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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)

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Old 06-08-11, 08:40 AM   #1
Giventofly
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2011 Dawes SST AL

Hi everyone - I'm continuing to lurk and just got done with a long cross country move, so I haven't been as active on the forums as I wish I could be.

Quick question on the 2011 model of the Dawes SST AL (http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._al_carb_x.htm). Does anyone have this bike? I'd really like to get a 28 tire on the front and a 32 on the back - is there enough clearance for these tires, and if so, any recommendation on tires? Also, can you attach a lightweight rack to the back of this?

I'm pretty psyched about getting this bike for riding around my new neighborhood in Brooklyn and commuting to work in Manhattan. And I'd love thoughts on this model and the ideas I have for it. Thanks!
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Old 06-08-11, 03:46 PM   #2
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I just got one a month ago. You might get a 28 on there, but I doubt you could get a 32. 25's are already pretty tight.

It has lugs for a rack, but I haven't tried one yet. HTH.

It's a pretty groovy bike, BTW.
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Old 06-08-11, 05:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help, though disappointed to hear 32's are a no go. How solid of a bet is it that I can slip that 28 on? Thanks again, and I can't wait to ride it!

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I just got one a month ago. You might get a 28 on there, but I doubt you could get a 32. 25's are already pretty tight.

It has lugs for a rack, but I haven't tried one yet. HTH.

It's a pretty groovy bike, BTW.
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Old 06-08-11, 06:32 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help, though disappointed to hear 32's are a no go. How solid of a bet is it that I can slip that 28 on? Thanks again, and I can't wait to ride it!
I feel pretty good about 28's, but lets see if anyone else has an opinion.
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Old 06-09-11, 06:53 AM   #5
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Thanks again, screamtone. One last question if you don't mind - I have never owned a bike without a quick release before. How quick is it to get the tires off and change off a flat?

and to everyone else, BUMP to the above questions! Thanks!

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I feel pretty good about 28's, but lets see if anyone else has an opinion.
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Old 06-09-11, 10:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Giventofly View Post
Thanks again, screamtone. One last question if you don't mind - I have never owned a bike without a quick release before. How quick is it to get the tires off and change off a flat?

and to everyone else, BUMP to the above questions! Thanks!
how quickly can you turn a 15mm wrench?

i've been quite pleased with my SST AL. do yourself a favour and replace the saddle immediately.
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Old 06-09-11, 11:34 AM   #7
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how quickly can you turn a 15mm wrench?

i've been quite pleased with my SST AL. do yourself a favour and replace the saddle immediately.
that's exactly what i did, that saddle is nasty


curious, does anyone know the official length of the stem is? I went to swap out my white stem w/ it and it's a 100mm stem and noticed this one is longer maybe a 110? can someone confirm?
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Old 08-05-11, 08:52 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=foofighter29er;12763110]that's exactly what i did, that saddle is nasty

Hey nice saddle, which one is it? Do you recommend it? Also can you tell me what bag you are using in the pic? Thanks~
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Old 08-22-11, 05:59 PM   #9
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sorry, been away. That saddle is comfy for me may not be for you because it's such a subjective thing.

The bag is Mission Workshop bag
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Old 08-27-11, 07:59 PM   #10
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Dawes SST AL by itryphotographyagain, on Flickr

I like my saddle ;(

It's ugly, but comfy.
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Old 03-01-12, 08:35 AM   #11
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Thread resurrection:

I'm looking at one of these to try something new and to replace my too small Kilo TT (ProTip: Kilos don't "run big", just look at the geo chart and figure out what you need. I learned this the hard way).

My question is geometry related. The sizing chart given for the SST AL is under a Windsor bikes page and lists the 56cm standover height as 31" (http://windsorbicycles.com/aluminum.htm). To me this seems really low for what appears to be a horizontal top tube. For reference, I've got a road bike with a sloping top tube that has a higher standover height, with the same seat tube measurement. Can anyone comment on this, or am I being a dummy?

Also, the sizing chart lists the frame as double butted. Can anyone confirm if it is?

I've emailed BD about these questions and it's like pulling teeth to get any sort of relevant response, which makes me think they are avoiding the questions or English is not their first language. I know all the pros and cons of BD, so we don't have to go there, just wanting some owner's responses. Thanks!
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Old 03-04-12, 06:22 PM   #12
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This thread just pushed me over the edge, I'm looking at my first fixed gear and I think this is going to be it. Any reason I shouldn't? The price is right! And the bike is BEAUTIFUL.
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Old 03-04-12, 06:34 PM   #13
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this is the best new bike value in my opinion. better than a kilo.
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Old 03-05-12, 08:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
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just wanting some owner's responses. Thanks!
I can measure my 62 when I get home.

The bike is great, I commute a couple times a week and have a couple hundred miles on mine. Love it.
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Old 03-05-12, 07:34 PM   #15
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I had one, my first fixed gear, someone stole it last week but i plan on getting another one. I think it is a great bike for the money and prefer the way it looked to the Kilo TT. But what do I know, I am total newb!
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Old 03-06-12, 02:09 AM   #16
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I have the wheels it comes with, and for a budget set I don't think you can do much better. They've proven pretty tough for me so far.
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Old 03-06-12, 01:17 PM   #17
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I am having a few second thoughts about getting another one; my brother got me some Velocity Deep V's for Xmas for my old bike (good thing I hadn't put them on yet); my wheels would be worth more than my damn frame. Considering building a frame up from an IRO Mark V but just not sure.
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Old 03-09-12, 11:21 AM   #18
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Mini review:
I ordered a SST AL after I sold my Kilo because it was too small (lesson learned), I wanted something different and the Dawes looked good. My 56cm came in yesterday. Note: Throughout the review I will compare this bike to the Kilo Pro, my previous bike. I know they are very different, but they are the two BD bikes I've owned, so I figured I would talk about both, if it helps someone to decide what to get.

First of all, the frame looks great, pictures don't do it justice, it really "pops" in real life. It's not a featherweight, but it's not heavy either, it's a decent straight gauge aluminum frame with a carbon fork, it weighs about what you would think it should (sorry I can't be more specific).

The seatpost and saddle are anchors, but I had replacements lined up already and swapped them out for a crabon post with an Arione saddle.

The handlebars and braking system feel good. The front end of the cockpit is miles above the Kilo in my opinion. The Kilo handlebars are junk, the bars on the Dawes are worth keeping, though I'm sure you could go lighter if you wanted to. The headset isn't as crappy either, and the stem doesn't seem as cheap, though again, it's probably slightly heavy. You could keep the stock set up and be totally happy, I know with the Kilo, you couldn't pay me to keep the bars, with their weird shim and enormous flex.

Its maiden voyage was a rainy, windy 12 mile commute this morning and it rode great. With the stock fork and added crabon post, it was a much smoother ride than expected. I'm running 25mm Gotrskin Hardshells as well, so I can't comment on the stock tires. Other than that, no surprises, everything felt fine. I can't comment on the stock cog either as I swapped it out with a Scrod-cog.

For me, this is a much better bike out of the box than a Kilo, this is partly a gut thing, but also because of the cockpit, wheels, and fork. I think overall, the stock set up on the Dawes offer more bang for the buck. If you have a bin of part laying around, I reckon the Kilo might be a better frame, but then you are dealing with odd sizes in the seatpost, the 1" threadless set-up, etc.

Miscellany:
-The cranks on mine are 172.5, I had no issues with pedal strike, but I was being relatively cautious on turns on account of the wet roads anyway. It's personal of course, but I prefer longer cranks, so this was a plus for me.
-The seatpost opening wasn't perfect round and I needed to pull out one of the lips (not sure what the term is) to make it accept a seat post, if that makes sense.
-The quality of the cranks seem decent enough, no sense in upgrading them unless you want to go big (Omnomnoms, etc.)
-Mine came with a cog installed and a freewheel separate in the box.
-I like that is has braze-ons for two water bottles. I live in Texas and it gets hotter than hell.
-I like the dropout protectors.
-Wheels aren't absolutely true, will work on them tonight, but I'm 145lbs and I've never had problems with wheels (famous last words).

It's only been one ride, but those are my initial impressions. Questions welcome.

I know there are no pics, but its looks just how it does on the BD website. I've taken some time to write a thoughtful review, please don't get bent out of shape at a lack of photos.

Thanks!
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Old 03-09-12, 11:33 AM   #19
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Great little write up. Good to see this bike getting some love. I am no bike expert but I rather enjoyed the bike. Loved the way it looked.

Still debating on whether to get another one or to spend the extra money to upgrade to a build based around a Pake Rumrunner or French 75.

Cheers!
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Old 03-09-12, 11:34 AM   #20
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Yeah, I was curious about the French 75, looks solid.
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