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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 10-31-10, 10:31 PM   #1
copperhed
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Total complete noob to fixies- have questions/need help

Hello. Casual bikerider for 30+ years here... but a complete amateur in regards to bike knowledge. I have some terribly noobish questions as I am interested in getting my first fixed gear bicycle, but need assistance choosing the right bike. Any help would be appreciated.

Basically, I want to get a fixie and ride it on flatland, practicing some balance/control bike tricks. I don't intend to ride great distances or on varied terrain. I simply want a basic fixie, without any fancy accessories, suited for this type of riding/tricking.

1. What is the best bike for my needs? I realize this is an opinion. But there must be a bike or two that is widely regarded as a great entry to fixed gear riding, at an affordable price and most bang-for-the-buck. (preferably less than 500$)

2. I was checking out the Surly Steamroller, as recommended by a friend, and the final statement in the manufacturer's description was, "This bike does it all. What won't it do? Bar spins."
Why not? Isn't a bar spin when the rider spins around the front wheel, balancing on the handlebars? Why won't this bike do that?

3. What should I be targeting for my needs? What kind of seat stay angle is good for controlling wheelies, etc.? What kind of braking will allow for spinning the handlebars? What type of tires would be best? Wider? Smaller?

I realize this is alot of info. And these questions are extremely noobish. But if someone could help me (before I waste hundreds of dollars) I'd greatly appreciate it.
Thank you.

Last edited by copperhed; 11-01-10 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 10-31-10, 10:35 PM   #2
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So you basically want a fg for tricks? Get a Mercier Kilo TT + new wheelsets + fu manchu fork.
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dude u need that trixie tool its the best tool ever it even comes with a bottle opener ! dude all the messengers reccomended it to me and evr since i got it im basically a mechaninc now and all the bike shops want me.
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Old 10-31-10, 10:37 PM   #3
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Basically, yes.

What do you mean by new wheelsets? What kind? Wider? Smaller?
Why change the fork? For wheel clearance on spins?

Is there a bike that comes complete stock that meets these needs better without the need to buy/swap additional accessories?

Last edited by copperhed; 10-31-10 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 10-31-10, 11:19 PM   #4
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I don't do tricks so I am not too sure about what complete bike to recommend, but this should do.

http://www.outsideoutfitters.com/p-1...lete-bike.aspx

Go to http://tricktrack.org/forum/ for more trick-oriented fixed gear bike tips.
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dude u need that trixie tool its the best tool ever it even comes with a bottle opener ! dude all the messengers reccomended it to me and evr since i got it im basically a mechaninc now and all the bike shops want me.
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Old 10-31-10, 11:28 PM   #5
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DO NOT add a fumanchu or thrasher fork to a kilo. the toe overlap will be so immense that when you're in the middle of your barspin your foot will hit your wheel, causing you to fall in the air or destroy your front wheel.

invest once in a volume thrasher/profile hubs/external bearing crankset setup and you will be better off and just a few hundred down than buying a kilo and swapping out parts
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Old 10-31-10, 11:36 PM   #6
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DO NOT add a fumanchu or thrasher fork to a kilo. the toe overlap will be so immense that when you're in the middle of your barspin your foot will hit your wheel, causing you to fall in the air or destroy your front wheel.

invest once in a volume thrasher/profile hubs/external bearing crankset setup and you will be better off and just a few hundred down than buying a kilo and swapping out parts
I love you. <3
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Old 10-31-10, 11:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info guys. Anymore help will be welcome.
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Old 11-01-10, 05:34 AM   #8
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i have some advice:

-if you've been riding bikes for over 30 years, you're too old to use the word "fixie". fixed gear bicycles are great, simple machines, which can be ridden anywhere from in the velodrome to commuting to work and everywhere in between, but only 21.5 year olds whose lives revolve around "irony" have "fixies"

-investing in a good helmet and upping your health insurance coverage is more important than which bike you buy if your going to get into "tricks" at your age.

good luck
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Old 11-01-10, 05:45 AM   #9
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-if you've been riding bikes for over 30 years, you're too old to use the word "fixie". fixed gear bicycles are great, simple machines, which can be ridden anywhere from in the velodrome to commuting to work and everywhere in between, but only 21.5 year olds whose lives revolve around "irony" have "fixies"
wtf r u talking about?
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Old 11-01-10, 02:06 PM   #10
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i have some advice:

-if you've been riding bikes for over 30 years, you're too old to use the word "fixie". fixed gear bicycles are great, simple machines, which can be ridden anywhere from in the velodrome to commuting to work and everywhere in between, but only 21.5 year olds whose lives revolve around "irony" have "fixies"

-investing in a good helmet and upping your health insurance coverage is more important than which bike you buy if your going to get into "tricks" at your age.

good luck
You could only hope to be as nimble and funloving as I am at my age. I wear out foolish young bucks like yourself for fun. Thanks for the input.

Last edited by copperhed; 11-01-10 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 11-01-10, 02:27 PM   #11
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You could only hope to be as nimble and funloving as I am at my age. I wear out foolish young bucks like yourself for fun. Thanks for the input.
dont take it the wrong way, i just hate the word "fixie" - happy riding !
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Old 11-01-10, 02:42 PM   #12
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Simple balance tricks aren't going to destroy a bike. trackstands, backwards riding and wheelies aren't any harder on components than hitting the occasional pothole. If you're not jumping stairs or doing other "tricks" that are more BMX oriented, any bike should be fine.

"seat stay angle" is irrelevant for wheelies... Short Chainstays, however, will make the front of the bike easier to pop up... yet twitchier once it's up there. Bar position (height and distance from saddle) will also have a large effect on how "light" the front end of the bike will FEEL.

Another concern is toe overlap, and barspinnabilityness.

Track bikes, especially in smaller sizes, keep the wheelbase short and the fork angle steep. If you have largish feet, you toe is likely to strike the tire while turning the wheel sharply. This isn't an issue at normal riding speeds, but for slow speed "balance tricks" it will be an issue. For trackstands and riding backwards, you can train yourself to avoid it by dipping your toe down and out of the way, or just being mindful of when you turn the wheel based on crank position.

Barspinzzedness: another casualty of short wheelbases and steep fork angles is that when the wheel is turned around, the front tire won't fit under the frame. Most forks are not straight, so when the wheel is turned around, it moves toward the back of the bike and interferes with the downtube. Also, handlebar and stem position may cause the bars (or stem in some cases) to hit the top of the frame before the wheel gets anywhere near 180 degrees.

They get trashed a lot, but this may be a good/cheapish place to start. If you're not doing silly stuff better suited to BMX, it should be fine... for a while.
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/se/dc_pkripper.htm (pretty sure this barspins - do some googling to confirm)

Also, maybe this http://www.cyclingcloseouts.com/Prod..._Complete.aspx
(not sure if this barspins...)

Good luck!
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Old 11-01-10, 05:23 PM   #13
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Isn't a bar spin when the rider spins around the front wheel

What kind of braking will allow for spinning the handlebars?
[IMG]***************************************************************[/IMG]
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Old 11-01-10, 05:42 PM   #14
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[IMG]***************************************************************[/IMG]
These seem like pretty reasonable questions for someone new to fixed gear riding and unfamiliar with the effects of frame geometry.
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Old 11-01-10, 05:44 PM   #15
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This isn't 4chan. Get out of here.
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dude u need that trixie tool its the best tool ever it even comes with a bottle opener ! dude all the messengers reccomended it to me and evr since i got it im basically a mechaninc now and all the bike shops want me.
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Old 11-01-10, 07:24 PM   #16
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wants to bar spin in his ~40s, doesn't know what a barspin actually is... i smell it.

squeeq: u so cool
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Old 11-01-10, 07:50 PM   #17
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wants to bar spin in his ~40s, doesn't know what a barspin actually is... i smell it.
l
Stupid human tricks aren't just for kids. Everyone is a clueless newb at some point.
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Old 11-01-10, 08:01 PM   #18
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you're never to old to bar spin
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Old 11-01-10, 11:13 PM   #19
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dont take it the wrong way, i just hate the word "fixie" - happy riding !
fair enough.
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Old 11-01-10, 11:18 PM   #20
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Simple balance tricks aren't going to destroy a bike. trackstands, backwards riding and wheelies aren't any harder on components than hitting the occasional pothole. If you're not jumping stairs or doing other "tricks" that are more BMX oriented, any bike should be fine.........................................................
Hey, thanks alot for the info. You're the only one who really considered my exact questions in your response. And you're correct... I don't intend to do any hardcore tricking or BMX stuff. Just some backwards pedaling, wheelie balancing, maybe some spins with the rear wheel planted on the ground. Who knows? Thanks again.

And to the above posters... I'm far from "40's" and never said I wanted to bar spin. Just wanted to know why the ad said the bike couldn't. On second thought... Maybe I'll wheelie up to your girl, while you're inside watching The Jersey Shore reruns, and show her my sweet bar spins.

Last edited by copperhed; 11-01-10 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 11-02-10, 05:22 AM   #21
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Maybe I'll wheelie up to your girl, while you're inside watching The Jersey Shore reruns, and show her my sweet bar spins.
Aw snap.
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Old 11-10-10, 06:06 PM   #22
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I'm far from "40's"
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Hello. Casual bikerider for 30+ years here...
Far from 40, but riding for 30+ years = interesting math...
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Old 11-10-10, 11:49 PM   #23
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steamroller has a front brake
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Old 11-11-10, 01:45 AM   #24
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http://www.redlinebicycles.com/bikes...yle/2011-urbis

buy this. IDK about the 2011 but I thought the 2010 was supposed to go for around 550 or so. Will do everything that you want and more. It will work just fine for riding around and basic tricks, and if you decide that you want to try some stuff that's a little harder on the bike you won't have to stress that anything is going to snap under you.
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Old 11-11-10, 08:26 AM   #25
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Far from 40, but riding for 30+ years = interesting math...
He's 54!
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