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  1. #1
    King of the Hipsters
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    Frames and Handling

    I commute on a hybrid year round.
    As a training incentive, I have placed a fixie in in my mind as a carrot.
    I'd like to start riding this spring.

    I think, with careful buying, I can put together a Steamroller for a hair under a thousand.
    My family (wife and son) think that because I won't ride the fixie that much, I can get buy on a less expensive bike; specifically, a Bianchi Pista, and save the family some money.
    So, for four or five hundred bucks, I have to justify the Steamroller over the Pista.

    A word class triathelete friend who builds bikes tells me I won't like the handling of the Pista, because of its track geometry, and that I will find the Steamroller more practical and street friendly, for me.
    I don't know how much he really knows about it.

    Could someone who has ridden both bikes comment on their handling characteristics with a newbie in mind?
    Would I notice a difference?
    A $400 difference?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Well I can't compare the two, but perhaps you could test ride a Bianchi and see how it feels? I rode a Bianchi Pista around Chicago all last year and it worked out well for me.

  3. #3
    King of the Hipsters
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    Jason wrote:

    "...perhaps you could test ride a Bianchi and see how it feels?"

    I've never seen a fixie here in Bend, let alone a Bianchi, and the bike shops don't carry them.
    They'd gladly order one for me, and they'd expect me to buy it.
    We have a large and active biking community, but not fixie-minded.

    Still, I appreciate Jason's report of his Bianchi experience.
    Had he ridden a fixie before?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Surferbruce's Avatar
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    i've been surprisingly pleased with how my bianchi pista handles on the road. i expected it to be twitchy but it's not really at all. by comparison my other bike is a cyclocross bike(bianchi axis) with relatively slack angles. it is a bit less comfortable in general due to the lower aero position but i have the stock stem flipped down. i threw on some 20$ levers and a 25$ tiagra brake and i'm really happy with it. no mounts for water bottles so consider that. i just carry one in a jersey pocket.

  5. #5
    King of the Hipsters
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    Surferbruce wrote:

    "i've been surprisingly pleased with how my bianchi pista handles on the road."

    That sounds good.

  6. #6
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    For the money, I'd maybe hold off and wait to see what ol Tony has got going with the Rob Roy.

  7. #7
    idée fixée iamjberube's Avatar
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    hey ken, i'm from bend. you should take a drive to portland or eugene and test drive one there. or talk to the guys at sunnyside, maybe they can help you out.

  8. #8
    The King of Town manboy's Avatar
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    I'd just build one up on the cheap, but I guess that's my way. Even if you don't want to build anything, you could get a road bike and a new rear wheel for cheaper than the Steamroller or the Pista. It would have character, too. Also, if you don't like it, you could just put the old components back on and have it as a beater.

    Just about everyone here absolutely loves fixed gear, but you may not. Honestly, I would try it first before getting your Surly dream machine.

  9. #9
    Banned.
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    didn't you already post a thread about this??

  10. #10
    King of the Hipsters
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    Similar but different.
    I used some of the same words.

  11. #11
    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    sell your family. less money on food, more money on bike

  12. #12
    old codger icithecat's Avatar
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    Seeing as you are from Bend Oregon...........
    Tell the wifey that instead of buying the new F350 with Cummings Turbodiesel, you have chosen a Bianchi Pista instead.
    I was through there last year.

  13. #13
    my dad can still crush me
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    The jamie Roy from www.irocycle.com is a road geometry fixed / SS bike. I love mine. Everyone raves about the mark V though, which is IRO's Track geometry bike. Both bike all built and shipped are about 600. Everyone I know likes the steamroller but i dont know if anyone likes it $400 more than an IRO.

    Milo

  14. #14
    Senior Member auroch's Avatar
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    I ride an '04 Pista and my old fixie was a Univega via sport with traditional
    road geometry. They are pretty different. Not good or bad, just different.

    jeff

  15. #15
    Lurker for Life yonderboy's Avatar
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    Talk to the guys at Webcyclery about a testdrive. They're based in Bend and stock the Steamroller and the Jamie Roy, as well as the OnOne's occasonally. They're also a registered Soma dealer, but their catalog doesn't have anything from Soma right now. Plus, they're really cool guys.

  16. #16
    King of the Hipsters
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    Icithecat wrote:

    "Tell the wifey that instead of buying the new F350 with Cummings Turbodiesel..."

    Man, we have so many of those critters around here.
    They come from California, I think.
    It amazes me to see so many of those monsters on the road, with one person in them (not the same person).

    I sold my car last year and that leaves us with only one car in the family, a 1998 Suzuki Esteem.
    It gets 35mpg around town and 40mpg on the highway.
    My son rides a Kona *****.

    I find myself feeling sorry for the people trapped in cars.
    I believe if they would ride a bike for one week they would never go back.

    Anyway, dollars matter right now because my wife took off a year from work to finish her Masters.
    Actually, dollars matter all the time, but more so now.

    -----

    Yonderboy mentioned the Webcyclery.
    I'll check them out.
    Thanks.

    -----

    I rode home tonight in an 81" gear, the equivalent of 48X16, and only had to get out of the saddle for about 35 yards out of seven plus miles.
    A small thing for most riders on this forum and a big thing for me.

    In preparation for my fixie, I practice intersections by clipping out of my right pedal and pedaling with just my left, in case I have to stop and put a foot down.
    I guess I'll have to learn how to do a track stand.
    Does everybody here do that?

  17. #17
    Employee Smorgasbord's Avatar
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    Practicing to trackstand will get you very comfortable with clipping out from all manner of precarious lists. (I started clipped out, but found it to be far easier to trackstand while clipped in.

    I can trackstand through most lights, it is not terrible difficult with practice and very fun to not have to clip out.

  18. #18
    I Voted for the Green M&M South Fulcrum's Avatar
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    Have you looked into the KHS track bike? I think its geometry is more like the steamroller. That being said, I haer nothing but good stuff about IRO. Furthermore, I'm sure you could get a steamroller built up for ~ $800 and have a solid ride.
    Well at least I'm housebroken.

  19. #19
    auk
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    And then there is that rebaged KHS that is floating around on ebay for $375.

  20. #20
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    i have a solution. convert your hybrid into a fixed gear, get a semi decent wheelset and a good chain. when you've realized that there's nothing like riding fixed, then get yourself the steamroller. you don't need to slap down a g all at once, you can only live off of top ramen for so long.

  21. #21
    contrarian lala's Avatar
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    Yes, road conversion or bianchi pista if you are lazy like me. If you get the pista you'll want to change the bars out because track drops are not all that confy for road use. I mean, they are ok, but not if you are used to riding on the hoods, or flats of your bars. (Save 'em for the 'drome.)
    Higher ground for the apocalypse!

  22. #22
    shoot up or shut up. isotopesope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cox
    I rode home tonight in an 81" gear, the equivalent of 48X16, and only had to get out of the saddle for about 35 yards out of seven plus miles.
    that is my favorite gear ratio for commuting/street riding.

    as for your potential bikes, i own an '84 bianchi pista. i love it. it's by far my favorite bike to ride. i ride it frequently on the steet, as well as on the track. from someone new to fixed riding, you might find it "twitchy". being said, i commute every day on my iro jamie roy. i also love this bike dearly. it's light, agile, and a bit more comfortable than the pista. especially on the cold mornings when i don't feel capable of getting out of my warm bed, let alone riding to work.

    having also ridden a steamroller, i think they also have great geometry. a bit less aggressive, but that can be better for commuting. i'm sure you would love either bike. this year's pista seems to come with better parts then they have in the last few years.

    however, i think you should give iro a serious look. tony is a great guy who stands behind his products. you could buy one complete for about the cost of a pista, or have the satisfaction of building it up from the frame as you would with the steamroller.

    or buy a wheelset, try it out on a old road frame, and if you like riding fixed, use those wheels on your new frame.

  23. #23
    King of the Hipsters
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    What a profitable thread for me.

    Thanks to yonderboy, I talked to WebCyclery this morning and Todd said he could put together a Steamroller for a price within $250 of a Pista.

    Then I found out we actually have a Bianchi dealer in town and I talked to them, and they made it very doable, also.

    And, yes, lala, I'd change the Pista's bars to bullhorns or something along those lines.
    I ride in traffic and I like to look around.
    From what I've heard from everybody, the Pista sounds very rideable and more like agile than twitchy.

    Now I'll talk to Tony at IRO.
    Thanks, isototope (first get lice).

    THEN, this idea of converting my present commuter into a fixie intriques me.
    This would let me find out about this fixed gear stuff for the least amount of money, and my commuter already fits me like I had always hoped a bike would fit me.

    So, I have three or four options to consider over the next few weeks until I can file my income taxes and get the refund that will pay for this.

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