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Are the best days of fixie/SS behind us?

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Are the best days of fixie/SS behind us?

Old 12-08-23, 03:55 PM
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Are the best days of fixie/SS behind us?

I can't help escape feeling like I am late to the party and that the best days of fixed gear / single speed are behind us. Have you seen the abomination that is present on this market lately? Of course you have. To me, as I am sure to many others, a fixie/ss (and also road bikes) is not one without a perfectly horizontal top tube. Apparently the bicycle economics these days dictates that only 4 frame sizes may be produced leading to the current dearth of bikes/frames with horizontal top tubes.

Yes, there are many extremely cheap fixies on the market with horizontal top tube, but what is the point of buying junk? Most major manufacturers such as Cannondale seem to have exited the single speed stage. Even the legendary Bianchi appears to have no offerings in the US market any longer. And what happened to their website? It's a horror show now.

I am looking for wide tire clearance and those are very hard to come by. These days, if you want horizontal geometry and wide tires, you have no choice but to go custom, which is several thousand dollars. I am more than happy to pay up to a grand for a frameset. Wabi cycles is the only company that comes close with their Thunder model. However, their website leaves a lot to be desired. I have not seen any of their bikes in person anywhere, so it's really hard to get a feel for them. The website does not do justice. The pictures are low resolution and few.

So it does seem to me that I am late to the party. I am enclosing a few frames I admire. p.s. Did you know that Surly Steamroller has been discontinued?



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Old 12-08-23, 06:56 PM
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Just about all the current road fix gears have track ends. (The horizontal rear facing plates, forgings or molded fixtures that hold the rear wheel.) Why? (Besides cool factor.) Forward (or better, forward and down) dropouts angled some to alleviate change in rim height relative to the brake pads work just as well and make it easier to pull the wheel out and replace. Very useful if you choose to ride a flip-flop hub and two cogs so you can change gears for hills like they did racing 100+ years ago.

Not to boast, but here is a far better fix gear dropout. I can run from 12 to 24 teeth with it and not have to mess with chain links. For the ride of that photo I had a 17, 23 (hadn't yet found a 24 to buy) and 12. All three got used that day. Wheel flips take about 2 minutes, even when the wheel is all the way forward with the big cog. I've been riding that bike for 20k miles and I wouldn't change anything. Dropout is cut from 1/4" plate. You could make a steel version of the frame for $800. Less with production.



The bike in that photo is set up to ride the week long Cycle Oregon. That bike's 2nd Cycle Oregon out of 5. Chain whip on the top tube so I can screw on the 12 tooth cog you can just see other side of the toolbag. Red bag under the DT is to carry Teva sandals so I could get my feet out of the velcro strapped cycling shoes - torture with enough miles of climbing fix gear. A couple of years later I re-discovered laces! Now Boas. Sandals no longer needed.
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Old 12-08-23, 07:46 PM
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As a proud member of the Compact-American Community, I myself am very happy with the wisdom of building frames where the top tube slopes gracefully downward to accommodate lower standover heights without teeny head tubes or too-low bars. Whether single or multi-speed.

That being said, my fixed-gear does have a horizontal top tube. Because that's the frame I decided to build into a fixie.
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Old 12-08-23, 08:51 PM
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Both posts 2 and 3 above are irrelevant. The OP is talking about urban street cred at the skate park, Compare low-riders, which are also all show/no go.

So: steel, horizontal top tube, brakeless (for fixie or SS). Drop bars probably optional versus straight bars.
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Old 12-08-23, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Both posts 2 and 3 above are irrelevant. The OP is talking about urban street cred at the skate park, Compare low-riders, which are also all show/no go.

So: steel, horizontal top tube, brakeless (for fixie or SS). Drop bars probably optional versus straight bars.
Thank you! I was thoroughly confused by posts 2 and 3 above. Find me a steel (or even Aluminum) track bike that accept wide tires on both ends and is **not made with** HTS or non-heat-treated-4130. Like I said, Wabi Thunder is the only one that seems to fit the bill. But I won't spend $625 on a frame for which pictures are hard to come by and in person trials are next to impossible.

p.s. I prefer to build up framesets my own way. So I will never buy a complete bike. Frame with fork. That's all I need.
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Old 12-08-23, 09:16 PM
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What's confusing? OP brought up SS / fixie, horizontal top tube, and a few other peeves/faves. These were commented on. So what kind of responses are being expected / trolled for?
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Old 12-08-23, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by crypticlineage
Thank you! I was thoroughly confused by posts 2 and 3 above. Find me a steel (or even Aluminum) track bike that accept wide tires on both ends and is **not made with** HTS or non-heat-treated-4130. Like I said, Wabi Thunder is the only one that seems to fit the bill. But I won't spend $625 on a frame for which pictures are hard to come by and in person trials are next to impossible.

p.s. I prefer to build up framesets my own way. So I will never buy a complete bike. Frame with fork. That's all I need.
Don't know if this site is legit, but they list some used steel track frames that might work for you.

Edit: looked again, and that's a Japanese site. They ship worldwide, but that would be fistfuls of dollars.

I'd look at eBay.

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Old 12-08-23, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
What's confusing? OP brought up SS / fixie, horizontal top tube, and a few other peeves/faves. These were commented on. So what kind of responses are being expected / trolled for?
There are people who look at fixies and SS bikes as functional art, with the "art" coming first---like the C&V people about their '60's and '70's steel road bikes. For both, whatever "progress" has occurred since then is unimportant to them. They know what they love.
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Old 12-08-23, 10:34 PM
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Check out state bicycle, their current half page banner ad is exactly what you're looking for. Doesn't quite fit you bill but Motobecane has a singlespped cross bike that uses discs, not sure how much street cred it gets and its 4130 so maybe not great. Comes 120mm which is a bit whacky with disc but I've tossed on track wheels and run it at the track, removed hbar and brakes as a single unit and just tossed a new bar on. Its held up to nyc and St. Louis cruising, and just finished riding US Nats CX championship. little heavy but fun.
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Old 12-09-23, 06:20 AM
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Yes. In fact the sw8 fixay "scene" is on life support. But the choice to ride a phiksie just 'cos that is what you are into is still available. Its what I do.
I'm sorry but I pretty much disagree with everything else I think you were trying to say. In fact bigger tires are a thing now - there are plenty of easily findable big clearance SS/FG bikes built around them if you just look. Good luck...
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Old 12-09-23, 08:01 AM
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You mentioned the Wabi Thunder, but were concerned that the website photos did not provide a good indication of their quality. I own a Wabi classic and can attest to the very high quality of Wabi frames. They are made in Taiwan, and the welds are as good as they get. Also, the paint jobs are excellent, and if the frame has even the slightest imperfection they won't ship it. Also, you have the extra cost option of a custom paint job.


Wabi Classic with 650c wheels
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Old 12-09-23, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie
You mentioned the Wabi Thunder, but were concerned that the website photos did not provide a good indication of their quality. I own a Wabi classic and can attest to the very high quality of Wabi frames. They are made in Taiwan, and the welds are as good as they get. Also, the paint jobs are excellent, and if the frame has even the slightest imperfection they won't ship it. Also, you have the extra cost option of a custom paint job.


Wabi Classic with 650c wheels
Thanks. What size is your wabi classic? Did you choose 650c wheels because even a 49 was too tall for you? I may just bite the bullet and order the thunder. I am looking for jet black in matte, so I think the Obsidian Black will likely fit the bill.
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Old 12-09-23, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by crypticlineage
Thanks. What size is your wabi classic? Did you choose 650c wheels because even a 49 was too tall for you? I may just bite the bullet and order the thunder. I am looking for jet black in matte, so I think the Obsidian Black will likely fit the bill.
My frame is a special 42cm size designed specifically for 650c wheels. The 49cm and larger frames require 700c wheels for the brakes to reach the rims. I'm only 5'-2" tall and the 49cm frame, which is measured center to center, is way too tall for me.
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Old 12-09-23, 07:44 PM
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This post has a picture of a Wabi Thunder and a few more of the frame for showing tire clearance. I have a Classic and Thunder. Both are good.

FFF on Wabi Thunder
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Old 12-10-23, 05:21 AM
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Gota love those Wabi's!
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Old 12-15-23, 06:37 PM
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https://usa.cinelli-milano.com/collections/tutto-plus

Is the OP looking for this? My LBS was selling Cinelli.
As far as the future of fixed riding, I just got started this year..... so as usual, I'm late to the party. But it looks like I get the whole dance floor to myself!
cheers.

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Old 12-21-23, 10:10 AM
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Vendetta, Skream, Mash are offering (IMO) nice frame with bigger clearance.

On the pointy end of things - there's quite a bit of innovation happening on the track side of things. These will probably filter into the secondhand street market. Look at some of the tech from Velobike.
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Old 12-29-23, 03:14 PM
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Fixay!
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Old 12-31-23, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Erzulis Boat
Fixay!
Sw8 Fixay
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Old 12-31-23, 09:32 AM
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I was never into fixies , but I enjoy a single speed. Not surprised that the steamroller was disconnected. They have not sold complete bikes for years and they had discontinued everything else with rim brakes . 15 years ago I was selling every decent frame 10-12 speed road bike I could find at yards sales to college kids to make fixies out of. After 2008 downturn that market never returned here . For the most part younger people don't care about classics like the older people they want the latest greatest. Of course they are always exceptions to the rules. Personally I think most new production bikes are ugly as sin . End of the day the newer designs are what makes money. And a couple of niche manufacturers will scrap by making bikes with classic lines.
My Steamroller is set up as a single speed. One of my favorite things to do is strap a Tenkara rod to the top tube a few flies in my pocket and a spool of tippet . Stop at pools in the local creek and see what I can catch.
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Old 01-17-24, 02:57 AM
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I hate to say it, but yes. I'm very removed from cycling and cycling culture in general these days; but looking online it seems that people have moved onto the gravel/all-road scene. The fact that Surly- a company that prided itself on being an outlier of practicality has abandoned the 1x1, the Steamroller, and the CrossCheck is of concern.
There was a time when every bike company had a fixed gear, and if it were steel, it'd be at least 4130 Cromoly. Now its just cheap Hi-Tensile steel with actual garbage day-glo rims. Fixed/Track bikes had beautiful clean lines, and were simple machines. Now that every bike is outfitted with disc brakes; it just erases the idea of a mid-budget Fixed bike.
I'm not ashamed to have the Old Man Yelling at Clouds vibe, because it really feels like that for me.

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Old 01-17-24, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BT7274
I hate to say it, but yes. I'm very removed from cycling and cycling culture in general these days; but looking online it seems that people have moved onto the gravel/all-road scene. The fact that Surly- a company that prided itself on being an outlier of practicality has abandoned the 1x1, the Steamroller, and the CrossCheck is of concern.
There was a time when every bike company had a fixed gear, and if it were steel, it'd be at least 4130 Cromoly. Now its just cheap Hi-Tensile steel with actual garbage day-glo rims. Fixed/Track bikes had beautiful clean lines, and were simple machines. Now that every bike is outfitted with disc brakes; it just erases the idea of a mid-budget Fixed bike.
I'm not ashamed to have the Old Man Yelling at Clouds vibe, because it really feels like that for me.
Except this hi-ten steel bikes have been around for a long time, back when fixed gear bicycles were way more popular in the mainstream there were like 10 different online companies at least offering cheap "customizable" hunks of metal that looked like a bicycle. You also had a lot of cheap stuff elsewhere that maybe wasn't the "customizable" stuff but was made of cheap pipes and even cheaper parts.

Agreed on Surly but I have to imagine sales were down a bit especially now after people bought everything out during the early stages of the endemic but that is the case across the board.

Speaking of clean lines though (not new but not that old):
https://www.rencycles.com/yarak
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Old 01-17-24, 10:00 AM
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It seems like most of the young, alternative, non-competitive crowd has moved into dirt or "all road" type scenes. Which is cool. There is a group of youngsters that like to race "tracklocross" in some of the canyons surrounding the San Diego Velodrome, then watch the track racing. I know some of them, cool kids, and there is some spillover between their scene and the track racing scene.

I continue to be a competitive athlete in road, time trial, track and a little MTB. But I have been out of the cool kid scene for a long time. I've been without a road/street SS/FG in my stable for a few years, sold my Wabi since I never rode it. It's too hard! I hate churning low RPM up hills. My only SS/FG in my stable is my purpose-built track bike.
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Old 01-17-24, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
Speaking of clean lines though (not new but not that old):
https://www.rencycles.com/yarak
.... and not that available!

While these folks are not the FG-crowd.....https://us7.campaign-archive.com/?u=...&id=dd05cde794
- they will have a gourgeoumous SS-frame for sale in April.
Y'all should buy the framesets I have for sale in the C&V section so my wife will be more willing to approve my Purple SS purchase!

cheers
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Old 01-17-24, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mrv
.....https://us7.campaign-archive.com/?u=...&id=dd05cde794
- they will have a gourgeoumous SS-frame for sale in April.
cheers

Yep - the long awaited RoadUno is on its way. But the mofos are already pushing it as a 3-speed
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