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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 07-05-05, 01:21 PM   #1
Kogswell
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Pista, Langster, Track et al

I like a good $500 bike as much as the next guy.

But I hear complaints.

So it seems to me that resources could be shifted from one area to another and that the result would be a a better bike.

So what changes would you make?

I'll start:

1) no front wheel - I have many usable front wheels
2) no saddle, bars, tape, stem or pedals - we're all pretty particular about the user interface
3) put three or four kinds of brake levers in the box so I don't have to buy them retail
4) same w/ cables
5) use a better rear hub and headset
6) include a Dura Ace lock ring
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Old 07-05-05, 01:41 PM   #2
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1) no saddle, seatpost, stem, pedals, handlebar, brake(s), brake lever(s)
2) use whatever is saved from item 1 towards a better wheelset.
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Old 07-05-05, 01:49 PM   #3
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I think this what Tony at IRO is pretty much doing. He sells the stock complete builds but if you talk to him, you can swap things out or upgrade and so on until you're satisfied. From what I've read and heard, he's quite willing to work with you and in some cases, swapping some parts at no extra cost (I'm guessing things like a black seatpost instead of silver, etc).
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Old 07-05-05, 01:52 PM   #4
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i like the a la carte idea: start with a bare frame, (or maybe have the headset and bb be included) then add from a selection of parts to suit.
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Old 07-05-05, 02:27 PM   #5
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I dunno, I tend to think that if you're gonna buy a bike, you're gonna buy a bike, and if you're gonna build a bike, you're gonna build a bike.
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Old 07-05-05, 02:35 PM   #6
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I dunno, I tend to think that if you're gonna buy a bike, you're gonna buy a bike, and if you're gonna build a bike, you're gonna build a bike.
agreed. i bought a bike off eBay with so-so components, mostly for the frame- i just needed something to ride, as my old rides were ill-fitting. and once i got it, i started swapping things out to my preferences as i figured them out (saddle, brake lever, bars, etc.)
for someone who is more seasoned with putting bikes together, the above makes sense. for those of us who are still learning (on a slow curve, admittedly ), having low-end components that allow us to just start riding and then figure it out from there are somewhat helpful. it lets one learn from experience what they like and don't like.
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Old 07-05-05, 02:47 PM   #7
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Just sell me the frame.....and I can come up with the rest....
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Old 07-05-05, 03:08 PM   #8
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I would be more inclined to buy a Kogswell frame if they didn't have fender eyelets or cable braze-ons. That's just me though.

Otherwise, I think the IRO strategy (and they're by no means the only company to offer this...) is a good one - offer a basic frame and then various packages of components at various prices to suit different budgets, tastes, etc.

m.
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Old 07-05-05, 03:11 PM   #9
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The just buy versus just build, I don't think suits everyone. I personally would like some middle ground. I would like to be able to take advantage of the bulk buying power on some components that I don't care "that" much about. Personally, that is why I went with IRO. Tony was able to give me pretty much the bike I wanted. Albeit, I want to swap out the stem and seatpost eventually, but I was thrilled to be able to get the cheap parts he had on hand at the moment I bought it.

Basically, his ala carte type buying process put me on the bike much faster and cheaper than had I attempted to build it myself.
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Old 07-05-05, 03:14 PM   #10
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A $500 bike with no saddle, seatpost, stem, pedals, handlebar, brake(s), brake lever(s), quickly becomes a $700-$1000 bike if you don't have the parts sitting around.
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Old 07-05-05, 03:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jayrooney
A $500 bike with no saddle, seatpost, stem, pedals, handlebar, brake(s), brake lever(s), quickly becomes a $700-$1000 bike if you don't have the parts sitting around.
How about a $500 bike - strip off everything above in addition to wheels, bump up the few components left (BB, cranks, headset) and sell for $450.
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Old 07-05-05, 03:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolface
i like the a la carte idea: start with a bare frame, (or maybe have the headset and bb be included) then add from a selection of parts to suit.

No to single you out, dolface. But, a la carte is a great idea, but one would lose any economies of scale that mass produced bikes currently posess. It's understandably cheaper to produce one bike in seven different sizes than it is to have an a la carte system like Apple.com. Apple, to continue using my example, can pull off such customizations because of the volume at which customers buy such items warrants building a facility and infrastructure to support such. I don't think that there is market enough to justify any bike company building such a custom order fulfillment system.

The bottom line is, IF (a big if) they decided to do it then it would probably cost big money and take a long time to ship. Both of which (money and time) will be passed to the customer. We are probably better off just supporting our local bike shops the way we've been doing.

Just my 2 cents.

Last edited by carleton; 07-05-05 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 07-05-05, 03:54 PM   #13
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I don't see why the "big" companies (Bianchi, Specialized, Fuji, etc etc) that make off the shelf track bikes don't have different "models" like cars do. Example:

Bianchi Pista
Bianchi Pista LE
Bianchi Pista SE

They could put tacky little gold decals like they do on cars, and upgrade the parts. Seems like they could make a killing by putting a Pista on the shelf with a Chris King Headset, Phil Wood/Mavic wheels, and good cranks for $1200. Most people upgrade that stuff later on anyway.
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Old 07-05-05, 03:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carleton
No to single you out, dolface. But, a la carte is a great idea, but one would lose any economies of scale that mass produced bikes currently posess. It's understandably cheaper to produce one bike in seven different sizes than it is to have an a la carte system like Apple.com. Apple, to continue using my example, can pull off such customizations because of the volume at which customers buy such items warrants building a facility and infrastructure to support such. I don't think that there is market enough to justify any bike company building such a custom order fulfillment system.

The bottom line is, IF (a big if) they decided to do it then it would probably cost big money and take a long time to ship. Both of which (money and time) will be passed to the customer. We are probably better off just supporting our local bike shops the way we've been doing.

Just my 2 cents.
well, he didn't say they had to be PRACTICAL ideas

i don't buy pre-built bikes because i really enjoy the process of collecting all the parts and putting the whole thing together, but i know that's not for everyone, so a la carte (from a list options) seems like a good middle ground i terms of buyers getting exactly what they want.
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Old 07-05-05, 04:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobs
I don't see why the "big" companies (Bianchi, Specialized, Fuji, etc etc) that make off the shelf track bikes don't have different "models" like cars do. Example:

Bianchi Pista
Bianchi Pista LE
Bianchi Pista SE

They could put tacky little gold decals like they do on cars, and upgrade the parts. Seems like they could make a killing by putting a Pista on the shelf with a Chris King Headset, Phil Wood/Mavic wheels, and good cranks for $1200. Most people upgrade that stuff later on anyway.
Yeah, or like:
- Pista
- Pista Concept

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Old 07-05-05, 04:38 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by delay
The just buy versus just build, I don't think suits everyone. I personally would like some middle ground. I would like to be able to take advantage of the bulk buying power on some components that I don't care "that" much about. Personally, that is why I went with IRO. Tony was able to give me pretty much the bike I wanted. Albeit, I want to swap out the stem and seatpost eventually, but I was thrilled to be able to get the cheap parts he had on hand at the moment I bought it.

Basically, his ala carte type buying process put me on the bike much faster and cheaper than had I attempted to build it myself.
What kind of parts did you upgrade from his basic build?
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Old 07-05-05, 04:44 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mcatano
I would be more inclined to buy a Kogswell frame if they didn't have fender eyelets or cable braze-ons. That's just me though.

Otherwise, I think the IRO strategy (and they're by no means the only company to offer this...) is a good one - offer a basic frame and then various packages of components at various prices to suit different budgets, tastes, etc.

m.
I can grind the fender eyelets off in a couple of minutes, so they don't bug me.

And for the record, we've been offering ala carte hubs, Dura Ace cog and lockrings, brake calipers and levers and headsets since we started, along with reduced prices on packages.

And I approve of IRO's model. Tony bought a lot of non-frame items from us when he started. Helped bootstrap him, so to speak.
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Old 07-05-05, 04:51 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mcatano
I would be more inclined to buy a Kogswell frame if they didn't have fender eyelets or cable braze-ons.
I'd be more inclined to buy a Kogswell frame because they have fender eyelets and cable braze-ons.

I'm looking for a practical bike and that means one that I can put on a brake or two if necessary and doesn't require tons of hackery in order to fit with fenders and/or a rack. It's not like that rack eyelet's slowing you down. Just tell yourself your trackends are ever so lightly drilled for weight.
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Old 07-05-05, 05:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carleton
Yeah, or like:
- Pista
- Pista Concept

Except for the whole fact that those are COMPLETELY different bikes. Different frame, different fork. The Concept uses an intergrated headset. If I'm not mistaken they're even made out of different materials!
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Old 07-05-05, 05:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostontrevor
I'd be more inclined to buy a Kogswell frame because they have fender eyelets and cable braze-ons.

I'm looking for a practical bike and that means one that I can put on a brake or two if necessary and doesn't require tons of hackery in order to fit with fenders and/or a rack. It's not like that rack eyelet's slowing you down. Just tell yourself your trackends are ever so lightly drilled for weight.
Agreed!

(Now, if only the mixte was spaced 135mm instead of 120..)
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Old 07-05-05, 07:20 PM   #21
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I was looking in shops for complete bikes recently. Stood on some Pista's, Langster, KHS complete - they seemed ok. But, I am making the step up from riding a converted bike (bought complete for $150) to a true track bike. I couldn't justify spending $500 on a bike that didn't perform 100X better than my conversion. I decided on buying a new lugged steel track frame. After some hard searching - I bought a brand new lugged steel Italian frame for $475. Now it's just a matter of getting a few more parts. Although I had to spend a little more money and wait a little longer - It's been fun - and I'll have a dreamy ride.
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Old 07-05-05, 07:26 PM   #22
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yeah, i tried a pista and an iro when i was looking and, while the pista felt super tight and nice, i was more interested in getting a frame and building it up to my own specs than dumping money on something i was gonna start taking apart. i found a marinoni frame on ebay that is just my size, and i am desperately waiting for it to arrive. i dont expect to spend more on the build than i would have on the pista/iro, once it was reshuffled to my liking. at least not at first...

plus it is fun to find all the right parts and put them all together...
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Old 07-05-05, 08:08 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcatano
I would be more inclined to buy a Kogswell frame if they cable braze-ons.
There's no good way to handle rear cable routing.

Just like there's no good way to choose between 120 and 135.

We did find a solution to the 1" threaded vs. 1 1/8" Ahead controversy.

But for the cable routing, I chose t-t-t/t because it was super fancy, super easy to use, and because it doesn't interfere with a bike that's on your shoulder.

Super fancy in that there's a brass tube brazed in between the two 'abutments'. Super easy because you just shove a piece of cable housing in one end and it pops out the other. And because the rear abutment is on the top, it won't snag your clothes when you shoulder your bike.

You all do shoulder your bikes a lot, right?
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Old 07-05-05, 08:10 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Kogswell
You all do shoulder your bikes a lot, right?
i do, and one of my biggest beefs with 'compact geometry' frames is that it makes it really hard to carry a bike comfortably that way.
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Old 07-05-05, 08:29 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by dolface
i do, and one of my biggest beefs with 'compact geometry' frames is that it makes it really hard to carry a bike comfortably that way.
</derail>
Just get an even smaller bike and rest the saddle on your shoulder. Works for me.
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