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Fuji Feather vs Bianchi Pista vs Kona Paddy Wagon vs...

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Fuji Feather vs Bianchi Pista vs Kona Paddy Wagon vs...

Old 03-17-15, 10:44 AM
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Fogre
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Fuji Feather vs Bianchi Pista vs Kona Paddy Wagon vs...

I've been shopping around for a decent single speed (still not fond of fixed...) in the sub-$800 range, and as I'm sure everyone here knows, the options seem limitless... However, there are a few I'm seriously considering, and I'd love to hear various opinions on them.

As a bit of helpful info, I put priority on frame quality first, wheels second, all other components third. This bike would be a fast-ish 20-mile-or-less rider for when I'm tight on time but want a good, fun workout. Barely any city riding, really. I'm really looking for a well-made chromoly frame/fork that will last for years and many parts swaps, and I'm hoping I'm in the right price range to find it...

Anywho, the top few, in no particular order:

Fuji Feather. My LBS sells Fuji, so this one would be easy, and I do like to support them. Also, the price is very nice...but is it a case of you-get-what-you-pay-for? Fuji doesn't give out much info on the frame, though...for example, is it straight-gauge with only a butted seat tube? I suppose a better, more relevant question is, can anyone comment on ride quality? Tire clearance? I particularly like the way the seat binder lug ties in nicely with the lugged fork, and I'm also fond of quill stems... Can you tell I'm leaning toward this option the most?

Bianchi Pista. I mainly like the geometry of this one... I've always been fond of the steep seat tube/slacker head tube feel. The price seems a little high, almost like you're paying for the name more than anything else...

Kona Paddy Wagon. I'm probably in the minority here, but I like the rear brake cable stops... I kinda always see myself with a rear brake (what with the freewheel and all), so dedicated stops instead of the clip-on guides are a plus in my book. The road bike geometry is a toss-up; while it would be more comfortable, I already have a nice road bike, and I'd likely always take it out for long rides. Finally, the price is up there with the Bianchi. There's a lot of hits against this option.

Wabi Classic. Nice frame, nice components, has the seat binder lug I like... On the expensive side (of my budget, that is), but unlike the Bianchi, it does seem like the price is more on par with the product. The big question: for someone who likes swapping parts out (like me), is it worth $200 more than the Feather? The $200 saved with the Feather could always go toward a Sugino crank or Nitto stem or bars...

Kilo TT. I have friends who've purchased from Bikes Direct, and they're pretty happy with their bikes. Though I've seen this bike recommended countless times around here, the Kilo simply doesn't 'speak' to me, but maybe it's nicer in person... I suppose, like above, the real question comes down to: is it a better bike than the Feather? Has anyone ridden both? From a frame quality standpoint, is there much of a difference?

Thank you to everyone who actually reads all of that, I know it's pretty long! I appreciate most any and all advice and/or opinions!
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Old 03-17-15, 02:38 PM
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I have a Fuji Feather, and i Absolutely love it. Its definitely not the lightest bike in the world, but coming from a old 80's steel beater, this thing feels like a...feather.. I have read lots of people griping about the weight, but it really doesn't bother me at all.

Ride quality is fantastic and i really only notice the road on the very worst sections.

I'm rocking 700x23's right now, i could easily go up to 25's, i'm not sure if 28's would fit. But i have no interest is going higher than 25.
The wheels themselves are a bit heavy, but very durable. I upgraded mine about a month ago, but i wouldnt say its immediately necessary. I used the money i saved on the frame and when a sale on Nashbar/Velomine came around i picked up a new set for cheap.

Its as fast as you are strong, very responsive handling too.
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Old 03-17-15, 03:46 PM
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This years paddywagon took a step up, it's reynolds 520 now, just like the kilo tt.

What hits against this option?

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Pound sign: Kilo TT
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Old 03-17-15, 04:18 PM
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I've got a feather as well and while it's a decent enough bike, the only things that remain stock on mine are the frame set and headset. In your position I would go for the Wabi, which will save you from having to go the long, drawn out and more expensive overall route. If you want to support your LBS, then get the Fuji and upgrade the really heavy wheelset with some Wabi wheels or similar.
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Old 03-17-15, 04:28 PM
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I ride a Wabi classic myself. Have been very happy with it and the service it comes with. Your analysis of each in the pros/cons is pretty much spot on. All are good bikes for what each one can offer you. Keep in mind the Wabi will have a more relaxed touring style geometry as compared to the Kilo or the Pista which definitely are more steep and twitchy.
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Old 03-17-15, 04:30 PM
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Any of the metallurgy experts want to tell us what "elios 2 steel" is?
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Old 03-17-15, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by prooftheory View Post
Any of the metallurgy experts want to tell us what "elios 2 steel" is?
Like ellios pizza. Comes frozen until ready to throw on the frame jig. If you smell a bike built with it, you smell the pepperoni.
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Pound sign: Kilo TT
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Old 03-17-15, 04:34 PM
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Thank you everyone, this is just the type of info I'm looking for.

The Wabi is probably a close second to the Feather right now, to be honest... Just to throw another one into the mix, does anyone have any thoughts on Traitor Cycles' Cutlass?

Originally Posted by Leukybear View Post
This years paddywagon took a step up, it's reynolds 520 now, just like the kilo tt.

What hits against this option?
I do like the Kona; the only hits against it are for my situation, I suppose. The geometry is very similar to my road bike, so I'm just not sure how different they would be. That coupled with the cost is what makes it a difficult choice for me...

On the other hand, I do love the handling on my road bike...
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Old 03-17-15, 04:35 PM
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What I read:

"Elios 2 is a "certified CrMo (chromium molybdenum) blend that is cold-drawn and custom-butted."
"
frame, a chromoly, custom tapered, 4130 tube set named Elios 2."

So its just like kilo tt?
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Old 03-17-15, 05:39 PM
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#KiloTT uses Reynolds 520, which brand name 4130 tubing. Coca Cola vs Shasta Cola.
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Old 03-17-15, 06:24 PM
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That's a nice list of bikes, and it would be a hard choice for me to make... but I think I would push for the Wabi even though you said it's at the high end of your budget. It just seems like the components will last a long time... and if you decide to swap something out, you could always just sell the components you get rid of. But you shouldn't need to swap anything out for awhile, you can just ride it hard and have fun.

On a separate note, have you considered the All-city Big Block?
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Old 03-17-15, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by nohandlebars View Post
On a separate note, have you considered the All-city Big Block?
This should be on the list
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Pound sign: Kilo TT
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Old 03-17-15, 09:20 PM
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^^yup
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Old 03-17-15, 09:38 PM
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I love my wabi
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Old 03-18-15, 04:49 AM
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I've got a Feather and I really like it. But, it's my first road bike as well as my first fixed gear... so I can't compare it to anything really And I haven't ridden it enough yet to know how well it holds up.

To me, it's light as a, ahem, feather. But that's compared to cruisers, mountain bikes, cargo bikes...
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Old 03-18-15, 05:02 AM
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I'd heard of All-City, but wasn't familiar with any of their offerings... The Big Block looks and sounds exactly what I'm after...except for the price tag.
>_<
I don't know that I can float that...
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Old 03-18-15, 08:53 AM
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For the Big Block you would add the cost of pedals and also probably replacing the track drops
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Old 03-18-15, 12:10 PM
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Surly Steam roller? However I imagine it would be about the same price as the All City....Man I love my Big Block. I'm gonna go stare at it for a minute.
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Old 03-18-15, 12:22 PM
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Surly Steamroller - Bicycle Source US serving the Tri State area 973-300-2453


here ya go!
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Old 03-18-15, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Wspsux View Post
....Man I love my Big Block. I'm gonna go stare at it for a minute.
That's nothing. I sleep with my chrome Soma Rush.
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Old 03-18-15, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
That's nothing. I sleep with my chrome Soma Rush.
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Old 03-18-15, 05:43 PM
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I got a reply from Fuji on the Elios 2 tubing:

Thank you for contacting us. The Elios 2 is our Cr-Mo blend. This is a cold drawn and custom butted steel. These frames use two different wall thicknesses to provide strength in higher stress areas of the frame and to save weight in other areas. This is in more areas than just the seat tube.

So would that be single-butted tubes, then? From their description, it doesn't sound like straight gauge, but it does sound a lot fancier than the price tag would indicate. Not that it matters if the bike rides nice, I suppose, it's just my curiosity...



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Old 06-07-15, 03:23 AM
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After having had a 2015 Fuji Feather on backorder for more than a month, the LBS finally told me the distributor couldn't deliver as promised (which is terrible customer service, but that's another story). I still want a bike for the summer so I'm back to square one. I very much liked the retro aesthetics of the Feather, the quill stem, the lugged crown fork, and the different finishes it came in.

Looking at the alternatives in my price range (about $750), it seems I'll have to abandon the idea of a singlespeed track or road bike with a quill stem.

My alternatives are mostly the same as listed by the OP:

Bianchi Pista: A friend rides one and loves it. It seems like a solid choice, but I really don't like the stock drops or the unicrown fork. The drops are easily upgraded, but finding a matching lugged crown fork is trickier.

Cinelli Gazzetta: Seems very similar to the Bianchi, except it comes stock with bullhorns and has branded Columbus tubing. Again, unicrown forks just don't appeal to me.

Kona Paddy Wagon: The sensible choice, it seems. There's nothing I would have to replace straight away for reasons related to functionality. I like that the geometry is a bit more relaxed and I like that it has double bottle cage braze ons. I'm not sure the Reynolds 520 tubing makes a difference, but those little stickers sure are nice. I'm not crazy about black components, but at least the bike has a lugged crown fork. It also has fender eyelets and good tire clearance, so that adds a lot of versatility.

Of these three, I'm leaning towards the Paddy wagon.

However, there's also….

Wabi Classic: The force is strong with this one. There more I read about it, the more I'm convinced that it's the best value out there. The frame is Reynolds 725. The wheelset seems like the go-to upgrade for low to mid end bikes. It's also an appealing look to me. Simple and classy. I've also exchanged a few emails with Richard at Wabi bikes and he comes across as a very nice guy. Here's the catch: shipping to Sweden is $240 for a 55 cm Wabi Classic… It's still a good value though. The cheapest alternative I can find that uses the same Reynolds 725 tubing is the Bombtrack Needle, and it's $200 more than the Wabi.

It seems like the Wabi is the better bike. I also prefer the way it looks. I think I want one, but is it nuts to spend $240 on shipping for one?
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Old 06-07-15, 04:05 AM
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If you get the wabi lightening the shipping will be lower as a percentage of the total cost of the bike.
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Old 06-07-15, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
If you get the wabi lightening the shipping will be lower as a percentage of the total cost of the bike.
Since shipping cost is calculated by dimensions rather than weight, I should take a really hot bath and shrink until a 49 cm Wabi Classic is a great fit.
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