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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 01-29-11, 12:26 AM   #1
rbpanaligan
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Requesting Pics and Review of Dawes SST AL & Moto Messenger

Hello Everyone,

I'm currently deciding between the Dawes SST AL & Moto Messenger.

I'd love to see some pictures of your guys'/ladies' SST's and Messenger's. Also, if you guys could give me your feedback on your bike.

Thanks!
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Old 01-29-11, 02:47 AM   #2
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I currently own the Dawes SST AL - riding it in SS. I personally like the bike cause the frame/carbon fork absorbs a lot of vibration. This was a must for me cause I had a mercier Kilo TT and that thing was a rough ride.

Two very different bikes.
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Old 01-29-11, 06:16 AM   #3
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I really like my Messenger. I've run it in all different configurations from stock to bullhorns, to wedging a 7-speed IGH into it, and currently it is running cruiser bars and a custom front 6-pack rack.

For the money it's a great bike.


This is how it looks now.




W/ SRAM S-7 internal gear hub


Bullhorns.
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Old 01-29-11, 06:59 AM   #4
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I modified a few things.

Stock saddle was uncomfortable for me (I gave it to a friend who loves it though so YMMV).
I swapped the seat post for a carbon model mostly because I had it in my parts box.
Added clipless pedals; again a personal preference.
Various handlebar and brake lever arrangements as I got bored with one I swapped it to something else.
18t fixed cog, and later 18t freewheel. Currently it's running 18t fixed and the 'flop' would be 16t freewheel.
I also recommend the Pedros Trixie tool.

The IGH required respacing the rear triangle and a new (wider) BB. The respacing was accomplished with a piece of lumber. I'm sure I voided any warranty on the frame by bending it out (and later back in) but it doesn't seem to have hurt anything.

If this bike were to snap in half tomorrow I'd still feel like I had gotten my moneys worth out of it. I've ridden a lot of happy miles on it and it's still going strong. If I had it to do over again I'd probably lean more toward one of the wide-tire friendlier models (WTF, Uno, etc.) because 28mm rubber is the biggest thing I've been able to fit in this frame (and that is tight even with perfectly-trued wheels) and I like a cushy ride even if it means a heavier tire. Again that is just my personal preference and not a failing of the bike though.
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Old 01-29-11, 09:21 AM   #5
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I own a Dawes SST AL and I love it, couldn't recommend it more. I'm on a public computer so I can't post any pictures, but I will later. The bike is cheap enough that I recommend buying new wheels right off the bat, because the ones that come with it are very heavy. What I have noticed compared to the fixed gear I had before is that the Dawes SST AL has very good power transfer from my legs to the wheels.

Hope that helps.
\
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Old 01-29-11, 09:36 AM   #6
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My highly modified Moto Messenger set up fixed.
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Old 01-29-11, 11:39 AM   #7
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My highly modified Moto Messenger set up fixed.
Looks good, i really like it. i've been thinking about flat bars for my motobecane fantom cross uno. do you ever wish you had more hand positions like on bullhorns?
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Old 01-29-11, 04:22 PM   #8
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Looks good, i really like it. i've been thinking about flat bars for my motobecane fantom cross uno. do you ever wish you had more hand positions like on bullhorns?
Thanks. I don't ride this bike very far or very long to the point that I would miss not having other hand positions. Also, it's geared very low (46 x 20), so I don't need to get into a very aero position when riding into a strong headwind or get better leverage when climbing a steep hill out of the saddle. Most of my road bikes have road drops with hooded brake levers, which provide a multitude of hand positions. I've never used bullhorns, and frankly don't see the point of them.
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Old 01-29-11, 07:19 PM   #9
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I dont have the SST but i have a kinesis road frame. (Same thing as the SST)

The frame is heavy, And the fork is heavy.

Frame is stiff and uncomfortable. fork is really unstable with no weight on the wheels.

Top tube runs a little longer then the avg bike.

Plus the frame is just ugly.
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Old 01-29-11, 07:46 PM   #10
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I've never used bullhorns, and frankly don't see the point of them.
They are like having road bars without the drops. When i had the drop bars on my messenger I never rode in the drops, only on the flats, corners, and hoods. That is partly why I wanted to go with bullhorns.
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Old 01-29-11, 07:54 PM   #11
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I've never used bullhorns, and frankly don't see the point of them.
I don't think drops are all that practical when it comes to riding in traffic. When I am in the drops, it puts my head right in the mirror zone and offer poor visibility.

I do agree drops are very optimal for long rides because of multiple hand positions.
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Old 01-29-11, 08:08 PM   #12
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I don't think drops are all that practical when it comes to riding in traffic. When I am in the drops, it puts my head right in the mirror zone and offer poor visibility.

I do agree drops are very optimal for long rides because of multiple hand positions.
Road drops with hooded levers offer all the positions of bullhorns, plus the additional drop positions below the brake hoods. There are situations where you have a lot more control of the bike on the drops than on the tops such as 1) strong / gusty side or crossing winds 2) descending at high speed 3) sharp or fast cornering 4) racing in close quarters / getting bumped 5) hard front braking.
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Old 01-29-11, 08:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
Road drops with hooded levers offer all the positions of bullhorns, plus the additional drop positions below the brake hoods. There are situations where you have a lot more control of the bike on the drops than on the tops such as 1) strong / gusty side or crossing winds 2) descending at high speed 3) sharp or fast cornering 4) racing in close quarters / getting bumped 5) hard front braking.
With my new fork, in my drops the bike feels so much slower. but thats because i went from 50mm rake to 38mm rake.
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Old 01-29-11, 08:23 PM   #14
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With my new fork, in my drops the bike feels so much slower. but thats because i went from 50mm rake to 38mm rake.
probably because of axle to crown, not the rake.
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Old 01-29-11, 08:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
Road drops with hooded levers offer all the positions of bullhorns, plus the additional drop positions below the brake hoods. There are situations where you have a lot more control of the bike on the drops than on the tops such as 1) strong / gusty side or crossing winds 2) descending at high speed 3) sharp or fast cornering 4) racing in close quarters / getting bumped 5) hard front braking.
I agree with what stated above but I don't feel comfortable riding in the drops in traffic is what I was trying to say.

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With my new fork, in my drops the bike feels so much slower. but thats because i went from 50mm rake to 38mm rake.
That a lot of change in rake...

What the head tube angle?
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Old 01-29-11, 08:44 PM   #16
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probably handles like a vw jetta with that trail for a 50 to a 38...
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Old 01-29-11, 11:17 PM   #17
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Thanks for the feedback.

I'm deciding which one to go with. Is it worth paying the extra 70 and go with the SST AL? What are the main differences?

I'm basically going to ride the bike stock for awhile. I think I'm going to change some parts such as the saddle and pedals. I have about $100 to spend initially on uphrases. What guys do you suggest I spend it on? I want to make the bike feel like my own, haha.

Also, is it difficult to assemble the bikes that are from bd.com? Why maintenance accessories do i need (lube, hex,etc).

I'm really excited to have a bike to use primarily in the city (SF).
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Old 01-30-11, 02:56 AM   #18
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Also,

What budget tire in white would be good?
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Old 01-30-11, 03:20 AM   #19
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I just sold my dawes sst-al today. What are you riding now? Loved it, but...
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Old 01-30-11, 05:53 AM   #20
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I'm deciding which one to go with. Is it worth paying the extra 70 and go with the SST AL? What are the main differences?
Probably not worth the $70. If you just want a bike to ride for fun, the messenger will be just fine.

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I'm basically going to ride the bike stock for awhile. I think I'm going to change some parts such as the saddle and pedals. I have about $100 to spend initially on uphrases. What guys do you suggest I spend it on? I want to make the bike feel like my own, haha.
Change whatever you don't like about it. As I mentioned above, I found the saddle to be uncomfortable but a friend loved it. I also prefer clipless pedals on all my bikes so that was another upgrade. What you need to upgrade will depend on what you like/don't like about the bike once you start riding it.

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Also, is it difficult to assemble the bikes that are from bd.com?
Basic assembly isn't too hard. Pop in the wheels, put on the handle bars, hook up the brakes. You may also choose to pull the bottom bracket and grease the threads before installation. Wheels may need a bit of truing as well.

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Why maintenance accessories do i need (lube, hex,etc).
Outside of the 'regular tools' you need to wrench on any bike (5mm hex, hub wrenches, crank puller, BB tool, etc.) you want to get a proper lockring tool (the Pedro's Trixie will work in a pinch).

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I'm really excited to have a bike to use primarily in the city (SF).
Whatever you decide, both are great bikes that will provide you with many happy miles.
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Old 01-30-11, 09:38 PM   #21
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Thanks for the info. I just went to the LBS to find out my frame size. I might be going with the Messenger unless there's a really good reason why i should go with the SST AL. I'm really excited!
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Old 02-01-11, 12:39 AM   #22
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Does the SST-AL have a relaxed geometry? I'm trying to find a track bike on BD.com w/ a kind of relax geometry.
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Old 02-01-11, 10:21 PM   #23
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SST-AL My modern interpretation of the Wright Bros St Clair. But as you can see, it is no longer a single speed.
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Old 02-02-11, 12:27 AM   #24
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beautiful bike!
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Old 02-02-11, 12:40 AM   #25
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I just order the Dawes SST AL in polished silver

Thank you all for your help!
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