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Long-distance fixed-gear race bike?

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Long-distance fixed-gear race bike?

Old 11-27-19, 12:23 PM
  #1  
StephenH
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Long-distance fixed-gear race bike?

Hey folks,
I do a lot of randonneuring. And use normal road bikes for that.
On occasion, I get involved in long-distance racing. This is 24-hour time trials, stuff like that. I'm not the fastest guy around, so how well I do depends a lot on who else bothers to show up.
BUT, some of these events also have fixed-gear categories (and/or single-speed categories).
So I'm eyeing that right now.
Ideal bike would be reasonably light, reasonably fast, reasonably cheap, new or used.
And it may sound stupid, but I'd like to have reasonable brakes on the thing. There are some nice track bikes that would work fine if not for the brake issue.
Normal clincher tires in 700x25 or so (ie, not tubulars).
Drop bars, possibly aero bars.
Open on frame materials.
I've been running around 205 lbs, so don't wanna get too carried away on ultralight wheels or anything. Around 58cm frame size. And 59 years old, so I prefer not to be TOO contorted while riding.
Flip-flop hub would be handy but not essential.
Can y'all point me to some options on brands and models that might fit in with that?
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Old 11-28-19, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Hey folks,
I do a lot of randonneuring. And use normal road bikes for that.
On occasion, I get involved in long-distance racing. This is 24-hour time trials, stuff like that. I'm not the fastest guy around, so how well I do depends a lot on who else bothers to show up.
BUT, some of these events also have fixed-gear categories (and/or single-speed categories).
So I'm eyeing that right now.
Ideal bike would be reasonably light, reasonably fast, reasonably cheap, new or used.
And it may sound stupid, but I'd like to have reasonable brakes on the thing. There are some nice track bikes that would work fine if not for the brake issue.
Normal clincher tires in 700x25 or so (ie, not tubulars).
Drop bars, possibly aero bars.
Open on frame materials.
I've been running around 205 lbs, so don't wanna get too carried away on ultralight wheels or anything. Around 58cm frame size. And 59 years old, so I prefer not to be TOO contorted while riding.
Flip-flop hub would be handy but not essential.
Can y'all point me to some options on brands and models that might fit in with that?
Hello,

The Kilo tt would be a good option, Been riding this over reasonable (40-50 mi) distances, and the ride has been pretty comfortable. At this point I think only the frame, BB, and seatpost are stock, but none of the parts are particularly wild and expensive.

Got performance tires, H+Son Wheels with Gran Compe hubs, a performance forte saddle, older sugino cranks, random aluminum handlebars, a 1" Performance forte carbon fork, Shimano PD-M8000 XT sps pedals, and Shimano 105 5500 calipers. The whole thing is about 20 lbs. It is probably my favorite bike too.

Only catch is no water bottle brazons. Topeak has some nice options to fix this. They have a clamp on bracket that goes onto the seat post, and will give you the ability to run 1 bottle. Alternately, there are bottle cages Walmart sells that velcro onto the frame. Another option is to carry a Camelbak.

All in all, not a bad bike.

Dave
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Old 11-28-19, 07:51 AM
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You won't do better than the Wabi Lightning which is on sale right now. I have ridden mine as far as 200k, but wouldn't hesitate to take it on a 24 hour ride which for me would be around 500k based on past experiences trying to ride 600's straight through. Highly recommend. I also use it a lot for early season training in the spring to get ready for the randonneuring season. I have a lot of bikes and the Wabi is my favorite.

You could save a few hundred dollars going with an old 80's race frame with horizontal dropouts and build it up as a FG. I don't know about you, but I'd be tempted to get a bunch of bling parts and probably wouldn't end up saving any money which is why I went with the wabi in the first place.
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Old 11-28-19, 09:30 AM
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^
I would second those two suggestions.
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Old 12-16-19, 12:10 PM
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genesis flyer might be a good option as well.. I love mine and rando / long distance on it now and again. very comfortable high stack etc
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Old 12-17-19, 10:16 PM
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Iíd convert an 1980ís road bike to 650B and fixed-gear simultaneously. Light, fast, comfortable, and not too expensive, either. Boom.
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Old 03-28-20, 11:56 AM
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Curious which way you went on this (new or rebuilt-old). If itís still in the planning stage and your courses are at all rough (I hate Massachusetts.), I definitely second going 650b and am slowly saving for a set myself just for this sort of thing.

FWIW, most ok-good road frames from Ď68-Ď86 fit 700x28 fine and will probably take the new breed of 700x30 ďopen tubularĒ clincher tires at least in the back.

Of the four 531 frames Iíve owned, Iíve loved 100% of them, the five double-butted CrMo frames Iíve liked 100% of them, and the two Al frames I had couldnít fit anything wider than 25mm tires and I was happy to see them go. Maybe 650b conversion wouldíve made those Al frames enjoyable?

My Ship of Theseus fixed commuter/tourer is generally based on bikes from that year range, but I often have to drill out the fork for a modern dual pivot caliper and strip/swap everything but the front wheel and seat post.

Getting a complete Wabi would be a quick, easy, and cost-effective solution for smooth roads.

Last edited by hsuBM; 03-28-20 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 03-28-20, 12:03 PM
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I would get the Wabi but the State Black Label is a pretty nice aluminum race bike for much less. Just need to buy a brakeset.

https://www.statebicycle.com/collections/black-label
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Old 03-28-20, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Hey folks,

I've been running around 205 lbs, so don't wanna get too carried away on ultralight wheels or anything. Around 58cm frame size. And 59 years old, so I prefer not to be TOO contorted while riding.
Flip-flop hub would be handy but not essential.
Can y'all point me to some options on brands and models that might fit in with that?
Nature boy single speed for geometry and comfort, but you'd need to deal with some mods due to disc brakes.
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Old 03-28-20, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Hey folks,
I do a lot of randonneuring. And use normal road bikes for that.
On occasion, I get involved in long-distance racing. This is 24-hour time trials, stuff like that. I'm not the fastest guy around, so how well I do depends a lot on who else bothers to show up.
BUT, some of these events also have fixed-gear categories (and/or single-speed categories).
So I'm eyeing that right now.
Ideal bike would be reasonably light, reasonably fast, reasonably cheap, new or used.
And it may sound stupid, but I'd like to have reasonable brakes on the thing. There are some nice track bikes that would work fine if not for the brake issue.
Normal clincher tires in 700x25 or so (ie, not tubulars).
Drop bars, possibly aero bars.
Open on frame materials.
I've been running around 205 lbs, so don't wanna get too carried away on ultralight wheels or anything. Around 58cm frame size. And 59 years old, so I prefer not to be TOO contorted while riding.
Flip-flop hub would be handy but not essential.
Can y'all point me to some options on brands and models that might fit in with that?
I had almost the bike you want built for me by TiCycles in 2011. Basically a very high end late '80s titanium road race bike but with a fix gear specific road dropout. I designed a dropout with ~2" slot and "L" shaped, opening to the front, then down like a vertical dropout. This means I can bolt the wheel over the entire slot AND easily pull the wheel out when I am running my biggest cog/tightest chain combo where the tire nearly touches the seat tube. The dropout is angled 11 degrees. This allows the rim to stay withing the brake pads (I cheat and use Velocity Aero rims for the rear wheel for their very deep usable brake surface) and the BB height doesn't change a lot. Compromise all around but after 9 years and 5 Cycle Oregons, including three with lots of vertical, I am very pleased. Bike runs well in every cog I have seen for sale, now 12 through 24 though it took me a few years to find the 24, (Try the English fix gear sources.) I run a Sugino 75 and 42 or 43 in front. Oh, drawback for you - this wasn't cheap. It was the bike I wanted (though it took a few years to fully realize it) for 30 years.

I get reminded every ride that had freewheels and derailleurs never been invented, this bike would have been a high end race bike that we would have died for 30 years ago. (Oh, I turned 59 shortly after I received the bike. When I saw the preview of that year's Cycle Oregon to Crater Lake ( biggie), first thought was that every day would be a day of needing big gear changes but few of them, that riding it fixed was feasible. (Also that at 59 years of age, this was my last chance. Well, that didn't pan out!) Early on I made a big aluminum chainwhip for 1/8" cogs that straps securely to the top tube. 5 minute cog change, 2 minute flip. Chainwhip is 22" long ad weighs 1 lb. I rode the Crater Lake day starting with 17 and 23. At the rim I unscrewed the 17 and put on the 12. (No flat at all on the rim.) 20 miles into the long descent to camp I changed the 23 to the 17. Last summer CO and I did it again, this time from the other entrance. Did just the same except I conceded I was older and used the 24.

Brakes - dual pivot Shimanos. Picked up used and probably Ultegra though I do not know. I use fairly deep pista bars and V-brake Tektro levers for their huge amount of real estate for my hands climbing out of the saddle. Discovered early on that the reduced braking using the lever mismatch actually was a big blessing. I can come into a mountain curve hot and when I see it is too sharp for pedal clearance, the panic grab comes quite naturally but since less happens when I squeeze those "ineffective" levers, I don't lock up and nothing exciting happens, I just slow a whole bunch really fast!

I ride with toeclips and straps because I never want to pull a foot off accidentally at 200+ RPM. Not in this lifetime or the next. (40 mph on a 42-17. Cars have reported that speed to me many times.) That pedal striking my foot/ankle of calf would be a life long injury, probably with far greater long term consequences than the greeting of the asphalt that would follow. With traditional slotted aluminum cleats ($20 Exustar Track - thank you Exustar fo rthe best cleats I have ever ridden) and qhaloity leather straps, what I know is that even if I un-cleat (at 200 RPM, I have no idea what my foot is doing and there is no way I am going to look down and back to see!), my foot is still n the pedal. I know instantly I'm disengaged but wth brakes, a dip on them and things are under control, I can slide my foot forward and back in and the only health issue I am left with is a HR spike to the moon.

The bike of my logo is that bike, climbing a 2 mile grade of up to 14% (where that photo was taken) in its second Cycle Oregon. I messed up. Didn't realized that this hill was the steep one and I was committed before I realized it so I'm in a 42-17. When I got into camp and showered, touching my forearms with the soap hurt!

I'm a klutz when it comes to posting pics, but if you PM me with your Email I'll send you that photo in real resolution.

Edit: missed the thread start date by a couple of months. Oh well.

Ben
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Old 03-28-20, 02:54 PM
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Wraith steel fixed gear road bike with carbon fork
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Old 03-28-20, 04:31 PM
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I think the WABI lightening would fit the bill nicely.
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