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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at buying an ss\fixed gear bike and I keep coming back to the Surly Steamroller. It looks good, is well priced as a complete bike and seems to have good reviews. I also like putting together and wrenching on my own bikes, so I keep thinking about buying the frameset and parts and putting it together myself. Although this is the more satisfying option it will cost more. This is my first ss bike so I am not sure that I want to spend a lot of money on a high end build without knowing whether I will like it. I'd like to hear from people who purchased the complete bike and what they think of the stock parts.
 

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nce said:
I am looking at buying an ss\fixed gear bike and I keep coming back to the Surly Steamroller. It looks good, is well priced as a complete bike and seems to have good reviews. I also like putting together and wrenching on my own bikes, so I keep thinking about buying the frameset and parts and putting it together myself. Although this is the more satisfying option it will cost more. This is my first ss bike so I am not sure that I want to spend a lot of money on a high end build without knowing whether I will like it. I'd like to hear from people who purchased the complete bike and what they think of the stock parts.

Timely post...

I am considering/doing the same thing. I decided to build, because after looking at the Surly complete build, I know I'm particular regarding a few parts and would end up swapping them out anyway. It would, in the end, be cheaper for me at least, to just build what I want the first time.

Having said that, I'm waiting on delivery of a black 56cm Steamroller, which Surly is out of for the moment. In the container and should be available third week of June.

Looking here for wheels....

http://www.bicyclewheelwarehouse.com/index.php?_a=viewCat&catId=45

and this will be my crankset...

http://www.sram.com/content/omnium-crankset

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
 

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Punster
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It depends on if you would buy higher spec parts if you make it yourself, and how much you plan to ride the bike.

If you will only ride a thousand miles a year or so, then the complete bike is fine. If you want to ride a lot more, you'll want a more comfortable seat and the stem to be the right length, so you should do it yourself. I think the complete bike comes to around 19 lbs, you could easily save 2 pounds just on the wheels+seat+stem+bars.

I got all kinds of circulation problems on the WTB seat after about 40 miles. It's wide and squishy.
 

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The complete bike seems like the best deal unless you have/can get inexpensive parts.

I like the Steamroller conceptually but can't understand why it doesn't have two sets of waterbottle braze-ons and fender eyelets (like the Bianchi San Jose).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This bike will primarily used for family rides because currently if go on a family ride on one of my road bikes I have a tendency to either go riding way ahead or get real bored. I have a few stems of different lengths and a couple of saddles among my collection of spares\ back up stuff. I am not overly concerned with weight of this bike but I do have a tendency to upgrade needlessly on occasion. I have a couple of road bikes that the bulk of my riding is done on. I guess it comes down to whether or not I can resist upgrading if I get the complete bike.
 

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FWIW, I built up a Steamroller from frame up a couple years ago. I don't regret it at all. My BB and headset are still holding strong, and honestly, other than tires, I haven't changed a thing. If you have the means, build it up from frame up. You can put decent parts on there (doesn't have to be bling) and it will last a lot longer than the cheapo parts they put on the completes.
 

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nce said:
This bike will primarily used for family rides because currently if go on a family ride on one of my road bikes I have a tendency to either go riding way ahead or get real bored. I have a few stems of different lengths and a couple of saddles among my collection of spares\ back up stuff. I am not overly concerned with weight of this bike but I do have a tendency to upgrade needlessly on occasion. I have a couple of road bikes that the bulk of my riding is done on. I guess it comes down to whether or not I can resist upgrading if I get the complete bike.
It's always cheaper to buy a "complete" bike than to build one yourself. Upgrading needlessly is part of the "bicycle addiction." Get it, ride it now, figure out how much you like it and how much and what you want to put into it.

Exempla gratia, I just put an Izumi chain on my fixie, not because I "needed" it but because the damn thing was "migrating" from a Campy/Shimano/Cinelli mix to "turning Japanese!" Campy seatpost and headset left, seatpost to my full 8 speed Record Falcon and headset to the dustbin because the yabbo that owned the bike previously ruined it.

In went a DuraAce seatpost and a lovely (and cheap) Tange Levin headset.

So I had to have a Japanese Izumi chain. Are we sick or what?:D

Oh, and I forgot. I replaced the Vredestein tires with Japanese made Panaracers.

You'd never know I was a Campyphile!
 

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Punster
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The reason I left mine in the stock configuration for so long, is to minimize the likelihood of theft. But I rarely leave it locked up anyways. The parts are cheap, but really pretty decent as far as durability.

After 1,200 miles, even my tires barely look broken in(no flats). The one thing that I did wear out recently was the brake pads. Maybe due to wet conditions. I think I need to adjust the rear hub bearings too.

Now I've installed front AND rear Tektro brakes and Tektro road style brake levers.

Make sure you get a chain tensioner. It really sucks to have it just drop off when it gets too loose. Just don't over tighten it either.
 
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