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Thoughts on a bike polo beater???

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)

Thoughts on a bike polo beater???

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Old 12-08-08, 08:49 AM
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devilshaircut
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Thoughts on a bike polo beater???

Hey, thought I would ask for some input on a new bike I am planning ... some of the local bike community here has started to organize weekly bike polo and since it's started, I've had a real blast playing. The problem is, I only really have one bike that is suited for polo ... and it is also my daily driver that I would prefer not to destroy.

So, I have decided to build a new bike just for polo that I won't care about riding hard and beating up. I am going to build it at my local bike co-op so it will all be used pieces, but I was wondering if any of you had more experience than I at bike polo that might be be able to guide me in building my new bike.

I was thinking ...

Fixie, with a left front brake (I am right handed.), low riser handlebars, 48t chainring / 22t cog (maybe), steel frame (probably will be pretty heavy, based on availability).

I am not sure of all the considerations I should take into account for this bike just yet, so any input is appreciated.

I suppose I could also just buy a new bike on eBay for like $200 bucks (The prices seem so obscenely cheap there ...) but for me I think half of the reason to do this is just as an excuse to build another bike.
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Old 12-08-08, 10:00 AM
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lattanzio
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from my experience, playing with a freewheel allows for overall better control. don't spend more than $50.
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Old 12-08-08, 10:04 AM
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you could go either route...the main thing is that you're using a bike that you don't mind getting beat up...people will be ramming into your frame...people will be jamming their mallets in your spokes...

building a frankenstein bike out of spare parts is your best bet...if i remember correctly everyone in polo has to hold the mallet with their right hand...you should choose a ratio where you can still get up to speed fairly easily from a standstill...i'd choose a strong heavy hi-ten built like a tank steel frame that can take the abuse over a light track frame...

risers are good...wider tires are good...strong wheels are good...you want a bike that handles well at low speeds but can take off at a moment's notice when the ball goes flying down court...
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Old 12-08-08, 10:09 AM
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Do you think I should go to mountain bike route? My friend who is also building up a bike with me just bought this frame: http://atlanta.craigslist.org/bik/911336189.html

If I go for a tank bike, I actually have a frame I could use. My dad's old Free Spirit department store bike ... lol. Might be decent!

You think a freewheel is preferable to a fixed wheel?

Keep the info coming! I appreciate it!!!
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Old 12-08-08, 10:48 AM
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• Craigslist an old department store singlespeed cruiser w/ a coaster brake.

• Strip off all the unnessicary crap like fenders, reflectors, etc.

• Replace stem/bars if needed to allow a fully upright position with plenty of knee clearance.

• Spraypaint the entire thing some ungoddly color. Don't bother taking it apart- paint right over the cranks, rims, etc.

• Have fun.
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Old 12-08-08, 11:13 AM
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Fixed vs. free is personal preference, both have advantages and disadvantages.

Get a real low gear ratio, something like 40x22 or 38x22. 110BCD cranks will make that a lot easier.
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Old 12-08-08, 12:18 PM
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go for a road frame and convert it. building your bike up piecemeal is the way to go. you'll be able to tailor it specifically for your style of play.

look for used wheels or sets on your local craigslist/co-op etc...try for 36 spoke wheels if possible. they don't have to be 100% true or smooth, just good enough for the job. if you want to reinforce the wheels even more, cut corrugated plastic into wheel covers.

get the smallest possible chainring your cranks will allow. you wanna be able to sprint fast and stop just as quickly. you might want to try a rear brake. if you clutch the front too hard, (and it does happens during those frantic moments) enjoy your flight.

riser bars are fine, just don't rock them too low, you'll smash your hand when you swing.

back on the subject of frames, converted mtb frames make great polo bikes too. heavy and strong.




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Old 12-08-08, 12:28 PM
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Speaking of handlebars, one of the guys who plays bike polo with the people who visited us over the weekend has a bike with the right handlebar completely chopped off.

BTW I pretty much suck at bike polo so far (I've only played twice though.). Any suggestions on things I can do to improve? Drills? Stuff I can do alone in the park when other cyclists aren't available (frequent, in my case).
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Old 12-08-08, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by zacked View Post
Get a real low gear ratio, something like 40x22 or 38x22. 110BCD cranks will make that a lot easier.
Agreed. and if you run free, you should probably run a rear brake so you don't have to worry about pitching over the bars when braking in a weird position
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Old 12-08-08, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by devilshaircut View Post
Speaking of handlebars, one of the guys who plays bike polo with the people who visited us over the weekend has a bike with the right handlebar completely chopped off.

BTW I pretty much suck at bike polo so far (I've only played twice though.). Any suggestions on things I can do to improve? Drills? Stuff I can do alone in the park when other cyclists aren't available (frequent, in my case).

build a mallet, get a street hockey ball, go to wherever you play and practice over and over. get used to riding and carrying the ball. set up a goal and work on your shot accuracy. shooting, carrying, getting your flow down with the bike, all these things you can do alone. get a partner involved and practice passing. practice and play as often as you can. it's the only way to get better..



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Old 12-08-08, 03:30 PM
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Yeah, I pretty much am terrible now so I plan on devoting a lot of time getting better. Practice makes perfect!

I can't decide if I want another track frame or a mountain bike.
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Old 12-10-08, 01:14 PM
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Please do not listen to Chombo. I don't think that he has ever played bicycle polo ever.

Get an old road frame, build it up on the cheap,get comfortable, get the basics down (dribbling, passing, shooting) and start adding quality parts to your polo bike as original parts start to fail.

Get your friends interested, start coming to tournaments, and then invite us to your town for tournaments during the winter.
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Old 12-10-08, 01:54 PM
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I agree with everything nick says in his first three sentences.

but what he meant to write at the end of his post was "invite people to your town for tournaments on days that they are scheduled to race elsewhere, so that none of the good players show up"

...don't listen to him!






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Old 12-10-08, 02:21 PM
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Le Schwinn Cutta!
And put the Cutter decal on! Perfect Polo Bike!!!
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Old 12-10-08, 05:17 PM
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ARGH it makes me wanna get started right away!!!

Blah.

Maybe I should just pick up that stock Dawes on eBay new for $200. :|
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Old 12-10-08, 05:42 PM
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the schwinn cutter seems like a good deal for bike polo
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Old 12-10-08, 10:32 PM
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I guess it would be durable rofl.
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