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Track vs. Fixed vs. Singlespeed

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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)

Track vs. Fixed vs. Singlespeed

Old 08-31-09, 10:37 AM
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kfm
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Track vs. Fixed vs. Singlespeed

Quality vs. Confort vs. Aesthetic?

Obviously since this is a singlespeed & fixed forum people are going to be hating track bikes on the street, but like me, i know there are a lot of people that enjoy the history of track racing, as well as the high quality of many of the steel frames (as well as the mastery of many of the frame builders). That aside, everyone talks talks talks about what makes more sense & how "stupid" people are for making certain decisions...

So here's the question, if money was not an issue what would you ride & why would you ride it?

I'm in the process of having a custom frame made in Japan that is essentially a track frame with looser geometry. I prefer track frames because the are made strictly for fixed riding, as such they are highly efficient. They are also well adapted for city riding (in my opinion). My daily riding is only around 10 miles on any given weekday. On weekends usually more. My typical longer rides are usually between 40 - 60 miles.
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Old 08-31-09, 10:40 AM
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i'd say half or more of us in here ride track frames on the street.
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Old 08-31-09, 11:04 AM
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I think bikes appeal to people the way cars do.

Some don't care. They just buy a car to get from point A to point B.

For others, it's all about show. Flashy paint, custom interior, nice rims, etc.

Some buy a classic and restore it, keeping its vintage appeal and value intact.

Others buy a classic car and make it a custom hot rod.

Some guys buy a car that is fast, right off the showroom floor, perhaps adding some performance modifications.

These parallel all kinds of bike tastes, especially in this forum.
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Old 08-31-09, 11:14 AM
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I ride fixed and i ride singlespeed. i don't ride track since the nearest velodrome is three hours away. I also ride multigeared - road and singletrack. I like bikes.
I build to suit my tastes, slightly derived from what I see on the streets, magazines, and forums. Not flashy, function before form generally. Modest, sleek, and under the radar.
I don't need custom frames nor do I need exotic. Does this answer your....

Wait, what was your question?

Oh, what and why.... I'd buy/build frame jig and make my own because I trust myself more than any custom builder or mass produced frame.
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Old 08-31-09, 11:16 AM
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If we had a velodrome a bit closer I would buy a true track bike. But a track bike makes little sense for me and my ride style so I built up my FG from an older road frame in the old road racing tradition. I want road geometry, road drops, brakes, bottle cage bosses, clearance for fenders. It's a road bike, but with one gear that doesn't coast.

If money were no object, I would have Steve Rex build me a custom path racer.
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Old 08-31-09, 02:57 PM
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If money were no object, I'd ride a carbon Colnago with full Dura Ace 7800, Zipp 808's, and carbon everything. I'm kind of a speed freak.
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Old 08-31-09, 03:34 PM
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If money was not a constraint, I would buy an old, vintage Italian track bike. Like a Bianchi, Colnago, Cinelli, or Pinarello. But, if I had a few grand to spend on a bike TODAY, I would not be wasting it on a track bike. The majority of my miles are spent on my roadie, so I would probably by a tricked out road bike. Probably a Titanium Moots with full Dura Ace. Shimano all the way...
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Old 08-31-09, 03:44 PM
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Assuming it could be fixed vs. freewheel and gearing ratio that worked for me:
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Old 08-31-09, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
Assuming it could be fixed vs. freewheel and gearing ratio that worked for me:
Yeah, if it had to be a SS/FG then I'd go with that for sure. Don't know whether I'd like the belt drive, but I'd give it a try first.
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Old 08-31-09, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by JacoKierkegaard View Post
Yeah, if it had to be a SS/FG then I'd go with that for sure. Don't know whether I'd like the belt drive, but I'd give it a try first.
Money is no object so no need to try it. Just get it and if you don't like it get a different one.

It comes stock 55/22, 55/20 is highest ratio available. That is way too low a gearing for what I'd want on such a bicycle. If 20 is the smallest cog possible due to belt bend compatibility, I'd want a 65 up front.
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Old 08-31-09, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
Money is no object so no need to try it. Just get it and if you don't like it get a different one.

It comes stock 55/22, 55/20 is highest ratio available. That is way too low a gearing for what I'd want on such a bicycle. If 20 is the smallest cog possible due to belt bend compatibility, I'd want a 65 up front.
Yeah, I'd be switching out the belt drive then.
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Old 08-31-09, 06:10 PM
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When you say "if money were no object" are you talking, "if somebody steals it I'll just get another" sort of "money is no object"?

I mean, part of what I love about my fixed gear bike is that the most expensive component on it was about $50 and the whole bike is nearly worthless. It fast, efficient and fun to ride, but it looks like a piece of crap and has virtually no resale value. My biggest concern is that if it gets stolen the replacement cost isn't much more than my insurance deductible, so it would come mostly out of pocket. Even so, it's a nice choice when I'm going somewhere that I'll need to lock up in a shady area.

Of course, I suspect that complicates the question more than you wanted.

Before I tried ss/fg I read Sheldon Brown's comments about how most people who try fixed gear never want to go back to single speed. I was very skeptical. Fixed gear didn't sound appealing to me at all. But when I got new wheels, they had flip flop hubs, so I gave it a try. ... I removed my freewheel last week because I haven't been using it.

I ride 11 miles each way to work, and while I do like to go fast I like to be comfortable while I'm doing it. I've got an old steel pseudo-touring frame with an absurdly high stem -- very comfy.

If money were no object, I'd want something really light, probably with cyclocross geometry and cyclocross or wider tire clearance. I'd also want it to have hardware support for rack and fenders. And I like horizontal drops, as opposed to track fork ends -- works better with fenders. So, as soon as Surly comes out with a scandium Cross Check, I'm on it.
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Old 08-31-09, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by JacoKierkegaard View Post
If money were no object, I'd ride a carbon Colnago with full Dura Ace 7800, Zipp 808's, and carbon everything. I'm kind of a speed freak.
This..but make mine a Parlee Z1 with Campy Super Record and Lightweight Obermayer wheels.
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Old 08-31-09, 07:39 PM
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I ride geared road, geared Mountain, and fixed road, I like'em all.

I use my fixed gear for anything around town, errands, etc. I use my roadie to go long distance/big climbs, and my mountain bike is pretty self-explanatory.
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Old 09-01-09, 06:04 AM
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Red Cinelli steel track frame with townie bars, Brooks grips, Campy Super Record, a basket, a ti Rolls saddle and some chrome Cane Creeks with Dugast sew-ups.
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Old 09-01-09, 06:11 AM
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If money were no option, I'd buy an Intense Socom. Or a Kona Stab. Or any other serious DH bike.

Although if money really were no option I'd buy a house in Shirokanedai

Last edited by the_don; 09-01-09 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 09-01-09, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by robotkiller View Post
this..but make mine a parlee z1 with campy super record and lightweight obermayer wheels.
+1
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Old 09-01-09, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by robotkiller View Post
This..but make mine a Parlee Z1 with Campy Super Record and Lightweight Obermayer wheels.
Obermayer wheels???

Sounds like the love child of Keith Oberman and Bill Maher.

A conservative nightmare??
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Old 09-01-09, 12:38 PM
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Lightweight Obermayer Wheels
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Old 09-01-09, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by dayvan cowboy View Post
i'd say half or more of us in here ride track frames on the street.
I'd say more than half of us here THINK they are riding track frames on the street.
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