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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 04-21-11, 08:12 AM   #1
absoludicrous
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Newb: Help me pick between three bikes

Hey all, I'll be buying my first ever fixie/single-speed bike and I'd like some input from you all before I throw down the cash.

My budget is around $500, preferably less, and I've narrowed down three bikes that are readily available to me locally and within my budget.

I will be using the bike for casual around the town riding, and possibly to and from work (7-12 miles one way), as well as metro/urban (Minneapolis) riding.

First bike: 2011 Raleigh Back Alley - $499

Second bike: 2011 Specialized Roll 1 - $519

Third bike: Marin Iverness - $549

Forth bike (throw in because of cost) UO Republic Aristotle - $399

I'm familiar with Cro-molly, but have never been on an aluminum bike. The Marin is aluminum. How is the rigidity of aluminum vs cro-molly? Are aluminum frames as stiff?

Of these four bikes, which is the best value? In this price range what kinds of things am I looking for? Crankset, hubs, wheels, headset? What should I be considering?

Thx

Last edited by absoludicrous; 04-21-11 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 04-21-11, 08:18 AM   #2
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kilo tt
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Old 04-21-11, 08:19 AM   #3
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raleigh, it's the best from your list.

whatever you do get something other than that republic/UO bike. those are ****, even the new ones. i love my kilo.
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Old 04-21-11, 08:49 AM   #4
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raleigh, it's the best from your list.

whatever you do get something other than that republic/UO bike. those are ****, even the new ones. i love my kilo.
That. I cannot stand urban outfitters. Everything from that place is trash.
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Old 04-21-11, 08:51 AM   #5
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The Raleigh is the best of the four you listed.

BikesDirect also has a good selection of budget track bikes with different geometries. You might want to check out something with more relaxed geometry such as the Motobecane Track or the Windsor The Hour since you're going to be using the bike for mainly around time riding.
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Old 04-21-11, 09:31 AM   #6
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Appreciate the quick responses.

So I'm looking at this Raleigh, and now I'm on Bikes Direct looking at the Mercier Kilo TT per recommendations the Motebecane Track as well as the Windsor Hour.

Obviously the Kilo TT and others are much less expensive than the Raleigh. What am I sacrificing other than chain tensioners and the Raleigh name? Components, fit and finish, and build quality are very important to me, looks aren't as much. Reynolds 520 > 4130?

I apologize in advance for the ignorance, I know there's a wealth of info out there, I'm just looking to get info regarding the Back Alley vs other considerations. I want to buy the right bike.

Also, it should be noted that I'm 6'4" - 6'5" and weigh 210. That being said, I'm looking at something 59cm +

Last edited by absoludicrous; 04-21-11 at 09:35 AM. Reason: ual
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Old 04-21-11, 09:40 AM   #7
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Every time someone buys a Kilo TT, Santa Claus loses one hair from his beard.
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Old 04-21-11, 10:53 AM   #8
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Old 04-21-11, 11:05 AM   #9
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Obviously the Kilo TT and others are much less expensive than the Raleigh. What am I sacrificing other than chain tensioners and the Raleigh name? Components, fit and finish, and build quality are very important to me, looks aren't as much. Reynolds 520 > 4130?
Are you planning on riding fixed or freewheel? If you're doing it fixed the chain tensioner won't matter. As far as brand image goes, the Mercier bikes are adored by this community so you'll still have a desirable bike with a name that people should know.
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Old 04-21-11, 11:08 AM   #10
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i would save another 89 bucks and get this instead:

http://www.irocycle.com/markvbuild-a...heelset-2.aspx
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Old 04-21-11, 11:16 AM   #11
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^^^
Does it bug anyone else how photoshopped that pic looks? It looks like they found stock photos of all the parts and then layered them together on the frame
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Old 04-21-11, 11:43 AM   #12
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Are you planning on riding fixed or freewheel? If you're doing it fixed the chain tensioner won't matter. As far as brand image goes, the Mercier bikes are adored by this community so you'll still have a desirable bike with a name that people should know.
Freewheel to start, but would like to ride fixed as well.
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Old 04-21-11, 11:55 AM   #13
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Freewheel to start, but would like to ride fixed as well.
Any bike with a flip flop hub will let you do both. The IRO has a flip flop hub and you can have it built with both a freewheel and a fixed cog.
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I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.
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Old 04-21-11, 12:16 PM   #14
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^^^
Does it bug anyone else how photoshopped that pic looks? It looks like they found stock photos of all the parts and then layered them together on the frame
Yeah the wheels look especially obvious, but there's something not right about the chainring/chain too.
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Old 04-21-11, 12:22 PM   #15
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Bikes that are sub-$500 become more attractive to me given the fact that I'm A) New B) On a budget C) Clueless <---I don't think I'd be able to reap the benefits of a higher quality bike just yet. This is my first bike purchase since my 1999 Haro. Given that, I'm a little uneasy about dropping close to $600 on that Iro. If that makes sense.
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Old 04-21-11, 12:36 PM   #16
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Thats completely understandable, I was the same exact way. I still haven't made the jump to a proper fixed gear, I just love my conversion too much.
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Old 04-21-11, 12:42 PM   #17
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well to keep the whole kilo thing going i just got one and i have to say i love it...you cant really beat it for the money
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Old 04-21-11, 01:26 PM   #18
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I agree, I don't think you should go way above your budget like that. The problem is that someone suggests a budget, and people, for some reason, always respond with bikes that are just "a little" above the budget. A budget is there for a reason.

In my opinion, a Kilo TT is a great way to go. The extra budget money can go towards making it your own and changing out a few components. Pedals first, as always on most BikesDirect bikes.

Also, I forgot to note that you could put that money into a freewheel for the Kilo as well. I do suggest you try fixed first, however...
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Old 04-21-11, 01:40 PM   #19
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I agree, I don't think you should go way above your budget like that. The problem is that someone suggests a budget, and people, for some reason, always respond with bikes that are just "a little" above the budget. A budget is there for a reason.

In my opinion, a Kilo TT is a great way to go. The extra budget money can go towards making it your own and changing out a few components. Pedals first, as always on most BikesDirect bikes.

Also, I forgot to note that you could put that money into a freewheel for the Kilo as well. I do suggest you try fixed first, however...
he said around 500, and one of the bikes he was considering was 550, the IRO complete is 589. 40 bucks more for what i would consider a better quality bike is woth it IMO. saving up an extra 40 bucks isn't that big of deal.

that said i do agree a kilo TT is a great starting bike, i would prefer it to any of the other options.
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Old 04-21-11, 01:52 PM   #20
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From your choices I would go with the Raleigh.. Erik's is a good shop. Though the options through bikesdirect.com are a deal, you sacrifice the assembly and adjustments made from a bike shop mechanic.

I personally ride a Kilo because most bikes under the $500 range have wack geo.
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Old 04-21-11, 02:44 PM   #21
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One thing to think about (as changing will add to your costs) do you like the drops or the flat bars better? The links you posted all have flat bars and the two people have been recommending have drops. If you want drops, switching will raise the costs, but if you like flat bars, you're good to go. Want bullhorns and you'll have to pay for that no matter what.
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Old 04-21-11, 03:36 PM   #22
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Awesome insight so far. Thanks.

Regarding the budget. I set $500 because I can't find a bike locally (new in a shop) for under that. Unbeknownst to me there is a site called Bikes Direct and they seem to see some great bikes under the $500 mark. Therefore, those are much more appealing to me.

Quote:
One thing to think about (as changing will add to your costs) do you like the drops or the flat bars better? The links you posted all have flat bars and the two people have been recommending have drops. If you want drops, switching will raise the costs, but if you like flat bars, you're good to go. Want bullhorns and you'll have to pay for that no matter what.
I honestly don't mind riding either way for starters. I don't know what's comfortable. I think flat bars look more comfortable so I'm sure at some point I would pick up a set, but for the mean time, I'm fine with drops. I.E. Buying a Kilo TT.
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Old 04-21-11, 04:14 PM   #23
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Yea you can change stuff out on the kilo...whats nice bout having money to change stuff is the bike becomes more inline with your tastes instead of buying something for more that you think has the stuff you want but may or may not in actuality
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Old 04-21-11, 07:32 PM   #24
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Now I've got the bug. I'm doing some geometry research and notice the Kilo TT (60cm) has a longer top tube length (606mm) vs 580mm for the Raleigh Back Alley. The wheelbase is also longer, 10mm. On the contrary, the 61cm Motebecane Track has a TT length of 590mm and a wheelbase of 995mm.

What all does this mean other than the Kilo TT is "longer"? Being that I'm 6'4", is this a better fitting bike for me? Is it more aggressive? I don't forsee I will riding the bike more than 10 miles one way per day. Then again, that may vary.

Right now I'm seriously considering pulling the trigger on Kilo TT. I just noticed the difference in geometry between the three bikes and it raised some concern.
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Old 04-21-11, 08:09 PM   #25
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Given your height and weight, and the size of the frame, you may find the Kilo TT to be quite flexible. Other larger men like Scrod have reported this, and you might be better off with other frames that are a bit heavier but also stiffer. Unless you have your heart set on steel, aluminum may be a better choice.
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