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  1. #1
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    Geared bike for a fixed gear rider, where to start?

    Been riding fixed for over 12 years, 2 conversions, 1 Bianchi Pista and a Redline 925 (currently). Looking to get a geared bike for longer, hilly rides. Am a big fan of steel but open to other materials. However have never ridden an aluminum bike that wasn't harsh (owned a early 90s Cannondale Criterium and recently rode an aluminum KHS Flite 700 with carbon stays from a few years back). I'm sure aluminum frames that don't beat you up exist, but I haven't ridden one.

    Where do I start looking for a geared bike? New or used? Build or buy? Steel or Carbon? Would want something that has modern parts and riding position rather than that perfect classic frame where you are hunting around for the right vintage stuff to put on it. Aesthetically would love something that doesn't adhere to the current roadie world of big logos on every inch of the bike. On a fixed gear you can get away with relatively low end components because the drive train inherently feels nice and direct but on a geared bike I definitely notice better components (smoother shifting, more direct feel). Would around $1500 be a reasonable budget?

    Judging by the geared bike thread, I think you guys probably know a bit about geared bikes and have the fixed perspective of good ride, no bs and the type of feeling I'm looking for.
    Last edited by nightfly; 04-26-13 at 05:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    What size frame do you ride?

  3. #3
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    54 or 55cm.

  4. #4
    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    Start by going to a bike shop.

    There are far too many variables that ultimately come down to personal preference at that price point. Go see what's out there. Touch some stuff.

    Shimano : Click :: Campy :: Snap :: SRAM : Bang

  5. #5
    for dynamic hybrid logics prooftheory's Avatar
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    I don't know anything about gears anymore but if I were going to start looking at them I would definitely want to try out the different gruppos to see which ones appealed to me. I'd be surprised if any of them were more appropriate for a fixed-gear rider than another.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
    54 or 55cm.
    You should be able to find lots to choose from in that size, both used or at the bike shop.

    And yes to what others said: "Try before you buy"

  7. #7
    Brown Bear, Sqrl Hunter Jaytron's Avatar
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    54/55 are super common sizes. Check craigslist
    PedalRoom

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  8. #8
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
    Aesthetically would love something that doesn't adhere to the current roadie world of big logos on every inch of the bike.
    Maybe a Surly Pacer.

    Ebay groupset and wheels + Soma Smoothie
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Philasteve's Avatar
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    I always said if I was going to get a geared bike it would most likely be the Surly Cross Check. I'm a big fan of Surly bikes I love my steamroller.

  10. #10
    Morton Nagrom_'s Avatar
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    First, I'd look into what groupset you want. The big three are very different. It's not like SS/FG, where it all pretty much acts the same. Go to a bike shop and play around with SRAM, Shimano, and if you have a shop with Campy, do the same.
    SRAM and Shimano are like peanut butter. Both delicious, but one is smooth and the other is crunchy. Entirely preferential.
    Shimano feels super smooth, but a little dead to me.
    SRAM is feels really "push-button", which admittedly isn't for everyone.
    Go try them out.
    Shimano 105 is a great value, and so is Rival. If you can spring for Ultegra and Force, better yet. No need to guy higher than that personally.

    Ignore frame material. You're only going to limit yourself.
    Geometry plays a lot into how a bike feels. CAAD10 being a good example. Smooth as hell, but aluminum and racey. It's magic. If you asked me how one felt, and I had never ridden one, I'd tell they probably feel like crap.
    I'm not a fan entry level carbon. They cheap out on you for the rest of the bike component wise. Carbon forks get the job done. That being said, if you fall in love with a carbon bike, so be it. Again, don't limit yourself
    Quote Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
    No offense but you're an idiot.
    PedalRoom

  11. #11
    Senior Member seau grateau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    SRAM and Shimano are like peanut butter.
    Whereas Campy is caviar.
    Quote Originally Posted by adriano View Post
    thanckx.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    "I made love to your mother dozens of times last week, and she doesnt know what a worn chain ring looks like"

  12. #12
    Morton Nagrom_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
    Whereas Campy is caviar.
    No, campy is just peanuts, but you try and convince everyone it's caviar.
    Quote Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
    No offense but you're an idiot.
    PedalRoom

  13. #13
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    Got a hold of a Felt Z85 which I rented for a long ride tomorrow. It's got shimano 105. Pretty much entry level aluminum but felt pretty good on the short ride home from the shop. I do really like the geometry of this sort of road bike as compared to my fixed, compact with a longer head tube seems really comfortable to me. Ended up on a 56 although would have said I needed a 54 or 55 before I actually sat on it. Feels if anything, small. Didn't feel overly harsh on the ride home like the KHS Flite 700 I rode. See how it goes on a longer, hilly ride.

    Would acutally like a fixed gear with this sort of modern road frame geometry.
    Last edited by nightfly; 04-26-13 at 12:37 PM.

  14. #14
    I am the Muffin Man Muffin Man's Avatar
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    I still want to try Srampanolo
    Quote Originally Posted by johnnytheboy
    I've done more ridiculous things than ride 55mi for poon.

  15. #15
    Morton Nagrom_'s Avatar
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    srampagmano.
    Quote Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
    No offense but you're an idiot.
    PedalRoom

  16. #16
    Senior Member seau grateau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    No, campy is just peanuts, but you try and convince everyone it's caviar.
    lolz, I think caviar is gross personally. Love me some peanuts tho.
    Quote Originally Posted by adriano View Post
    thanckx.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    "I made love to your mother dozens of times last week, and she doesnt know what a worn chain ring looks like"

  17. #17
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Surly Pacer with Rival would be the tits.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  18. #18
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
    Been riding fixed for over 12 years, 2 conversions, 1 Bianchi Pista and a Redline 925 (currently). Looking to get a geared bike for longer, hilly rides. Am a big fan of steel but open to other materials. However have never ridden an aluminum bike that wasn't harsh (owned a early 90s Cannondale Criterium and recently rode an aluminum KHS Flite 700 with carbon stays from a few years back). I'm sure aluminum frames that don't beat you up exist, but I haven't ridden one.

    Where do I start looking for a geared bike? New or used? Build or buy? Steel or Carbon? Would want something that has modern parts and riding position rather than that perfect classic frame where you are hunting around for the right vintage stuff to put on it. Aesthetically would love something that doesn't adhere to the current roadie world of big logos on every inch of the bike. On a fixed gear you can get away with relatively low end components because the drive train inherently feels nice and direct but on a geared bike I definitely notice better components (smoother shifting, more direct feel). Would around $1500 be a reasonable budget?

    Judging by the geared bike thread, I think you guys probably know a bit about geared bikes and have the fixed perspective of good ride, no bs and the type of feeling I'm looking for.
    Empty your brain of misconceptions of aluminum.

    1) As others have stated, ride quality has more to do with rims, spoke count, tires, saddles, and forks than frame materials.

    2) Try before you buy. Don't buy a bike until you have ridden it and are happy with it. Otherwise you are gambling.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
    Got a hold of a Felt Z85...

    I picked up my first geared bike just a month ago, and that's exactly what I ended up with. All of my research pointed to it as a great entry into the world of gears. It's treated me very well so far, I'm really liking it.


  20. #20
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    When I first looked at your photo I was like wow, how did he get all the logos off and then I realized I was looking at your fixed gear.

    There isn't a square inch of that Felt that doesn't have some sort of logo or design on it. Don't know why all these road bikes take their style cues from NASCAR.

    Anxious to ride it tomorrow. Feels like a pretty nice bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by yonderb0y View Post
    I picked up my first geared bike just a month ago, and that's exactly what I ended up with. All of my research pointed to it as a great entry into the world of gears. It's treated me very well so far, I'm really liking it.


  21. #21
    i smell bacon yummygooey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muffin Man View Post
    I still want to try Srampanolo
    i have it on my yeti. i very much like that i can dump big cog to small cog in one sweep, and i can also shift with my pinky finger when my hands are up top. it was no harder to set up than my full sram was.

    but at the end of the day, i prefer the ergonomics of the sram hoods and the very positive feedback i get from the shifty bits when i shift.
    // yummygooey

  22. #22
    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muffin Man View Post
    I still want to try Srampanolo
    I've got one of those:



    Here's the secret: use campy 9 so you can use shimano/sram cassettes. Works like gangbusters.

    Shimano : Click :: Campy :: Snap :: SRAM : Bang

  23. #23
    derpin'
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightfly View Post

    There isn't a square inch of that Felt that doesn't have some sort of logo or design on it. Don't know why all these road bikes take their style cues from NASCAR.

    Aye aye. As per your FG, one can surmise that you aren't too big into logos .

    Probably goes without being said, but I would think making sure you actually like the look of the bike is important too. That's another factor which is going to determine whether you ride it or not. I'd like to hear what you think of the transition...

    cheers

  24. #24
    Brown Bear, Sqrl Hunter Jaytron's Avatar
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    Go test out a CAAD 10

    $1500 can get you a nice used one. I got my CAAD 10 4 for $1200
    PedalRoom

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
    When I first looked at your photo I was like wow, how did he get all the logos off and then I realized I was looking at your fixed gear.

    There isn't a square inch of that Felt that doesn't have some sort of logo or design on it. Don't know why all these road bikes take their style cues from NASCAR.

    Anxious to ride it tomorrow. Feels like a pretty nice bike.
    As you can tell from my Gara, I'm not a huge fan of the NASCAR look myself. I'd like to say the the Z85 was one of the least offensive-looking ones I found, but in reality they were all just pretty terrible in that regard. At least it's matte black and not some neon craziness

    Enjoy the ride.

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