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welp, I demo'd that fixie :)

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welp, I demo'd that fixie :)

Old 04-02-09, 09:53 AM
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welp, I demo'd that fixie :)

And to say the least, it was pretty interesting!

First, the good:

The gearing doesn't seem that bad. Granted, it was only around the downtown area which was fairly flat. I can see how a fixie appeals in that kind of situation.

I bet road bikes really are faster. This particular bike (Masi Speciale Fixed) had 700x23 Vittoria road tires, and rolling resistance was quite low.

Now, the bad:

It had toe straps, but the bike guy just said ride on the other side. Them suckers have got teeth! Mounting and dismounting proved to be quite awkward, as is the case on my Trek. It appears that in both cases the bikes need longer stems, as I have rather short legs and a fairly long torso with broad shoulders and conseqently a fairly long reach. Both the Trek and the Masi feel very 'compact' - the Trek when I try to get out of the saddle and hammer, the Masi just plain too short. The pedal took a chunk out of my right calf twice when I started/stopped - quite a bloody mess And just one hood on the bar made for a rather awkward ride. Indeed, when I first tried to get on I practically stood the bike on its nose. You gotta pretty much hop right on the seat and start rolling.

The Ugly:

Not much ugly here, really! It's a beautiful bike in both green or yellow. I think if I were to get one (and I'm thinking about it. It'll take a few months to save up tho) I would definitely put a bigger cog on one side and run the original small one on the other. Whether fixed or freewheel side, not too sure. Maybe add a QR skewer to make flipping the rear wheel easier. Definitely add a rear brake and the second hood. Just one hood on the bar is plain wierd, but I hear fixie riders are a strange lot

Now, the money problem.....see the bike is 795. Extra brake, cog, skewers would run at least another 50. No idea if I can get them to throw any freebies in or not. The bike guy definitely thought a longer stem would help as well. My legs are so short that standover height is limited. The Masi was a 51cm frame, ergo the relatively short stem. A 53 would be as tall as I could go for sure.

But a Cannondale CAAD 9 starts at 900-ish, which isn't much more and it has a full drivetrain. So it may make more sense to just get the CAAD 9, which seems a very popular choice around here, and then the Masi fixed as that third bike everyone suggests it be. Or go used, of course.

All in all, it is interesting and to me that is half the fun of it

Tom

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Old 04-02-09, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by FZ1Tom
It had toe straps, but the bike guy just said ride on the other side. Them suckers have got teeth! Mounting and dismounting proved to be quite awkward, as is the case on my Trek...
...The pedal took a chunk out of my right calf twice when I started/stopped - quite a bloody mess And just one hood on the bar made for a rather awkward ride. Indeed, when I first tried to get on I practically stood the bike on its nose. You gotta pretty much hop right on the seat and start rolling.
If you're riding fixed, foot retention is essential; whether it's clips/straps or clipless pedals, you've got to be solidly connected or you'll end up hurting yourself eventually by slipping off the pedal and munching your shin/calf.
Starting off on a fixed gear is a bit of a challenge at first. I find that the easiest thing is to start on the left side with my left foot clipped in and 45 degrees up from straight forward. Step down, swing the right leg over the back and plant my butt on the seat while picking up forward momentum, then clip my right foot in on the first or second upstroke of the pedal.
I'm far less graceful in a full dismount; there's all sorts of really hip ways to swing your leg over the bars and stuff, but I just slow down, pop both feet out of the pedals, and plant 'em on the ground when I stop. Then I'll swing my leg over the back of the bike. Not "cool" looking, but neither is falling over, which is what would happen if I tried something cool.

If you're riding fixed, you don't need both brakes (although it's nice to have) so you could always buy a stoker hood to put on the side where you don't have a lever.
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Old 04-02-09, 12:35 PM
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I don't want to step on any toes, but given the problems you encountered on your last ride I would think that a SS/FG bike would be the last thing you'd want to purchase. Wouldn't it be cheaper to get your current bike properly adjusted and fitted? Or is the frame size completely wrong for you? You can buy a heck of a lot of components and the mechanic's time to install them for $800...
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Old 04-02-09, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by FZ1Tom
And to say the least, it was pretty interesting!

First, the good:

The gearing doesn't seem that bad. Granted, it was only around the downtown area which was fairly flat. I can see how a fixie appeals in that kind of situation.

I bet road bikes really are faster. This particular bike (Masi Speciale Fixed) had 700x23 Vittoria road tires, and rolling resistance was quite low.

Now, the bad:

It had toe straps, but the bike guy just said ride on the other side. Them suckers have got teeth! Mounting and dismounting proved to be quite awkward, as is the case on my Trek. It appears that in both cases the bikes need longer stems, as I have rather short legs and a fairly long torso with broad shoulders and conseqently a fairly long reach. Both the Trek and the Masi feel very 'compact' - the Trek when I try to get out of the saddle and hammer, the Masi just plain too short. The pedal took a chunk out of my right calf twice when I started/stopped - quite a bloody mess And just one hood on the bar made for a rather awkward ride. Indeed, when I first tried to get on I practically stood the bike on its nose. You gotta pretty much hop right on the seat and start rolling.

The Ugly:

Not much ugly here, really! It's a beautiful bike in both green or yellow. I think if I were to get one (and I'm thinking about it. It'll take a few months to save up tho) I would definitely put a bigger cog on one side and run the original small one on the other. Whether fixed or freewheel side, not too sure. Maybe add a QR skewer to make flipping the rear wheel easier. Definitely add a rear brake and the second hood. Just one hood on the bar is plain wierd, but I hear fixie riders are a strange lot

Now, the money problem.....see the bike is 795. Extra brake, cog, skewers would run at least another 50. No idea if I can get them to throw any freebies in or not. The bike guy definitely thought a longer stem would help as well. My legs are so short that standover height is limited. The Masi was a 51cm frame, ergo the relatively short stem. A 53 would be as tall as I could go for sure.

But a Cannondale CAAD 9 starts at 900-ish, which isn't much more and it has a full drivetrain. So it may make more sense to just get the CAAD 9, which seems a very popular choice around here, and then the Masi fixed as that third bike everyone suggests it be. Or go used, of course.

All in all, it is interesting and to me that is half the fun of it

Tom
I think your last paragraph says it all, go find yourself a couple of mid 90's road bikes, say for $200 each, one you fix up as a geared bike, get a flip-flop hub for the other one. On the flip flop you put a decent gear on the fixed side, and a lower gear on the single speed side. On the geared bike add a rear rack and fenders. Depending on where you want to go, and what you want to do, pick the right bike.

Where people get confused is they think of bicycles like they do cars, you can only have one and it must be utilitarian enough that it can serve all purposes. In reality a bicycle is a tool, like a power saw, any power saw can do just about any cutting job, but different saws are used for different cutting jobs, a circular saw is great at cutting straight lines, but lousy if you want to cut curves. A jig saw does great at cutting curves, but is lousy at straight lines, unless one is extremely careful (or uses a guide).

By the same token, different bikes for different purposes, I wouldn't want a fancy road bike with 19mm tires for an off road technical trail, for that you want a mountain bike with fat knobby tires attached. I wouldn't want to try doing a double century on a mountain bike . Fixies are good training bikes and although I have never tried it, they are supposed to be superior in ice and snow, when dérailleur bikes can "freeze up", giving you a fixed with the wrong gear ratio

Remember the proper number of bikes is N+1, where N is the current number in the garage....
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Old 04-02-09, 05:30 PM
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The last bike you wanted to buy is the one sitting in your garage....or in my case, the foyer just inside the garage

I don't think the frame size is wrong. I do suspect I need a longer stem though. That's definitely on my 'to-do' list.

I have a feeling I may have timed things badly. I mentioned the CAAD 9 only read a few hours later of the news that they will apparently be closing down US made production. I'm not a "buy american" person to the exclusion of others (see other thread in general discussion), but if the price is reasonable enough and it's doable, then yeah, I'd like to get one while the going's good.

My money is awfully tight though, and I have other obligations at the moment as well. I'll just have to see what I can do.

Tom
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Old 04-02-09, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by FZ1Tom
The last bike you wanted to buy is the one sitting in your garage....or in my case, the foyer just inside the garage

I don't think the frame size is wrong. I do suspect I need a longer stem though. That's definitely on my 'to-do' list.

I have a feeling I may have timed things badly. I mentioned the CAAD 9 only read a few hours later of the news that they will apparently be closing down US made production. I'm not a "buy american" person to the exclusion of others (see other thread in general discussion), but if the price is reasonable enough and it's doable, then yeah, I'd like to get one while the going's good.

My money is awfully tight though, and I have other obligations at the moment as well. I'll just have to see what I can do.

Tom
A lot of companies have made the choice to make products overseas, they fall into 3 categories:

1) Make some models overseas, some at home, Trek is one of the biggest in this camp, low end models are made in China or Taiwan, expensive models in the US.

2) Source parts overseas and assemble product at home, Opus in Canada does this, frames come from Taiwan, other parts from Malaysia or Singapore, assembled to box level in Montreal....

3) Produce everything wherever it's cheapest, ship it by the cheapest method, then charge the same price, pocket the difference as profit.

Many years ago, when not much came from Asia, some of the Asian countries (China, Taiwan, Korea for example) were given a huge break on customs duties in North America, not much came from there, and it allowed those countries to make some money on exports to get their economies going. Now of course almost everything comes from there, their economies are doing very well, yet those customs breaks, AFAIK are still in place. Although I don't always like the idea of trade barriers, it's justifiable to now quietly end those customs duties breaks on goods from that part of the world. Otherwise the only jobs available in the US will soon be corporate criminal or will involve the phrase "you want fries with that".....
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Old 04-03-09, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by FZ1Tom
I would definitely put a bigger cog on one side and run the original small one on the other. Whether fixed or freewheel side, not too sure.
If you buy it you'll eventually figure out which side.
Maybe add a QR skewer to make flipping the rear wheel easier. Definitely add a rear brake and the second hood.
Ah, that's a contentious issue (as if there aren't many of those in cycling). I remember a major Quick Releases vs track nuts argument on the Fixed Gear List. QR aren't allowed on the track.

IIRC the person who dared to debate Sheldon (it might have been the original owner of Fixed Gear Fever dot com, but I'm NOT sure because I've long since killed those brain cells) said QR worked fine on fixies and track bikes. Sheldon claimed QR were unsafe on any fixie.
For some reason the argument got messy and embarrassing. Glad that doesn't happen here.

Just one hood on the bar is plain wierd, but I hear fixie riders are a strange lot
Nonsense. We're really every bit as opinionated as every other cyclist.
People only think we're weird because we're always trying to figure out where our corn cobs went.
FWIW my fixie has two brakes. And track nuts.
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Old 04-08-09, 05:28 PM
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Quick release will only work on a fixed gear if you use a surly Tuggnut with it. I haven't been able to get a quick release to hold my single speed mountain bikes or either of my fixed gear wheels. It is pretty easy to just spend $1 for an old 15mm wrench at a pawn shop, cut it in half and throw the box end half in your seat bag. Just make sure you ALWAYS use the short wrench when installing wheels, if you crank the nuts down with a full size wrench, you might not be able to get it loose with the short wrench.
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Old 04-08-09, 08:22 PM
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You can buy a complete fixed/SS bike for a lot less than the $800 or so you are looking at.

Look at the IRO bikes (irocycle.com) and a bunch of others (Bikes Direct) and you can get some decent kit from $350-600.
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