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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 07-03-12, 02:51 PM   #1
Emptyjar
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What Needs to be Replaced on the WM Fixie

I did some searches and obviously this bike isn't a good quality bike, but I haven't ridden a bike since I was probably 13 (10 years ago), and I've never ridden one with gears, and don't plan on starting now.

So naturally I didn't want to drop $300 on a quality bike and then just give up the hobby a month later, so I went to walmart to see what I could find, and they had an incredibly ugly McDonalds bike for $99, which seemed a lot higher quality than their geared mountian bikes for the same price anyway, so I bought it.

I've been fairly happy with my purchase so far since I'm by no means a professional bike rider nor a hipster, but it's been an okay bike so far minus the horrendous brakes that don't work. It's also much nicer without all the ugly stickers on the frame and I've swapped the wheels so they match the rims (who's idea was it to put red tires on yellow rims and vice versa?). So at least it's looking decent now.

Regardless, what should I upgrade first? I'm just looking for this bike to last me until the end of the year and if I'm still into the hobby/sport next year, it seems like the Kilo TT is a common starting place for riders.

So, should I get rid of the ****ty plastic pedals, get new handlebars, replace the tires or what? I'm leaning towards the pedals because honestly, I'm 165 pounds and plastic pedals just scare me.

I'm obviously not going to dump over 75 dollars into this bike, and would rather stay around $50 for now, so what should be replaced first?

PS: I don't know a damned thing about bikes or mechanics, so I honestly don't know. I didn't even know what a "fixie" was until i got home and Googled the bike. It just seemed like a simple start-up bike.

Last edited by Emptyjar; 07-03-12 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 07-03-12, 03:04 PM   #2
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If you still have the receipt, take it back and spend the $175 on something from Craigslist. You'll be better off.
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Old 07-03-12, 03:12 PM   #3
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Road bikes aren't exactly popular in my neck of the woods, so that's not really an option.
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Old 07-03-12, 03:20 PM   #4
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I'm new here, but this seems like a troll. Either way, my recommendation would be to take it back and get your money back, too. There's no point in spending money on new gear and putting it on something like this. If you're going to spend $100 on the bike and then $50 or whatever "upgrading" it, you might as well save for a bit longer and spend $300 on a bike that will actually last, or be resellable if you end up not liking biking.
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Old 07-03-12, 03:29 PM   #5
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I've only looked at them in the store and immediately noticed those plastic pedals. Dump those things asap. I am also not a fan of the bars. So, like you said before... bars and pedals would be a good start for around $50.
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Old 07-03-12, 03:29 PM   #6
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Hm, didn't realize riding a bike with a single speed was so prestigous. Seems a little excessive to spend $300 on a bike that I'm going to be using for simple commuting and exercise when I don't even know if I'll enjoy it. But hey, if I would have known I needed to buy a $400 bike to get help from strangers on the internet I guess I would have never created this post.

Thanks DevinL, that's what I was leaning towards, although I have no idea how much bars cost, I was thinking the drop bars, but are they pretty universal in size and fit?
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Old 07-03-12, 03:36 PM   #7
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It isn't about being prestigious. It's about getting someone to like riding. You're far more likely to keep riding if it's something that doesn't seem like a chore because you're riding a piece of ****. What would you have more fun driving to work in: a Porsche 911 or a Chevy Aveo? You bought the equivalent of the Chevy, and we are trying to convince you that, though you may not need the Porsche, you could at least get a used Cadillac or a new Buick. Make sense?
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Old 07-03-12, 03:42 PM   #8
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What would you have more fun driving to work in: a Porsche 911 or a Chevy Aveo? You bought the equivalent of the Chevy, and we are trying to convince you that, though you may not need the Porsche, you could at least get a used Cadillac or a new Buick. Make sense?
It does make sense. But if someone jumped onto a car forum with a question about putting new tires on a Chevy Aveo, would you tell them to immediately trade in their Aveo and find a new Buick? I see where you're coming from, of course a nice bike is a nicer ride, and I could afford to buy a $300-$400 bike, but since I don't really know much about it, I'm still thinking this is the right path. If I enjoy it, I'm perfectly content with upgrading after this summer.

I'm just looking to make this bike a bit better (and safer) by upgrading the worst parts, which I was hoping someone would have at least noticed in the store since i'm sure no one here is actually riding one.
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Old 07-03-12, 03:44 PM   #9
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It isn't about being prestigious. It's about getting someone to like riding. You're far more likely to keep riding if it's something that doesn't seem like a chore because you're riding a piece of ****. What would you have more fun driving to work in: a Porsche 911 or a Chevy Aveo? You bought the equivalent of the Chevy, and we are trying to convince you that, though you may not need the Porsche, you could at least get a used Cadillac or a new Buick. Make sense?
Damn that was a good analogy haha

And to the bars, no they aren't 'interchangeable'. You need to use a pair with the right clamp diameter.
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Old 07-03-12, 03:44 PM   #10
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I dunno, given the OP's situation I don't think he should be given a hard time about it. Buying from CL is an exercise in patience, frustration, and sometimes turning a blind eye to the possibility you're buying a stolen bike.

Pedals, saddle and bars, OP. The things your body touches on the bike are the most important to swap out.
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Old 07-03-12, 03:51 PM   #11
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Mr Jar...

I know when you start 300 sounds crazy for brand new.. but it's not. It's actually fairly bottom of the barrel for an actual bike, not a bike shaped object. Sounds like money is tight for you as is and you only have one bike, so that kinda puts a damper on doing a lot of wrench work yourself in theory. I've been able to buy/build most my bikes in the sub $200 range and have gotten some of what I consider nice bikes, I do however do all my own mechanical work and had a lot of setbacks when I started out.. so if you go that route expect things to take 3-4 times as long as they should and for every part to pretty much break.

If you have time, and local salvage yards, dumps, etc I'd start scavenging bikes/parts and learning how to build a bike myself while leaving the POS thruster still intact.. and if after you've got a grasp on bikes you still decide you want to upgrade the thruster do it.
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Old 07-03-12, 04:04 PM   #12
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sell your bike on craigslist for $200 to an unsuspecting hipster, repeat, then buy a bike that won't break/hurtyou/suck
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Old 07-03-12, 04:06 PM   #13
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It does make sense. But if someone jumped onto a car forum with a question about putting new tires on a Chevy Aveo, would you tell them to immediately trade in their Aveo and find a new Buick?
if they were talking about swapping steering columns (handlebars), transmissions (pedals), or anything else totaling 50% of what the BRAND NEW car was worth; yes. putting $200 of tires on a $12,000 car is not even close to putting $50 of anything onto a horrible $100 bike.

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Old 07-03-12, 04:14 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=RaleighSport;14436962]
I know when you start 300 sounds crazy for brand new.. but it's not. It's actually fairly bottom of the barrel for an actual bike, not a bike shaped object.
[QUOTE]

Egh, so pretentious!

I realize what you're saying and I do thank you for your advice, and I actually will probably start building a better bike while I'm riding this one. That way I won't be in any hurry and can take my time to learn bikes and how they work and get parts. I could buy a $300 bike if I wanted too, I mean, I'm far from rich, but right now I'm working over 50 hours a week and don't have all that much time to invest in riding as it is, so it's hard to make an investment like that without knowing if I'm even going to stay interested. I do appreciate your post, that's a good idea since i want to learn the mechanics and do some handy-work myself aswell.



Thanks everyone else for your input, I guess I miss the days where a bike was a bike, not a status symbol.
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Old 07-03-12, 04:18 PM   #15
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I certainly wouldn't call it a status symbol. Sure, some people may see it that way, but they generally have several thousand dollars into it. And with your plan, save as you ride this into the ground, won't really last all that long. The thing will most likely fall apart on you before you have all the money that you want saved up. So be prepared to spend some money that you were hoping to spend elsewhere.
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Old 07-03-12, 04:20 PM   #16
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If I had to spend a year on a Thruster I'd get front brake, pedals and saddle right away, but I already know what saddle I like. For an absolute noob I'd just go front brake and pedals. Then other parts as they fail.

I dunno if Promax RC 470 has the reach needed or not, but maybe.
Assuming you're running freewheel I'd just get some BMX platforms. Make sure you get the right ones 1/2, 9/16.

Thruster talk always heats up in the summer, don't it?
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Old 07-03-12, 04:26 PM   #17
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If I had to spend a year on a Thruster I'd get front brake, pedals and saddle right away, but I already know what saddle I like. For an absolute noob I'd just go front brake and pedals. Then other parts as they fail.

I dunno if Promax RC 470 has the reach needed or not, but maybe.
Assuming you're running freewheel I'd just get some BMX platforms. Make sure you get the right ones 1/2, 9/16.
Thanks! That seems like what I'll be doing!
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Old 07-03-12, 04:31 PM   #18
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Oh, and no need to be scared of decent plastic BMX pedals. Odyssey Twisted don't cost a lot of money but are way better than the stockers on the Thruster.
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Old 07-03-12, 04:45 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=Emptyjar;14437044][QUOTE=RaleighSport;14436962]
I know when you start 300 sounds crazy for brand new.. but it's not. It's actually fairly bottom of the barrel for an actual bike, not a bike shaped object.
Quote:

Egh, so pretentious!

I realize what you're saying and I do thank you for your advice, and I actually will probably start building a better bike while I'm riding this one. That way I won't be in any hurry and can take my time to learn bikes and how they work and get parts. I could buy a $300 bike if I wanted too, I mean, I'm far from rich, but right now I'm working over 50 hours a week and don't have all that much time to invest in riding as it is, so it's hard to make an investment like that without knowing if I'm even going to stay interested. I do appreciate your post, that's a good idea since i want to learn the mechanics and do some handy-work myself aswell.



Thanks everyone else for your input, I guess I miss the days where a bike was a bike, not a status symbol.
I wasn't trying to come off as pretentious, just basically break the grim cold hard reality into you. I totally understand what your saying about time and not knowing if you like it etc.. and no one can really tell you if it's worth that but you. But it sounds like even with that thruster you're enjoying riding.. there's a few bikes on bikesdirect that you could start with right on the 300 dollar range if you do change your mind about that. And would you mind stating what area you're in? I'm curious to take a look at online offerings in your area now.
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Old 07-03-12, 04:54 PM   #20
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Thanks LesterofPuppets, those pedals are definitely quite cheap and could fit the bill perfectly.



[QUOTE=RaleighSport;14437137][QUOTE=Emptyjar;14437044]
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I know when you start 300 sounds crazy for brand new.. but it's not. It's actually fairly bottom of the barrel for an actual bike, not a bike shaped object.


I wasn't trying to come off as pretentious, just basically break the grim cold hard reality into you. I totally understand what your saying about time and not knowing if you like it etc.. and no one can really tell you if it's worth that but you. But it sounds like even with that thruster you're enjoying riding.. there's a few bikes on bikesdirect that you could start with right on the 300 dollar range if you do change your mind about that. And would you mind stating what area you're in? I'm curious to take a look at online offerings in your area now.
It's in Marquette, MI. If someone up here rides a bike, it's a mountain bike. We have loads of trails and everything, but it's pretty slim picken's as far as road bikes go. And the only bikes i've seen on craigslist that aren't mountain bikes are 20" Huffy's and old cruisers from the 60's.
And yea, it's working for me. I can understand buying quality right out of the gate, but it seems like this way should work fine (for now).

Like I said, if this bike lasts me the next four months until snow falls, and I'm still interested in biking, I'll be upgrading. I didn't buy this bike to try and make it last 3 years and lie to myself that it's a good quality bike, lol.
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Old 07-03-12, 04:58 PM   #21
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If I had to spend a year on a Thruster I'd get front brake, pedals and saddle right away, but I already know what saddle I like. For an absolute noob I'd just go front brake and pedals. Then other parts as they fail.

I dunno if Promax RC 470 has the reach needed or not, but maybe.
Assuming you're running freewheel I'd just get some BMX platforms. Make sure you get the right ones 1/2, 9/16.

Thruster talk always heats up in the summer, don't it?
Any recommendations on the brakes?
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Old 07-03-12, 05:01 PM   #22
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I, for one, am not trying to give you a hard time. I'm just warning you that this bike isn't exactly road-worthy, and trying to point you in a safer, more reliable direction. Saddle, pedals, and brakes are what I would consider first priorities. The brakes on those bikes are stamped and thin, which means that under a hard stop they will bend out of the way as you attempt to stop. Saddles on lower end complete bikes are utter garbage, yet are arguably the most important factor in being comfortable on a bike. IMO, the pedals aren't as high of a priority as the other things. Also, if you have a friend who works on bikes, have him/her check it over. I'd bet any amount of money that the person who assembled it at Wal-Mart messed something up. If you plan on riding it fixed this is even more of a priority, as I can assure you that the cog and lockring aren't tight enough and that you run a good chance of stripping your hub, thus costing yourself a fair amount of money that you don't wish to spend at this time.

You mentioned that you're in Marquette, MI. As luck would have it, I have a friend who went to school at NMU and is an avid cyclist. I asked him if there were any good shops up there, and he told me to send you to http://www.quickstopbike.com/. Go there, make nice with them, maybe take them a six-pack of beer one night when you go get some work done or whatever.

Beyond that, welcome to the forums. Though we tend to be rough on new members around here you'll soon come to realize that we are a big, happy, if not dysfunctional, family.

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Old 07-03-12, 05:22 PM   #23
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Any recommendations on the brakes?
Promax RC470 is a long reach brake caliper that I'm just guessing might work. You need to measure the distance from brake bolt hole on the fork and the brake track on your rim.

That caliper can reach rims 39-52mm away from hole.

Just go hit up that LBS that JT mentioned in the post above, though.
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Old 07-03-12, 05:38 PM   #24
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I, for one, am not trying to give you a hard time. I'm just warning you that this bike isn't exactly road-worthy, and trying to point you in a safer, more reliable direction. Saddle, pedals, and brakes are what I would consider first priorities. The brakes on those bikes are stamped and thin, which means that under a hard stop they will bend out of the way as you attempt to stop. Saddles on lower end complete bikes are utter garbage, yet are arguably the most important factor in being comfortable on a bike. IMO, the pedals aren't as high of a priority as the other things. Also, if you have a friend who works on bikes, have him/her check it over. I'd bet any amount of money that the person who assembled it at Wal-Mart messed something up. If you plan on riding it fixed this is even more of a priority, as I can assure you that the cog and lockring aren't tight enough and that you run a good chance of stripping your hub, thus costing yourself a fair amount of money that you don't wish to spend at this time.

You mentioned that you're in Marquette, MI. As luck would have it, I have a friend who went to school at NMU and is an avid cyclist. I asked him if there were any good shops up there, and he told me to send you to http://www.quickstopbike.com/. Go there, make nice with them, maybe take them a six-pack of beer one night when you go get some work done or whatever.

Beyond that, welcome to the forums. Though we tend to be rough on new members around here you'll soon come to realize that we are a big, happy, if not dysfunctional, family.
Yea, I assumed when I bought it that the guy that put the bike together was the the same guy that puts diapers on shelves and meat in the cooler, so I did have my friend look it over. He mentioned that it was all pretty much either "too tight' or 'not tight enough', and some bearings that turn the handlebars weren't set right. So that was helpful.

I do appreciate the recommendation for quickstop bikeshop, i've seen it many times but haven't ever stopped in. Definitely won't hurt to drop by in the near future and just see what they're all about. Thanks!

Oh, and yea, the brakes are just pathetic. They're pretty much turning to dust everytime I use them, lol.
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Old 07-03-12, 05:45 PM   #25
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You are indeed correct, your CL is terribad.
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