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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 06-24-11, 08:47 PM   #1
mattnz
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Replacement for stolen single speed

Hello everyone, I've been reading advice and perspectives on this forum for a week now and hoping to get some suggestions.
Apologies in advance for ignorant questions or incorrect terminology....

I'm new to biking - had a Giant Bowery Mashup for about 12 months. It was ugly (white/green/pink) but I rode everyday and have enjoyed a lot! It was recently stolen (sad) and looking for a replacement. I didn't know it was going to be such a difficult search...

These are the bikes I've tried test rode so far...
- Fuji Classic Track 54cm ($550)
- Fuji Feather 54cm ($600) and KHS Flite 100 54cm ($650)
Couldn't tell the difference from the Track

- Giant Bowery '72 54cm ($650)
the curved drop handlebar was almost unbearable

- Specialized Langster Steel 54cm ($630)
Framed seemed small, sluggish?

- Masi Speciale Ultimate 56cm ($1,000)
My favorite but too expensive!

All the bikes I've found have drop bars, which I'm not a huge fan of — they feel awkward — is this something that I would adjust to over time, or for riding around the city (to and from work, errands) are they really only useful for long distance or track biking?

My height is 5'10" and was told that I should be on a 54 (or near) frame but so far the only bike I've really enjoyed was the Masi 56cm frame is it unusual for someone my height to feel a 54cm frame is too small? Perhaps my old bike was too large and I had just gotten used to oversized frame?

I really *want* to like the Specialized Langster (because it looks beautiful ha!) but riding it felt a bit sluggish. I noticed the OTP crank is 42t and cassette 16t compared with the Bowery 48/17 - If I changed the crank on the Langster would that help or is it likely there are other factors of the Masi making it feel like a faster ride?
[edit: have been reading http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gain.html and realized that the number of teeth don't really help in comparison, but anyway, the Masi crank was visibly larger than the Specialized]


The Masi has been the nicest to ride so far. But I can't really afford the $1,000 price.
What I would really like it my old bike back, but no one seems to sell it in Boston (I brought it over from New Zealand).

Does anyone know when Giant will start selling their new line of 2011 bikes (they are selling a 2011 Bowery in Canada already http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-ca/...ry/8071/45717/).

So far my pick has been the Langster, but I feel I would want to swap the crank and get a different handlebar which is going to add $$ to the starting price.

If anyone has alternative suggestions for a bike I'd love to hear it. My preferences are:
- single speed (nothing wrong with coasting and brakes are good but a hub that allows experimenting with fixed gear would be a positive too)
- prefer upright riding position/flat handlebar, or at least drop bars that have a flat area (not curved like the Bowery '72)
- price ~$600

Things that I loved with my ex-Bowery
- it was so light, I could casually lift it up with one hand and easy to quickly carry up steps in my apartment or over bridges.
- it felt fast, was easy to safely (quickly) overtake other cyclists if I was in a hurry
- it felt nimble, it was easy fast to maneuver and zip between traffic jams on the way home.

Many thanks from a new rider

Last edited by mattnz; 06-24-11 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 06-24-11, 08:57 PM   #2
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KHS Flite 100 54cm ($650)
Couldn't tell the difference from the Track

- Giant Bowery '72 54cm ($650)
the curved drop handlebar was almost unbearable


All the bikes I've found have drop bars, which I'm not a huge fan of — they feel awkward — is this something that I would adjust to over time, or for riding around the city (to and from work, errands) are they really only useful for long distance or track biking?

My height is 5'10" and was told that I should be on a 54 (or near) frame but so far the only bike I've really enjoyed was the Masi 56cm frame is it unusual for someone my height to feel a 54cm frame is too small? Perhaps my old bike was too large and I had just gotten used to oversized frame?

Does anyone know when Giant will start selling their new line of 2011 bikes (they are selling a 2011 Bowery in Canada already http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-ca/...ry/8071/45717/).

So far my pick has been the Langster, but I feel I would want to swap the crank and get a different handlebar which is going to add $$ to the starting price.

If anyone has alternative suggestions for a bike I'd love to hear it. My preferences are:
- single speed (nothing wrong with coasting and brakes are good but a hub that allows experimenting with fixed gear would be a positive too)
- prefer upright riding position/flat handlebar, or at least drop bars that have a flat area (not curved like the Bowery '72)
- price ~$600

Things that I loved with my ex-Bowery
- it was so light, I could casually lift it up with one hand and easy to quickly carry up steps in my apartment or over bridges.
- it felt fast, was easy to safely (quickly) overtake other cyclists if I was in a hurry
- it felt nimble, it was easy fast to maneuver and zip between traffic jams on the way home.

Many thanks from a new rider
It's very easy to change a set of bars, sounds like you liked the Bowery you had, so just get the 72 and swap the track drops with a set of flat bars or normal road drops. Or get the KHS and swap the bars. I would avoid the fuji's there are better offerings.
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Old 06-25-11, 06:14 PM   #3
mattnz
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Thanks for the quick reply.

I ended up getting the KHS and sticking with the drop bars because they are already pretty straight so I figured I would try them for a month and maybe end up liking them. The KHS was $50 cheaper than the Giant and came fitted with much nicer pedals (Giant were plastic?!) and seat (the Giant was a sort of wide retro thing and the KHS was a narrow one that I find a lot more comfortable).

I've just come back from a couple hours riding around the city and my week long gloom from having my bike stolen has finally lifted! Riding around familiar spots I'm really surprised how forgiving the steel frame it. I'm amazed at how familiar unavoidable bumps that I'd prepare myself for teeth rattling now seem pretty inconsequential.

So if there is anyone else reading this in the future trying to choose a new fixed/single I'd definitely recommend taking a KHS Flight out for a test ride
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Old 06-25-11, 08:55 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick reply.

I ended up getting the KHS and sticking with the drop bars because they are already pretty straight so I figured I would try them for a month and maybe end up liking them. The KHS was $50 cheaper than the Giant and came fitted with much nicer pedals (Giant were plastic?!) and seat (the Giant was a sort of wide retro thing and the KHS was a narrow one that I find a lot more comfortable).

I've just come back from a couple hours riding around the city and my week long gloom from having my bike stolen has finally lifted! Riding around familiar spots I'm really surprised how forgiving the steel frame it. I'm amazed at how familiar unavoidable bumps that I'd prepare myself for teeth rattling now seem pretty inconsequential.

So if there is anyone else reading this in the future trying to choose a new fixed/single I'd definitely recommend taking a KHS Flight out for a test ride
I <3 my flite 100
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Old 06-25-11, 09:22 PM   #5
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I think I would go with an all city big block. I've seen those for just over $600 complete
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