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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 05-24-11, 07:27 PM   #1
amccann19
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Buying my first bike of any kind

I haven't owned a bike since I was 10 yrs old but I went through a phase with "pegs," my friend upgraded to a Haro (and I went to team sports), I've seen the movie "Rad" a hundred times (huge part of my youth!) and I'm 32 so I recall when a "10-speed" was synonymous with road bike.

I don't want a road bike. I don't want a mountain bike. I have serious mtn bike friends and road riders and all say don't buy a hybrid.

I love the idea of a single-speed, but I don't live in the city (I live in Westchester County, NY...and it is hilly).

I've looked at the kt-22, the surly bikes, etc.
I don't know squat about specs.

I'm thinking of building a 3-speed.
Help!
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Old 05-24-11, 07:44 PM   #2
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Start browsing C & V, start looking for junker bikes, fix them up, and ride them. Decide what you do and don't like. The correct number of bikes to own is n+1, with n = bikes currently owned. Thinking 3-speed? You can pick an old one up really cheap.

Hybrids are superb for commuting. Your road friends don't like them because they weigh more than 5 lbs, and your mnt. bike friends don't like them because they don't have two feet of suspension travel. A hybrid won't be as good as a mountain bike on the dirt, or as good as a road bike on the pavement, but it will be far more comfortable than either.

If you're thinking single speed, you can convert an old 10-speed pretty easily.

Decide what kind of bike you like, what gearing you want, etc, and then shell out the money for a new ride.
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Old 05-24-11, 07:50 PM   #3
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I ride in Westchester every summer, and you DO NOT want a fixed. It's hilly as all hell and that means pedaling up the hills and pedaling down them. Buy a road bike. You could buy one used or buy a pretty good hybrid.
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Old 05-24-11, 08:03 PM   #4
amccann19
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Thank you both for the quick replies!
sillygolem- you appeal to the side of me that wants to 'learn how to fish' so I do think I'll scrounge for some different kinds of bikes.
sherblock- I hear you. I am not opposed to road bikes, I'm more just afraid of riding on roads, clipping in, and I don't need/want another hobby. I'm nuts for golf, I just ran a marathon, I love to ski, etc.
However, I do want to ride for a work-out. I was thinking of riding the parkway bike paths (Saw Mill, etc)
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Old 05-24-11, 08:19 PM   #5
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what kind of riding do you expect to do? if you live in a hilly area, gears are nice

if you want simplicity and versatility without spending very much money, buy an old mountain bike without any suspension and put on fat 26" slick tires. then you can handle roads and light offroading all with ease. remove the front derailleur and turn it into a 1x? speed to make it even easier to deal with.

i definitely do not recommend buying a brand new bike.. you can get much better quality for your $ by buying a bike from the late 80s and early 90s.
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Old 05-24-11, 08:26 PM   #6
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Best of both worlds...cross bike.
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Old 05-24-11, 08:29 PM   #7
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Something like this:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMGP0907.jpg (99.9 KB, 39 views)
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Old 05-24-11, 08:50 PM   #8
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Something like this:
How is reaching for that bottom bottle? Doable?
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Old 05-24-11, 09:04 PM   #9
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How is reaching for that bottom bottle? Doable?
Never tried. Since converting it to a road bike, I carry only one bottle, because I never ride far enough to need two.
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Old 05-31-11, 06:50 AM   #10
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frantic- I like the converted hard-tail mtn bike idea with the slick tires. I don;t know anything about specs (I don't know what a derailleur is...is the attached pic from tejanoTrackie a siingle-speed?).

rustybrown- Indeed, cross-bikes seem awesome to me and I don't understand why they're not more popular. Granted, I don't really know what cyclo-cross is, but the bikes are speaking my language except they also have too many gears.

I want a bike that cruises into town, that can be put on the car and taken somewhere (vacation or just across town) where it can be put to the test over maybe 30 miles, with bigger durable wheels, chain that doesn't fall off, minimal style...doesn't have to be light, responsive, or have lots of specs...I want to be forced to muscle it around a little (again, I'm looking to return to my bmx youth circa the 80s where when you went "10-speed" you weren't a kid anymore...but I'm not looking for tricks and I don want to ride for a work-out.

Gonna look at cross-bikes more...others have any thoughts on this?
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Old 05-31-11, 06:51 AM   #11
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typo-
I DO want to ride for fitness, but I don't want a road bike.
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Old 06-02-11, 06:16 PM   #12
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Get a hybrid or an old hardtail (no suspension) mountain bike. Fit some street tires, and you'll have something that's comfortable for long rides, and can deal with dirt and roads.

A derailleur is the thing that moves the chain onto the different gears. Single speeds don't have them. There's nothing wrong with having a few gears, and the chain only pops off if the derailleurs don't have the limits set up correctly (they can move too far and pull the chain off the gear.) Even on this forum you'll find a lot of people will have geared bikes alongside their SS's and fixies.

Also, start reading www.sheldonbrown.com . He has a lot of information on bikes.
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