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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)

New here and not sure where I fit

Old 07-02-19, 09:54 PM
  #1  
Rvdjc54
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New here and not sure where I fit

Hello there. Iím hoping to purchase a new bike. Iím hoping to use it to commute and maybe go up to 15-20 miles with it on the weekend. Iíd be using it on flat roads with very few pot holes. Getting into bikes has been super difficult since thereís so much out there. Can anyone point me in the right direction for brands or even specific single speed bikes to look at? Iím into single speed because of the little maintenance required and I guess another question for people is what is the longest youíve riden with a single speed. Iím pretty much sold on purchasing a single speed and Iím hoping to spend a max. of 475$. Can anyone help a guy out? Any advice welcome.
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Old 07-03-19, 06:11 AM
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You will get lots of advice and better advice as I don't commute to work on a bike, but I can tell you some things. First, there are folks who regularly ride 100 milers on single-speed and/or fixed gear bikes. Remember, bicycles only had one speed for many years.

The default recommendation seems to be the Kilo TT and I agree it is a great bike for the money. You can find one in your price range. It is a good place to start and the frame is worthy of upgrading parts as you wear them out or choose to improve performance and comfort.

The first thing to do though is to figure out what size frame fits you. That is tricky with some models and the Kilo TT is an example. I ride a 58cm road bike, but in a Kilo TT, I believe the recommendation is to order a 53cm. That is a big difference.

So know that sizing differs and you need to learn what fits you. Best way is to find someone locally where you can ride and decide what works for you.

Don't know where you live but there is also the possibility that you might find a nice used bike on Craigslist. I have found one that way. I use it as a backup but it is very nice in its own right.

So good luck, hope you get some answers here.
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Old 07-03-19, 06:14 AM
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Save Up to 60% Off Kilo TT Fixie and Track Bikes | Single Speed Bikes | Mercier Bikes - Kilo TT Fixed Gear Singlespeed Fixie

Save up to 60% off new Mercier Singlespeed Track Bikes - Kilo WT - Save Up To 60% Off Brand new Bicycles

I put two links for you to begin searching. The Kilo WT might be a better solution for you as it can handle wider tires. Wider tires make commutes more comfortable.
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Old 07-03-19, 06:45 AM
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Welcome! It can be confusing at first, but you'll learn a lot on this forum!
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Old 07-11-19, 03:12 PM
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This fits your budget and comes with a freewheel. If you want a steel bike I would go with the Kilo TT, other than that for that price range the next best thing is used bikes. Which I wouldn't recommend if you don't really know what you're looking for in the first place. They only have 1 huge size left on that site, but you can probably find it on another site. Only thing you would need to do is add a back brake. https://www.citygrounds.com/products/aventon-cordoba-track-bike-2019?gclid=CjwKCAjwvJvpBRAtEiwAjLuRPZdzH0CXIhUeo0l2FxfObPgEmERacrOHN_Az3kWtSlRlO6Z7My16PxoCM1gQAvD_B wE&variant=19268810768495
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Old 07-12-19, 08:03 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Rvdjc54 View Post
Hello there. Iím hoping to purchase a new bike. Iím hoping to use it to commute and maybe go up to 15-20 miles with it on the weekend. Iíd be using it on flat roads with very few pot holes. Getting into bikes has been super difficult since thereís so much out there. Can anyone point me in the right direction for brands or even specific single speed bikes to look at? Iím into single speed because of the little maintenance required and I guess another question for people is what is the longest youíve riden with a single speed. Iím pretty much sold on purchasing a single speed and Iím hoping to spend a max. of 475$. Can anyone help a guy out? Any advice welcome.
Hey, I'm new here, too! But what you describe is basically what I've been doing on and off for about 10 years: I've used my singlespeed to commute, and do about 15-20-mile rides on the weekends when I've the time.

I'm not an expert, and feel free to double-check all of this with others, but for what it's worth:
  1. I think $475 is a good price pointóyou can get a solid starter for that.
  2. It's hard to suggest anything in particular because as you ride more (and ride more bikes), you'll build up experiences to compare with various builds and brands, and you'll start to develop your personal preferences. Because you're still building those up, I'd say don't sweat the decision too much. Just try for something decent.
  3. That said, I also vote for the Kilo TT; it's a great starter bike for a lot of folks. It also has a sealed bottom bracket and sealed hubs, which means less maintenance (especially when you get caught in the rain). Also has rack braze-ons and fender eyes, which you might want to consider if you're going to commute.
  4. Sizing/fit: If you can swing it, it really pays to get this done. A lot of folks who try biking but decide it wasn't for them give it up because the experience wasn't comfortable for them. Any shop should be able to help you with this, but a lot of times you do have to schedule an appointment as it's time-consuming, and it can cost $100-$150. If you aren't comfortable making your own adjustments, though, I think this is a very worthwhile service to cough up for.
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Old 07-12-19, 02:23 PM
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Welcome Rvdjc54,

I just want to echo the sentiments of other posters here. There are as many types of rider as there are bicycle offerings, so start low (cost) and simple. Spend some time around BF browsing the forums and check into local cycling clubs or groups, if that's your thing.

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Old 07-15-19, 05:06 PM
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Just to offer some encouragement, I'm a totally non-athletic rider, but commute on a single speed, 8 miles round trip. I also take it on recreational rides of up to maybe 25 miles or so. It's relatively flat in my area if I stay in town or use the rail-trails. For riding further afield, I have a geared bike, because the terrain in my region is endless rollers and they get old on a single speed. I've still got less than 100 bucks in my bike, mostly old parts that I threw together.

Between the Kilo TT and WT, I'd lean towards the WT due to preferring wider tires. My own preference is for an upright handlebar, but that's an individual choice.
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Old 07-16-19, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Just to offer some encouragement, I'm a totally non-athletic rider, but commute on a single speed, 8 miles round trip. I also take it on recreational rides of up to maybe 25 miles or so. It's relatively flat in my area if I stay in town or use the rail-trails. For riding further afield, I have a geared bike, because the terrain in my region is endless rollers and they get old on a single speed. I've still got less than 100 bucks in my bike, mostly old parts that I threw together.

Between the Kilo TT and WT, I'd lean towards the WT due to preferring wider tires. My own preference is for an upright handlebar, but that's an individual choice.
I agree with the WT. I also favor upright posture when doing short commutes. Much easier to see your surroundings. Most people aren't trying to break any records getting to-and-from work.
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Old 07-16-19, 12:42 PM
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+1 on WT. Kilo TT is a good buy if you want a track bike, but the WT is way more versatile.
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Old 07-18-19, 02:05 PM
  #11  
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+2 on the WT. Sometimes you can fit 28 mm tires on a Kilo TT, sometimes you can't, it depends on when it was produced and who was building them that day. Nice bikes, but the WT can do more. That said, they're both excellent choices, and the TT has been around long enough to have developed a serious cult following.
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Old 07-19-19, 12:06 AM
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If you're new, it will be tempting to overthink your choice. Asking people who have already made a choice is likely to result in too much information, some of which will be biased in favour of the decisions those people made for themselves. That's how internet forums work.

The right choice for you will depend on many variables, and it will change as you gain experience.

Single speeds and fixed are good fun. They appeal to me for their simplicity. They require slightly less maintenance, but the maintenance is not onerous on a geared bike.

On any bike, you will need to clean and lubricate the chain. On a single speed or fixed, you need to adjust the chain tension. On a derailleur bike, the gear mechanism takes up the slack automatically.

Hub gears have their fans and detractors. They require minimal maintenance — less than derailleur — and are more versatile than a single speed. Many people dislike them, and many of those people have never used them.

On any bike, you will need to adjust your brakes occasionally.

Yes, some people ride without brakes on fixed. Some people will say that is dangerous; others will say it is a skill that takes time to learn and practise. In some jurisdictions it is illegal. Be that as it may, it is not an option on single speed or geared.

Other than that, for most people, most of the time, bike maintenance is minimal. Some people here are talking about sealed bearings being low maintenance. Yes they are, but back in the day I rode many thousands of miles on bikes now considered "old tech" with traditional bearings and very seldom had to do any bearing maintenance.

Remember that the bike used to be the poor man's transport: simple, robust, no fuss. There is nothing on a bike that is difficult to maintain. Apart from the chain, you can go for weeks or months on any bike without having to do more than a quick check that nothing is loose or damaged, and maybe turning the barrel adjuster on your brakes or gears.

Things to consider:

Fit. Get a bike that is comfortable. It is easier to make a small bike slightly bigger (longer seat post, longer stem) than it is to make a big bike smaller, but you need one that is comfortable.

Bars. These can be change, but if you change the basic style (from flat to drop or vice versa) you will also need to change the brake levers. Drop bars are versatile and are generally better for longer and faster rides, but flat bars can be more comfortable and you sit more upright which is good for seeing what's happening ahead in busy traffic.

Tyres: somewhere around 25mm to 28mm is a good balance of speed and comfort. 23mm tyres can give a very firm ride and are more prone to punctures. Any sort of knobbles will make a real difference to how much effort it takes to pedal.

Budget. Buy one that is very cheap and you will be disappointed. Buy one that is very expensive and you will probably not get the benefit because as a beginner you may make a bad choice. Go for something expensive enough to be decent quality, but don't pay the extra for fancy features. See what you like and dislike about it then plan for a better bike later. At UK prices, if I were buying a first bike, I might be looking in the £450 to £600 bracket.

Upgrades. Whatever you buy chances are you will soon upgrade the seat and pedals. These are an investment as you have the option to transfer them to your next bike if you upgrade a year or two later.

Carrying capacity. If you're commuting, how will you carry your lunch, your briefcase, phone, tablet, or whatever? A pure road bike with no mudguards/fenders will give you a wet backside in the rain, and will oblige you to carry your luggage on your back, which is sweaty. Something more practical (mudguards/fenders and rack and panniers) will be heavier and a bit more stodgy to ride.

Lights: if you plan to commute all year round, will you be riding in the dark? If so, get some decent lights and decide where they will fit on the style of bike you've chosen.

Clothes and shoes. You can ride a bicycle in anything, but it is more comfortable to ride in proper cycling clothes and shoes. However, if you're commuting, how will you transport your work clothes? If you commute in your work clothes, you will need to adjust your riding accordingly to avoid arriving sweaty.

Security. Where will you leave it, how will you lock it, and how will you carry the lock? Depressing rule of thumb: if you knock a pound off the weight of your bike, add 1.5 pounds to the weight of your lock...

For the length of rides you've described, a single speed or fixed would not be inappropriate. Plenty of people ride further on this type of bike. Whether it is the best choice for you is for you to decide. Every bike is a compromise.
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