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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 10-18-12, 04:51 AM   #1
plasmablast
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Hi. I'm looking for a bike.

I'm just a girl that commutes to college on public transportation everyday. This means that I have to haul my bike everywhere; lifting it up and down stairs, lifting it up and down the bike rack on the bus, as well as up the stairs on the train.
I currently ride an old passed down antique Schwinn whatever steel bike that weights a lot. How much exactly I do not know, but I do huff and puff hauling it up and down everyday. While sifting through the bike racks at school, I sometimes have to lift other people's bikes in order to fit mine in there... and damn they are freaking light! I can probably jog a mile with one of those bikes on my shoulders and it'll feel like it's not even there.
And then after awhile, I got thinking... I want one of those!
Now since I don't really know anyone in the system, I've come here to ask you guys for web addresses.
I'm looking for a new single speed bike that's lightweight. How lightweight I do not know, but I think you guys at these bike forums understand how light I want it to be. I don't really care about how upgradable the parts are, as long as they don't fall off or break within minutes of riding it. All I really want is a light weight bike. That's it, really!
Pluses would include a straight handlebar (not one of those curly ones) and one of those brakes that I have to squeeze (not the type that is vertical and is off to the side of the curve in the curly handlebars). I'm sorry but I don't know bike terminology! lol
The terrain of my bike ride is all flat surface streets with moderate traffic. Easy ride, right?
I am 5"4', if that helps at all. My budget is $0 - $350~, and that includes shipping and taxes.

Thanks for any help
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Old 10-18-12, 05:05 AM   #2
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what college??

if you really use public transportation a lot with your bike, you may want to consider a folding bike. the nice single speed ones can be fairly light, and they are really made for transportation on and off busses, trains, into apartments, dorms, etc. when i was taking my bike and the train to work, my folder revolutionized how much more convenient and stress free my life was. just fold the bike up and hop on the train, no more using handicapped spaces to store the bike, searching for room here and there for the full size.

if you're in or near a big city, check the local craigslist, people sell them all the time, reasonably cheap.

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Old 10-18-12, 05:05 AM   #3
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here. http://www.wabicycles.com/bike_main_pg2011.html

pick whichever is in your budget.

EDIT: never mind, I just saw your budget. Can't really buy much with $350, but if you want a decent bike for that price, go get a single speed from bikesdirect.com.
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Old 10-18-12, 05:09 AM   #4
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what college??

if you really use public transportation a lot with your bike, you may want to consider a folding bike. the nice single speed ones can be fairly light, and they are really made for transportation on and off busses, trains, into apartments, dorms, etc. when i was taking my bike and the train to work, my folder revolutionized how much more convenient and stress free my life was. just fold the bike up and hop on the train, no more using handicapped spaces to store the bike, searching for room here and there for the full size.

if you're in or near a big city, check the local craigslist, people sell them all the time, reasonably cheap.

I've got a Brompton, and those things are still heavy, lol. Folding bikes are compact, but not necessarily lightweight.
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Old 10-18-12, 06:14 AM   #5
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I've got a Brompton, and those things are still heavy, lol. Folding bikes are compact, but not necessarily lightweight.
Me too. Bromptons probably out of OP budget which is a shame but there are other folders - maybe an old single speed folder will turn up.

Bromptons are heavy - true. Mostly I trundle mine around folded - but with the handle bars still up. I push it along on its little rollers (smooth train platforms only). In one commute I had a lot of stairs, for this I folded completely and used a shoulder strap - one of these luggage straps set at a short length http://www.brandmerchandise.com/prod...0/10.08904.jpg - just clicked around the main tube. Didn't make it any lighter - but easier to heave it around on a shoulder than to carry by hand.
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Old 10-18-12, 10:41 AM   #6
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I'm not looking for a foldable. Sorry
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here. http://www.wabicycles.com/bike_main_pg2011.html

pick whichever is in your budget.

EDIT: never mind, I just saw your budget. Can't really buy much with $350, but if you want a decent bike for that price, go get a single speed from bikesdirect.com.
Any recommendation from that website? I really don't know how to shop for these things or what to look out for.
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Old 10-18-12, 10:55 AM   #7
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I'm not looking for a foldable. Sorry

Any recommendation from that website? I really don't know how to shop for these things or what to look out for.
No because as he said, your budget wont allow for any bike by Wabi.

You will need to look at the used market or buy a Kilo TT for a bit more. Anything new, that i have seen, in the 350 range with tax and shipping is going to be hi-ten steel from Taiwan and weigh just as much as your current bike.
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Old 10-18-12, 11:00 AM   #8
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http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ehour_plus.htm

sup
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Old 10-18-12, 11:07 AM   #9
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^+1 Beat me to it.
Use this to find your measurements to determine the best size for you. The top tube measurement is the one that matters.
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Old 10-18-12, 11:39 AM   #10
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I've got a Brompton, and those things are still heavy, lol. Folding bikes are compact, but not necessarily lightweight.
You can get a lightweight folder, but not on the OP's budget:

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Old 10-18-12, 03:00 PM   #11
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+1

The model linked above comes with a fixed gear cog. If you're not into the fixed gear thing, you can check out this bike (and save a couple bucks):

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../clockwork.htm

It comes with a single speed freewheel. Fixed gear cogs (and a lockring) are pretty cheap, so you can always add one later, and still be under $350 total.

Both are good options for your price range.
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Old 10-18-12, 05:15 PM   #12
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Fixed gear cogs (and a lockring) are pretty cheap
Incredibly cheap at the moment. Also +1 on the Clockwork and sup.
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Old 10-19-12, 12:54 AM   #13
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I've pretty much decided on the hour. I like its color choices better than the clockwork's. I've noticed that all these bikes don't have retroreflectors. Will this be an issue (with the law)? I live in sunny NoCal.
Though I usually bike during the daytime, my school hours do rarely move into the evening and night hours. Is it even "fashionable" to put retroreflectors on these kinds of bikes? I guessed I've never noticed these kinds of things until now. I mean I could easily just move the retroreflectors from the old Schwinn and bolt them onto the hour.
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Old 10-19-12, 12:59 AM   #14
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Probably won't be an issue with the law, but you should get a set of lights if you plan on riding at night as a safety measure.
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Old 10-19-12, 01:21 AM   #15
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Oh I know. I have a bracket for my phone that mounts to the front of my Schwinn handlebars and all I have to do is turn on the phone and set it to flashlight mode.
What I meant is whether or not I'm required to have retroreflectors while evening riding.
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Old 10-19-12, 01:26 AM   #16
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If you ride at night, you should have lights. Front and tail light.

Once your bike comes in, just take it to a local bike shop and have them assemble it for you if you need help and get a riser bar and brake lever since you don't want drop bars (curly ones ).

Oh, be sure to order the right size. If you're going with the Hour, the 49cm should be the right size since you're 5'4.

Welcome to the forum.

Last edited by wicked ink; 10-19-12 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 10-19-12, 01:27 AM   #17
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Oh I know. I have a bracket for my phone that mounts to the front of my Schwinn handlebars and all I have to do is turn on the phone and set it to flashlight mode.
damn, that is clever!

yes you are legally required to have reflectors but if you have a light (and a rear light), you are good to go and visible.
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Old 10-19-12, 01:29 AM   #18
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That varies by state, but like seau said, being seen is more important than the law, law here is front light + rear reflector but I always feel like I'm about to die if I dont roll with a bright rear blinky.
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Old 10-19-12, 01:44 AM   #19
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Not sure if you're planning on riding fixed (no coasting) or freewheel but you might want to ask your local bike shop to install a freewheel on one side of the hub for you.

If you decide to ride the fixed side, be sure to get some foot retention. Clips and straps.
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Old 10-19-12, 02:14 AM   #20
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Unless the bike page is wrong or I'm understanding it wrong, it says that it has a flip flop back wheel. I'm going to use the singlespeed side. Maybe I'll join the fixed gear crowd one day, but I'm scared to hell about braking and I love coasting.
And if not, I'll just get it put on.

Last edited by plasmablast; 10-19-12 at 02:37 AM.
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Old 10-19-12, 02:43 AM   #21
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Unless the bike page is wrong or I'm understanding it wrong, it says that it has a flip flop back wheel. I'm going to use the singlespeed side. Maybe I'll join the fixed gear crowd one day, but I'm scared to hell about braking and I love coasting.
And if not, I'll just get it put on.
Yeah it comes with a flip flop back wheel but it doesn't come with a freewheel cog. Your local bike shop should be able to hook you up with one for cheap.

Last edited by wicked ink; 10-19-12 at 03:26 AM.
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Old 10-19-12, 06:43 AM   #22
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Oh I know. I have a bracket for my phone that mounts to the front of my Schwinn handlebars and all I have to do is turn on the phone and set it to flashlight mode.
What I meant is whether or not I'm required to have retroreflectors while evening riding.
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures...cts/ffdl37.htm

Using lights and reflectors at night is the law (CVC 21201). During darkness, bicyclists must have the following equipment:
  • A front lamp emitting a white light visible from a distance of 300 feet.
  • A rear red reflector visible from a distance of 500 feet.
  • A white or yellow reflector on each pedal or on the bicyclist’s shoes or ankles visible from a distance of 200 feet.
  • A brake which will enable the operator to make one braked wheel stop on dry, level, clean pavement.
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Old 10-19-12, 07:46 AM   #23
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Oh I know. I have a bracket for my phone that mounts to the front of my Schwinn handlebars and all I have to do is turn on the phone and set it to flashlight mode.
What I meant is whether or not I'm required to have retroreflectors while evening riding.
Are you being serious? You need proper lights.


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That varies by state, but like seau said, being seen is more important than the law, law here is front light + rear reflector but I always feel like I'm about to die if I dont roll with a bright rear blinky.
Srly this is not where you skimp out. I actually just got my second blinky yesterday to be even more safe. The one I had wasnt cutting it, so I pickup a Knog BLinder for the rear. Love the stupid thing, so now i need a front one.
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Old 10-19-12, 02:11 PM   #24
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Are you being serious? You need proper lights.
While obviously not as bright as LEDs, it does work pretty well. It's more bright than you think it is, honestly. I can even set it to flash a multitude of colors.
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Old 10-19-12, 02:28 PM   #25
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While obviously not as bright as LEDs, it does work pretty well. It's more bright than you think it is, honestly. I can even set it to flash a multitude of colors.
A phone is ok as long as you're not riding in complete darkness. It would just be there to alert drivers of your presence. A disadvantage to weaker lights though is if you're riding fast, you may miss some rocks or potholes that will give you a nice surprise.
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