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  1. #1
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    Buy a fixed and cleaned up Centurion Sport or a new Mercier?

    Hello! This is my first post, and I will try to be as efficient as possible with my question.

    My 63cm 1977 Motobecane Super Mirage has officially bitten the dust with a cracked frame... It was a dream bike with original Suntour components, all still working beautifully (it was my father's bike, and he took great care of it). I made a few modern modifications to the bike (replaced suicide lever brakes with more modern brake levers, new seat, etc). But now, after +3,000 within the last four years, the dream is over...

    I am now looking for a replacement.

    I ride in Chicago, at least 15 miles a day, and cycling is my main mode of transportation. I am 6' 3", and have a 36 inch inseam, so I require a larger frame. I like to ride hard and keep a solid pace. While it's my form of cardiovascular exercise, riding is more importantly one of my main joys and passions in life. I've never had a single speed or fixed gear, but have wanted one for a while because of the easier maintenance, and because the flatness of Chicago does really not require gears.

    So, here is my question... Shall I spend $300-$400 on a nice, cleaned up used single/fixie bike (like this Centurion Sport http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3916269256.html) or do I buy a new Mercier Kilo TT from Bikesdirect.com?


    The Centurion sport pictured above looks like it's been well-cared for and fixed up nicely. I talked to the guy briefly, and he fixes up bikes as a hobby. He put a lot of work into this particular bike, as indicated in the Craigslist post. Is this bike worth $400 with these wheels and the labor/replacements put into it? He said he would put 27" wheels and a back brake for $250, but want a little higher quality than that. I think this sounds a little expensive, because I know that Centurion Sports are very low-end relative to other bikes. What price would you haggle with considering the nicer (700c) Weinmann DP-18 Double Walled Deep-V Rims (CNC Machined Braking Surface - Front Only) Origin-8 Formula Sealed Bearing Hubs (Rear is Fixed/Fixed Flip Flop) Vittoria Zaffiro (700x23c 100-145psi) Road Tires/Tubes? Or would you avoid this bike?

    On to the Mercier... I've heard a lot of mixed opinions about these bikes and Bikesdirect.com. But, if I am sinking ~$300-$400 into a used bike, would I be better off just buying a new Kilo TT for $449? Online, it seems like people do not think highly of bikesdirect or the brands it sells, especially how they market their bikes to seem like great deals despite their lower quality. People seem to like their Merciers, though, especially once they customize and upgrade (but I don't have the funds or time to do this). If I did purchase one of these Kilo TTs, I would need to bring it into a LBS to true the wheels and check to see if it's totally road ready after I assemble it (which will also cost some money, and potential LBS worker annoyance).

    One day, I look forward to buying a quality road bike that I can ride around the country ($1,200 Trek, Felt, Specialized).

    For now, as I ride on the flatlands of Chicago for commuting, exercise, and pleasure, which route should I go?

    Thanks in advance!!!
    Last edited by matthewmcgarry1; 07-09-13 at 10:10 AM. Reason: Added information.

  2. #2
    Senior Member seau grateau's Avatar
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    I probably wouldn't pay more than 200 for that bike.
    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"

  3. #3
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    Even with the wheel set? (700c) Weinmann DP-18 Double Walled Deep-V Rim - Origin-8 Formula Sealed Bearing Hubs (Rear is Fixed/Fixed Flip Flop)
    - Vittoria Zaffiro (700x23c 100-145psi) Road Tires/Tubes

  4. #4
    Magnets, how do they work solipsist716's Avatar
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    Even with that wheel set. It's really nothing special.
    Quote Originally Posted by cianm View Post
    How do i tweak my brakes so it will be good for skidding?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    As Minchin said, praying before a sporting event and winning does not mean that god took time out from torturing and killing babies in Africa to ensure your team's win.

  5. #5
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    That's good to know! Thanks for the quick reply. With that being said, do you have an opinion on Mercier and Bikesdirect.com?

  6. #6
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    Also, what about something like this? Is this a better deal?

    http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3912360607.html

  7. #7
    pro in someone's theory prooftheory's Avatar
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    Kilo TTs are almost universally beloved. Get the pro version.

  8. #8
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    Does this seem like a good deal relative to the Mercier route? It seems strange that this bike was converted, and it's a little older, but it seems like it's pretty nice!

  9. #9
    Magnets, how do they work solipsist716's Avatar
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    That R1000 has vertical dropouts, which are almost always a no-go for a fixed conversion. This is likely why it is being sold. In short, I wouldn't buy it.
    Quote Originally Posted by cianm View Post
    How do i tweak my brakes so it will be good for skidding?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    As Minchin said, praying before a sporting event and winning does not mean that god took time out from torturing and killing babies in Africa to ensure your team's win.

  10. #10
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    Thanks, Solipsist. I thought something seemed fishy about that Cannondale...

  11. #11
    Magnets, how do they work solipsist716's Avatar
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    No problem. Finally a thread resolved without squabbling or company reps!
    Quote Originally Posted by cianm View Post
    How do i tweak my brakes so it will be good for skidding?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    As Minchin said, praying before a sporting event and winning does not mean that god took time out from torturing and killing babies in Africa to ensure your team's win.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    My beater is based on a Centurion sport DLX frameset identical to the one in the craigslist add. Its a nice frame considering I paid $12.
    You have no idea how many miles its been ridden or how likely it is to develop a crack. The compenents are nothing special. Also, while the dropouts are horizontal, they are very short, and you may need a half link to get it to work.
    Go with the Kilo TT...stiffer, lighter, fresh steel, and built with more appropriate dropouts.

  13. #13
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    Thanks again for everyone's help. I am going out to the suburbs to checkout a KHS Flite 100. The color is absolute piss, but could be a steal at this price, especially if I haggle and if it's in good shape?

    http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/bik/3922812057.html

  14. #14
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    The purple paint is the best part

  15. #15
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthewmcgarry1 View Post
    Thanks again for everyone's help. I am going out to the suburbs to checkout a KHS Flite 100. The color is absolute piss, but could be a steal at this price, especially if I haggle and if it's in good shape?

    http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/bik/3922812057.html
    I am fairly certain that the KHS Flite 100 frame is the same cookie cutter frame that comes with the Kilo TT. Not trying to advise you what to buy....just sayin.

  16. #16
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    mihlbach, I am fairly certain you are correct, and thanks for informing me! I've done a little research and asked a buddy who has an older Flite 100, and he said the same thing.

    The advantages of this particular KHS is that I get to test it out right away (rather than order online and hope the Kilo TT feels right), the fact that it's ~$200 less than a new Kilo TT, that it was purchased at and assembled by a LBS (and the dude barely rode it), and if I like it, I can ride it to work the next morning!!! I am jonesing for my commute ride solace... I bet can walk faster than my public transit bus with traffic, and it smells like total arse once the summer temperature gets above 80 degs. Did I mention the occasional bus cockroach?

  17. #17
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    Well, I ended up with the KHS. FOR $190!!! WITH A FREE, BRAND NEW KRYPTONITE U-LOCK! Took it into the LBS to get it checked out, see if there wasn't some sort of deathtrap waiting to happen.

    Lots to get used to relative to my Super Mirage. I had to get a much shorter stem (120 to a 90) and flip it upside down so I could comfortably reach the bars. Put my old saddle on it (lower than the picture below), some new tape, and voila. Much rougher ride than road bikes I've ridden, but I was expecting this from a track bike. The frame might be a tad bit too big, which surprises me because I am 6' 3", and my old Motobecane that fit me like a glove was 63cm. Maybe I could've gone with a 58cm if I hadn't bought it used. Live and learn. Regardless, I'm pleased. Thanks again for all of your help!IMG_2442.jpg
    Last edited by matthewmcgarry1; 07-12-13 at 02:34 PM.

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