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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 10-22-10, 10:24 PM   #1
x56735x
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Just Getting Into Things

Hey guys,

I'm totally new to the whole bike scene and at first wanted a road bike. But alas, I am a poor college student and can't afford something that costs me over a grand. I went to my lbs (umm...bumsteads in ontario CA) and basically after talking to the wonderful staff there, I thought about it and figured of all the times I've ridden a bike, I've never really used more than 1 or 2 gears.

So here I am, converted and convinced that a single speed/fixie should do me well. Now the questions of buying a bike loom over me. What I really truly want is something that is still very light and fast (I'm not planning to do any tricks, just ride for hours at a time, commute, and train for my own benefit) My friend is getting a road bike and I want to be able to keep up with him.

My concerns:
Aluminum frame with carbon forks. (Main concern/want)
With your expertise, would buying a AL/Carbon bike such as the specialized langster for 600ish be cheaper than mixing and matching frames with forks?

Also, can you even do that? Mix and match I mean? And please, what are your $.02 about which combo would work best? Thanks so much for reading.
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Old 10-22-10, 10:28 PM   #2
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Let me be the devil's advocate and suggest you the Motobecane Team Track, $350, light and stiff.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...team_track.htm
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Old 10-22-10, 10:35 PM   #3
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$350 for a frameset, this however, is Alu frame Carbon fork complete for $370...

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._al_carb_x.htm

edit: additionally the more relaxed geo would be conducive to your desire to ride for hours.

Last edited by stillanimal; 10-22-10 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 10-22-10, 10:35 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick reply,

I looked at the link and looks good, what do they mean about the forks being drilled?
Also, the frame sets are all sold out.
Lastly, I keep hearing things about bikesdirect...good and bad. I suppose for SS/FG it isnt much of a problem, but how are the sizing for the bike? Is motobecane comparable to lets say a trek? I hear different frames are slightly different from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Oh yah, any other other suggestions?
Thanks
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Old 10-22-10, 10:40 PM   #5
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you missed my post while you were posting.
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Old 10-22-10, 10:41 PM   #6
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$350 for a frameset, this however, is Alu frame Carbon fork complete for $370...

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._al_carb_x.htm
:facepalm: on my part...nice suggestion, a much more suitable bike for the road than the Team Track.

Drilled fork for means you can use a front brake, which is essential for any sort of road riding.

Comparable...as in...stiffness? price? quality? name-wise? geometry?
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Old 10-22-10, 10:43 PM   #7
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Forget aluminum. Steel is real.
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Old 10-22-10, 10:51 PM   #8
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This is probably your best bet

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/uno.htm

then there is this

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/sst.htm

Then this

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...essenger_x.htm

just sayin.
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Old 10-22-10, 10:53 PM   #9
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Well thanks for all the replies so far.

I was talking about comparable as in geometry, I've never sat on one and I vary from a 52 to a 56 so I'm not sure which way to go with bikes from online.

I wanted aluminum to keep weight down because I kinda don't want to go and struggle (as badly) keeping up on hills.

And what is meant by a "relaxed" geometry vs....I don't know...an "aggressive" one? (I'm new to the lingo as well)

::edit:: What about a Leader V2 725TR 2010 Track Frame? For around 250 it wont really break the bank (I hope) any thoughts?

Last edited by x56735x; 10-22-10 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 10-22-10, 11:02 PM   #10
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Well thanks for all the replies so far.

I was talking about comparable as in geometry, I've never sat on one and I vary from a 52 to a 56 so I'm not sure which way to go with bikes from online.

I wanted aluminum to keep weight down because I kinda don't want to go and struggle (as badly) keeping up on hills.

And what is meant by a "relaxed" geometry vs....I don't know...an "aggressive" one? (I'm new to the lingo as well)
The top tube is usually what people are talking about when they say relaxed or aggressive. A sloped top tube resembles more classic rode bike geometry while a straight top tube is typical track geometry and more aggressive.

I ride a langster however. It is an all aluminum frame with a carbon fork and seatpost. It gets ridden 2-10 miles a day 5-7 days a week. The aluminum/carbon combo really helps out with commuting. Like you said, the weight helps your legs out a little bit and the carbon fork absorbs alot of the commuter bumps. Ive taken my langster and ridden it like a cyclocross bike before with 0 issues so Im not too concerned about carbon forks and their durability. But dont expect the bike to be fast when you get on it. You gotta get your legs used to your gearing.
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Old 10-22-10, 11:10 PM   #11
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The top tube is usually what people are talking about when they say relaxed or aggressive. A sloped top tube resembles more classic rode bike geometry while a straight top tube is typical track geometry and more aggressive.

I ride a langster however. It is an all aluminum frame with a carbon fork and seatpost. It gets ridden 2-10 miles a day 5-7 days a week. The aluminum/carbon combo really helps out with commuting. Like you said, the weight helps your legs out a little bit and the carbon fork absorbs alot of the commuter bumps. Ive taken my langster and ridden it like a cyclocross bike before with 0 issues so Im not too concerned about carbon forks and their durability. But dont expect the bike to be fast when you get on it. You gotta get your legs used to your gearing.
I was actually looking at the langster...it was somewhere on my list because of the components were what I was looking for but I was wondering how much does it weigh?
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Old 10-22-10, 11:12 PM   #12
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The top tube is usually what people are talking about when they say relaxed or aggressive. A sloped top tube resembles more classic rode bike geometry while a straight top tube is typical track geometry and more aggressive.
Not quite, it's more about head tube and seat tube angle, wheel base, fork rake and chain stays length. The shorter the wheelbase/fork rake and the steeper head/seat tubes angles are (>74 degree), the more aggressive the geometry. They shorter the chain stays, the "better" the power transfer.

Almost all of Leader's track frames have a larger top tube to seat tube ratio, yet the geometry is not consider compact (slopping top tube; ie. Langster), you really have to know your dimesions well before you buy any Leader frame.
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Old 10-22-10, 11:18 PM   #13
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I was actually looking at the langster...it was somewhere on my list because of the components were what I was looking for but I was wondering how much does it weigh?
Stop worrying about the weight. A few pounds here or there matters little compared to your own weight and fitness. The Langster is fine for what you want, as are many other bikes. More important is the gearing that you choose, which needs to be consistent with the terrain (hilly or flat) and weather (windy or calm), and of course your fitness and strength. Finally, save some of your budget for a good lock and clipless pedals and shoes.
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Old 10-22-10, 11:21 PM   #14
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Ok thanks for all the info,

Lots to take in. I would still appreciate more suggestions on some AL/Carbon bikes that don't break my bank. How's around $600. And with that price point, would going frame sets and building from that be cheaper than a whole bike assembled? My lbs don't have much SS/FG's on hand, at least for what I'm looking at.

Oh and sorry for being kinda one track minded. I just don't want to be more confused than I already am about all this bike addiction.
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Old 10-22-10, 11:23 PM   #15
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Relaxed geometry is often seen as road bike geometry on here; little bit longer frame/wheelbase for a given height, better high speed stable steering and longer rides, compared to a track geometry; shorter frame/wheelbase, more twitchy/agile steering, often higher saddle position relative to the handlebar, more explosive acceleration. Plus tons of other factors...

Ive had the SST AL for a few months now and its doing pretty well for me. I swapped out the handlebar, pedals, and saddle right away. Its holding up very well although my BB is getting to be a nuisance. Overall im happy with my purchase and would suggest it to buyers in a similar financial position.
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Old 10-22-10, 11:23 PM   #16
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...would going frame sets and building from that be cheaper than a whole bike assembled?
No.
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Old 10-22-10, 11:37 PM   #17
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I was actually looking at the langster...it was somewhere on my list because of the components were what I was looking for but I was wondering how much does it weigh?
Something like 20lbs. But Ill let you know if I would have known of the SST AL when I bought my langster I would have bought that. When I put my 2009 langster up against the SST AL heres what it looks like.

Hubs: Specialized hubs VS Formula. Gonna be pretty equal in performance.
Wheels: Both use Alex wheels. Dawes uses an Alex Sub 32h and the Specialized has Alex 30mm Race 32h wheels. Pretty much the same wheel.
Fork: Specialized FACT carbon VS Dawes carbon fork. Pretty equal.
Cranks: FSA Vero 3 Piece VS Sugino Messenger. Ok Specialized wins here with the messenger. But its only a small step up from the FSA.
Frame: Both Aluminum

Honestly, if you are going to commute with it, its going to get beat up so unless you have the extra quid go with Dawes SST AL.
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Old 10-22-10, 11:40 PM   #18
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Ok cool. Thanks for all the input. I'll seriously look into the bikes and I'll let you guys know what I end up getting. But if something pops into your head about anything else I should look at, feel free to let me know.

Thanks so much!
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Old 10-23-10, 07:29 AM   #19
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Here's another option if you want light weight.
http://www.wabicycles.com/lightning_...ec_orng10.html
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Old 10-23-10, 08:09 AM   #20
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$350 for a frameset, this however, is Alu frame Carbon fork complete for $370...

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._al_carb_x.htm

edit: additionally the more relaxed geo would be conducive to your desire to ride for hours.
I would also suggest this one.
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Old 10-23-10, 02:23 PM   #21
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Hey guys

Thanks for the input. I've been scouring the internet and found myself on good 'ol craigslist. This guy is selling a 09 Trek T1 for 700 but I think I can get it down to 600. It's pretty much got everything I want plus it's kinda on the aero aluminum side. What do you guys think? That a good deal? What are some things I should look for when buying used?

Thanks
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Old 10-23-10, 02:35 PM   #22
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This guy is selling a 09 Trek T1 for 700 but I think I can get it down to 600. It's pretty much got everything I want plus it's kinda on the aero aluminum side. What do you guys think? That a good deal?
Too much. $700 is street price for a new 2010. Assuming it's stock and in good condition with no worn parts, I wouldn't pay over $400. There's nothing special about the components and you're paying for the Trek name.
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Old 10-23-10, 02:49 PM   #23
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Well he says it's not stock. But I haven't had the opportunity to see it. He says that he has ultegra cranks and carbon seat post, velocity rims and pretty much build the bike from a T1 frameset. He said it's brand new, only went out on it twice and has been sitting in his living room all this time.
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Old 10-23-10, 03:01 PM   #24
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Well he says it's not stock. But I haven't had the opportunity to see it. He says that he has ultegra cranks and carbon seat post, velocity rims and pretty much build the bike from a T1 frameset. He said it's brand new, only went out on it twice and has been sitting in his living room all this time.
IDK, kinda hard to say based on a brief description. Ultegra cranks are road and might not have a good chainline. Also, how long are they? I want the shortest cranks possible when riding fixed on the road to minimize the chance of pedal strike when cornering. The seatpost is the least important part on the bike and the last thing I'd spend money on. Velocity rims are good but what are the hubs? Anyways, whenever someone builds up a bike there's always the potential for problems with mismatched parts and bad installation. Again, given your inexperience, I'd recommend getting a new complete bike for your first try and preferably from an lbs.
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Old 10-23-10, 03:16 PM   #25
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Alright, thanks for the feedback. I'll go to the lbs today and ask around with other things I should look out for. Thanks
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