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My first SS...Oh boy do I have questions.

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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)

My first SS...Oh boy do I have questions.

Old 04-13-21, 02:24 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
I find it funny that when many of us were young, all we really had were SS bikes. I'm old enough to remember the beginning of the "bike boom" and all of the "10-speeds", everything that had gears was referred to as a 10-speed where I grew up. I remember mainly Schwinns and then later, Raleighs. All were way out of my family's ability to afford. So I rode an old hand-me-down SS bike and loved the crap out of it. It was my baby and I rode it every day and for miles and miles.

Enjoy your new bike. I'm sure you will love the time spent getting her dialed in and actually riding.

Good luck!
When I was a kid in the 70's I had a Huffy Dragster muscle bike with a five speed shifter haha
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Old 04-13-21, 02:28 PM
  #27  
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I'm 58, but a long-time cyclist. I ride 42 x 18 which is a substantially lower gear the 44 x 16. I might consider 42 x 17. I think you will find 44 x 16 a bit tall.

Looks like a nice bike, though.

Bull horns or drops allow you to hold the bars with your arms orientated with your palms facing inwards, which is a stronger position for climbing or accelerating. Flat/straight/riser type bars are more comfortable for general easy riding.

A personal favourite tyre is Continental Gatorskin. Smooth ride, good handling, great puncture resistance. Lighter tyres will be faster, but for general riding, puncture resistance is a real benefit.
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Old 04-13-21, 02:53 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Greetings fellow bassist biker from Madison.
Howdy!

Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
The steepest hill I know of is next to Edgewood College
I know that hill...and I hate it on a geared bike LOL.

I'm not much of a fan of the hill on King St. either...actually any of the hills on the isthmus kick my ass (Except State St.), but at least they're all pretty short LOL!

I doubt I'll be attempting them on a SS, at least not at first...I mostly ride the paths from over by Willy St. and down around Monona Terrace, then maybe out toward Verona on the Cannonball Tr. or down around Wingra toward the zoo...Madison has such nice trails, with so many options.
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Old 04-13-21, 04:15 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
When I was a kid in the 70's I had a Huffy Dragster muscle bike with a five speed shifter haha
I had a friend that got a Raleigh 5 speed Chopper. I was so jealous. It was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. Later, a different friend showed up with a Schwinn Orange Crate and I felt even worse.
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Old 04-14-21, 09:30 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post
OK, so I had another thread started where I was inquiring about correct sizing for my new SS.
Thanks to those that took the time to chime in! Bike Ordered!

I apologize for the long post...But rather than many posts, I figured I'd put all of my questions in one Q&A thread.

I'm an "old" dude (or so the kids say) @ 49 years old (get off my yard), the wife and I get out on our MTB's a couple times a week typically, and I recently bought her a Gravel bike, so we've been putting some miles on those too, more so now that the weather is better these days (no more snow).

But now recently I've REALLY been wanting to try a SS... I'm not yet ready for a Fixie, not sure I ever will be.

I'm a heavier guy too @ around 240 (but I've lost 37 pounds since January...It's amazing what diet & exercise does huh? )

I'm looking for advise & info...

-Am I too old to start riding a SS? LOL! (too late, the bike is coming)
-Is there a good gearing place to start? (mine is coming set up 44x16) My city (Madison WI) has some hills, but nothing terrible, if it's too bad I'll get off and push, is 44x16 good gearing for mostly flat(ish) riding?
-Is there a reason to consider a bull horn or drop bar instead of the riser bar I'm getting?
-I've got a full set of bike tools with a definite bias towards MTB maintenance & repair, but nothing for SS or Fixie...any tools that are must haves?
-The bike is coming set up with likely the cheapest 700x23 tires available, are there any good 700x25 tire suggestions for just tooling around the city, nothing fancy, just durable and hopefully fast(ish) rolling? Is there a different size I should consider for my weight?
-Is there any truth to "SS & Fixies are bad for your knees"? My knees aren't the greatest, I'd hate to damage them further.
-Any tips, tricks or pointers for an older dude just trying to have a little fun on his new SS?

Thanks for taking the time to read all of this.

This is the bike I ended up ordering (Stock Photo)...Beautiful if you ask me.
Converted my first to fixed at 45 years old. Like you I am losing weight. Started at 260, now 235.

Like you just ordered a new fg/ss. WABI Classic should be here Friday! New Bike Day!!!

I ordered it with 44/17 fixed & 18 freewheel.
With the 32c GP5000S puts me at 69 gi and 66 gi respectively. I live in a hilly area and these ratios leave room up and down.

Good luck with your new bike. What did you order?

Last edited by stevel610; 04-14-21 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 04-14-21, 10:09 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
Converted my first to fixed at 45 years old. Like you I am losing weight. Started at 260, now 235.
Nice!!! I'm finding the weight comes off slower now that I'm North of 40....

Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
Like you just ordered a new fg/ss. WABI Classic should be here Friday! New Bike Day!!!
Congrats! Mine is coming Monday!

Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
I ordered it with 44/17 fixed & 18 freewheel. With the 32c GP5000S puts me at 69 gi and 66 gi respectively. I live in a hilly area and these ratios leave room up and down.
Mines coming 44/16 (72.3 GI with the stock 700x23 tires) I've got a pair of 700x28 tires inbound and I'm seriously considering going 44/18 (65.1 GI with 700x28) or maybe even 42/18 (62.2 GI with 700x28) and see where that gets me...I can always switch back later.

Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
Good luck with your new bike. What did you order?
Thanks! I ordered a State Bicycle Co. Core-Line (in turquoise like pictured above) Real basic budget SS/Fixie bike, but it gets decent enough reviews, and it gives me a platform to try SS riding, I can always upgrade things as they wear out.
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Old 04-15-21, 09:01 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post
Nice!!! I'm finding the weight comes off slower now that I'm North of 40....



Congrats! Mine is coming Monday!



Mines coming 44/16 (72.3 GI with the stock 700x23 tires) I've got a pair of 700x28 tires inbound and I'm seriously considering going 44/18 (65.1 GI with 700x28) or maybe even 42/18 (62.2 GI with 700x28) and see where that gets me...I can always switch back later.



Thanks! I ordered a State Bicycle Co. Core-Line (in turquoise like pictured above) Real basic budget SS/Fixie bike, but it gets decent enough reviews, and it gives me a platform to try SS riding, I can always upgrade things as they wear out.
Looks like a great starter bike. I like their youtube series "Riding fixed, up mountains, with pros". Shows you can do a lot more with fixed gears than most people think. Give us a ride report when you get it!
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Old 04-16-21, 03:48 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
Like you just ordered a new fg/ss. WABI Classic should be here Friday! New Bike Day!!!
Be aware that the Reynolds 725 tubing decal won't be on the bike. They's supposed to have it in some paperwork that comes in the box so you can put it on yourself. Mine was actually missing so they mailed me one out but make sure you check before throwing anything away.
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Old 04-16-21, 05:36 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
Be aware that the Reynolds 725 tubing decal won't be on the bike. They's supposed to have it in some paperwork that comes in the box so you can put it on yourself. Mine was actually missing so they mailed me one out but make sure you check before throwing anything away.
Thanks. I'll keep an eye out for it.
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Old 04-16-21, 06:38 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
Looks like a great starter bike.
Thanks, I'm hoping it is, but like the saying goes "you get what you pay for" so I'm fully expecting low end, heavy, less than ideal parts bolted to a boat anchor steel frame, but I think it'll give a decent place to start riding SS...I doubt I'll "upgrade" much because I could see this quickly costing more than the bike is actually worth....Repair stuff? Sure, but throw high end stuff at it? Unlikely (unless I find some cool stuff used).

Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
I like their youtube series "Riding fixed, up mountains, with pros". Shows you can do a lot more with fixed gears than most people think.
Thanks! I didn't even know they had a YT channel....I'll have to go watch those tonight.

Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
Give us a ride report when you get it!
I will, but since I know absolutely nothing about SS/FG bikes (besides the info you all have given me), my ride report will likely be something like "It's pretty, it rolls" LOL
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Old 04-16-21, 11:33 AM
  #36  
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I've only ever really enjoyed SS-- I'm 42. Gears are just not for me and I live in Phoenix where we don't really have hills. Only rode fixed once by mistake. The bike shop returned my bike to me with the cog in the drivetrain instead of the freewheel. I thought I was going to die as i slowly rolled into the intersection.
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Old 04-19-21, 07:08 PM
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OK, update.

Bike arrived today, got her built up, and took it for a quick spin.

Some impressions...Despite being "cheap steel", this bike rides great...Components seem decent, especially considering the price.

The reach is a bit longer than I'd like, (knew this was going to be the case) but after I swap on a 70mm stem with a slight rise, I'll be able to remedy that...Just need to go buy one (find one in stock), not an easy thing to do these days.

Compared to my Gravel and Mountain bikes, I feel like I'm riding "on top" of this thing, whereas my MTB I feel like I riding lower, more "attached" to the bike...I'm sure this feeling is normal, just gonna take some adjustment.

Swapped the 16T for an 18T freewheel, and swapped the 700x25's for some 700x28's combine those with the 44T chainring, I think this will be a good GI for me...gonna take a longer ride to be sure.

Still need to "dial" the contact points, not sure about the grips...hate the pedals & saddle, but once I get "my stuff" on there, I suspect I'm gonna ride the hell out of this bike.
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Old 04-19-21, 08:58 PM
  #38  
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State isn't terrible for a cheap fixed gear. Certainly was better for my ex-friend who wanted to take a really nice steel road bike (made by Proteus bicycles of College Park, MD back in the 80s) and turn it into a crappy single speed because he got his other bike stolen after I had sold him parts from my beloved old langster.
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Old 04-20-21, 09:34 AM
  #39  
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Nice Rig! I've started looking into this whole SS/Fixie thing as well. I picked up an 85' Norco that i'm looking to convert. 41yo, clydesdale, usually riding CX and road. Thankfully, the only real hills in my area go over the highway. I'll be reading the gear calcs as well so i can get in the right parts. Will be converting the 27" rims, the saddle and this fugly stem the guy had on it.
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Old 04-20-21, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Topless68 View Post
Nice Rig! I've started looking into this whole SS/Fixie thing as well. I picked up an 85' Norco that i'm looking to convert. 41yo, clydesdale, usually riding CX and road. Thankfully, the only real hills in my area go over the highway. I'll be reading the gear calcs as well so i can get in the right parts. Will be converting the 27" rims, the saddle and this fugly stem the guy had on it.
Conversions are great to test the waters. If you need info on the conversion make sure to check out Sheldon Brown's website.
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