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Newbie Needs Help on Choosing the Right Bike

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)

Newbie Needs Help on Choosing the Right Bike

Old 02-09-12, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
Yeah, but you did it while wearing Under Armor.
Come on bro whenever I troll these forums i'm under armor down to the drawzzzzzz.
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Old 02-13-12, 01:07 AM
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Okay, so an update on what I am considering.

The Felt Brougham, was a whole new riding experience for me because I've never ridden on a road frame. I could get used to it, but the Novara Buzz One kind of felt a bit comfier to me.

The Felt Brougham and the Phat Cycles Phixie felt very similar. I barely noticed a difference between the two after test riding them. But I imagine the Felt Brougham is probably the better quality bike and has better components.

I am strongly considering the Novara Buzz One from REI. I test rode it and I really liked it.

I really like the REI warranty and satisfaction guaranteed policy. It seems almost too good to be true and i am kind of tempted to just buy the bike because the warranty policy is incredible (basically I can return it whenever how ever long from now if I feel like I am unsatisfied with it).

I don't like the handlebars on the Novara Buzz one and I will probably be switching them out if/when I purchase the bike from REI. I want flat handlebars. The mustache handlebars on the Buzz One aren't terrible, but they don't feel like they would be very practical for trying to get through traffic.

It felt very different but part of me really liked the responsiveness of narrow flat handlebars like the ones I tried on the Felt Brougham and the Phat Cycles Phixie.

SO i am thinking I will swap out the handlebars at REI. Unfortunately, they don't have much of a selection of handlebar replacements for me to choose from. Pretty much they only have a mountain biking handlebar for me to swap the mustache handlebar that comes stock with the Buzz one.
This is it:


If I choose to swap out the handlebar, it'll basically be free. I basically trade in the stock handlebar and the value of the stock mustache handlebar goes towards the purchase of the replacement handlebar (hopefully it's of equal or lesser value).

I figured I can just have them cut the flat mountain bike handlebars to make them narrower. The labor involved in cutting and replacing the handlebars will be free.

Another thing I dislike about the Buzz One is the color of the bike. It's not a huge deal. But, apparently, painting the bike myself does not void the warranty offered by REI.

Does anyone have any tips or can tell me how I can go about painting the bike myself?

I would basically want to paint the frame black. Does this mean i would have to take everything apart so I can just have the frame by itself and spray paint it?

Cause I have no idea how to take everything apart and then put it all back together. At least, I wouldn't necessarily feel comfortable doing it myself and then feeling like it's safe enough for me to ride afterwards.

Another bike that I am possibly considering is a geared bike, the Jamis Coda 2011.

After going to REI today, I stopped by EMS and they had a Jamis Coda (the one from 2011). They are selling it for $550. The warranty and store policies and stuff aren't nearly as nice as that offered by NYC Velo (the place selling the Felt Brougham) or REI.

REI sells the Novara Buzz one for $488 (that's after tax) they have a satisfaction guaranteed policy (meaning I can return it whenever I no longer feel satisfied with it or if they cannot resolve an issue that I have with the bike). There is one free tune-up but then everything after that such as brake adjustments and tune-ups later on I have to pay for. It was a nice comfy test ride.

EMS is selling the Jamis Coda for $597 (after tax). They only have it in red, I'm not a big fan of the color. Apparently the 2012 ones will be coming in, in about 4-6 weeks. So I could possibly wait for those, but they will be sold for $560. Basically the cost will be a little more than $10 more than the Coda 2011. They offer one free tune-up but gear and brake adjustments are not free. It's a geared bike, one of my concerns was that I might need gear adjustments and service somewhere down the road since there's more parts and stuff to watch over.

I will test ride it this week.

NYC Velo is selling the Felt Brougham for $597 (after tax). It's the coolest looking bike out of all the ones I am considering. However, it feels like it might take some getting used to (again this is because I've never ridden a road frame before). NYC Velo is offering free brake adjustments for life.

The Jamis Coda and the Felt Brougham are the most expensive from my options.

The Phat Cycles Phixie is the least expensive option. The ride felt similar to the Felt Brougham. But I am worried by the fact that it seems like not many people have heard of this company, and the components might not be very good. I've only read one in-depth review about this bike and even in that review the writer changed many of the components. So it was a review on the bike with the stock parts. I don't want to go through the headache of doing more research into components and stuff and then switching things out or paying for the labor to do it. The store selling it is offering 3 years of free brake adjustments.

I will probably test ride the Coda from EMS this week. Another store had a Coda sport but it was not built yet (still in the box). I understand these are geared bikes and this is a single speed/fixed gear forum. However, if anyone could offer any input whatsoever, it would be greatly appreciated.

Again, I will be using this bike basically to commute around New York City and run errands and stuff as well as for recreational purposes. Of course I am also worried about theft so I don't want anything too flashy. People are telling me that having gears is more practical. But then I am also hearing that single speed is simpler and fewer things to worry about breaking or having to fix and adjust. Part of me really like the idea of simplicity.

I would say my top pick right now is the Novara Buzz One from REI. But I still have to test ride the Jamis Coda. And I am wondering what peoples' thoughts are on the Novara Buzz One vs. the Felt Brougham. Or if it's worth it to get the Jamis Coda over the Novara Buzz one.
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