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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)

View Poll Results: Which one should I go with?
Orbea Carpe - $375 9 64.29%
Mercier Kilo - Worth the extra $60-80 over the Carpe 5 35.71%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-24-13, 09:18 PM   #1
nam_nguyen_nn
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Newbie first bike: Orbea Carpe H60 vs Mercier Kilo TT

Hi guys! I'm a long term lurker but is just now getting around to buy my first bike. I am extremely new to bikes in general and do not know what's good and what's not. I am looking for a single speed as my first bike so I can ride around campus and maybe some light commuting in downtown on the weekend, nothing serious. I recently purchased an Orbea Carpe H60 (single speed model) for $375. It was a close out sale at a LBS and they said that they're selling at "at-cost" so no lifetime adjustment or anything. It is a very pretty and comfortable bike but after a week with it, I can't help but wonder if I should return it and get a Mercier Kilo from bikesdirect because it has a dropbar(seems it this would be a nice change from flatbar) and looks like it would be more nimple/agile. Can you guys comment on the build/quality/value of both of these bikes? I do not have a preference in term of riding style or anything since it's just my first bike. The Mercier would be $60-80 more in total so should I just keep the Carpe since I got a really good deal on it? Those things usually retail for around $600...

Orbea Carpe H60 - $375
http://www.orbea.com/us-en/bicycles/...013/carpe-h60/

Mercier Kito WT - $400 + $60 for labor to build it by LBS
http://bikesdirect.com/products/merc...i.htm#geometry
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Old 11-24-13, 09:51 PM   #2
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Why not just throw some drops on and save yourself the azz pain?
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Old 11-24-13, 10:00 PM   #3
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If you really want drop bars just buy some* and put them on the Orbea. It would be a waste of time and money both to sell it and buy a Kilo. The Orbea is probably a higher quality (and lighter) frame. It has disc brake mounts and looks like it may be split at the chainstay for a belt.


*) You may need or want new brake levers to go with the drop bars.

Last edited by JeremyLC; 11-24-13 at 10:01 PM. Reason: speelung erorrs
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Old 11-24-13, 10:01 PM   #4
nam_nguyen_nn
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Why not just throw some drops on and save yourself the azz pain?
I don't know how much a drop bar would cost and isn't sure if it's worth the cost or if I would even like it. Also, I was thinking since I'm new to cycling, a flat bar would be easier to use for around campus and stuff, more comfortable as well. Do you know if the Carpe is decent for that price?
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Old 11-24-13, 10:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nam_nguyen_nn View Post
I don't know how much a drop bar would cost and isn't sure if it's worth the cost or if I would even like it. Also, I was thinking since I'm new to cycling, a flat bar would be easier to use for around campus and stuff, more comfortable as well. Do you know if the Carpe is decent for that price?
You can keep your hands on the top of the drops and bam its a flat bar. Buy a cheap one and see if you like it. Not too sure what size your current bike has.
for reference:
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_546121_-1___[Ljava.lang.String;@19531953

I don't know much about the Orbea but if its comfortable for you to ride, just ride it and upgrade parts as you see fit (i.e. the drop bars you want).
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Old 11-25-13, 09:39 AM   #6
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Buyers remorse is a pretty common reaction, so don't let it upset you. The Orbea looks like a pretty well thought out bike. I like the potential to add a disc brake (with appropriately matched wheel) to the front for wet weather riding.

My advice would be to enjoy the flat bar and the upright position. Ride the bike for a season or two, and then see if you'd like to experiment with a drop bar. Some of us have found that Ergon grips provide a comfortable and less fatiguing grip for flat bar use, if you find that you're getting tingling or numbness from using the flat bar on longer rides.

If your Orbea fits you properly (the more important factor), then it should be fine. And at $375 out the door (plus state sales tax, I'm assuming), you didn't do badly.

Buy a good U-lock and learn to use it. PG
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Old 11-25-13, 10:17 AM   #7
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If it was a close out sale (shop closing is how I'm reading it), not sure you'd be able to return it anyway, but it sounds like you got a good deal, so keep it or mod it with drop bars and you're good to go.
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Old 11-25-13, 10:24 AM   #8
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never seen that bike before but it looks cool. Orbea makes very nice bikes in general. enjoy it
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Old 11-25-13, 11:25 AM   #9
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Keep it.

Stop making hassles for yourself and go ride. If you want new bars, get new bars.
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Old 11-25-13, 12:24 PM   #10
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Keep the current bike, put drop bars on it... profit
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Old 11-25-13, 12:59 PM   #11
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I would go head over toes for ANY orbea (even a femme bike) over any bikedirect ****heap.

From what it sounds like, you havent even given the orbea a chance.
This will give you an idea of what you want to modify or upgrade. Nobody fits a bone stock bike.

Also if it matters, I'm sure general consensus here would put the orbea on a higher level than the kilo. So you getting a kilo would be a downgrade.
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Old 11-25-13, 01:00 PM   #12
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Add me to the list of people who thinks that's a nice looking bike. Nice purchase brother! Now go ride.
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Old 11-25-13, 07:57 PM   #13
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Thank you everyone for the input!! And sorry, I didn't mean to come off as though I didn't appreciate the bike, it's just that after riding my friend's single speed with skinny tires and "skinny" frames, the Orbea was different than I was used to. I also got confirmation that the Carpe is lighter than the Kilo so that's that. Overall, I guess I just needed some reassurance from the experts. I will be enjoying my bike through this awful winter and once spring is here, I'll give the drop bar a try!! Thanks again, this was extremely helpful.

PS: For clarification, "close out" here is actually just a sale before the winter, I think. I got it for $400 after tax. She's so pretty!!

Also, can I just use the brake levers that I have now and just buy a drop bar to switch out the flat bar or do I need some other parts as well?
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Old 11-25-13, 08:44 PM   #14
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You'll need new V-brake compatible drop bar levers.

That is a pretty cool bike. Is the rear hub a flip-flop, or is it a cassette hub with a single cog?

Seems like a great platform for experimentation.
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Old 11-25-13, 08:54 PM   #15
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You'll need new V-brake compatible drop bar levers.

That is a pretty cool bike. Is the rear hub a flip-flop, or is it a cassette hub with a single cog?

Seems like a great platform for experimentation.
Thanks for the tip!
I don't now what "cassette hub with a single cog" means but I do not think the rear hub is a "flip-flop". Since I'm so uneducated on these things, you'll probably get better information from the link in the original description to Orbea's website, to be honest.
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Old 11-25-13, 11:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nam_nguyen_nn View Post
Thank you everyone for the input!! And sorry, I didn't mean to come off as though I didn't appreciate the bike, it's just that after riding my friend's single speed with skinny tires and "skinny" frames, the Orbea was different than I was used to. I also got confirmation that the Carpe is lighter than the Kilo so that's that. Overall, I guess I just needed some reassurance from the experts. I will be enjoying my bike through this awful winter and once spring is here, I'll give the drop bar a try!! Thanks again, this was extremely helpful.

PS: For clarification, "close out" here is actually just a sale before the winter, I think. I got it for $400 after tax. She's so pretty!!

Also, can I just use the brake levers that I have now and just buy a drop bar to switch out the flat bar or do I need some other parts as well?
What if I told you that you can also run "skinny" tires like your friend in the summer and that he with his kilo tt can't run fatter tires for the winter?
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Old 11-26-13, 12:39 AM   #17
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My friend doesn't have a kilo, just a simple bike put together with some cheap parts. Can you help me with the tires size? I'm confused with how these things work. From the link, the wheels is 28" and the tires are 700 x 35. I know that 35 is the width and it's a fatter tire. What is the skinniest I should go on this bike without sacrificing durability/comfort? Also, would skinnier tires look weird on this bike since the frame is a bit "fatter"?
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Old 11-26-13, 01:53 AM   #18
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Ride it.
Love it.
Buy a stable companion in a year's time.
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Old 11-26-13, 05:27 AM   #19
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Skinny tires on it would be fine. Leave the fatter tires on it now that it's getting to be winter and roads are starting to get slippery-er. Once summer comes, you can put 700x28 tires on it and it won't look weird. Can even put 25s or 23s on it, but you'll have to decide whether or not those make the ride too harsh.
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Old 11-26-13, 06:26 AM   #20
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700 x 28 is a nice compromise between fast and comfortable. Just get some good tires. I went from some 700 x 32 Schwalbes to 700 x 28 Panaracer Paselas and it improved the responsiveness a great deal without sacrificing much comfort. Also dropped a good amount of rotating weight which was immediately noticeable. Probably one of the most tangible improvements you can make to a bike.
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Old 11-26-13, 09:43 AM   #21
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700 x 28 is a nice compromise between fast and comfortable. Just get some good tires. I went from some 700 x 32 Schwalbes to 700 x 28 Panaracer Paselas and it improved the responsiveness a great deal without sacrificing much comfort. Also dropped a good amount of rotating weight which was immediately noticeable. Probably one of the most tangible improvements you can make to a bike.
Is 700 x 28 durable enough for me to run off curbs and stuff or do I have to baby sit them? I don't abuse my bike by any means but I would like to be able to ease off of curbs instead of having to find "exits" off of sidewalk everytime I want to get off it.
Also, how much would a set of decent quality tires cost? I probably won't want to spend any more than say around $50. I should be able to just pop these onto the wheels that I have, right?
My next three purchases for the bike would probably be headlights (cygolite expilion 680), tailights (cygolite hotshot) and some new tires once spring gets here.
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Old 11-27-13, 09:43 AM   #22
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After some reading these past couple of days, it seems as though switching from flat to drop is kind of expensive. Since this is a single speed, the conversion process should be cheaper, correct? What all do I need and how much should it cost in total? Also, I read something about geometry, not exactly sure I understand it. Does the Orbea Carpe have the geometry for drop or should I just stick to flat bar and enjoy the comfortable riding position? Thanks!
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Old 11-30-13, 12:23 PM   #23
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If you find it comfortable, why bother changing anything? As far as cost goes, that can vary a lot depending on how much you want to spend. It could mean a cheap $20 (or less) set of drop bars and some $8 tape, or it could be some really nice bars, some $30 tape, and some new brake levers. But seriously, if you find it comfortable, don't change anything based on how you think it "should" look or what other people are doing.
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Old 11-30-13, 09:01 PM   #24
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If you find it comfortable, why bother changing anything? As far as cost goes, that can vary a lot depending on how much you want to spend. It could mean a cheap $20 (or less) set of drop bars and some $8 tape, or it could be some really nice bars, some $30 tape, and some new brake levers. But seriously, if you find it comfortable, don't change anything based on how you think it "should" look or what other people are doing.
There's a lot of sense in this. If the bike works for you, leave it alone. Going to drop bars is easy enough. Tektro levers are brilliant bits of kit and don't cost much. Nitto make really nice bars at good prices. The conversion doesn't have to be expensive and to be honest, you're not likely to have any genuine reason for going more expensive than Tektro and Nitto.

Bar tape is bar tape. You can pay a lot or you can go cheap. I tend to pay a lot because I've got used to putting the stuff on and have hand issues that appreciate the better tape. It's no reason not to do the job though.

There's nothing in the rule book that says you have to do it all in one hit.

Buy a nice set of bars.
Make what levers you have work for you until you can afford the brake levers you want.
Apply the bar tape you can afford and some time down the track, when you've got everything sorted, spoil yourself and buy some good stuff ... if you think you need it.

However you handle it, the conversion will be cheaper than buying a whole new bike, assuming you like the bike you have now. Keep a good bike ie, one you love, it's not always easy to replace it, no matter how you try, which is why my favourite bike has a thirty year old frame.
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Old 11-30-13, 09:41 PM   #25
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I think for now, I'm just going to leave the bike alone as it and enjoy the upright position. I think if I really want a drop bar bike or something faster, I can trade it in after a while or buy a road bike. My next purchase would probably be lights so I can ride at night.
Now, what kind of biking or events/races can I do with a single speed hybrid bike? I feel as though it's too slow and heavy for anything. I am a runner so being in light, good shape does help somewhat.
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