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Really having trouble deciding on a bike

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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)

Really having trouble deciding on a bike

Old 03-11-14, 07:00 AM
  #1  
cosmic_cow
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Really having trouble deciding on a bike

I've been looking around at various fixed gear road bikes. I'm going to be using it for commuting (pretty short commute, just a couple miles each way to work or to school, except when I'm running around town getting groceries or something, even then not usually more than 4 or 5 miles). I would like something comfortable enough for longer rides, that's something I want to be able to do recreationally, but I won't be racing or anything. I live in central Oklahoma, so things are pretty flat. A few low, rolling hills scattered here and there, but, well, we're in prairie land out here.

My ideal is something like the Raleigh One Way...drop bars, fenders (or clearance and eyelets for them), the chain guard is a nice touch. I don't know if I'd actually use the rack, but having it (or the option to install one) is really appealing. But of course the One Way isn't made anymore, so...yeah.

In short, I want something with more of a road and less of a track geometry. Drop bars are a must. I don't like flat bars at all. I'd like something with a flip-flop hub. Fenders (or at least eyelets) are highly preferred. Racks (or mount points) could be useful but are much lower on the list of priorities. I can justify up to $1000 (ready to ride, minus perks like fenders, racks, or chainguard), but if there's something solid for less, then wooohoo.

The Wabi Classic is pretty appealing to me, and is my current frontrunner...it's within my budget, even adding the pedals and a second, freewheel rear cog (I want the option, especially if do longer rides), and has eyelets for fenders and racks. Seems well reviewed. I've read that the saddle it comes with isn't the most comfortable thing, but that's a pretty inexpensive, simple replacement. I would imagine a chain guard isn't that hard to add on to a fixed gear.

I've seen the Kilo WT and Kilo TT yelled out as recommendations any time anyone asks, so I'm well aware of those. I'm just wary of buying anything where even positive reviews almost always come with the caveat "the hardware is junk, expect to replace it," especially since I can afford a bit more.

My current (and currently out of commission) ride is an old Giant Cadex 980c. 7 gear cassette, 700x25 tires. So I'm used to road handling and thin tires on a lightweight bike. I think given the less than perfectly maintained roads here, I may need somewhat wider tires. My rear wheel has gone out of round and has popped a couple of spokes (popped one, replaced it, then popped another one a week later).

Many thanks for any help, I apologize for writing a novel here.

Edit: The reason I'm looking at fixed gear is because of the low maintenance. I've had pretty regular issues with bikes that have deraileurs and I'm tired of dealing with it. The terrain here is pretty well suited to fixed gear, so I think that's the direction I want to go.

Last edited by cosmic_cow; 03-11-14 at 07:08 AM. Reason: Information
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Old 03-11-14, 08:25 AM
  #2  
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Did you look at the Raleigh Rush Hour? Drop bars, fixed/single, affordable, steel frame. I own one and really like it.

Not much more than a Kilo, and at least your LBS is gonna be able to help you out with the Raleigh.
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Old 03-11-14, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bmontgomery87 View Post
Did you look at the Raleigh Rush Hour? Drop bars, fixed/single, affordable, steel frame. I own one and really like it.

Not much more than a Kilo, and at least your LBS is gonna be able to help you out with the Raleigh.
Yeah, I've looked at that one. Nice looking bike, and my lbs is a Raleigh dealer. No fender eyelets, though, and it gets pretty rainy here in the spring, I'd rather not have to choose between not riding and splattering my butt with mud. I guess I could go with Raceblades or something but I've heard they don't work all that well.
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Old 03-11-14, 08:51 AM
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I like my Wabi a lot. Richard has great customer service as well. Not cheap but I think really good value. I would buy the complete bike and replace parts as needed. I have the Lightning model but would like to get the Classic one day and put wider tires, fenders and maybe rear rack on it. I do long road rides and it is as comfortable as my custom steel and Ti bikes.
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Old 03-11-14, 09:22 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by cosmic_cow View Post
Yeah, I've looked at that one. Nice looking bike, and my lbs is a Raleigh dealer. No fender eyelets, though, and it gets pretty rainy here in the spring, I'd rather not have to choose between not riding and splattering my butt with mud. I guess I could go with Raceblades or something but I've heard they don't work all that well.

I'm not sure, I've never used fenders.
I think those Ass Savers are supposed to do okay, I read a decent review or two.
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Old 03-11-14, 11:29 AM
  #6  
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If you want to commute rain-or-shine you'll want real fenders. Something with full coverage and a good flap at the end. RaceBlades are decent, Ass Savers are emergency-only and won't keep your feet from getting soaked from front wheel spray.

Also if you commute, you'll find yourself running errands on bike and quickly wish for a rack. P-clamps are ok but at this stage, look for something with eyelets.
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Old 03-11-14, 12:09 PM
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Can't you just look around for a used One Way?
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Old 03-11-14, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by EnzoRWD View Post
If you want to commute rain-or-shine you'll want real fenders. Something with full coverage and a good flap at the end. RaceBlades are decent, Ass Savers are emergency-only and won't keep your feet from getting soaked from front wheel spray.

Also if you commute, you'll find yourself running errands on bike and quickly wish for a rack. P-clamps are ok but at this stage, look for something with eyelets.
That's what I was thinking, and so I've been looking for something with eyelets at the very least. Thanks for the input.


Originally Posted by Cute Boy Horse View Post
Can't you just look around for a used One Way?
I've looked and I've been unable to find one. As far as I can tell, 2011 was the last year they made them, and it looks like people hold on to them...I've not seen a single one for sale.
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Old 03-11-14, 02:06 PM
  #9  
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Sounds like you found your steed. I just ordered a Wabi Classic last night and I already got the shipping notification.

As bowzette said, Richard provides very good customer service and seems to bend over backwards to make sure you're happy with your bike. Just send in your measurements as posted on their website and Richard will handle the rest.

I just went through the same thought process as you and found that there are shockingly few options for a decently spec'd out FG that also has a nice lightweight steel frame, even if you are willing to pay for it.

Seems fixies are simply priced (and therefore spec'd) so as to not eat up much of a student loan payment these days, but what about the rest of us??!! Thought about building from scratch (a decent option), but know myself all too well and would have ended up with a $1500 bike.

Unaware that IRO seems to have disappeared, I had a really hard time finding the sweet spot until I discovered Wabi on this board.
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Old 03-11-14, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by humboldt'sroads View Post
Sounds like you found your steed. I just ordered a Wabi Classic last night and I already got the shipping notification.

As bowzette said, Richard provides very good customer service and seems to bend over backwards to make sure you're happy with your bike. Just send in your measurements as posted on their website and Richard will handle the rest.

I just went through the same thought process as you and found that there are shockingly few options for a decently spec'd out FG that also has a nice lightweight steel frame, even if you are willing to pay for it.

Seems fixies are simply priced (and therefore spec'd) so as to not eat up much of a student loan payment these days, but what about the rest of us??!! Thought about building from scratch (a decent option), but know myself all too well and would have ended up with a $1500 bike.

Unaware that IRO seems to have disappeared, I had a really hard time finding the sweet spot until I discovered Wabi on this board.
Yeah, Wabi is what I keep coming back to. Nice, simple, lightweight build with mount points for any attachments I would want. This board is where I'd first heard about them, as well. I've been a lurker for awhile.

And yeah, a lot of companies seemed to jump on the hipster "fixie" trend and worried more about making something cheap that they could sell than about making a quality bike, which is unfortunate...there are plenty of good geared road bikes around, but I've already got one of those, it just needs some TLC to get it up and going again.

Building is an attractive idea, but I'm new to the world of FG/SS, so I'm still learning what's good and what isn't, and I don't really have a good workspace, so I'd rather just order a good one. I've read basically universally good things, and MANY people have stressed how hard Richard works to be good with customers. The thought of spending that much on a bike makes my heart skip a bit...I've never spent much on one. But this will basically be what I use instead of a car much of the time, so as long as I'm getting something good out of it, it's worth it.

Let me know how you like it once yours comes in!
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Old 03-11-14, 05:19 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by cosmic_cow View Post
Building is an attractive idea, but I'm new to the world of FG/SS, so I'm still learning what's good and what isn't, and I don't really have a good workspace, so I'd rather just order a good one. I've read basically universally good things, and MANY people have stressed how hard Richard works to be good with customers. The thought of spending that much on a bike makes my heart skip a bit...I've never spent much on one. But this will basically be what I use instead of a car much of the time, so as long as I'm getting something good out of it, it's worth it.

Let me know how you like it once yours comes in!
Building can definitely be rewarding and very simple with a fixed gear, but you have to be patient and look for deals.

I've gone this route with a Kilo TT now twice, buying the complete off BD and replacing wheels, tires, saddle, stem, handlebars and pedals. This always ends up being between $800 and $900 with mid-level components resulting in a nice ride for sure. I've been happy with my Kilos in the past and have nothing bad to say about them.

The frames are actually very good for the price. If I were to go with a Kilo again, I'd probably get one of the frames on Bike Island and build it around the Miche Pista group, resulting in a very capable build for around $1000.

I just wanted something a bit more elegant this time, and ready to go out of the box. The higher end tubing and more road-inspired geo is a nice plus. I'll be sure to post a review when it comes.

Last edited by humboldt'sroads; 03-11-14 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 03-12-14, 02:13 AM
  #12  
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The OP referred to the KiloTT earlier as it's often suggested here. It's suggested to people with a $500 budget. You've got a much higher budget and can afford a better bike.

Fenders (mudguards as I know them): The ones that clamp onto your seat stem and sit high above the wheel are okay but give minimal protection, they really only reduce that wet stripe up your back. For a bike that's going to commute in rain and on wet roads, you're far better off with mudguards that fit close to your tyres, front and rear - I've got them on my Europa and unless the road is very wet, I don't even get wet feet. Which raises another point, you don't only need these critters in the rain because you'll often find yourself riding on wet roads between showers and it's the wet road you're trying to protect yourself from.
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Old 03-12-14, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
Fenders (mudguards as I know them):
....
Which raises another point, you don't only need these critters in the rain because you'll often find yourself riding on wet roads between showers and it's the wet road you're trying to protect yourself from.
Precisely. The muck that sticks around between showers tends to be much nastier than rain itself, too.
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Old 03-12-14, 08:10 AM
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Where is the OP located? And what size of bike is he needing? My shop still has a Raleigh One-Way left in stock, size 57 I believe.
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Old 03-12-14, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Krull06 View Post
Where is the OP located? And what size of bike is he needing? My shop still has a Raleigh One-Way left in stock, size 57 I believe.
Central Oklahoma. I'm 5' 11", wear a 32" inseam pant so a 57 would probably work, actually.
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Old 03-12-14, 12:30 PM
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It just might. The bike is a 2007 Raleigh One Way 57cm. It's black with silver/gray fenders. This model year has a rear hub with FW/FW though. I don't know if you wanted a fixie or not. We've got it on clearance for $490.
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Old 03-12-14, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Krull06 View Post
It just might. The bike is a 2007 Raleigh One Way 57cm. It's black with silver/gray fenders. This model year has a rear hub with FW/FW though. I don't know if you wanted a fixie or not. We've got it on clearance for $490.
I am looking at fixed, actually. What would it take to convert it to a fixed or a flip-flop?
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Old 03-12-14, 12:47 PM
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It would just need a rear wheel with correct hub and cog/lockring combo.
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Old 03-12-14, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
The OP referred to the KiloTT earlier as it's often suggested here. It's suggested to people with a $500 budget. You've got a much higher budget and can afford a better bike.

Fenders (mudguards as I know them): The ones that clamp onto your seat stem and sit high above the wheel are okay but give minimal protection, they really only reduce that wet stripe up your back. For a bike that's going to commute in rain and on wet roads, you're far better off with mudguards that fit close to your tyres, front and rear - I've got them on my Europa and unless the road is very wet, I don't even get wet feet. Which raises another point, you don't only need these critters in the rain because you'll often find yourself riding on wet roads between showers and it's the wet road you're trying to protect yourself from.
I rode the Wabi over two hours Saturday in a light rain. I was desperate to get on the road and ride. I usually avoid the rain if possible. The county roads had the usual required mixture of mud from farm vehciles and cow crap. Oh I I longed for fenders!
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Old 03-12-14, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by cosmic_cow View Post
I am looking at fixed, actually. What would it take to convert it to a fixed or a flip-flop?
I could do the conversion before shipping, or you could take it to a lbs once you received it. If you're interested, send me an email at rottenrobbiescyclesports@gmail.com
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