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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 04-05-14, 06:59 PM   #1
le.Jeune
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New to fixies and Overwhelmed.

Hello all!

I'm new to fixies, and am overwhelmed by the number of brands, options, etc. you name it.

You might have figured; I don't have a fixie yet and am really enthusiastic to get one! I've searched quite a lot on the web to find out what would be the best buy for budget, but I ended up clueless.

Can anyone help me out? Would be much appreciated!
Sidenote: I'm Dutch. A lot of the favoured brands I've read about aren't easy to get over here - or near impossible for a reasonable price.

My budget: €400
Currently I've got these bikes in my list:
Kona Band Wagon (used) at €400 Dutch site for used items. You can check out the pictures. This Kona should only have been used a couple of times, 3 years old.
Birota The Hammer Classic (new) at €400
Cumberland (new) at €180 Picture only. Can't find any info on this one. Halfords sold them at €300. In sale now.
Create Bike (used) at €400 Has Revolights.

What's your opinion on these? Would you suggest another one?
I'm going to use the bike for commuting, which is about 1h a day. To the sports centre and university.

Any advise is very welcome! Thanks in advance.

Last edited by le.Jeune; 04-05-14 at 08:45 PM. Reason: Removed & Added bike on list
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Old 04-05-14, 07:41 PM   #2
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Can anyone help me out? Would be much appreciated!
Sidenote: I'm Dutch.
Sorry, we can't help you. We don't tolerate the Dutch well around here.


kidding of course!

Seriously now…...although I don't know the brand, the Birota certainly looks like a nicely appointed ride. And while Kona is a known commodity, the price on that one seems a bit high for used. Can't speak for the others, but in general you should go for the best you can afford, within reason of course.
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Old 04-05-14, 07:52 PM   #3
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That's definitely not a Leader.
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Old 04-05-14, 08:11 PM   #4
le.Jeune
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That's definitely not a Leader.
Thanks, I'll get it off the list.
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Sorry, we can't help you. We don't tolerate the Dutch well around here.

kidding of course!

Seriously now…...although I don't know the brand, the Birota certainly looks like a nicely appointed ride. And while Kona is a known commodity, the price on that one seems a bit high for used. Can't speak for the others, but in general you should go for the best you can afford, within reason of course.
Haha yeah of course!
What would you say the Kona is worth? Or in other words: At what price should I pick the Kona over the Birota?

Or would you suggest another brand?


Furthermore, I can also get my hands on a Create Bike with Revolights! (edited first post) The Revolights sure look interesting.

Last edited by le.Jeune; 04-05-14 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 04-05-14, 08:48 PM   #5
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Not sure on the Kona. The pictures don't reveal enough and it looks like its been used a good bit, so I'd certainly not pay the asking price. If you could buy from the US, that would open up a lot of possibilities, but it's hard to recommend anything when I don't know what's available in the Netherlands. Is the Birota more then you want to spend?
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Old 04-05-14, 08:48 PM   #6
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Have you tried the local bike shops. Even if you wind up buying a SS you like, it's not hard to fit a track wheel to the back end to enable you to run a fixed cog with a locking ring.

And here's another option for you. Check out your local velodrome. You may find a second hand track bike you like that can be set up for the road. Of course, you'd have to like track geometry (lots do) and you'd need to be able to fit at least a front brake, but it's all doable given the right bike to start with.

Finally, there's nothing wrong with converting an old road bike, provided it has horizontal dropouts at the back (so you can shift the wheel backwards and forwards to tension the chain). If you do a top notch conversion in one hit, it can be expensive, do it over time and it's quite an economical way of getting a good bike. Sheldon Brown talks about this at length Fixed Gear Bicycles for the Road

Last edited by europa; 04-05-14 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 04-05-14, 09:26 PM   #7
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Not sure on the Kona. The pictures don't reveal enough and it looks like its been used a good bit, so I'd certainly not pay the asking price. If you could buy from the US, that would open up a lot of possibilities, but it's hard to recommend anything when I don't know what's available in the Netherlands. Is the Birota more then you want to spend?
The €400 is the max I'd be willing to pay. But if you'd say paying the 400 for a better bike is really worth it, I'd probably do it.
I agree with you on the pictures. The US is unfortunately no option for me.
Some brands available over here I might consider:
Cheetah Bikes
Polo&Bike
VYDZ Only in Dutch
Nolobi
SE Bikes Lager
Qualla Bikes Varsity

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Have you tried the local bike shops. Even if you wind up buying a SS you like, it's not hard to fit a track wheel to the back end to enable you to run a fixed cog with a locking ring.

And here's another option for you. Check out your local velodrome. You may find a second hand track bike you like that can be set up for the road. Of course, you'd have to like track geometry (lots do) and you'd need to be able to fit at least a front brake, but it's all doable given the right bike to start with.

Finally, there's nothing wrong with converting an old road bike, provided it has horizontal dropouts at the back (so you can shift the wheel backwards and forwards to tension the chain). If you do a top notch conversion in one hit, it can be expensive, do it over time and it's quite an economical way of getting a good bike. Sheldon Brown talks about this at length Fixed Gear Bicycles for the Road
I do live in one of the major cities in the Netherlands, but fixed gear aren't very popular in this part of the country yet. So bike shops hardly sell any, unfortunately.
The velodrome might be an option! Thanks for the tip & link.
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Old 04-05-14, 09:37 PM   #8
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Is it worth jumping on a train to the UK where the FG scene is pretty big, buying a bike there and bringing it home with you?

I keep suggesting real life purchases rather than internet because when you're confused, that is by far the safest way of getting what you really want. The internet is only ever a guess unless you've had a chance to ride the thing.
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Old 04-05-14, 09:51 PM   #9
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Is it worth jumping on a train to the UK where the FG scene is pretty big, buying a bike there and bringing it home with you?

I keep suggesting real life purchases rather than internet because when you're confused, that is by far the safest way of getting what you really want. The internet is only ever a guess unless you've had a chance to ride the thing.
I totally agree with you. London is not worth it, would cost me an extra €150, and I wasn't planning on going to London again anytime soon.

I might try Amsterdam though, there should be some SS/FG shops over there! Or at least regular bike shops that sell them.
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Old 04-05-14, 11:04 PM   #10
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I totally agree with you. London is not worth it, would cost me an extra €150, and I wasn't planning on going to London again anytime soon.
The cost surprises me. Mind you, I've never been to Europe and we tend to imagine it's this quaint little place where everytime you turn a corner you're in a different country At that cost though, I can understand why you discount that option, you'd need another reason to be there.

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I might try Amsterdam though, there should be some SS/FG shops over there! Or at least regular bike shops that sell them.
Here's a plan. Hitch hike to Amsterdam. Buy your bike and ride it home
I'm being silly but with my lack of knowledge, it might almost be practical.

Keep at it mate. You're doing the right thing by researching it and becoming overwhelmed is just part of the exercise, things get easier after this.
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Old 04-06-14, 12:29 PM   #11
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Haha sounds like a plan! But I'll just take the train instead, we've got excellent public traffic. Riding it home all the way from Amsterdam would take me a 8h trip on the bike.

And what about the 4th bike I added? A Create Bike with Revolights. The bike is as new.
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Old 04-06-14, 12:41 PM   #12
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Some brands available over here I might consider:
Qualla Bikes Varsity
Their bikes appear to be nice products. The frame geometries seem to be a bit more on the aggressive side which I like. Just note that from what I read, the Varsity model seems to come set up as single speed rather than fixed, although it's simple to convert.
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Old 04-06-14, 01:15 PM   #13
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Their bikes appear to be nice products. The frame geometries seem to be a bit more on the aggressive side which I like. Just note that from what I read, the Varsity model seems to come set up as single speed rather than fixed, although it's simple to convert.
Yes, Quella does look nice indeed. Was on the top of my list alongside the Birota and Cheetah.
So it looks like my list has been narrowed down to those three. Which do you think is the best, and why?

I'm actually considering buying glow in the dark paint to paint the rims with. (rims should be white) Got the idea from the Pure Fix Glow.
Would this be possible? I should probably avoid painting the part of the rims where the brakes touch.
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Old 04-06-14, 01:58 PM   #14
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I'd get the Birota Hammer Classic. At least you will know that the frame is made of chromoly steel and NOT that hi-tensile stuff!
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Old 04-06-14, 02:59 PM   #15
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Yes, Quella does look nice indeed. Was on the top of my list alongside the Birota and Cheetah.
So it looks like my list has been narrowed down to those three. Which do you think is the best, and why?

I'm actually considering buying glow in the dark paint to paint the rims with. (rims should be white) Got the idea from the Pure Fix Glow.
Would this be possible? I should probably avoid painting the part of the rims where the brakes touch.
Gotta leave the ultimate bike choice in your hands, but I would definitely avoid painting any part the wheels! They'll look crappy enough in no time anyway, even worse as any newly painted surface inevitably begins to crack and chip away.
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Old 04-06-14, 03:34 PM   #16
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I'd get the Birota Hammer Classic. At least you will know that the frame is made of chromoly steel and NOT that hi-tensile stuff!
Hm yes good point. The Birota usually costs about €700, but I can get my hands on a brand-new one for just €400. Which Should mean it's higher quality than the others. Hence the ch-mo frame, probably the other parts, too.

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Gotta leave the ultimate bike choice in your hands, but I would definitely avoid painting any part the wheels! They'll look crappy enough in no time anyway, even worse as any newly painted surface inevitably begins to crack and chip away.
Okay!

I'm going to take a look at the Birota this week. If it looks alright I'll take it! And I won't paint the rims of that one.. Would look horrible on that classic look.


Thanks for the info, everybody!!
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Old 07-12-14, 08:47 AM   #17
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which bike did you buy? i have the exact same problem.
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