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Drop bar single speed

Old 07-18-21, 05:29 PM
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Drop bar single speed

A university where I graduated and now work is interested in resurrecting an annual bike race it used to hold which is much like Indiana University’s Little 500. We will need to purchase 40 or 50 single speed drop bar bikes, preferably with coaster brakes. The Little 500 uses Schwinns which are specially made just for the Little 500. I have not been able to find comparable bikes from any other vendor that would be affordable. Do any of you know any any mass produced drop bar single speeds we could purchase? I don’t know what our budget is, but those Schwinns used by IU could not be worth more than $200 which would be in the ball park.
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Old 07-18-21, 06:31 PM
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I don't think you will find anything for under $200 that is rideable, and I've never seen drop bars being combined with a coaster brake. The closest thing I can see offhand are these cheap steel singlespeeds from bikesdirect although they are currently out of stock:

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/sst_steel.htm
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Old 07-18-21, 06:53 PM
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Price around $200, 40 or 50 available, and drop bars + coaster brakes? That’s a tall order indeed.
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Old 07-18-21, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon
Price around $200, 40 or 50 available, and drop bars + coaster brakes? Thatís a tall order indeed.
... those are 1970 prices
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Old 07-18-21, 07:52 PM
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Found one on FB for $200: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...4692651135350/
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Old 07-18-21, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla
Great ! Now all the OP needs to do is find 39 more.
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Old 07-19-21, 01:58 AM
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With the shortages right now I doubt you could find any model of bike in the world that has 40-50 available to purchase.
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Old 07-19-21, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by jack pot
... those are 1970 prices
The bikes used in the Little 500 are essentially Walmart quality disposable bikes. They use them for one year, and then order new ones the next. I donít think Walmart sells very many single speed bikes that cost more than $200. IU buys 100ís of them every year. However, they have a special deal with Schwinn.
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Old 07-20-21, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Dominae
The bikes used in the Little 500 are essentially Walmart quality disposable bikes. They use them for one year, and then order new ones the next. I donít think Walmart sells very many single speed bikes that cost more than $200. IU buys 100ís of them every year. However, they have a special deal with Schwinn.
So maybe thereís a market for the IU ones after the race?

Selfishly asking. Iíd rock one for 100-150 if it fit me.
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Old 07-20-21, 05:54 PM
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Would IU hand me downs be against school spirit?
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Old 07-22-21, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz
Would IU hand me downs be against school spirit?
No we arenít too proud to accept IU hand-me-downs If they were offered. Although you have to wonder how many 50 mile races these Schwinns have in them.
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Old 07-22-21, 09:05 PM
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Are they actual road race geometry or just a generic coaster brake frame that happens to have drop bars tossed on them? that'll make a big difference in what you can actually come up with. If a road geometry then i suspect Schwinn is your only option since no one else makes a coaster brake road bike that I've ever heard of but you should be able to contact them to find out if they'll sell to you as well. If they're just a basic geometry then it should be easy to buy a coaster brake bike for cheap, same with bars and tape and put them together.
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Old 07-23-21, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth
Are they actual road race geometry or just a generic coaster brake frame that happens to have drop bars tossed on them? that'll make a big difference in what you can actually come up with. If a road geometry then i suspect Schwinn is your only option since no one else makes a coaster brake road bike that I've ever heard of but you should be able to contact them to find out if they'll sell to you as well. If they're just a basic geometry then it should be easy to buy a coaster brake bike for cheap, same with bars and tape and put them together.
I donít know the answer to that question but assume that because these bikes are custom made by Schwinn that the bikes probably have a ďracierĒ geometry. Several companies make single speed coaster brake bikes with upright handlebars (Pure Bicycles is one such brand) and I had considered purchasing those and installing a drop bar. But, as you said, the geometry might be an issue. One the other hand, is a few degrees here or there in frame geometry really going to be a significant issue if the bikes are used for one 20 mile race per year?
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Old 07-23-21, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Dominae
Several companies make single speed coaster brake bikes with upright handlebars (Pure Bicycles is one such brand) and I had considered purchasing those and installing a drop bar. One the other hand, is a few degrees here or there in frame geometry really going to be a significant issue?
I think that this is the only way you're going to be able to actually build a fleet and no, the geometry won't make any difference. If you really want to make it fun, make the riders tape their feet to the pedals, like in the movie:


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Old 07-24-21, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Dominae
No we arenít too proud to accept IU hand-me-downs If they were offered. Although you have to wonder how many 50 mile races these Schwinns have in them.
A lot! Just because theyíre Ashtabula cranks doesnít mean the bearings arenít good quality hardened steel. Fresh grease, readjust as necessary, ride.

And the rims donít even need to be all that true as they arenít the braking surface.
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