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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 08-24-10, 07:13 AM   #1
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VISP track frames

i was surprised to find not much other than a locked thread in the search about VISP track frames from ebay.

i find myself in an interesting position, in that a close friend is purchasing a house on the shoreline, which i will probably find myself spending a lot of time over the summers.

i want to build up a cheap alu framed fixed gear bike to keep down there, and these frames look pretty appealing.

just based on google image search, they look to be fairly well made. i'm not really concerned with weight at all, just building a low cost bike to get some rides in on the flatlands of the shore.

with shipping it looks like you can get the frame, headset, fork, seatpost and clamp for about $200. i have some misc parts home that can be added, i can probably build up a decent bike for about 300 total.

anyone have any feedback at all on these frames? as i mentioned, i'm not expecting a cadillac here, just a basic fixed gear bike to get some miles in on?

*google image bike:
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Old 08-24-10, 07:23 AM   #2
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There's been several threads on this, including one in the track forum in which I did an extensive review. I have one and it's well made, strong and stiff but very heavy. When I bought it, it cost only $121 with shipping, but they are more expensive now. I made it into a fixed gear TT bike. If you want more details, send me a PM.
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Old 08-24-10, 07:27 AM   #3
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Quick google search says these things are like 5 lbs for just the frame, not including the steel fork.

That sound about right?

They do look pretty badass, though.
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Old 08-24-10, 07:32 AM   #4
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thanks Tejano, i didnt even think to look in the track forum, i'll search for your review there. i'm pretty unconcerned with weight, so it looks like these might be perfecto.
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Old 08-24-10, 07:42 AM   #5
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Quick google search says these things are like 5 lbs for just the frame, not including the steel fork.

That sound about right?

They do look pretty badass, though.
The fork is aluminum with a steel steerer tube. Total weight of frame, fork, headset is about 6 lbs. My bike as shown with fairly light tubular wheels is about 20 lbs.
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Old 08-24-10, 10:53 PM   #6
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For a cheap aluminum track bike, it seems like you can't really go wrong as long as it's not welded crooked.
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Old 08-24-10, 11:57 PM   #7
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20 is very heavy!?!?!
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Old 08-25-10, 12:19 AM   #8
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That seems crazy heavy for an aluminum frame, not to mention one that is designed with aero-style tubing. Maybe look into the Motobecane Team Track frameset which is like $350 iirc. How's the geo on that VISP? I know the MTT is true track geo since it's the old FTP.
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Old 08-25-10, 12:53 AM   #9
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He said he isn't worried about weight and won't be racing it at the track so I don't see why it would be necessary to buy a different alu frame that costs $150 more. I'm sure the VISP will work just fine. However, I'm curious as to why you are stuck on alu? Why not look at some steel frames. Crosslake Sales has some unbranded Pake frames for like $130 shipped. They have 4130 tubing so they aren't terrible or anything. I'd look into those if your just looking for a decent summer ride around bike.
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Old 08-25-10, 01:42 AM   #10
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I've rode all kinds of steel and aluminum frames (with steel,aluminum and carbon forks), and I think I'm done with aluminum for life. Steel rides just so much better there's no point riding a frame like that Visp. A nice carbon fork would take off some of the edge but then why buy a cheap frame then?
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Old 08-25-10, 05:56 AM   #11
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Compelling argument, but we can't forget that the VISP straight up looks good and is dirt cheap. For a lot of folks that's a winning combination.

I wouldn't cry for a second if I had to ride a bike like TT's setup.
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Old 08-25-10, 07:13 AM   #12
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He said he isn't worried about weight and won't be racing it at the track so I don't see why it would be necessary to buy a different alu frame that costs $150 more. I'm sure the VISP will work just fine. However, I'm curious as to why you are stuck on alu? Why not look at some steel frames. Crosslake Sales has some unbranded Pake frames for like $130 shipped. They have 4130 tubing so they aren't terrible or anything. I'd look into those if your just looking for a decent summer ride around bike.
i specifically like the idea of aluminum because this will be a "shore bike". In other words, i want a bike to leave at my friends house on the coast, where it will have to live in an outside storage shed. the air near the ocean is very salty and corrosive. the bike will be ridden near the ocean, to the beach, etc. i know steel can last if properly treated, but i already know this bike will be ridden hard for 3 months a year, then totally neglected in an outside storage shed for the remainder of the year, exposed to the elements (rickety old shed here). alu just seems more sensible for such an application.
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Old 08-25-10, 07:55 AM   #13
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I prefer the ride of alumi to steel. i have a visp, and soon to have a fuji track pro when it arrives. Visp is a great frame. mine was like 21lbs with duraace hubs, h+sons, brakes and stuffs. i loved it though, great bike. had it about a year riding around tokyo and the states, still going strong
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Old 08-25-10, 08:13 AM   #14
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If you are looking for a beach bike, get just that. Something like a beach cruiser. At the beach you want a bike that is going to blend in, not a bike that looks way different than everything else you see. This will help keep theft down and you can roll with less worry about having a lot of money in a bike. You want something that you can ride in sandals/flip flops because if you spend any time at the beach you will be in those or whatever your beach shoe of choice is. Changing shoes/socks is a PIA at the beach.

Usually there will be a beach bike rental place that will be selling off old stock at the end of the season, (or at the beginning )when they are getting new bikes. These can be had for very cheap.
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Old 08-25-10, 08:21 AM   #15
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Fluffhead, you're failing to take into account one very critical aspect of the discussion:

Beach cruisers look effin' dumb.


Obviously theft risk is something the OP is gonna have to consider, but I know I'd rather take my chances with the fixed gear that "Stands out" than the 35 lbs beach cruiser any day.
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Old 08-25-10, 09:07 AM   #16
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Living near the ocean all my life for the most part, even aluminum is still going to corrode, oxidize & pit if left out and exposed. Whatever you decide for frame material, if you can store it in a controlled AC environment, clean it after rides, that's the only way I know of having one last forever. I'll try and snap a few pics of seaside bike racks to get an idea of what leaving different bike frame materials exposed does to them for even a few days, weeks or months. But for the most part, living just over a seaside sand dune, the problem is sea spray & mist. The surf crashes on shore, rocks and the seawater becomes airborne and the wind carries it and anything stationary it lands on. Homes, boats, bikes, cars are higher maintenance, even replacement. In that regard, stainless steel seems to be the choice for boats, maybe even a bike frame ? That rusts too, metal is metal, but SS, that stuff is buffed and polished to a chrome like appearance. But whatever else on your bike that isn't SS, that'll rust. SS isn't cheap either, so that might get beat down in your decision. I don't know if anyone has ever tried it, but zinc plates like what a boat uses when it's docked for prolonged periods. It just doesn't take long for seawater to mess up metal and the fear of the vacation where you show up and the bike is one big rusted and corrosion bubble might even merit a purchasing decision for a bike carrier and taking your bike to and from.

http://www.wagnercompanies.com/Polis...ess_Steel.aspx
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Old 08-25-10, 09:28 AM   #17
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If you are looking for a beach bike, get just that. Something like a beach cruiser. At the beach you want a bike that is going to blend in, not a bike that looks way different than everything else you see. This will help keep theft down and you can roll with less worry about having a lot of money in a bike. You want something that you can ride in sandals/flip flops because if you spend any time at the beach you will be in those or whatever your beach shoe of choice is. Changing shoes/socks is a PIA at the beach.

Usually there will be a beach bike rental place that will be selling off old stock at the end of the season, (or at the beginning )when they are getting new bikes. These can be had for very cheap.
to clarify what i want this bike for: not beach cruising. i need a bike to keep at the shore area to ride, like really ride, there are some beautiful rides that can be had at the shore 50 miles+. sure, i may take the bike to the beach, but i wouldnt be leaving it there.
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Old 08-25-10, 09:42 AM   #18
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AngryScientist, in light of post # 17, Build it and leave it at the beach, 20 lbs on a 50+ mile ride is better than the multi-gear vintage chromolly bike that is 7+ lbs heavier on a calm day. I don't know so much about riding seaside for 50+ miles with a NE'er blowing (East Coast USA). And that's the thing about beaches, there may not be much blocking the wind, unless the area is like Ponte Vedra, FL to St Augustine, FL, where huge sand dunes or like Miami, FL, with condos that block the wind.
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Old 08-25-10, 10:34 AM   #19
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Ok that makes sense about wanting to go on longer beach rides and yes beach cruisers do look dumb. But so does deep v's, aeropokes and neon color coordinated bikes. But in the end, they are all just tools to move you. I was thinking you were looking for something to get around town on, go to the beach, etc. My parents have a beach house in OC, MD and when I lived there, I would need to get a new (used) bike pretty much every other summer from the rental sell-off. Salt air pretty much rapes bikes. Whatever you wind up with, don't drop a lot of cash on it.
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Old 08-25-10, 11:22 AM   #20
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fluffhead, I think you have valid points. For a bike that would stay at a beach house, I'd go with a cheap Wal-mart cruiser. They aren't dumb looking either. If you are going to the grocery store, imagine a basket on that track frame. Like towing a trailer or boat with a Ferrari ? For a touring bike, I'd consider a bike carrier and bringing that choice to and from. But sometimes it all depends upon convenience and effort too. If being a discovering tourist is what the vacation all day ride is about, many would be surprised how fast even a 35-40 lb beach cruiser will go. Because a track bike is slower than a road bike for a 50+ mile ride just the same.
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Old 08-25-10, 12:30 PM   #21
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Because a track bike is slower than a road bike for a 50+ mile ride just the same.
I'm not sure TejanoTrackie's TT-setup Visp would agree with you there. Obviously you're gonna suffer if there are long climbs or descents, but I've gotta figure the terrain at the beach is going to be mostly level, with any climbs being of the short (<1/2 mi) variety.

If you think fixed gears are "slower" than geared bikes on flat ground, ask yourself why all the UCI Hour Record attempts are made on fixed gear bikes. I'd want to double check with one of the track guys, but I don't think there's anything specifically in the UCI rules which outlaws derailleurs... just a bunch of stuff about tubing/weight and aerodynamic advantage.
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Old 08-25-10, 01:42 PM   #22
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dsh, I will relay of what I'm unofficially capable of, and I ride within view of the ocean everyday, my 75 GI track bike can't run with my 12 speed road bike that has 81, 88 and 100 GI beyond a comparable GI speed that the track bike has. Many of today's road bikes are pushing 120 GI and with the legs to power that on a flat land run, there's no way I could pace that with roughly 65 % of that top end gear. Would it take even 10 minutes to forget I was even on the same road with both of us chugging away at full steam ? Over the 15 miles I do ride in a single direction, I've calculated that I've gotten the track bike to average around 20 mph, the road bike closer to 25 mph. Funny, we have those little speed reminders for the cars set up at the south end of Bal Harbor, FL, these will clock a cyclist if traffic is such that you are in the right spot and the only vehicle that it captures, but that has confirmed the range of speeds I achieve. Anyway, in an hour that's 5 miles difference, in 12 minutes, there's a mile (10 city blocks if the blocks are truly, roughly 1/10 of a mile each) difference in distance traveled. This is at the best I could do. We'd probably have to ask TejanoTrackie whether he could do it or has even tried comparing track vs road bike. I know when I got back into cycling, I sucked bad, but after a few weeks my times improved and then I hit a brick wall with that. I figure the training and cadence was optimal at that point. I think I'd get either a hernia or suffer a massive coronary and drop my nuts on the road to beat my best ? BTW, the fastest I could get the atb to go was around 15 mph or so on a flat land run. For certain & shorter distances it might not appear that bad but for 50+ miles ? If you could ride 2 solid hours at 25+ mph that's some pretty good conditioning for the average couch potato ?

The other thing too, this guys gonna want to stop and enjoy the scenery, maybe discover the area, pumping away at full steam for any bike type won't allow for that experience, the cyclist is too preoccupied with managing the ride. I know I have to literally manage my ride in shorter increments and familiar points of reference along the way. Manageable chunks of real estate with imaginary start and finish lines that blur into the next section of the ride.
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Old 08-25-10, 03:15 PM   #23
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I'd probably gear it closer to 90 GI than 75, if you're concerned about average speed for 50mi+ flat road rides.
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