Madison single speed

elfoam
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:38 pm

Madison single speed

Postby elfoam » Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:40 pm

Just starting this since I'm on an easy to type PC for the afternoon. I'll take some pictures of the bike tomorrow.. As per my other post about the fixed Standish, I also got some other frames at the same time. One of them turned out to be my favourite bike at the moment.

The story is, I bought one of those cheap single speed ALDI bikes they had a few months ago like another guy on here did but it was slooow so slow. It made no sense so I got rid or the stock tyres and put some 23c gatorskins I had laying around. It was a bit better but still a slow bike. Anyway after having spent the afternoon in Melbourne during my frame buying trip and seeing all the awesome retro fixies and single speeds tied up at cafes I decided to transplant the ALDI bike onto a decent frame and as the Madison was too big to be made into a road bike with drop bars but just the right size for a cruiser. So that's what I did, soon as I got home I built the bike and wow.. It's so fast for no logical reason just like the ADLI frame was so slow for no reason !. The ALDI frame wasn't even all that heavy, not compared to most Chinese frames. The Madison has a 59?cm top tube, it's a big frame but only weighs 2600g. It's got a couple of stickers on it, one says Shimano 600EX and the other says Cromoly frame made in Australia, so it's been a decent bike when new I guess, the steel rings very nicely on the fingernail test.

You'll see when I post up pictures but it's got a quite distinctive geometry, the set tube is a lot more relaxed than the head tube you can easily see it with the eye. If most bikes are 73/73, then I guess this bike is 73/75. I've lined it up with some other frames and the seat tube seams pretty standard but the head tube is steeper than my other bikes. Whatever the geometry is, I like it and I need more of this because it's really awesome to ride. I rode it to work for the last 3 months and came across a few other old guys on carbon roadies, it's just epic sitting up like Kermit the frog and powering past on a massive steel bike lol. I wonder what it would be like if it actually had better parts on it, it weighs in at 10.4 kilos or so and still has steel handlebars, the wheels aren't superlight either and it still has crapy plastic pedals that have a bit of drag, even the seat and freewheel are dodgy with a bit of a squeek and a slight rattlely clunk respectively but it's still awesome. My future plans for it are some alloy moustache bars, a good leather seat, some decent pedals a dual pivot front brake and a good freewheel but for now I'm very happy just to ride it as is. The Aldi bikes were going for $150 and the frame owes me $20 so it's a $170 dollar bike, well lets say the gatorskins were free as they came on my carbon road bike and I swapped them out straight away. Looking back I could have got comparable wheels (they have stainless spokes at least) a crank and chain for the almost the same price anyway. Oh but the story doesn't quite end there because I turned the ALDI frame into a single speed 26 inch MTB.... what? lol that's not quite finished yet because I'm only using parts from the tip to the point of using like 10 cassette spacers and one cog wedged between them on the hub for the gearing, it's getting close to being finished. A BMX front caliper fits perfectly to convert 700c to 26 inch it seems.

elfoam
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:38 pm

Re: Madison single speed

Postby elfoam » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:04 pm


elfoam
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:38 pm

Re: Madison single speed

Postby elfoam » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:10 pm

Just updating this incase anyone ever wonders what the basic geometry is on this bike. The head angle is 75 degrees, maybe 75.5. Seat angle is exactly 72 degrees. Of course there's more to it than that but it's still the best riding bike I have. At the moment I'm going around messuring all my bike angles so I can see on paper why I like some bikes and why others inspire blandness. For me this Madison is the ideal cruiser. I like it so much I'm going to put deep aero carbon wheels on it at some stage.

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MattyK
Posts: 2236
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:07 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Madison single speed

Postby MattyK » Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:12 am

Cool. Be interesting to know whether there was an actual difference in speed, or whether it's just perception based on the geometry (I can imagine the steeper head tube would make it steer much more quickly) or other factor (eg stiffness or vibrations)

elfoam
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:38 pm

Re: Madison single speed

Postby elfoam » Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:59 am

MattyK wrote:Cool. Be interesting to know whether there was an actual difference in speed, or whether it's just perception based on the geometry (I can imagine the steeper head tube would make it steer much more quickly) or other factor (eg stiffness or vibrations)


Because I've been riding another bike every other day lately it's intersting to compare them. The second bike is an Apollo Vitesse, early 90s. The Madison is much lighter, much more flexible in the frame. The Apollo is a pretty stiff bike by steel standards it's head and seat angles are 73 / 74. I'm sure now the Apollo is faster but it feeels slower, everywhere I go on the Madison I'm carving the road because it just scrubs the tyres so well, the Apollo isnt the most dead bike I have, it's a pretty good geometry for a road bike, bit more sporting than most of my Repcos but yeah if I had to choose a bike to cruise around the world on I'd have to take the Madison. For another comparason a Centurion Cadenza mixte I ride sometimes is head 72 degrees, seat 72 degrees, the Mixte rides quite well on the road but its very good in bush tracks, the Madison wouldnt like dirt so much, too twitchy but youd be having fun.

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