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I have been riding a real old schwinn for some time now and I know I need to buy something decent. I am looking to spend somewhere around 700 dollars, but I can go somewhat higher if there is a good bike for a somewhat close price.

I have been considering a Surly steamroller or a specialized Langster chicago. I am somewhat interested in experimenting with them as fixed gears but I would use them primarily as single speeds. Is it a bad idea to buy a steamroller or langster just to use as a single speed? I use my bike to get around my town and for fun.

is it really important for me to add a back break to the steamroller if I use it as a singlespeed? Are there better bikes for similiar prices? I am not just interested in single speeds.
 

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If you'll be using a freewheel, I would highly recommend installing a rear brake. I assume you are looking at the steamroller complete bike, as opposed to the frame and your own build. If this is the case, you should decide if you want to get another cyclocross lever for the rear, or if you want to install standard levers for both front and back. In either case you should check out Surly's web page. I vaguely recall them saying something about getting a front brake and installing it on the back.

Have you considered the Raleigh Rush Hour? It retails for around $600 and would probably fit your needs right out of the box.
 

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I'd also consider the Raleigh One-Way, or Swobo Norte, both are not as racey as your other choices but nicely styled and allow you to use larger tires (if you're commuting).

But if I only had one bike, I'd get one with gears since there's too many hills where I live. Your situation may be different...
 
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