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Hello from a New Guy.

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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)

Hello from a New Guy.

Old 10-17-14, 02:23 PM
  #1  
darkarcher
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Hello from a New Guy.

Hi everyone, new member here from Cincinnati. I have been messing with bikes for about 10 years now. I have built 2 from the ground up and upgraded a couple others. My current stable includes 2 mountain bikes and a Road bike:

Giant Defy

Voodoo Sobo 26"

Cannondale Flash 29er Carbon


I have decided my next project needs to be a single speed. I have researched fixed gear vs single speed. Right now I am leaning towards single speed but I will probably buy/build a bike that can do both just so I can say I tried it. Statistically I doubt many folks on the SSFG forum live in Cincinnati because I really do need every last gear on my Road bike to get around here. I even had to upgrade from a 12-25 to an 11-28 in the rear just to make it up some of the hills here. That being said I am up for the challenge and I think a low gear inch SS with coasting ability is probably what will end up working best for me.

Having read the "post your bike megathread" cover to cover three times, my eyes have taken a liking to the following frames:

Wabi Lightning SE

Cinelli gazzetta

Fuji Feather

Bianchi Pista

and a few others.

I'm about 80% sure at this point I will be getting a Wabi Lightning SE. Mostly because I don't see a point in owning a single speed that weighs more than my road bike at 17.5 lbs. I don't think any of the others will come close. Not sure about the weight on the Cinelli. My road bike is a little too big for me with a 560mm top tube so if I get the Wabi I was looking at the 52 with the 540mm top tube. Should be just right with a 100mm stem. I'm not in love with either of the colors on the Lightning but I think I will go orange since I don't think blue and black go well together. I'll call it my Cincinnati Bengals bike lol. Well, to make this thing interesting I will ask a couple questions, and maybe throw up a pic or two of the current stable. Sadly they are all for sale, but once I sell one I will be able to afford a nice single speed!


1. Anybody live in Cincinnati and bike around Clifton or Ft Thomas or in-between? How many gear inches are you running?

2. Can anybody recommend any other high quality steel frame bikes with weight similar to the Wabi?

3. If I find a gear ratio I like on my road bike, will that be fairly close to what I need on the SS even if it takes a significant amount of cross chaining to get there?

4. Any other good SSFG forums on the web you guys like?

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Old 10-17-14, 03:30 PM
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iTripped
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Welcome to the forum. Not sure if I know of anyone in here local to Cincinnati but I'm sure they will chime in if they exist.
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Old 10-17-14, 03:56 PM
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Carcosa
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If people can ride fixed in SF then you can ride fixed in Cincinnati.

That being said, I'd be terrified to do either.

I went to UC and lived in Clifton so I know I wouldn't want to be going full tilt down Straight Street. Post up when you buy something!
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Old 10-17-14, 04:00 PM
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My home town, UC grad too, but moved away likely before you were born. Yep, a lot of hills, especially in Clifton

Have fun & good luck...
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Old 10-18-14, 01:09 PM
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Welcome. Nice bikes.
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Old 10-18-14, 01:36 PM
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Nice bikes. I just built a wabi classic and have been very pleased so far with the wabi quality and geometry.

Just a personal opinion here, but if i were building a dedicated single speed (free wheel and rear brake), I would get something that has braze-ons for a rear brake cable. I would hate hate having to use the clamp on cable guides for a rear brake.

Anyways, welcome.

Last edited by Flatulentfox; 10-18-14 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 10-18-14, 02:16 PM
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Hi and welcome!
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Old 10-19-14, 01:36 AM
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Nice bikes. Welcome to the crowd
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Old 10-19-14, 07:50 AM
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Welcome and have fun with fixies
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Old 10-19-14, 02:45 PM
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I have decided to strip down my road bike and turn it into a single speed. Yesterday I completely disassembled the bike and washed everything with hot soapy water. Now all I need are a couple of top mount brake levers, and a chain tensioner kit. Going to use the stock ultegra crank for now. If I make it through this winter and I still like SS I will get the Wabi in the early spring. By then I will have probably changed my mind 5 times on what I want though.
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Old 10-19-14, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by darkarcher View Post
I have decided to strip down my road bike and turn it into a single speed. Yesterday I completely disassembled the bike and washed everything with hot soapy water. Now all I need are a couple of top mount brake levers, and a chain tensioner kit. Going to use the stock ultegra crank for now. If I make it through this winter and I still like SS I will get the Wabi in the early spring. By then I will have probably changed my mind 5 times on what I want though.
We aren't used to this amount of foresight. Usually these threads go more like:

"Hi, I know nothing about bikes but have $200. Now tell me what fits and what color I prefer."
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Old 10-19-14, 04:39 PM
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darkarcher
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This is new territory for my brain as well. I really need two single speeds anyway. So I will build this one and then in the spring I will pass it down to the wife and get myself either a Wabi or whatever I am into by then. Going to have $50 in this conversion looks like. Not bad considering if I sold the parts I took off I cold probably make more than $50. Bike is sitting at 14 lbs right now. Still needs hoods, chain, tensioner kit, cog and pedals.

Originally Posted by Carcosa View Post
We aren't used to this amount of foresight. Usually these threads go more like:

"Hi, I know nothing about bikes but have $200. Now tell me what fits and what color I prefer."
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Old 10-19-14, 09:57 PM
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I got into it this year as well.
Going fixed is way more fun than ss because not coasting is something totally new to me.
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Old 10-20-14, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Carcosa View Post
We aren't used to this amount of foresight...
Foresight? Maybe, but…

OP - is the road bike you are converting that Defy? I can not help but wonder at the wisdom of actually converting a really nice Ultegra equipped road bike to a single-speed as an experiment? Especially in a very hilly city?

Sounds like I may be too late to the party (as usual), but why not leave it as is and just not shift if you want to see how riding a SS bike works for you? Or pick your gear and tighten the chain so that you cannot shift if you are afraid you will be unable to resist shifting?

Good luck & have fun whatever you decide…
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Old 10-20-14, 09:08 AM
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darkarcher
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Originally Posted by IAmSam View Post
Foresight? Maybe, but…

OP - is the road bike you are converting that Defy? I can not help but wonder at the wisdom of actually converting a really nice Ultegra equipped road bike to a single-speed as an experiment? Especially in a very hilly city?

Sounds like I may be too late to the party (as usual), but why not leave it as is and just not shift if you want to see how riding a SS bike works for you? Or pick your gear and tighten the chain so that you cannot shift if you are afraid you will be unable to resist shifting?

Good luck & have fun whatever you decide…

My patience got the best of me. That's really the only reason. When I took the bike apart it was simply to give it a good cleaning, but on the way to putting it back together, I started wondering how light I could make it. That's when the conversion to single speed began. Really it wont be hard to put it back to geared which I will most likely do, but I just have the single speed bug right now and just had to try it out. Going with a 50x20 to start. We will see how that goes.

Also decided to get top mount brake levers instead of using the ultegra hoods. Should be a bit lighter for sure but another $20 in the hole. Will post pictures of the progress tonight although it looks kinda the same really.
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Old 10-20-14, 09:52 AM
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50/20 will be too easy for you.
Like I said ss vs fixed is totally different.
You gotta try both.
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Old 10-22-14, 07:48 AM
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Here she is all washed up and ready for a conversion kit (Come on brown Santa!). Had to put some different bars on there in order to prepare for the top mount levers. I'm kinda digging the red.


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Old 10-27-14, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Carcosa View Post
If people can ride fixed in SF then you can ride fixed in Cincinnati.

That being said, I'd be terrified to do either.

I went to UC and lived in Clifton so I know I wouldn't want to be going full tilt down Straight Street. Post up when you buy something!

I used to live at the bottom of Straight Street in the 90's on Mickmicken. I "rode" (no engine, dodgy brakes) a 64 Vespa down that hill in the rain. Pretty scary/awesome.....
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Old 10-27-14, 01:42 PM
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You will enjoy SS riding. I bought the Kilo TT back in February and rode it SS, geared it down some to 44/18. Rode fixed for one month to prove I could. Just went back to My Tourist for a while but missing the Kilo.
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Old 10-27-14, 04:23 PM
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Carcosa
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Originally Posted by T13 View Post
I used to live at the bottom of Straight Street in the 90's on Mickmicken. I "rode" (no engine, dodgy brakes) a 64 Vespa down that hill in the rain. Pretty scary/awesome.....
You sir, are lucky to be alive.

..... so ready for UC basketball season.
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Old 10-27-14, 08:18 PM
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Boo him.
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