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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 01-05-18, 03:21 PM   #1
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Track bike vs regular bike

Hi.
How is a track bike (Kilo) different from a regular bike like my 14-spd aluminum 25-pound Windsor 28c road bike?

Is it going to be really squirrelly comparatively?

Just looking for a another bike for easy commuting and relaxing charity joy rides. My commuting has very narrow bike lanes with 50-mph car ballasting next to me...so I need stability.

I'm not aggressive rider. More lay back, easy going type. But I'm attracted by the beauty and simplicity of Track bikes.

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Old 01-05-18, 03:38 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Hi.
How is a track bike (Kilo) different from a regular bike like my 14-spd aluminum 25-pound Windsor 28c road bike?

Is it going to be really squirrelly comparatively?

Just looking for a another bike for easy commuting and relaxing charity joy rides. My commuting has very narrow bike lanes with 50-mph car ballasting next to me...so I need stability.

I'm not aggressive rider. More lay back, easy going type. But I'm attracted by the beauty and simplicity of Track bikes.
What bike do you want? You flip-flop more than John Kerry was alleged to do but at least he has or had a nice Serrotta!
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Old 01-05-18, 03:55 PM   #3
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I think I want a Mercier Kilo from BD...but scared it might be too aggressive for me.

Never ridden a Track Bike!!!

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

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Old 01-05-18, 04:23 PM   #4
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The Kilo TT isn't terribly aggressive track geometry:

Kilo TT Geometry

This is quite comparable to road frames used in criterium racing.
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Old 01-05-18, 05:57 PM   #5
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I've been commuting on a Kilo TT for maybe 5 years now, both SS and FG. Its obviously more aggressive than my touring bike, but they're two different animals.
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Old 01-05-18, 07:38 PM   #6
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I think I want a Mercier Kilo from BD...but scared it might be too aggressive for me.

Never ridden a Track Bike!!!

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
Make up your mind on what bike you want. It seems every week you want something different but don't seem committed to anything ever. I always want new bikes but I will commit to them even if on a long term plan. I write up parts needed and costs and figure things out. Most of my ideas don't become fleeting fancies unless they interfere with better bikes.
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Old 01-05-18, 07:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Hi.
How is a track bike (Kilo) different from a regular bike like my 14-spd aluminum 25-pound Windsor 28c road bike?

Is it going to be really squirrelly comparatively?

Just looking for a another bike for easy commuting and relaxing charity joy rides. My commuting has very narrow bike lanes with 50-mph car ballasting next to me...so I need stability.

I'm not aggressive rider. More lay back, easy going type. But I'm attracted by the beauty and simplicity of Track bikes.
What's your daily commute like? As mentioned before, the Kilo is not as aggressive as what a lot of guys ride in SS/FG, so honestly wouldn't be too huge a difference. Other than being a tank, what do you find lacking with your current bike, for using it as your commuter?
For someone who claims to ride more relaxed and easy, I don't see the draw to a SS or FG, other than they look clean and nice.
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Old 01-06-18, 04:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Hi.
How is a track bike (Kilo) different from a regular bike like my 14-spd aluminum 25-pound Windsor 28c road bike?

Is it going to be really squirrelly comparatively?

Just looking for a another bike for easy commuting and relaxing charity joy rides. My commuting has very narrow bike lanes with 50-mph car ballasting next to me...so I need stability.

I'm not aggressive rider. More lay back, easy going type. But I'm attracted by the beauty and simplicity of Track bikes.
Track bike tend to be too stiff for road use though with supple tires and right air pressures, its still can be enjoyable.

Track bike also have higher BB height for in case you got pedal strike. Especially, if you do racing (since you're not so its does not matter....).

Regular bike usually didn't came with track end or adjustable drop out for chain tension so ...... make sure you got regular bike that have adjustable drop out for bolt on.

And you says you like how the looks of track bike, then buy track bike, you can set the bike to be more relaxing position.

If you doubt, always buy the one you liked AND make it work for you
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Old 01-06-18, 04:55 AM   #9
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Track bikes are fun. I ride mine on the road all the time.

edit - with a brake
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Old 01-06-18, 08:28 AM   #10
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Hi.

Is it going to be really squirrelly comparatively?

.

When you say "squirrelly," are you talking about the bike's geometry? Or the whole thing of riding a fixed gear bike vs. a regular road bike? Other comments address geometry. If you are worried about the whole experience, don't be. There's a learning curve, but I'm non-athletic, started riding fixed in advanced middle age, and do just fine. Ride around an empty parking lot till you are comfortable on a quiet road till you are comfortable on a city street.


Enjoy.
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Old 01-07-18, 11:17 AM   #11
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I looked at the kilo for a long time, but I liked something about the Motobecane messenger better.

In the end I wound up with a Dawes sst al from bike island for $280 shipped.

I don't think any of them are going to be squirrely.

the dawes sst steel looks whack!

the Kilo is nice, But If you're looking for relaxed/sporty/fun/or fast all in one bike plus simple.

buy this one!


Save Up To 60% Off Fixie Track Bikes | Track Bikes | Fixie Gear | Single Speed Bicycles | Motobecane singlespeed bicycles | Save up to 60% off list prices

my Dawes is very stable, but it will carve and turn when I want it to, which is super nice for avoiding the glass or road derbis that I happen to see at the last minute, because I was lost in the enjoyment of the ride.
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Old 01-07-18, 12:44 PM   #12
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I don't feel any less stable on a track bike than on a mountain bike. Wider handle bars make more of a difference for me than anything.
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Old 01-07-18, 02:48 PM   #13
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Maybe instead of getting a real-deal track bike, get something like the single speed All City Nature Boy. It'll be less "squirrely" but still give you that nice clean look?

Your other option is to find a vintage road frame, and convert it to a single speed - that's what I did, and a lot of other people do. Then you get the classic narrow tube road bike frame look and the simplicity of the single speed.
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Old 01-07-18, 03:07 PM   #14
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Maybe instead of getting a real-deal track bike, get something like the single speed All City Nature Boy. It'll be less "squirrely" but still give you that nice clean look?

Your other option is to find a vintage road frame, and convert it to a single speed - that's what I did, and a lot of other people do. Then you get the classic narrow tube road bike frame look and the simplicity of the single speed.
The other big plus of using old road frames is having horizontal road dropouts instead of rear facing track ends. Makes pulling out the wheel much easier, faster and cleaner. With a chain peg and a Pedros Trixie fix gear tool, you don't have to touch the chain. I consider that a big enough plus that I had my custom fix gear made with a road stye dropout with a slot as long as a track end.

Another plus is that putting real brakes on a road frame is simple and the fork is made to withstand hard stops without flex. (You are commuting. Those stops happen.)

Ben
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Old 01-08-18, 09:32 AM   #15
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The other big plus of using old road frames is having horizontal road dropouts instead of rear facing track ends. Makes pulling out the wheel much easier, faster and cleaner. With a chain peg and a Pedros Trixie fix gear tool, you don't have to touch the chain. I consider that a big enough plus that I had my custom fix gear made with a road stye dropout with a slot as long as a track end.
Thanks for all the replies. There was alot of things I hadn't know or thought about. Like getting hands dirty changing a track wheel.

I thought that with the track drop out...I will have the option to keep a second wheel with IGH for the hilly rides.

By squirelly, I meant the effect of skinny tires and being very sensity to control input. Having to dodge every little thing on the road.

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Old 01-08-18, 10:38 AM   #16
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Handling is geometry, fit and tires. In other words, no handling difference between "road bike" and "track bike" if you have equal sizes and angles.
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Old 01-08-18, 12:08 PM   #17
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The other big plus of using old road frames is having horizontal road dropouts instead of rear facing track ends. Makes pulling out the wheel much easier, faster and cleaner. With a chain peg and a Pedros Trixie fix gear tool, you don't have to touch the chain. I consider that a big enough plus that I had my custom fix gear made with a road stye dropout with a slot as long as a track end.

Another plus is that putting real brakes on a road frame is simple and the fork is made to withstand hard stops without flex. (You are commuting. Those stops happen.)

Ben

Great points Ben.

Another benefit I find personally is quality of tubing materials. You can get a nicer trubeset, and sometimes extras to build a much nicer bike for a comparable price to buying new or a frameset.

Don't worry about geometry, worry about fit and finish in my opinion. Build something for your needs and ride!!!

Also, consider a Kilo WT? I keep tossing that one around in my head.
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Old 01-08-18, 12:26 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the replies. There was alot of things I hadn't know or thought about. Like getting hands dirty changing a track wheel.

I thought that with the track drop out...I will have the option to keep a second wheel with IGH for the hilly rides.

By squirelly, I meant the effect of skinny tires and being very sensity to control input. Having to dodge every little thing on the road.
An easy pump peg if you have a road frame with fender eyes: run a metric screw about 2 cm into the eye from the inside securing it with two nuts. Leave just enough screw sticking in that you can drop the chain on the screw head but the screw is clear of the cog and chain while riding. A flat head screw makes the easiest target for your chain drop. With the right length screw, all you see from the outside is the nut and screw end flush with that nut.

Makes it really easy to pick up the chain with the Pedros spanner to flip the wheel. A wheel flip/gear change is two minutes, easy and with almost clean hands. I do touch the tire. To set proper chain slack, I stand behind the bike and pull the wheel back hard and to the left about 1/2 an inch by the tire with my left hand. Tighten the right nut enough to hold, straighten the tire, tighten the left enough to hold, check the chain and dial in with the right side if needed and tighten the right side fully. Using the right nut, I straighten the wheel and tighten. Takes less time to do than write.

When I unscrew a cog on the road, I hand the chain as above on the pump peg, then lie the bike down on its right side. When I pike the bike up to put the wheel back in, the chain is still on the peg and chainring. (I have a chain whip I made from 1/4" aluminum plate that weighs a pound, is almost 2 feet long and straps to the top tube. Best chain whip I have ever used. But it wasn't easy to make!)

Ben
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Old 01-08-18, 02:34 PM   #19
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I noticed the Kilo has very short top-tube...is this characteristic of all track bikes?

E.g.
Kilo 50cm c-c (53cm c-t) ==> 523mm top tube.
My Windsor road bike 53cm (c-t) ==> 550mm top tube.
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Old 01-08-18, 04:17 PM   #20
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Not all, no, but it is pretty common. It's a convention from back in the day that's survived in places where it probably shouldn't.
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Old 01-08-18, 06:43 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I noticed the Kilo has very short top-tube...is this characteristic of all track bikes?

E.g.
Kilo 50cm c-c (53cm c-t) ==> 523mm top tube.
My Windsor road bike 53cm (c-t) ==> 550mm top tube.
Find a longer stem, put saddle setback more, done

Track frame tends to be racy type, steep seat and head tube, they also have shorter wheelbase than most road bike.

That's why its usually have shorter top tube.
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Old 01-09-18, 12:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I noticed the Kilo has very short top-tube...is this characteristic of all track bikes?

E.g.
Kilo 50cm c-c (53cm c-t) ==> 523mm top tube.
My Windsor road bike 53cm (c-t) ==> 550mm top tube.
The angle of the headtube on the Kilo is steeper than the headtube angle on your road bike. It may actually come out feeling longer on the Kilo.
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Old 01-09-18, 12:33 PM   #23
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Old 01-09-18, 12:51 PM   #24
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Find a longer stem, put saddle setback more, done

Track frame tends to be racy type, steep seat and head tube, they also have shorter wheelbase than most road bike.

That's why its usually have shorter top tube.
Don't move your saddle to adjust your reach. You'll screw up your alignment with your pedals. Do get a longer stem, though.
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Old 01-09-18, 02:42 PM   #25
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I think I'm getting the Kilo WT. I think the 28c wide tires will be more appropriate. Got'a waiting for the next boat load.
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