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View Full Version : Taking the fixed gear plunge


thinpaperwings
01-09-2007, 07:44 PM
I find myself with abundant holiday money ($500) which I'm required to use on something fun. While I'm totally in love with my commuter bike (10+ year old Univega Rover), I think it's time for me to get something faster.

I'm thinking it would be fun to go fixie, mostly because I really want to learn to track stand. I have an idea of what gear ratio to start out with, but I don't know how to go about finding the bike. I have a pesky attraction to Peugeots, but I would be happy with any skinny steel tubed bike. I'm guessing I would want about a 47 cm frame, which makes it even harder to find what I'm looking for.

I've been scouring Craigslist to no avail. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Is it even possible to find what I'm looking for without getting a custom bike (which isn't even feasible with my price range).

Thanks!

BillD
01-09-2007, 08:11 PM
A 47 is going to be hard to find. A Surly Sreamroller frame and fork is available in 49 for about $400.00. An IRO Mark V can be had in 50cm with 700c wheels or 46cm with 650b wheels.... $550.00 for a complete bike. A Raleigh Rush Hour is about $550.00 to $600.00 for a complete bike... 50 cm is the smallest.

Best bet would be to talk to some bike shops. Bike Central would be a good place to start.

Bill

thinpaperwings
01-09-2007, 08:39 PM
Bill, thanks for the help. I'll start scouring the bike shops and see what happens. I'll keep the IRO Mark V in mind.

It hadn't even crossed my mind to buy a new bike. I was thinking that with my price range I would have to go used. My original thought was to try to find some suitable frame from the 80s and fix it up as I needed to (pun not intended).

I have yet to get fitted. I am guessing I would want a 47 cm frame because that's what my current bike is, and I love it. But I think that 50 cm might be a stretch (what is it with puns tonight?).

BillD
01-09-2007, 10:52 PM
If you're looking for a used frame, try City Bikes. They usually have some hanging from the ceiling in the store at 724 Ankeny. I have bought several frames on eBay but you will look at a lot of rejects between the true bargains... then there's shipping. You need to be patient. And keep checking back on Craigslist.

Then there's the thrift stores... you might just get lucky. I, too enjoy fixing up an old frame. I get the bike I want built the way I like it. I doubt if I save any money though :D. I currently have five rideable bikes (1 fixed, 2 fixed/singlespeed and 2 geared) and none were bought as a complete bike.

Bill

vseven
01-10-2007, 07:41 AM
How about Sellwood ? Maybe if you tell them what you are looking for they can let you know if they have one come in the shop. They also post their used bikes on their website. Good luck, there's just nothing like a "new" ( or another) bike.

thinpaperwings
01-10-2007, 08:27 PM
After looking at the Surly Steamroller more closely, and looking at the specs, I am beginning to like it a lot better and I think it might fit. Though I would still want to get fitted before buying one without test riding it.

vseven, thanks for the tip on Sellwood. I live pretty close to that shop but haven't been in it, and didn't know that they had such a great selection of used bikes, online for my convenience!

I'm wondering if I should stick with something put together by pros this time around. I've pretty much only ridden my Univega mountain bike. I have never ridden a road bike at all, so I think it might take some adjusting to get used to the different geometry.

I'll stop in some of the bike shops and see what they can do as far as fitting, finding, and/or ordering. Thanks for the advice! Keep it coming :D.

-Sara-

endform
01-11-2007, 04:36 PM
What about the redline 925?

It's 500 dollars (I think), has brakes, fenders and everything all set up. I think you just want to swap out the cog/lockring for a high quality set (this is 30 bucks or so).

BillD
01-11-2007, 08:21 PM
I just saw this today on another forum. It's the specs for the new, complete bike from Surly. Some of the local shops should have a price for you. smallest frame is 49cm.

http://www.surlybikes.com/steamroller_comp.html

Bill

thinpaperwings
01-11-2007, 08:52 PM
endform, thanks for the suggestion. It is quite an attractive bike, but the smallest it seems to run is 52 cm.

What do you guys think of the Milwaukie Bike Co. fixed gear? I would give a link but the website isn't working right now.

Thanks!
Sara

fawkinghell
01-15-2007, 06:40 PM
Milwaukie frames are repainted and rebadged Gunnar Street Dogs. Get the sizing from the Gunnar website. Gunnarbikes.com, or something like that.

thinpaperwings
01-18-2007, 12:12 PM
Fawkinghell, I looked at the geom specs at Gunnar for the Street Dog and at Benscycle for the Milwaukee Bike Co, and the geoms are very different. I don't really trust the specs written on the benscycle site because instead of writing them out, they show a drawing of the frame and give the numbers, but the top tube angles strangely and I don't agree with how they've measured the effective top tube length. There are other measurement discrepencies. Is the picture just wack, and the Gunnar specs the true ones, or are they different frames?

fawkinghell
01-18-2007, 10:02 PM
It's possible that gunnar made them to order for that shop, but the track ends, fork crown, and other bits are all Gunnar( aka Waterford).
To throw in my one cent, measure your top tube center to center. then, measure the saddle tip to the center of the handlebar. These are the important ones. Take other measurements, like floor to handlebar top, and pedal to saddle top. Study frame tables to see what compares. Test ride everything if possible, and consider getting fit somewhere. The places that advertise these services will do a good job. Just don't make the mistake of being in a hurry. Good luck.

djkenny
01-19-2007, 03:42 PM
you could check out the Bianchi San Jose as well.

thinpaperwings
01-19-2007, 07:42 PM
I got fitted at my lbs, and tried out the Kona Paddywagon and the Raleigh OneWay. I also tried a women specific design Trek 2100 road bike, to see what these styles of bike (as opposed to the mountain bike) *should* fit like. Road/track styles are so totally different from my mountain bike.

I felt more comfortable on the OneWay, but that might be because it is less tracky than the Paddywagon, and I just need to get accustomed to the style of biking.

Should I go with a less tracky design to ease me into this new to me "language" of biking, or should I go with something more tracky in order to "go all out"?

fawkinghell
01-19-2007, 11:40 PM
Well, the fit is the first step to narrowing down your choice. If you got a written record of your position from this, that is your blueprint. If not, instructions on how to do this yourself are at:http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=130 The tools are pretty basic, save for the calipers, but this is how protour team mechanics do it, and it is applicable to all cyclists. Choose a bike that most closely matches your blueprint. You will get used to that particular bikes' handling with time, and may stop thinking in terms of "trackie" or "roadie".
Other low cost (but harder to find) options include The Soma Pake, SE Racing draft ($250 MSRP!), and the Sun Uno
Again, take your time, and good luck
BTW, what inspired your user name? It's poetic, and I think I've heard it in a song at some point.

thinpaperwings
01-20-2007, 09:41 AM
thanks for the advice!

My username comes from an underworld song, Jaunita/Kiteless. But I know of another band (whose name I can't recall) that used similar lyrics in a song (which was referring to the Icarus story).

Today I'm going into River City to see if I can try out some more bikes. Thank you for encouraging me to take my time on this. I don't want to end up with a bike that isn't right for me, and I've been letting myself feel like I have to make a decision right away, which I don't.

Bill Donohue
02-14-2007, 04:26 PM
I find myself with abundant holiday money ($500) which I'm required to use on something fun. While I'm totally in love with my commuter bike (10+ year old Univega Rover), I think it's time for me to get something faster.

I'm thinking it would be fun to go fixie, mostly because I really want to learn to track stand. I have an idea of what gear ratio to start out with, but I don't know how to go about finding the bike. I have a pesky attraction to Peugeots, but I would be happy with any skinny steel tubed bike. I'm guessing I would want about a 47 cm frame, which makes it even harder to find what I'm looking for.

I've been scouring Craigslist to no avail. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Is it even possible to find what I'm looking for without getting a custom bike (which isn't even feasible with my price range).

Thanks!

I have a 49cm with 700c tires and a 43cm with 650 wheels both are Fuji 2006, model on the fujibikes 2006 website my price is $425 each 503 961-5737

thinpaperwings
02-17-2007, 12:40 AM
Thanks Bill!

I ended up falling for a Bianchi Fremont. I love it, and it fits me so well.

Thanks!