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  1. #1
    Member Mr.McBeardson's Avatar
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    interested in fixed gear

    i have been interested in fixed gear bikes for a while. ive heard that they are great for losing weight and help you develop more efficient pedaling. but as ive ridden bikes with free wheels (allows to coast? i am new to bike jargon) im not sure if i will like fg. Also ive always ridden hand me down bikes so i cant justify in my own mind spending $300-500 on a bike that is supposed to be bare bones, the simplest that a bike can be. any ideas for a cheaper fg? im not great in the working on my own bike dept unless its your basic stuff. could do with some convincing haha.

  2. #2
    pro in someone's theory prooftheory's Avatar
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    #kilott

    The Kilo TT pro from bikes direct is possibly the best bicycle for the money that can be had anywhere. It is $400. You may be able to find one used on craigslist, but I strongly urge you not to do three possible things that you might think were cheaper. 1. Please do not get a cheap bike off of craigslist thinking that you will be able to convert it to fixed gear for little money. Conversions can be nice but they end up costing way more than they are worth. 2. Do not buy a fixed gear bike from walmart, target or any other big box store. These will not be enjoyable to ride and will ultimately be a waste of money. 3. Do not buy a cheap fixed gear bike off the internet such as a purefix or big shot. These bikes are only marginally better than the walmart bikes and ultimately are depending on you to spend money on fancy colors rather than quality. Some of them such as State bicycle have been improving and some more expensive brands such as Wabi are awesome but don't simply buy a bike for looks.

    As far as convincing, here is my only reason for riding fixed: I like the sensation of making myself go fast. You will go faster if you ride a geared bike (or a motorcycle) but there is no other sport where I have felt as much of a connection between the physical effort and real speed. The closest other sport that I have found that comes to it is speed skating. Everything else is either too slow (running, x-country skiing) or the effort is too disconnected from the speed (downhill skiing, road biking).

    There are other advantages such as reduced maintenance and such but they are not what gets me excited and from a practical perspective there isn't really much good about having a fixed gear bike. If you are looking at cars and you want to know why you should buy a miata as opposed to a volvo, you should probably get the volvo.
    Last edited by prooftheory; 11-12-13 at 09:54 AM.

  3. #3
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    everything prooftheory said is spot on. If you go to Bikesdirect there are a couple of cheaper models around $300 that might be acceptable to start with. But I would highly recommend getting something with two brakes and a flip flop hub to start on that way if fixed isn't your thing you can still ride it single speed with the freewheel. I made the mistake of buying a cheap fixie for my first one that cost about $200. I put at least another $100 in parts into it in the first year to make it ride able and not long after that I was ready to upgrade. Wish I came here first and got advice and then got a Kilo TT because I would probably still be riding that if I did
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  4. #4
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    I agree with the above, especially the tip about a flip flop hub and brakes. I found riding fixed too much mental exercise, especially in dense traffic. Very happy switching it to single speed.

  5. #5
    Member gogotheyogrtman's Avatar
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    Boy let me tell you one thing: Do not even go NEAR anything like Republic Bike if you know what's good for you. Stay away from Bigshot Bikes, Republic Bike, Pure Fix Cycles, Retrospec, Aerofix, or basically anything made out of Hiten (high tensile steel) and has no-name parts. Hiten steel is super heavy and even rusts in some cases. Stay away from Projekt Fixie, their parts are junk. My friend just got a seatpost from them about a month ago and I s**t you not: just two days ago he tried hopping over the curb with his fgfs and when he landed, he accidentally sat back down. So basically, the seatpost just crumpled under his weight plus the added pressure of him landing on the seat the wrong way. Also state bicycle co is ok, some people have just had bad experiences with them in the past. They literally JUST started making their bikes with chromoly so my guess is the people who ordered the in the past were mad they were made out of hiten so they hate state. The other thing about state is their basic stock bikes are made out of crappy no-name parts unless you choose to spend a bit more and get some nicer parts. I would suggest a few things:
    1. Get a vintage road frame and build a custom fixie off of that using parts from the spare parts/old parts bin at you lbs (local bike shop)
    2. Get a Mercier Kilo TT and slowly customize it to your liking. The Kilo TT does have no name parts, but the parts are actually decent. I'm pretty sure they're made of aluminum.
    3. Get a State Bike co. "contender" model and spend a little extra $ to get the optional good parts.

    Also, one last thing. PLEASE USE BREAKS!!! The dumb idiot who doesn't put breaks on his fixie just because he thinks it looks cool is always the one who ends up getting his face on the front page because he was too cool for breaks. If you can skid or skip stop that's great, but you should still have a safety break. Don't skid all the time too because it wears down your tires and you'll end up buying a new set every 3 weeks.

    Good luck and happy riding!
    The sound of a car door opening in front of you is similar to the sound of a *** being cocked.

  6. #6
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    I'd strongly recommend that you just start biking more on a regular road bike. There is no special fitness benefit with a fixed.

    Fixed gear bikes are not a good choice for the vast majority of novice riders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stilltooslow View Post
    There is no special fitness benefit with a fixed.
    I disagree with that statement. I think constant pedaling, especially when going up and down hills is a big impact on fitness levels. Being confined to one gear limits temptation to change gearing to suit your incline, etc.
    But yes, in theory you could do the same by keeping a road bike in one constant gear, but whats the fun in that?
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/AristoNYC

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.McBeardson View Post
    i have been interested in fixed gear bikes for a while. ive heard that they are great for losing weight and help you develop more efficient pedaling. but as ive ridden bikes with free wheels (allows to coast? i am new to bike jargon) im not sure if i will like fg. Also ive always ridden hand me down bikes so i cant justify in my own mind spending $300-500 on a bike that is supposed to be bare bones, the simplest that a bike can be. any ideas for a cheaper fg? im not great in the working on my own bike dept unless its your basic stuff. could do with some convincing haha.
    You can buy them online shipped from 250 to 450///
    I bought a Pure Fix from a guy that bought it but never rode it,,you can buy it online for 299 shipped I paid 160 for it..but I had to go through it cause he put it together and didnt have a clue on how to do it. I am an amatuer bike mechanic with tons of experience. If you cant wrench buy one from a bike shop already put together,,or buy one online and find someone to put it together for u.

    I love the bike, first time riding a fixie and it is so much fun, I am 60 years old.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogotheyogrtman View Post
    Boy let me tell you one thing: Do not even go NEAR anything like Republic Bike if you know what's good for you. Stay away from Bigshot Bikes, Republic Bike, Pure Fix Cycles, Retrospec, Aerofix, or basically anything made out of Hiten (high tensile steel) and has no-name parts. Hiten steel is super heavy and even rusts in some cases. Stay away from Projekt Fixie, their parts are junk. My friend just got a seatpost from them about a month ago and I s**t you not: just two days ago he tried hopping over the curb with his fgfs and when he landed, he accidentally sat back down. So basically, the seatpost just crumpled under his weight plus the added pressure of him landing on the seat the wrong way. Also state bicycle co is ok, some people have just had bad experiences with them in the past. They literally JUST started making their bikes with chromoly so my guess is the people who ordered the in the past were mad they were made out of hiten so they hate state. The other thing about state is their basic stock bikes are made out of crappy no-name parts unless you choose to spend a bit more and get some nicer parts. I would suggest a few things:
    1. Get a vintage road frame and build a custom fixie off of that using parts from the spare parts/old parts bin at you lbs (local bike shop)
    2. Get a Mercier Kilo TT and slowly customize it to your liking. The Kilo TT does have no name parts, but the parts are actually decent. I'm pretty sure they're made of aluminum.
    3. Get a State Bike co. "contender" model and spend a little extra $ to get the optional good parts.

    Also, one last thing. PLEASE USE BREAKS!!! The dumb idiot who doesn't put breaks on his fixie just because he thinks it looks cool is always the one who ends up getting his face on the front page because he was too cool for breaks. If you can skid or skip stop that's great, but you should still have a safety break. Don't skid all the time too because it wears down your tires and you'll end up buying a new set every 3 weeks.

    Good luck and happy riding!
    my Pure Fix is so kewl and very solid..for 299 you cant go wrong,,it will cost you way more to build one.
    If you go look at the reviews they all good. I love mine I only paid 160 cause a guy bought it and never road it, he didnt knnow how to put together right.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AristoNYC View Post
    I disagree with that statement. I think constant pedaling, especially when going up and down hills is a big impact on fitness levels. Being confined to one gear limits temptation to change gearing to suit your incline, etc.
    But yes, in theory you could do the same by keeping a road bike in one constant gear, but whats the fun in that?
    you are right of course there are fitness benefits riding a fixie anyone that says otherwise doesnt know what they are talking about.

    And the brakes thing of course if you are an old fart like me you need to have a brake, it is like starting to ride a skate board at 60 you will never be that good at it, as if you started riding one at 10 years old. I have watched a thousand videos of young people riding fixies without brakes and there is an art to it, they get real good at it. I envy them and wish I would of started riding one when young.
    Last edited by howeeee; 11-12-13 at 05:32 PM.

  11. #11
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    It's the same story as with everything else: you get what you pay for. Sometimes you can get lucky and find something used for cheaper that suits your needs well, but it doesn't happen like that if you don't really know what you're looking for. Most people I know who can't picture spending a few hundred bucks on a bike because they've always gotten dirt cheap hand-me-downs always have bikes that don't fit or don't work well or aren't well suited to their needs, and they're always wondering why biking is harder for them than it seems to be for other people. Or else they're always spending more money to try and band-aid the problem.

    But when you think about it, $400 is actually amazingly cheap for a reasonably decent, reasonably light, new bicycle. You get more for your money in terms of quality and light weight in fixed gear bikes than in equivalently priced hybrids or cruisers or whatever, because the fixed gear has so many fewer parts and they're less sensitive to fine adjustment (i.e, no shifters, shift cables, derailleurs, only one cog, etc). So unless you honestly can't afford it, just spend the money and buy something that's decent to start with.

    A road frame converted to fixed can be a really nice bike, but it's generally only really cheaper to do that if you're the sort of person with bins of spare parts kicking around your house. But it can be a good way to get more options if you want specific things.

    And yeah, use brakes. It doesn't mean you can't still get good at stopping with your feet if that's your bag. You don't have to use them when you don't feel like it. But ultimately, no matter how good you get at skidding, you will always have more stopping power in front than in back, and more stopping power (not to mention control) with a wheel that is rolling rather than skidding. That's just physics.

  12. #12
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.McBeardson View Post
    i have been interested in fixed gear bikes for a while. ive heard that they are great for losing weight and help you develop more efficient pedaling.
    Until recently riding fixed gear on the road was the off-season activity of serious club cyclists who were looking to get quality base miles in with a minimum time expenditure in bad weather, develop a supple efficient pedaling technique and prevent wear & tear on expensive components that were removed from the road bike on the annual winter conversion to FG. That's how I started riding FG > 40 years ago and have kept at it ever since.

    Riding FG on the road is not for everyone, it takes a rigorous dedication to technique and the proper kit. I'd not recommend it as a weight loss program per se or to anyone w/o a certain amount of experience riding conventional road bikes at pace. Old hand me downs may be OK to poodle about the neighborhood but FG road riding demands precision, ruggedness, a good front brake and a track hub. A good tool costs what it costs (good recommendations from previous posters) and a dedication to it's use is required of it's user.

    -Bandera
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AristoNYC View Post
    I disagree with that statement. I think constant pedaling, especially when going up and down hills is a big impact on fitness levels. Being confined to one gear limits temptation to change gearing to suit your incline, etc.
    But yes, in theory you could do the same by keeping a road bike in one constant gear, but whats the fun in that?
    My point is simply that riding a fixed gear for the same amount of time as a road bike with roughly the same power output, will not provide a significant difference in fitness level. Hey, I ride both quite a bit and certainly appreciate the benefits of fixed (pedal stroke, other muscles, overall zen factor, etc.), but from a fitness perspective it's certainly not a superior activity, just different.

  14. #14
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    If we just define fitness as pushing watts or burning calories, then no, there's no appreciable fitness benefit to riding fixed.

    But it it is excellent training in two respects. It will teach you to keep pedaling. A lot of newbies pedal-pedal-pedal-coast. Riding fixed will break you of the pernicious coasting habit. It's almost always better to keep the pedals turning over even if you aren't applying pressure.

    Even better, riding fixed will help you to broaden your power band. Because you only have one gear and can't coast, when going downhill you will be forced to spin out of your comfort zone. This teaches smoothness or supplesse. When going up or into the wind you will be forced to mash. This increases strength.

    So there are real training benefits that I see.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  15. #15
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    Even better, riding fixed will help you to broaden your power band.
    Exactly, and very efficiently.

    FG riding was the key to off season training for a number of good reasons in cycling clubs for generations.
    What may not be apparent today was the care taken in the development of riders in the club system a generation or so ago when there wasn't a lot of plodding about regardless of mudguards fitted and weather.

    An experienced FG rider's legs have more "rounded" development than a freewheel only rider, for the best example look at your local "trackie" compared to perhaps "yours". See why Fixied?


    -Bandera
    Last edited by Bandera; 11-12-13 at 09:05 PM.
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  16. #16
    Member gogotheyogrtman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stilltooslow View Post
    I'd strongly recommend that you just start biking more on a regular road bike. There is no special fitness benefit with a fixed. Fixed gear bikes are not a good choice for the vast majority of novice riders.
    I respect your opinion and all but the guy literally said he's interested in fixed gear, did he not? Like I said, I respect your opinion completely, I love road biking! I ride both of my road bikes almost every other day, so don't get me wrong. I feel you but I'm just saying; he said he was interested in fixies.
    The sound of a car door opening in front of you is similar to the sound of a *** being cocked.

  17. #17
    Member gogotheyogrtman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
    my Pure Fix is so kewl and very solid..for 299 you cant go wrong,,it will cost you way more to build one.
    If you go look at the reviews they all good. I love mine I only paid 160 cause a guy bought it and never road it, he didnt knnow how to put together right.
    Just don't even try... if you're going to say that kind of stuff here then just know that you wont get anywhere fast. Purefix and anything like it sucks big time. And I'm not just some idiot who thinks purefix sucks just because they're a company for wannabe hipsters, I actually do my research before I go out and make a stupid purchase and waste 300$ or 150$ or whatever you spent on that piece of crap. If you don't believe me, just ask anyone else on this forum. I've already enlightened you once, but hopefully you'll actually listen to me this time.

    Purefix, bigshot, republic, aerofix, zyclefix, sole, retrospec, any companies like that, they all suck. There's a few different reasons why:

    1. The frames are made out of hiten steel which is crap because it's heavy as h**l and gets a s**t-ton of rust on it if you get it wet even once.
    2. Those companies all use no-name parts which are terrible. They're very VERY heavy and not worth the time to even glance at because they're so ugly. Just look at the rims on zyclefix bikes or the crankset on bigshot bikes...
    3. I'm sorry to say, but any fixie that costs under 400$ is going to be a giant waste of money. The kilo tt is an exception of course because it's actually an amazing bike. Any custom fixie is also an exception because the cost of different parts vary on different sites.

    Look, I'm sorry for being such a pretentious dbag but I have an intense hate for these companies because they rip people off big time.
    The sound of a car door opening in front of you is similar to the sound of a *** being cocked.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogotheyogrtman View Post
    Just don't even try... if you're going to say that kind of stuff here then just know that you wont get anywhere fast. Purefix and anything like it sucks big time. And I'm not just some idiot who thinks purefix sucks just because they're a company for wannabe hipsters, I actually do my research before I go out and make a stupid purchase and waste 300$ or 150$ or whatever you spent on that piece of crap. If you don't believe me, just ask anyone else on this forum. I've already enlightened you once, but hopefully you'll actually listen to me this time.

    Purefix, bigshot, republic, aerofix, zyclefix, sole, retrospec, any companies like that, they all suck. There's a few different reasons why:

    1. The frames are made out of hiten steel which is crap because it's heavy as h**l and gets a s**t-ton of rust on it if you get it wet even once.
    2. Those companies all use no-name parts which are terrible. They're very VERY heavy and not worth the time to even glance at because they're so ugly. Just look at the rims on zyclefix bikes or the crankset on bigshot bikes...
    3. I'm sorry to say, but any fixie that costs under 400$ is going to be a giant waste of money. The kilo tt is an exception of course because it's actually an amazing bike. Any custom fixie is also an exception because the cost of different parts vary on different sites.

    Look, I'm sorry for being such a pretentious dbag but I have an intense hate for these companies because they rip people off big time.
    bike weighs about 25 pounds not bad at all,,if you look at the reviews of people that HAVE one lol the only complaints are little ones that can be corrected, almost all the reviews were very good.

    I watched a video of young guys making a fixie from an old Schwinn lol after weeks of trial and error they went out and bought a fixie rear wheel probably the same quality of my Pure Fix..they had hours and hours into this thing,,and it was adequate but waaaaaaaaaay more time and money than I have in my Pure Fix which I love. I am sure the worked over Schwinn weighs in at about 35 pounds lol.

    Like I said I almost built my own outta 531 frame the guy wanted 175 for once done I am sure I was looking at 5 to 8 hundred bucks. I have about 20 bikes from a road bike to a mountain bike to single speed vintage Schwinns to Schwinn Spitfire 5 and cruiser 5 to 3 speed vintage schwinns I was intrigued by the fixie and the Pure Fix is perfect for me. I change bikes depending on the weather and the kind of riding I feel like doing I ride year long in Michigan at least 5 times a week sometimes 7 days a week.

    I have experience repairing and refurbishing about 300 American made bikes. The Pure Fix surprised me, i thought it would be junk like a Kent or Magna,,but it is not,,,it was well worth the 160 I paid for it, I couldt be happier. All your crying about how they are junk doesnt change a thing lol

  19. #19
    Senior Member seanifred's Avatar
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    I would try and find a bike made of something worthwhile (4130 at least). state bikes are decent and don't cost a whole lot. Bikesdirect carries great bikes for very good prices. Give them a shot.

    I also don't like companies like purecrap and bigshot because rebar does not make for a good bike material.

    If you can find a purefix for 160 bucks, then great. do it if you want. but the $300+ price tag for a new one is obscene. All the "positive" testimonials for them doesn't change the fact that it's made out of scrap metal. kewl lol.
    Quote Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
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  20. #20
    pro in someone's theory prooftheory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
    @seau grateau was on to something.

  21. #21
    Member Mr.McBeardson's Avatar
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    well o.o didnt think i would open such a can of worms lol. i checked out the kilo tt and have decided to do a little saving up for it haha. i read on bikes direct that it has a flip flop hub so if i dont like it at least i have a sweet single speed (which i have tired and dont mind the simplicity of it) thanks for the help guys! glad i decided to post this because i had looked at a couple bikes from purefix and aerofix didnt know that hiten steel was such crap o_o. anyway! thanks again for your time and expertise guys!

    -edit- thanks for the help guys AND gals

  22. #22
    Member gogotheyogrtman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
    bike weighs about 25 pounds not bad at all,,if you look at the reviews of people that HAVE one lol the only complaints are little ones that can be corrected, almost all the reviews were very good.

    I watched a video of young guys making a fixie from an old Schwinn lol after weeks of trial and error they went out and bought a fixie rear wheel probably the same quality of my Pure Fix..they had hours and hours into this thing,,and it was adequate but waaaaaaaaaay more time and money than I have in my Pure Fix which I love. I am sure the worked over Schwinn weighs in at about 35 pounds lol.

    Like I said I almost built my own outta 531 frame the guy wanted 175 for once done I am sure I was looking at 5 to 8 hundred bucks. I have about 20 bikes from a road bike to a mountain bike to single speed vintage Schwinns to Schwinn Spitfire 5 and cruiser 5 to 3 speed vintage schwinns I was intrigued by the fixie and the Pure Fix is perfect for me. I change bikes depending on the weather and the kind of riding I feel like doing I ride year long in Michigan at least 5 times a week sometimes 7 days a week.

    I have experience repairing and refurbishing about 300 American made bikes. The Pure Fix surprised me, i thought it would be junk like a Kent or Magna,,but it is not,,,it was well worth the 160 I paid for it, I couldt be happier. All your crying about how they are junk doesnt change a thing lol
    As I said, I'm not trying to be a pretentious dbag, but I have a special hate for purefix and anything like it. I wasn't willing to admit this, but before I had my Kilo TT, I wasted 300$ of my hard earned lawn mowing money on an "xray" purefix. It worked fine for about 3 weeks and then I started having rusting problems with the bottom bracket/bearings, headset, and spacers. Then, after I spent around 80$ on new parts, and one hour of my life gone because of repairing the piece of crap, I came outside one day to get my bike so I could bike to school, the whole top tube had a layer of rust laden upon it. I almost f**king tore my hair out. As of now, it's sitting in the corner of my garage, collecting dust and even more rust. That's 300$ down the drain and probably 5 hours of my life gone that I'll never get back. So again, I'm sorry for coming across as a jerk, but I obviously don't like these companies very much. They ripped me off and I didn't deserve it.
    The sound of a car door opening in front of you is similar to the sound of a *** being cocked.

  23. #23
    Member gogotheyogrtman's Avatar
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    Great choice man, but just a sidenote:

    I don't know about the rest of you Kilo TT owners, but mine didn't come with a flip flop. I don't know if they forgot to put a free cog on mine or what but all I know is that mine didn't come with a flip flop. But other than that, the Kilo is awesome! Happy riding!
    The sound of a car door opening in front of you is similar to the sound of a *** being cocked.

  24. #24
    Car-free in the South
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    The hub is certainly a flip flop style hub. You always have to purchase a freewheel on completes like this, the exception is all the bottom barrel crap bikes, which use the tactic of throwing in a freewheel as a method of enticement to buy their craptacular product.
    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post
    Dunno why people fit brakes to bicycles, they only start arguments.

  25. #25
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    I've never used or even seen a KiloTT but they have a solid reputation for being well priced for what you get and for being a reliable bike. You don't need to be messing about with a problem bike so my recommendation is to buy a KiloTT and go from there. Avoid buying cheap because those bikes don't last. 100 miles isn't enough to judge a bike, you need to judge it after a few thousand miles - sadly, most people recommending the el-cheapos do not have that experience with the bike.

    Riding your bike (or any form of exercise) is not going to lose you weight on its own. You need to combine cycling with a good diet, only then will you lose weight. However, to keep that weight off, your cycling needs to become part of your life ie, not something you do as 'training', because if it's not, you'll not do it if it becomes too hard eg, cold and wet. Commuting, either the full distance or drive part way and ride the rest, is a brilliant way of achieving this. Finally, you need a bike you love to ride. If you don't like it, you won't ride it. If a particular bike is not your first choice, you're more likely to pass because it's cold or wet or hot. Commute on the bike you automatically go to and maintain a healthy diet, and you will lose weight and likely keep it off because what you are doing is sustainable. Interestingly, your commuter, the bike you sit on every day through all sorts of horrid weather, rubbish roads and homicidal traffic, may well prove to be a different bike to the one you ride on weekends.
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

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