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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 08-21-10, 11:12 PM   #1
GraysonPeddie
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Looking for a single-speed commuter bike (not a road bike like Windsor The Hour)

Hi. I've looked over this webpage containing single-speed bikes for 2010 and although I haven't looked through all of them (I stopped looking at bikes that cost greater than $320 or higher.

I'm trying to stay at a max budget of $300, so I may have to buy a used bike if it's the only option, but it'd be nice to choose a bike that is fresh as new.

About a couple of months ago when I started to practice balancing my bike, I fell off my bike so hard that my back wheel got bent, but still ride-able. That bike that I rode is a Men's Huffy Cranbrook single-speed bike, which I've assembled it myself properly. However, once I went back to Tallahassee from Orlando (August 3rd), I went to Wal-Mart with my mom to pick up a new bike, which is Schwinn Delmar (fully assembled by Wal-Mart). However, after 10 minutes of riding the bike once I got my seat adjusted, I can no longer use the coaster brake but the good news is that I am able to stop my bike with both of my feet, so once I got out of the bike and turn my pedal forward, my dad told me that the wheel does not turn, which turns out to be a defective sprocket, but I cannot be completely sure about that. But before I bought myself a Delmar, I went looking for Mongoose Cachet, which is a very simple bike, but it is only available in Bainbridge, GA, which is not reachable from Tallahassee (32304) unless I go for a long drive. I do have enough money to buy the Cachet, but oh well...

And then I went "you know what, since I am starting to get some money coming in since I moved back to Tallahassee and my mom and dad are helping me out with the monthly rent for my apartment (split 3 ways), I might step up to $300, avoid discount stores as much as I can (I don't have anything bad to say to discount stores, but oh well), and get a new single-speed bike online" but I am having trouble finding a bike that I need, so like I said about Singlespeed Commuter Bikes for 2010, those are all road bikes, so I don't want a road bike.

However, here's something that I've been thinking... "Why can't I swap out the new seat post and handlebar stem and just use the old ones from my old Huffy Cranbrook?" Is that as easy as converting a road bike into a commuter bike without that look of a beach cruiser? The stem and seat post does have reflectors, but I'll probably buy some lights at a later time if I am going to travel to and from Tallahassee Community College during night time.

It looks like the Windsor The Hour does not have hand level brakes for front and rear, so what are my options? I'd like to try to keep my bike as simple as possible and have only 2 cables for front and rear brakes (for clarification, one for each).

This is the Windsor The Hour that I'm talking about:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/thehour.htm

The GlossWhite looks nice in a Windsor The Hour bike, though.

PS: I understand that most bike enthusiasts loath Wal-Mart when it comes to bikes, but that's because I was poor during the time when I was in Orlando, even with a $100 AmEx gift card that I got from my mom for Christmas last year. I am certainly glad I took the time to learn how to keep myself in balance while pushing forward and I will get better overtime.

PPS: I could go to the local bike shop, but I'm kind of a guy who likes to look at prices of bikes first before heading over to the bike shop. I might aim for a 17" or 18" frame, but the 17" gloss-white frame for Windsor The Hour at BikesDirect is already sold out. If I go with a 19" frame size, it won't be good of a fit for me.
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Old 08-22-10, 12:21 AM   #2
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The Hour comes with a rear brake and lever! Also, what makes a commuter bike a commuter bike? I use my Motobecane Track from Bikes Direct for commuting every day (no car) and use the stock handlebars and saddle.

If you are talking about having more upright handlebars and a fat comfort saddle then you could probably just swap them from your other bike. Or you could get riser bars which might look better.
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Old 08-22-10, 12:40 AM   #3
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Any bike can be a commuter. Like Cglenny said, are you maybe looking for a comfort/cruiser bike?

Comfort:




Cruiser:
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Old 08-22-10, 12:42 AM   #4
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i use drops to commute, no problem. lights are cheap if you look around enough.
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Old 08-22-10, 12:48 AM   #5
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IMO, a good commuter bike should permit the use of fenders, racks and wide tires; you should consider another bike if the one you pick doesn't fit those categories.
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Old 08-22-10, 03:36 AM   #6
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A good commuter bike should be sexay and get all the ladies!




Mine's not a good commuter bike... :"(
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Old 08-22-10, 04:20 AM   #7
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I don't understand why you don't return the bike you got from Walmart, if the rear brake stopped working after 10 minutes. That is clearly either a defect or improper assembly.

I'd hate to see a crash severe enough to bend the rear wheel, but that could happen on any bicycle.

I happen to like the Public bicycle, they make a single speed, but at $450, it's a little more than you want to spend.



http://publicbikes.com/p/PUBLIC-D1
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Old 08-22-10, 02:40 PM   #8
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Oh okay. Well, I'm looking for a comfort single-speed bike.

I can then add a front/rear fender and a bike rack at a later time.

EDIT: Since I'm having trouble finding a single speed comfort or hybrid bike for around $250 to $300, I might get Windsor The Hour and swap out the handlebar and seat post and make it a comfort bike.

Thanks, everyone for your help.

Last edited by GraysonPeddie; 08-22-10 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 08-22-10, 03:10 PM   #9
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How about this? http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e_express8.htm
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Old 08-22-10, 03:13 PM   #10
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over the budget
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Old 08-22-10, 03:15 PM   #11
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Not a single speed bike and I can't go over $300 without breaking my bank.
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Old 08-22-10, 04:31 PM   #12
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Little pricey, but definitly a quality bike and well worht the money since it over half off. $315 plus about $38 for shiping, so $353 total:
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...r+Bike+09.aspx

we got a couple of these in my shop on closeout cause they're '09, we have them marked for like $199 or something. Great entry level bike, I'd suggest checking around at any local shops around you that carry schwinn and see if they have any left in stock or if they could call schwinn and see if schinn has any left overs in stock, plus they'd probably cut you a killer deal on one:
http://www.schwinnbike.com/usa/eng/P...8-S10RAC-Racer

Wlamarts version of a SS/FG bike. I know you've had bad luck with walmart bike in the past, but these are so simple theres almost nothing that can go wrong with one. Plus they're $150 with free shipping to your house, so thats only half your budget and the rest could be used for minot up grades like lights, or maybe a single speed tune up at a local bike shop to get everything working right (usually around $35-40):
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Genesis-70...cycle/14089740

First 2 will be corectly assembled and a little higher quality, but with the asddition of a higher price. Last one won't be so go, but with the money you save you could make it as good as the first 2. Hope these help you out.

-Connor
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Old 08-22-10, 04:54 PM   #13
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This sounds like what you want...http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...r/timeline.htm

Windsor timeline. Its in your budget, is similar to the Hour, has two brakes, is a singlespeed, and takes big tires and fenders..perfect for commuting. Put a wider saddle on it and some riser bars.

Last edited by mihlbach; 08-22-10 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 08-22-10, 04:58 PM   #14
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comes with 32s.. not bad.
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Old 08-22-10, 05:01 PM   #15
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Little pricey, but definitly a quality bike and well worht the money since it over half off. $315 plus about $38 for shiping, so $353 total:
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...r+Bike+09.aspx

we got a couple of these in my shop on closeout cause they're '09, we have them marked for like $199 or something. Great entry level bike, I'd suggest checking around at any local shops around you that carry schwinn and see if they have any left in stock or if they could call schwinn and see if schinn has any left overs in stock, plus they'd probably cut you a killer deal on one:
http://www.schwinnbike.com/usa/eng/P...8-S10RAC-Racer

Wlamarts version of a SS/FG bike. I know you've had bad luck with walmart bike in the past, but these are so simple theres almost nothing that can go wrong with one. Plus they're $150 with free shipping to your house, so thats only half your budget and the rest could be used for minot up grades like lights, or maybe a single speed tune up at a local bike shop to get everything working right (usually around $35-40):
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Genesis-70...cycle/14089740

First 2 will be corectly assembled and a little higher quality, but with the asddition of a higher price. Last one won't be so go, but with the money you save you could make it as good as the first 2. Hope these help you out.

-Connor

Okay, so if I buy a Genesis 700C Mens Fixed-Speed Track Bicycle at Wal-Mart and convert this bike to a comfort bike, as in addition to using my own handlebar and seat post from my old bike, do I have to replace the wheels and hand lever brakes for making it a "comfort bike?"
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Old 08-22-10, 05:06 PM   #16
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First of all, how do you know that your old handlebars and seat post will fit? Bars and seatposts come in different diameters and they have to be the correct diameter to fit the stem and seat tube.
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Old 08-22-10, 05:22 PM   #17
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Oh okay. Then I'll probably not get a road bike then.
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Old 08-22-10, 06:31 PM   #18
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what about the post makes you want to use it? most likely the handlebars will either fit or you'll be able to get a shim from your lbs that'll make them fit, it's true that handlebars come in many different sizes but so do shims and if you can't find a manufactured shim that works, i've had bikes that i rode for years with beercan shims i had made myself keeping the handlebars in place. don't give up so easily, the windsor timeline is pretty much what you're saying you want, the levers included may look goofy on cruiser bars but a set of bmx levers should be able to be found for cheaply enough, good luck
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Old 08-22-10, 07:12 PM   #19
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How about the Schwinn Coffee? It's a bit heavier, but it looks like it'll fit your needs.

http://www.schwinnbike.com/usa/eng/P...Coffee-1-speed

http://www.schwinnbike.com/usa/eng/S..._1495_3875.jpg
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Old 08-22-10, 07:40 PM   #20
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my friend has a schwinn coffee, you'd be better to try to find a way to attach wheels to a boat anchor than to buy one of those
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Old 08-22-10, 07:46 PM   #21
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That appears to be a good bike. My dad took my Schwinn Delmar bike back and bought me the same bike as before. I rode my new bike in my apartment complex and it is working fine. I will have to spend some more time with it tomorrow. If I find that my back wheel stops turning when I turn the pedal, with my $300 budget next month, I can step up to $350 and get a Schwinn Coffee. Although I really don't care about the looks of a bike, the frame in the Schwinn Coffee looks pretty simple with no curves.

I know that big discount stores (Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, and maybe Sears (though Sears.com does have some weird single-speed bikes--something I am not used to seeing everyday--heh)) are notorious for having lower-quality components to cut down on price, but with a single speed bike, it's something that I can use to practice my bike handling skills (I'm pretty much a beginner to cycling, as it does take time for me to keep myself in balance when I ride) and getting across to Tallahassee Community College (it's across the street from my apartment where the bus stop is, and yes, I do have a u-lock).

I have got to wonder, though. I don't really don't get why I can't find a good single speed comfort bike in Google's search engine. That "1-SPEED" in "2010 COFFEE 1-SPEED" could just make it harder to search through Google. I once typed "1-speed bike" (without quotes0 in Google and I get unrelated results.

Last edited by GraysonPeddie; 08-22-10 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 08-22-10, 08:47 PM   #22
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That appears to be a good bike. My dad took my Schwinn Delmar bike back and bought me the same bike as before. I rode my new bike in my apartment complex and it is working fine. I will have to spend some more time with it tomorrow. If I find that my back wheel stops turning when I turn the pedal, with my $300 budget next month, I can step up to $350 and get a Schwinn Coffee. Although I really don't care about the looks of a bike, the frame in the Schwinn Coffee looks pretty simple with no curves.

I know that big discount stores (Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, and maybe Sears (though Sears.com does have some weird single-speed bikes--something I am not used to seeing everyday--heh)) are notorious for having lower-quality components to cut down on price, but with a single speed bike, it's something that I can use to practice my bike handling skills (I'm pretty much a beginner to cycling, as it does take time for me to keep myself in balance when I ride) and getting across to Tallahassee Community College (it's across the street from my apartment where the bus stop is, and yes, I do have a u-lock).

I have got to wonder, though. I don't really don't get why I can't find a good single speed comfort bike in Google's search engine. That "1-SPEED" in "2010 COFFEE 1-SPEED" could just make it harder to search through Google. I once typed "1-speed bike" (without quotes0 in Google and I get unrelated results.
I dunno why you're searching for "1 speed," OP.
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Old 08-22-10, 09:07 PM   #23
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Yeah. "Single-speed" sounds better than "1-speed" or "one-speed" for that matter.

Sometimes, even with several keywords that I've tried, how am I suppose to find "Schwinn Coffee" when it comes to single-speed bikes if I don't know the name of the bike?
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Old 08-23-10, 05:58 PM   #24
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I just started riding again after a 30 year layoff, and bought a Trek Classic Cruiser. Single-speed, very comfortable; it lists for a bit more than you've budgeted ($350), but I got it for $299 at my LBS. Look around, and you can probably find one at that price.
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Old 09-02-10, 06:49 PM   #25
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go to your local craigslist and see whats on there... may find a good deal
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