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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 05-31-11, 08:28 PM   #1
Bomb Komodo
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Got some more questions I wanted to get help with

Talked to a SS shop owner today and really learned a lot. I basically can spend around $500 on a fixed bike or build one with even better components and spend more. I could also get lucky on CL and score a used one.

I also could get an 80s road bike with horizontal dropouts and have it stripped to the chain, add new bars, shorter cranks , flip flop hub and track tires and I am good. Seems like they would about even out there.

He said the trend in fixed is moving more and more towards freestyle and tricking. I just want a light bike that can handle going off curbs in case I need to, and that is about it - what rides like that should I look out for on CL?

Also, what kind of speed increase should I expect coming from commuting on a MTB with a front suspension? I dont get much faster than 20-25 mp on it.
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Old 05-31-11, 09:12 PM   #2
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njs
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Old 05-31-11, 09:16 PM   #3
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what kind of speed increase should I expect
over 9000
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Old 05-31-11, 09:32 PM   #4
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It's not the suspension that is getting you. its the amount of tire you have to push around on the road.
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Old 05-31-11, 09:36 PM   #5
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Appreciate the response. I know it is silly to ask the speed difference but I literally have never ridden anything but BMX or MTB so I have no frame of reference.

And why someone would say NJS, I don't know. I guess they found it funny?
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Old 05-31-11, 09:45 PM   #6
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it's so much of a difference you'll poop your pants. you can't change the amount of air you displace, and that's worth a lot once you get going upwards of 25. but the tires and weight of the bike are very noticeable and how much easier it is to maintain momentum and build momentum should feel awesome.

there aren't any good bikes to look for, just bad ones to avoid. don't get an se draft.
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Old 05-31-11, 10:01 PM   #7
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Awesome! that is really what I am looking for.

I am hunting down an older italian bike like a Bianchi..they seem to be in my range. I found a strada so far. Any cool frames like that I should be aware of feel free to share. I would love to ride an older Italian bike like that, I think it would be a nice way to ease in.

If you are riding older road/track bikes is it pretty safe to say you should basically never get up on curves or attempt hopping off one? That is about the only aggressive riding I would do, and seems somewhat unavoidable on the roads sometimes here.
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Old 05-31-11, 10:02 PM   #8
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And why someone would say NJS, I don't know. I guess they found it funny?
I thought it was funny, but not really deserved... I'd go with the 80's conversion, they're cheap and fixed gear frames are inflated past there value a lot of the time just because they're a trendy item to have.

If you don't need one in the next week or two, you could also eye craigslist. We had a Cinelli Mash a couple months ago with ellipses and campy go for $1000, so there is certainly deals to be had!
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Old 05-31-11, 10:05 PM   #9
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Don't convert. Just get a track frame. higher BB means less chance of pedal strike pedaling through corners and fork ends will make your life easier in regards to tensioning your chain. Plus, no ugly cable guides.
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Old 05-31-11, 10:09 PM   #10
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About your speed, keep in mind that the bike will probably be lighter, but the gearing you run will make a big difference on your top speeds. You will eventually spin out, unless you run a monstrous gear (which I don't recommend).
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Old 05-31-11, 10:10 PM   #11
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Don't convert. Just get a track frame. higher BB means less chance of pedal strike pedaling through corners and fork ends will make your life easier in regards to tensioning your chain. Plus, no ugly cable guides.
Not if the frame has long horizontal dropouts. Nothing wrong with a conversion. Cable guides are nice when you run brakes.
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Old 05-31-11, 10:12 PM   #12
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Oops, I was assuming he's going fixed just saw he's going SS, so ya, pedal strike doesn't matter and yes, the cable guides will be a good thing. I still prefer fork ends. Just easier.
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Old 05-31-11, 10:20 PM   #13
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Sorry, I am going fixed. Good point on the bb, I can easily catch a pedal on a turn if the cranks are too long.

So yes I would prefer to find an older track frame if possible. Unless a converted racer is still up to the task.
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Old 05-31-11, 10:56 PM   #14
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If you have your heart set on not buying a new out of the box bike, an older road frame will be cheaper than a track frame and have no major issues. Shorter cranks will eliminate the BB issue(lots of "track bikes" had low BB too) And front facing dropouts are simply more practical than track ends. Its an indisputable fact.

Beware of SS specific shops. They are usually more expensive then their competitors, and arent as well stocked. By vastly limiting their selection they have to have higher mark ups to make a profit. I would hunt for a good shop that can handle a variety of things including single speed and fixed gears.

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Old 06-01-11, 12:19 PM   #15
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it's so much of a difference you'll poop your pants. you can't change the amount of air you displace, and that's worth a lot once you get going upwards of 25. but the tires and weight of the bike are very noticeable and how much easier it is to maintain momentum and build momentum should feel awesome.

there aren't any good bikes to look for, just bad ones to avoid. don't get an se draft.
stop trolling /b/ and update your blog. god damnit.
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Old 06-01-11, 12:25 PM   #16
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It's a time-honored option. I converted an '89 Trek 660 rather than get a track bike because I wanted a) road geometry; b) brakes; and c) water bottle cage bosses. At the time, if you wanted those things for a FG, you needed to convert an older road bike. However, apparently some manufacturers have seen the light (marketing opportunities) and have come out with more road-ready SSFG frames. The world is your oyster, OP.
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Old 06-01-11, 05:18 PM   #17
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It's not the suspension that is getting you. its the amount of tire you have to push around on the road.
that's not necessarily true, a lot of where your power comes from is the force downward on the front fork/wheel against the road that really let's you push off more against the pedals and when you have a suspension or shocks on there all of your force is going to go into the suspension/shocks and not against the road so you'll lose a lot of power. yes the less tire on the road is less friction and will therefore be faster so that is true as well

also, I wouldn't be too terribly picky on the frame if you're building up and on a budget so you can get nicer wheels if you're only looking to spend a certain amount, sure it'll be heavier if it's an old steel frame but it won't be awful. honestly, I'd just be sure to look over the frame before you buy it and maybe bring someone with you who knows a lot so you make sure not to get ripped off on a piece of junk
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Old 06-01-11, 05:28 PM   #18
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It's not the suspension that is getting you. its the amount of tire you have to push around on the road.
Front suspension does slow you down on the road. When I rode my SS mountain bike it had fornt suspension. I finally swithced out the fork for a rigid and it was much more efficient than the suspension fork.
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Old 06-01-11, 07:56 PM   #19
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Honestly I was pleased with my SE Lager as a starter bike. MSRP is like $600 but you can probably find a close-out model from last year for pretty cheap (I got a 2009 close-out for super cheapies at a LBS a while ago). It has drillings for one water bottle mount, comes with front and rear brakes, flip-flop hub with good medium-ratio (48-17), and will even accept fenders. Also the geometry is super comfortable. Unfortunately the color choices are horrible.. Nothing a little spraypaint and elbow grease can't fix. I'm not saying its the best value for the money, just saying I've had a good experience with it as a commuter/trick/beater bike.
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Old 06-01-11, 08:01 PM   #20
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yeah the lager/sst is a great bike for the sale price.
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Old 06-01-11, 08:20 PM   #21
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There is something romantic about a used, inexpensive Fixed score that keeps me out of the LBS unless they have a used section.
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Old 06-01-11, 08:29 PM   #22
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Why buy used when you can get brand new for about the same price? And you will have peace of mind knowing the history of your vehicle, 100% guaranteed in its pristine original state, never been crashed on, manufacturer warranty, etc. Not knocking used bikes.. Just sayin. Keep a look out for a good deal.
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Old 06-01-11, 08:53 PM   #23
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Good point..I am looking for an SE dealer around here as we speak.
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Old 06-02-11, 12:27 PM   #24
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Damn..all they had was the SE draft lite and they wanted almost $400 for it. I got on one and it felt so cheap that I instantly got off it. I could never ride a complete bike that feels so unstable. I am sure the Lager is far better..it has to be! lol.
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Old 06-02-11, 01:53 PM   #25
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The SS shop you went to earlier, what type of selection do they have?

I kinda disagree about prices from shops that cater to SS/FG vs more general shops. In the area around here it's the more roadie oriented shops that carry virtually nothing as far as FGSS bikes go. The few FG bikes they do have are usually right at MSRP or only slighly below. The one shop I usually go to that caters to FGSS is right by several colleges and the prices are pretty competitive. They sell fuji track/lagers for ~$300 and Fuji obey for $500. All decent bikes are pretty well priced compared to online.

It's the "walmart" of bikeshops but maybe check out Performance. The local one here has a few old Madisons priced low and some closeout Fuji feather's for less than $400. They are good entry-mid range bikes that aren't terribly overpriced vs online.

If you know your size and still can't find anything local I'd probably just buy something off BD
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