 PM   #14
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What do you guys think of the SE Draft Lite?

http://www.amazon.com/SE-Draft-Urban...ef=pd_sbs_sg_2
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Old 06-04-10, 01:36 PM   #15
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08 or 09 scwhinn madison, i love mine to dead so does scrod
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