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The new commuting rig: Nashbar FB-1 review (pics)

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The new commuting rig: Nashbar FB-1 review (pics)

Old 06-15-11, 02:48 PM
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I've recently wrenched together not one but two Nashbar FB-1 bikes. I bought the 51cm model for my wife and I assembled my brother's wife's 54cm unit. Both went together nicely and both wives are loving the bikes. My wife is a regular rider of a regular road bike, a mountain bike and the stoker position on our road tandem. The FB-1 will serve as her knock-about ride. I wrote a fairly comprehensive review on the Nashbar FB-1 on Epinions.com that you can find here: https://www1.epinions.com/review/Nash...t_554156199556

I also wrote a review on the very similar Performance Bicycle Scattante FR-330 here:
https://www1.epinions.com/review/Scat...t_548822748804

Would like to know how your sentiments are similar or different.

David Burckhard
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Old 06-15-11, 07:45 PM
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Sweeperdave, how tall is your wife? I'm seriously considering this bike for my wife if I can get it shipped for under $400, but I'm unsure whether the 49cm or 51cm would be a better fit. My wife is 5'4" with long torso/short leg proportions (for a woman).
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Old 06-17-11, 09:18 AM
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It's on sale now for $394, add shipping and taxes. Still a steal at a little over your budget. I rode mine yesterday and it still feels like I'm riding a sub-19 lb. rig. Going to clean the drivetrain this weekend and convert to my 42cm cowhorn bars. This thing flies for a knock-about.
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Old 06-17-11, 09:35 AM
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Just noticed the price drop...wish I was confident about the sizing. Anyone else notice that Nashbar's sizing page says to use standover height as the criterion, but the chart for the FB-1 doesn't list standover height?
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Old 06-20-11, 12:39 PM
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Mgeaffriau wrote:
Originally Posted by mgeoffriau
Sweeperdave, how tall is your wife? I'm seriously considering this bike for my wife if I can get it shipped for under $400, but I'm unsure whether the 49cm or 51cm would be a better fit. My wife is 5'4" with long torso/short leg proportions (for a woman).
My wife is 5'4" as well with similar body build. She rides the 51cm version of the FB-1 and it fits her perfectly. As I mention in my review, the degree of adjustability is large and I'm confident your wife will enjoy the fit of a 51cm model. If you've not read my review on the FB-1, check it out here:
https://www.epinions.com/review/Nashb...t_554156199556

As an aside, a buddy and my brother-in-law were so impressed with the FB-1, they are buying one for themselves. That makes five FB-1 bikes in my circle of family and friends.

David Burckhard
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Old 06-21-11, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by sweeperdave
My wife is 5'4" as well with similar body build. She rides the 51cm version of the FB-1 and it fits her perfectly. As I mention in my review, the degree of adjustability is large and I'm confident your wife will enjoy the fit of a 51cm model. If you've not read my review on the FB-1, check it out here:
https://www.epinions.com/review/Nashb...t_554156199556

As an aside, a buddy and my brother-in-law were so impressed with the FB-1, they are buying one for themselves. That makes five FB-1 bikes in my circle of family and friends.

David Burckhard
Thanks David!

I pulled the trigger on the 48cm this past weekend -- I figured that it was a safer purchase as my wife hasn't really ridden much since she was a kid, and would prefer a slight shorter top-tube for a less stretched out riding position, and more standover clearance.

I was eager to jump on the $395 price...of course, a day after I ordered it, they bumped the price to $450 and emailed me a 15% coupon for all bikes ($382.50). Oh well, still a good deal at $395.

Supposed to arrive tomorrow, I'm looking forward to checking it out.
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Old 06-21-11, 12:10 PM
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I've looked at this bike in their catalogs many a time. I can't justify it though because my current commuter is basically a flat bar road bike.
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Old 06-22-11, 10:17 AM
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Checked the Fedex tracking on my order and noticed that the carton weight is listed at 18.6 lbs -- if that's correct, I'll be impressed.
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Old 06-22-11, 02:40 PM
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I saved my carton - weight was listed at 13.31 Kg, but for what it's worth, the bike is much lighter than I expected.
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Old 06-23-11, 09:45 AM
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Wife's bike arrived yesterday safe and sound. The carton was very well packed -- you'd absolutely have to destroy the box to damage the bike. Assembly and adjustment went reasonably smoothly, though I will say that mine definitely needed fresh derailleur adjustments both front and rear. Once adjusted, shifts were quick and smooth, though it seems like the triggers that pull cable require more effort than on my own flat bar road bike (XT triggers and front derail. with XTR rear derail).

Rear brakes were spot on, front brakes have to be done fresh as the cable isn't attached. I wasn't terribly impressed with the smoothness of the front hub -- some very apparent grittiness when you spin in your fingers. I don't have any cone wrenches and didn't want to mangle the hubs, so I left them alone for now, but at some point I may disassemble, clean, and repack them.

I'm not enamored of the adjustable stem and handlebar -- the paint looks glossy and easy to scratch, and once my wife settles on a comfortable riding position, I'll probably replace them with better quality pieces.

Also slightly disappointed to find that the nut on the skewers is a molded piece of plastic or composite over a metal nut. Works okay for now, but it just seems like a bad compromise. Otherwise, the skewers work fine, so I'll probably just keep an eye on the plastic bit and make sure it's not separating.

Once everything was adjusted and tightened down, I aired the tires up to 120 PSI and took a little test ride up and down my street. The seat isn't great but I tend to see that as a given on a low-end factory bike, and easy to fix. V-brakes work very well, though I don't love the levers -- too much up and down play in the lever bothers me. Doesn't audibly rattle so it's not a killer.

I noticed a few spokes lightly pinged when I first sat on the bike and rolled it forward -- I'm planning on rechecking the wheels to make sure spoke tension is fairly uniform.

The bike is much too small for me (48 cm, I typically ride 54-55cm) but I was surprised that the riding position was relatively comfortable. Not efficient at all, but definitely rideable.

And it was fun to ride. Feels light and aggressive. The frame feels plenty stiff for the average rider, and had some nice "punchy" acceleration...felt like my energy was being transferred very directly, not lost in inefficient drivetrain bits or a mushy frame. The carbon fork took the edge off nicely.

For just a bit over $400 shipped, I'm pleased, and I think my wife will be very pleased. She doesn't care a bit about flashy graphics or the brand name (or complete lack of one) on the downtube, and wanted something faster and more efficient than the used Giant Sedona she was riding, but would probably have been unhappy crouched over a drop-bar road bike.

Will post further thoughts after she has her first ride on it (and maybe some pics).
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Old 06-24-11, 12:14 AM
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I finally got to see my friends FB-1 tonight. He likes it, but wants some wider tires becasue he isn't used to the road tires. He also replaced the seat as well. Its a nice bike and I am impressed with it as I am with the quality of the Cross bikes I ordered as well. I might end up switching frames with him if he wants wider tires than 32mm because the cross frames have more space for wider tires.
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Old 06-25-11, 10:33 AM
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I just received this bike. I was wondering if those of you who have this bike can mention what all needs to be done during assembly. (I attach a list below.) Also, my rear wheel is not rotating freely. I have adjusted the brakes and don't see any packing material restraining it. It rotates freely for half a rotation and then something catches (I think in the hub?) and it stops there. Is this normal? I haven't seen this before.

The above-mentioned review contains a list of things to be done during assembly (and which I have done). https://www.epinions.com/review/Nashb...t_554156199556

Is there anything else that needs to be done? Clean or lubricate something?
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Old 06-25-11, 12:25 PM
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Update to previous post: I spun the wheel for a couple of minutes and it is now spinning freely. I guess there was some lubricant that worked its way into the mechanism.

I'd still welcome your comments on what else needs to be done in terms of cleaning/lubrication, if at all.
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Old 06-27-11, 11:46 AM
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32 size tires didnt fit

I tried fitting 700x32 Bontrager racelite hardcase tires (OEM from my Trek 7.5FX) and they did not fit. They were touching the front derailler mounting hardware.

So 28mm may be a more realistic upper limit to tire size.
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Old 06-27-11, 12:40 PM
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It may be more that you want to do, but I have found that almost every bearing on a bike ships from the factory with inadequate lube. I always re-pack the wheel bearings (and headset, and bottom bracket, where applicable) before assembling the bike. It's just easier to do it while everything's apart, but of course you can do it at any time later, too.


Originally Posted by niakapa
Update to previous post: I spun the wheel for a couple of minutes and it is now spinning freely. I guess there was some lubricant that worked its way into the mechanism.

I'd still welcome your comments on what else needs to be done in terms of cleaning/lubrication, if at all.
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Old 06-27-11, 06:14 PM
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Does anyone know who makes the Nashbar bikes? I've heard that Fuji makes Performance Bikes' Scattante line.

I ask because I'm thinking about looking for a decal set for my wife's bike. I don't want to pass it off as something it's not, but an appropriate set of decals would really set the frame off.
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Old 06-27-11, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau
Does anyone know who makes the Nashbar bikes? I've heard that Fuji makes Performance Bikes' Scattante line.

I ask because I'm thinking about looking for a decal set for my wife's bike. I don't want to pass it off as something it's not, but an appropriate set of decals would really set the frame off.
I don't know, but Performance and Nashbar are related somehow so maybe Fuji makes the Nashbar frames too. In some ways its nice there are no decals on the Nashbar frames, but for some reason I am a sucker for decals and think they look cool. LOL
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Old 06-28-11, 08:00 AM
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Fuji doesn't make bikes. Almost every mass market branded bike is made by one of a handful of companies, mostly based in Taiwan, with factories in Taiwan, China and elsewhere.
One is the appropriately named Giant Manufacturing Co., another is Ideal Bicycle Corp. Nashbar and Performance are likely built by one of these two.
The brands that Ideal builds for include Specialized, Cannondale, Bianchi, and Fuji, among others:https://www.idealbike.com.tw/en/html/partner.html
Most major bike brands are really just design and marketing companies who outsource the actual bike building to the big factory producers who can it cheaply.
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Old 12-30-12, 10:13 PM
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Does this bike have enough clearance for fenders?
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Old 12-31-12, 06:28 PM
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I have never run fenders on mine. The Nashbar help desk/online chat can confirm though.
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Old 01-02-13, 08:38 PM
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Couldn't resist. Ordered one today $377 shipped with their 20% cupon. Emptied my change jar. (really, I did) Will post feedback to keep this thread updated as it's been awhile and some of the specs, components may have changed. Thanks for the great review. I Googled FB1 reviews and this was at the top of the list.
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Old 01-03-13, 12:41 AM
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why doesn't the OP like the adjustable stem? they give one an infinite amount of settings.
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Old 01-03-13, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7
why doesn't the OP like the adjustable stem? they give one an infinite amount of settings.
I can't speak for the stem on this bike, but the one that came on a $400 BD bike I bought would not fully lock in position no matter how much I tightened it. So yeah, I guess it kinda was an infinite amount of settings. (it didn't move through the entire range, but still..)


Most of these adjustable stems are made cheaply from what I can tell.
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Old 01-10-13, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau
Does anyone know who makes the Nashbar bikes? I've heard that Fuji makes Performance Bikes' Scattante line.

I ask because I'm thinking about looking for a decal set for my wife's bike. I don't want to pass it off as something it's not, but an appropriate set of decals would really set the frame off.
I've closely inspected the Nashbar FB-1 and compared it to the Scattante (Performance Bicycle brand) FR-330. There are a total of six of these bikes in my family. The frames are similar if not exactly the same. As is the fork, saddle, and certain other parts. My guess is that the frames are built on spec by Giant or another Taiwanese factory in massive numbers and then final assembled with spec components to whole-sellers or to Nashbar and Performance Bicycle directly. If you look at the saddle, a Prologo, it isn't listed on their Web site just as the specially made TVs with unique models models specific only to the vendors were shipped to The Good Guys and Circuit City back in the days when they were around. Buyers get brand names but without complicating the tiered placement of Prologo saddles available as standalone items available for retail.

The idea being Nashbar and Performance Bicycle with their buying power can say, "Hey generic Taiwanese bicycle maker, I'm looking for 10,000 units of each size of a bike of this particular type and I'm willing to pay up to so-and-so amount. What do you got for me?"

My feeling is that the buyers of these bikes don't know or don't care about the common brands but want something backed by a brand they trust. In reality, a lot of the big players like GT buy their bikes similarly and rebrand them. For the money, the FB-1 and FR-330 are super values and are for those riders who aren't looking for street cred but, rather, a great deal on a competent bike.

Dave Burckhard
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Old 01-13-13, 02:49 PM
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Research; A Google search brought me here. Great info! Here is my experience.

When determining the size of bicycle to order, I referred to the sizing chart provided by Nashbar. Under the chart was a recommendation to use the stand-over height dimension, which on the chart, there was none. I sent an e-mail to customer service/tech dept and waited for a response. The next day, no response yet, and with the 20% off coupon expiring later that day, I called direct. Quick answer, fast response and I had the information I was looking for to place my order. The next day, after placing my order, I received an e-mail describing how I should not use the stand-over height to determine a size and I should call direct to discuss. Mixed signals from Nashbar, but I had a good idea of what size I was looking for.

Ordering. As I was about to enter my credit card number on line, I was kicked out with a note to call direct. The person I talked to couldn't see any issues, so completed my order directly. She had some difficulty entering my information, but overall, ok. Interesting that her total came out 5 dollars less then the website calculation. Sign up for their emails and you will see a 20% off 2 day coupon. I think they post one every month or two. Total price delivered was $373. As I used my ATM/credit, I immediately checked my bank account online and noticed THREE charges. One for $373. Another for $1. And a third for ANOTHER $373. I called back and the rep said this was "not normal" She did not see the additional charges, and told me they would “probably drop off." Another mix up in the ordering experience. Not a good feeling, but after 4 days, the other two charges dropped off and were never processed on my account. Just a heads up if you use an ATM type card for payment.

So the bike is on its way, with a few bumps in the road. Tracking was provided, Fed Ex shipped and on time. Bike was very well packed. Assembly went well. The brake shoes were adjusted too high and hit the tires. You are starting off with a brand new chain. Spend a few bucks and get some good chain lube while it's still pristine. My LBC recommended Dumonde Tech chain lube. A little expensive, but well worth it. Do it while it's still new. You do have to fit the front brake cable, so it needs to be cut after assembly. I flux and solder the end before cutting to prevent fraying. Other options are to purchase a cable cutter or have your local shop do it. And you will need a 16mm wrench for the pedals and metric allen wrenches for the bars, brakes and seat assembly and adjustments. The Shimano derailleurs were spot on and no adjustments were needed.

Tires are now Schwalbe 700x25 and are rated at 95-115PSI. Pedals are dual purpose platform cage on one side and clip mount on the other. I recently upgraded to bike shoes with cleats, so this is a nice option to have. Other components are name brand and more than adequate in this price range.

The color is now blue, and picture I took and online photos do not show the true "candy" like finish. Think candy apple red but a deep blue. A little flashy for my tastes, but overall a nice finish. Oversize tubes, clean welds and beefy rear stays. And with this price, it's all about the carbon fork. Stiff, but SMOOTH and really absorbs the bumps. This fork really makes the bike a great value.

Inspect your bike very carefully. I have found a VERY small dent in the top tube. I considered returning, but it's really small. I think with the candy paint, it's more noticeable and if the bike was white, I probably wouldn't have even noticed it.

The bike itself is a little shorter wheelbase then I had realized. It’s a compact frame design, the top tube is a little short for my tastes. This is from a guy with a tall torso for his height and who is used to riding old school road bikes (Ron Cooper) and comfort bikes (Bianchi Milano). Check carefully the frame dimensions on Nashbar’s fitting guide. I have the seat slid back and may be considering a longer stem. I only have about 30 miles on the bike, so I’m still adjusting and learning the bike. I ordered a 54cm. I’m 5’11” with a 32” inseam. 51cm would have been doable, but overall too small. 57 would have been too big.

Overall, this is one smooth ride. I agree with a previous post, it seems to be a headwind cutter. Quick, stable, stiff, comfortable and quiet. Get that chain lube on. My first ride was without it and I thought I had derailleur issues. Now everything shifts silky smooth. Take your allen wrenches with you on your rides, stop and make those micro adjustments on fitting and in no time you will be dialed in.

Even with the ordering problems and the slight quality issue, I would order this bike again. Watch for the coupon and you just can’t beat it for the price.
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