Advice on a premium level fixie

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Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby Jmph67 » Mon May 06, 2013 8:27 pm

Looking for advice from the fixie experts.

My daily commuter (hybrid) has developed terminal cracks in the bottom bracket and I'm looking to go fixie as a replacement.

Commute is about 8kms each way - a few short hills but pretty flat most of the way.

I'm keen on drop bars or bullhorns. Budget is up to around $1,250. Looking for advice on this shortlist but happy to receive any other suggestions:

Bianchi Pista Classic (2012) - there are so many Bianchis - which one is best quality?
Bianchi Pista Via Condotti(2012)
Bianchi Pista Sei Giorno (2012) (alloy and not too keen on white and more white)
Fuji Feather (2013) (handlebar angle maybe too steep?)
Cinelli Mystic Rats - not many around from local suppliers.
Cooper T200 C50 or Spa - various options here, but not may on the market, quality ok?

Thanks in advance fixie people.
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by BNA » Mon May 06, 2013 9:29 pm

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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon May 06, 2013 9:29 pm

Don't waste your money on mass produced rubbish.

Save a nice old road frame with horizontal tips and build it up with some classic parts yourself.

For the money your going to outlay I could build up a classic old road frame with full Campagnolo parts, Cinelli bars, stem etc.
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby HLC » Mon May 06, 2013 10:05 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:Don't waste your money on mass produced rubbish.

Save a nice old road frame with horizontal tips and build it up with some classic parts yourself.

For the money your going to outlay I could build up a classic old road frame with full Campagnolo parts, Cinelli bars, stem etc.


Or similarly a full NJS (or mostly NJS) Keirin bike if you shop around for some bargains.
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby ldrcycles » Tue May 07, 2013 6:32 am

From the list I would say the Cooper, I would love to have one of those with that glorious full chrome frame. But as scott and HLC said, if you bought a frame and the bits required separately you could do much better for the same price. My singlespeed cost about $300 and that was even with spending significantly more than I could have on a few things because I wanted a particular colour or brand.
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby barefoot » Tue May 07, 2013 9:15 am

Jmph67 wrote:I'm keen on drop bars or bullhorns. Budget is up to around $1,250. Looking for advice on this shortlist but happy to receive any other suggestions:


http://www.on-one.co.uk/i/q/CBOOPOMPKOJ ... urban_bike

The base spec is pretty basic, but there's a bunch of upgrade options that can trick it out quite a bit. I just tweaked the spec on a hypothetical build and tallied it up to $950-ish delivered, which is in the ballpark of what you're looking to spend (and a fair bit more than I spent on mine, 3 or so years ago).

A Pompino has brakes. Proper brakes that can fit over big tyres and big mudguards (you want mudguards for commuting. It's winter). Even if you're riding fixed, you should have brakes. I ride mine free. I like brakes.

Having proper brakes and clearance for big tyres puts you in good standing for when you realise that the fixie fad is over and all the cool kids are riding CX bikes now. Having a fixie CX means you don't need to change bikes to stay cool.

tim
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby takai » Sat May 11, 2013 8:24 pm

I have a Larrys frame with a bunch of other bits, cost me well under $400 and is a great ride:
Image

If i was doing it again, and with your budget, i woudl still build the same thing, roughly. Same frame, lots more Paul components and a WI freewheel.
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby ldrcycles » Sun May 12, 2013 8:53 am

takai wrote: and a WI freewheel.


GOD YES!!! :D
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun May 12, 2013 8:59 am

ldrcycles wrote:
takai wrote: and a WI freewheel.


GOD YES!!! :D

It wouldn't be a fixed gear anymore. Just a boring single speed.

Fixed gears are for the road. Singlespeeds belong on the dirt.
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby ldrcycles » Sun May 12, 2013 9:14 am

singlespeedscott wrote:
ldrcycles wrote:
takai wrote: and a WI freewheel.


GOD YES!!! :D

It wouldn't be a fixed gear anymore. Just a boring single speed.

Fixed gears are for the TRACK. Singlespeeds belong everywhere else.



Fixed that for you :D .



I like coasting a lot! :)
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun May 12, 2013 10:03 am

ldrcycles wrote:Fixed gears are for the TRACK. Singlespeeds belong everywhere else.


Fixed that for you :D .



I like coasting a lot! :)

But that's not the point of riding a bike with one gear on the road. The idea is to smooth out your pedal stroke and harden you up a bit on the hills.
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby ldrcycles » Sun May 12, 2013 11:14 am

And I get that on my singlespeed, with the added benefit of being able to coast when i'm tired and not having to worry about keeping up with the pedals on downhills. Besides which I've seen a lot of reports of the fixed threads stripping out very easily on Quando hubs, so I'm not in a hurry to use that side.
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun May 12, 2013 5:18 pm

ldrcycles wrote:............not having to worry about keeping up with the pedals on downhills......


That's when you will learn how to smooth out your pedal stroke. The speed of the descent forces you to control how your legs roll over.

ldrcycles wrote: Besides which I've seen a lot of reports of the fixed threads stripping out very easily on Quando hubs


That only happens if you try to be a fixie cool hipster and do skid stops.

Use 2 brakes and brake like your riding a normal bike and it will never happen.
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby Mulger bill » Sun May 12, 2013 7:32 pm

No sign of thread damage on the Quando hub on my FG but I'm a wuss who runs two brakes. I'm getting better at controlling speed with back pressure but you never know when some skullwired Darwinist will ignore the red man...
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby ldrcycles » Sun May 12, 2013 8:12 pm

singlespeedscott wrote: brake



"brake"? What the hell is "brake"?

:twisted:

The thing is my current gear is 46-16 and I wouldn't want too much bigger if any climbs are involved, and I can't spin that past about 50kmh, and that's only for a very short time. I'm not exactly a noted descender but even I am happy to do more than 50kmh.
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby ironhanglider » Mon May 13, 2013 12:09 am

ldrcycles wrote:
singlespeedscott wrote: brake



"brake"? What the hell is "brake"?

:twisted:

The thing is my current gear is 46-16 and I wouldn't want too much bigger if any climbs are involved, and I can't spin that past about 50kmh, and that's only for a very short time. I'm not exactly a noted descender but even I am happy to do more than 50kmh.


You're not trying ldr. I can get past 50km/h on my 39-16. (Not terribly pretty but possible) One of the reasons that I ride that gear is because the ride I take it on has a long gentle downslope which I ride going 30-35km/h, at that speed the gear is just a bit too small, which is the point of the exercise for me. (100rpm is a bit over 30km/h) That course then turns uphill for a longish climb, for the strength work and then some undulations which includes the steep downhill bit where I get over 50.

Seems like more fixie miles required for you.

Back to topic, for me a premium fixie would be based on a decent race bike from the 70's or 80's, I'd do the minimalist conversion and use the existing bits including a "suicide hub".

My Dad has something like this (although he is nearly 20 cm shorter than me so his won't fit.)

Image

Mind you if I did that I couldn't bring myself to run it into the ground as a commuter.


My own fixie is a non-conversion, a change of wheels and chain in my #2 bike and simply bypass the RD. That way I can convert it back to a regular road bike in the space of a couple of minutes (it is my wet weather race bike too).

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby HLC » Mon May 13, 2013 7:25 pm

ironhanglider wrote:Back to topic, for me a premium fixie would be based on a decent race bike from the 70's or 80's, I'd do the minimalist conversion and use the existing bits including a "suicide hub".


Worst idea in this entire thread.

If you want a fixed gear, get something with proper track ends.

Secondly, don't 'suicide' a set of wheels. Dumb dumb dumb.
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby singlespeedscott » Tue May 14, 2013 8:07 am

HLC wrote:
If you want a fixed gear, get something with proper track ends.



You don't need track ends for a fixed gear.

Semi-horizontal ends are fine. They were originally invented to be used on derailleur free drive trains.

Back in the 1920's bikes had 2 cogs on the rear wheel. A fixed gear cog on one side and a larger freewheel for hills on the other. The semi-horizontal fork end allowed for easy and faster changing from the fixed side to the freewheel side. When you pulled the chain taught you didn't need to adjust your brake blocks with this design. Also if you want to run mudguards on your fixed gear or single speed it allows for a lot easier wheel removal.

A properly mounted wheel in a semi-horizontal end will not move.
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby ironhanglider » Tue May 14, 2013 10:34 pm

HLC wrote:
ironhanglider wrote:Back to topic, for me a premium fixie would be based on a decent race bike from the 70's or 80's, I'd do the minimalist conversion and use the existing bits including a "suicide hub".


Worst idea in this entire thread.

If you want a fixed gear, get something with proper track ends.

Secondly, don't 'suicide' a set of wheels. Dumb dumb dumb.


I disagree.

SSS has already responded with regard to the fork ends, they don't confer great advantage and frequently come on bikes that are not best suited for road riding/commuting.

Sheldon doesn't have a problem with the 'suicide hub' apart from the name and neither do I.

Sheldon Brown wrote:Suicide Hub
A rather alarmist and silly name for a freewheel hub used as a fixed-gear hub.
Any standard-thread freewheel type hub will also accept a fixed-gear ("track ") sprocket . This is a common technique for converting an older bike to fixed gear on the cheap.

Despite the silly name, this is no more dangerous than using a freewheel, as long as you keep front and rear hand brakes installed.


Perhaps I wasn't clear but when I said "use the existing bits" that included the brakes. I wouldn't ride without brakes on the road and wouldn't recommend anyone else do so. I find the hoods position to be the most practical for commuting allowing better vision, good control and good braking. On this basis I'd keep traditional road levers fitted. I'd also not see any need to remove the rear brake even if it is of marginal usefulness on a fixed gear bike.

I also have no problem with moving spacers from one side of the hub to the other to get the chainline straight and re-dishing the wheel to suit. Sure you can get a proper hub and build it into a matching rim or even change the wheels entirely, but I would find that unnecessary.

Such a bike would satisfy me, and clearly doesn't do it for you but that does not make it a dumb idea. I have no idea what does it for the OP so I presented it as an option.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby nickobec » Thu May 16, 2013 12:29 am

I am of of those "imperfect pedlars" who rides a single speed, because I like to commute 38km one way.

My singlespeed is a 25 year old Repco/Gaint chromemoly frame, powdercoated white,I built myself, average components chosen because they are white, except the original biopace 52t chain ring (matched to 16 tooth freeewheel) and a good set of miche track wheels that feel into my lap at a very good price.

My advice
1. White is bugger to keep clean, chose another colour
2. Bullhorns might look cool, but I love my drops, a couple of extra hand positions + I ride a lot in the drops now.
3. Building your own is gives you a great deal of satisfaction, but does not save you any money compared to off the shelf. And off the shelf is much faster to get going.
4. Brakes, get them front and back, you never know when you will need them.
5. Ride everything you can and pick the bike that works for you, steel or alloy
6. Stay out of the budget/fashion 15kg range
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby barefoot » Thu May 16, 2013 9:56 am

nickobec wrote:6. Stay out of the budget/fashion 15kg range


Yep.

It's not hard to kit a commuter out with an extra 5kg of random crap. Rack, guards, lights, lock [1], repair kit [2]...

5kg of stuff added to a modest-but-half-decent 10kg singlespeed makes for a heavy enough bike. 5kg of stuff on a crappy 15kg singlespeed would be murder.

tim

[1] I leave my "good" lock on the rack at work, but I keep a basic lock attached to my bike for incidental use at places that aren't home or work
[2] in a tool bottle or saddle bag or rattling around the bottom of a pannier... you have to carry a tube, pump and multitool at a bare minimum.
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby SentryBox » Sat May 18, 2013 7:18 pm

If you have the budget, why not get a frame custom built? Gellie Custom in Victoria do some awesome handmade stuff - very well made frames using high end tubing.

I have a Cinelli Gazzetta which is an awesome bike (IMO) that I put together for under 1k. Looks good, rides very well and is very nicely made. Not in the same league as a custom built frame mind you.
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby Gordonhooker » Sat May 18, 2013 9:15 pm

ldrcycles wrote:And I get that on my singlespeed, with the added benefit of being able to coast when i'm tired and not having to worry about keeping up with the pedals on downhills. Besides which I've seen a lot of reports of the fixed threads stripping out very easily on Quando hubs, so I'm not in a hurry to use that side.


I am with you on that sometimes those few moments of coast a just what you need, unless your doing track work.
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby misterhorsey » Sun May 19, 2013 7:20 pm

Paddywagon?

Road drops (unlike a lot of off the rack single speeds that have flat bars or track drops), fender mounts, flip flop hub, current model is raw steel with clear coat so quite a unique look.

very practical and versatile. And currently seem to be on sale at a number of places:

http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bikes/li ... omens%5D=1
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby frogleg » Mon May 20, 2013 6:09 pm

takai wrote:I have a Larrys frame with a bunch of other bits, cost me well under $400 and is a great ride:


Whats the story with these frames? I had a look at the website and did a Google but couldn't find too much in the way of customer builds or reviews.
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Re: Advice on a premium level fixie

Postby Alien27 » Mon May 20, 2013 8:46 pm

I got a Azzuri Pista, I not sure if its considered premium but i think its one of the better value ones around, i got it for around the $400 mark, wait till they are on 'extra' special. Very hard to find a alloy frame with carbon forks for anything like that price. I think they look pretty shmick as well.

I spent a little more on some road tyres, seat (the stock one is plank of wood hard), brakes, levers, and a 17 tooth rear sprocket and I am loving it. They seem to last as well, my brother has commuted on one for a year or so and it washes up like new.

Its a track bike so the geometry is sharp but to me that just adds to the fun. CE delivered a couple of days after the time stated on the website but I gave them a 'polite but firm' request for an ETA email, on the due date which seemed to do the trick as they responded straight away and posted the next day.

Link to CE where i got it; http://www.cyclingexpress.com/cycle/clearance/azzurri-pista.aspx#

Stock looks like this;
Image

After the brakes and road tires added;
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