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Discussion Starter #1
I have been shopping around for a commuter, beater, single speed. I don't want to spend lots. Something I can ride in the bad weather and not worry about it. I have been looking for a vintage bike to convert but have not had any luck. I have also looked at Ebay for a used bike but after calculating how much it's going to coast to convert a used bike into a single speed, I might as well spend the extra $100 to $200 and buy a new one. I have looked at Somas, Bianchi Pista and would love to find a KHS. I have also found a Mercier Kilo TT for $300 plus shipping. This bike is definitely in the price range I would like to spend, not not sure if it's worth it. I am not looking for a crazy name. Half of the single speed bikes you see out there, you can't tell what make they are. I love the ride of steel and currently ride a full steel Lemond. Can anyone give some suggestions on a good bike? Should I just go for the Mercier Kilo TT and call it a day. Has anyone had any experience with these Mercier bikes. I know that they are a Bikes Direct brand but they are also made in the Kenesis Factory where lots of other good bikes are also made.

Thanks for any tips or suggestions :)
 

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ADKBiker said:
I have looked at Somas, Bianchi Pista
What size? If you are interested, I've got a nearly new, '03 Bianchi Pista (51cm) in the Classifieds. Asking price is $500US + shipping. Click here for the ad.

M.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Bummer

1speed_Mike said:
What size? If you are interested, I've got a nearly new, '03 Bianchi Pista (51cm) in the Classifieds. Asking price is $500US + shipping. Click here for the ad.

M.
Man....Too small. I need a 57cm or 58cm. I am 6ft with a 33in inseam. Bummer! :(
 

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Err... you mention single speed but list fixed gear bikes (signle speed ≠ fixed gear) so I'm going to assume you want a fixed gear commuter.

Honestly if you are commuting on the bike daily I'd not recommend a bikesdirect/ebay fixed because you'll end up replacing components quickly (run a search, these were discussed a while back). If you spend just a couple hundred more your options will be much more solid. In addition to the Pista you should check out Redline's new fixed 925. Another option is IRO, they have awesome inexpense complete fixed bikes. They are having inventory problems at the moment but it speaks to their popularity and quality. If you want something you can fix fat cyclocross tires under check out the Surly Steamroller, it'll cost a little more but it's nice to have the option.

There are others but I think that rounds out your choices.
 

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You mentioned that you would love to find a KHS Flite 100. The 2005 Flite 100 is the exact same bike as the Mercier Kilo TT. I own a Flite and have compared it to a Kilo TT side by side. I was a little bummed to see that it is the EXACT same bike because I paid $450 for mine and my buddy got his Kilo TT for $350.

I am a roadie who rides and loves to train on a fixed gear bike. My Flite actually gets ridden more often than my road bikes. I had a Pista before my Flite but sold it because it was too small. The Pista was a VERY nice bike also. I don't really notice a ride difference between my Flite and my former Pista. I did put an upgraded wheelset on my Flite and that is the only noticible difference that I feel.

Make sure you know what size you want and need. The Pista 57cm is totally different from the Kilo/Flite 57cm. I was cramped on my 57cm Pista but my 57cm Flite fits just right.

Let us know what you get.
 

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If you can go $529, I'd look no further than the Bianchi San Jose. With 'cross tires, fender mounts, and a steel frame, it looks like it would be a great SS commuter.
 

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fixintogo said:
If you can go $529, I'd look no further than the Bianchi San Jose. With 'cross tires, fender mounts, and a steel frame, it looks like it would be a great SS commuter.
I commute on a Bianchi Pista, and like it alot, but the San Jose is a much better commuter. Clearance for fenders, bottle mounts, brakes in the base price, fat tires. It would be a great commuter... and perfect if it's rear hub is flip-flop with fixed gear threading on one side...
 

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No flip flop

PdxMark said:
I commute on a Bianchi Pista, and like it alot, but the San Jose is a much better commuter. Clearance for fenders, bottle mounts, brakes in the base price, fat tires. It would be a great commuter... and perfect if it's rear hub is flip-flop with fixed gear threading on one side...
other than that, the San Jose is about as good as it gets. SS only on the hub, though i haven't actually taken a freewheel off to see if there's a reverse thread hiding under there (wishful thinking i'm sure). Why they didn't just use the stock Pista flip/flop hubs, i dunno. Redline 925 mentioned earlier is a good alternative, comes with both a fixed and free gear, and even has fenders mounted as stock. Moustache bars standard too, for better or for worse.
 

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No flip-flop on the San Jose hub :( I looked at one on Tuesday at the LBS. Still, at $529, you can rebuild the rear and get credit for the hub switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Aren't most of all the fixies and single speeds made in Taiwan and China? (Bianchi, Soma, KHS, KONA, Mercier, Specialized, Giant, and so on). Aren't most of them built in the same warehouses? Is it just a name thing? I know the components aren't the greatest(there is no name so how can we compare with brand name) on the Mercier bikes but I am wondering if they could also be made in the same Taiwanese and Chinese factories as good old brand name components. I'm just wondering.
 

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ADKBiker said:
Aren't most of all the fixies and single speeds made in Taiwan and China? (Bianchi, Soma, KHS, KONA, Mercier, Specialized, Giant, and so on). Aren't most of them built in the same warehouses? Is it just a name thing?

My understanding is that there are a few major manufacturers in Asia that build most of the frames sold worldwide. But they're each designed and spec'd by individual companies, and that's who determines the different matierials, geometry and components.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
2 year warranty...boohoo

I just looked at the IRO bikes, they are nice and at a great price but they only have a 2 year warranty on their steel frames! What is up with that! They did mention a crash coverage of half the price for a new one, but for how long? :(
 

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darbo said:
Redline 925 mentioned earlier is a good alternative, comes with both a fixed and free gear, and even has fenders mounted as stock. Moustache bars standard too, for better or for worse.
a couple flaws in the Redline that my buddy discovered with his:

1) the dropouts are rear-facing. That, with a rear fender, make flipping the wheel or fixing a flat a problem. The wheel backs right into the fender before it clears the drops. Why they didn't use forward facing drops is kinda strange. Cutting the fender near the top of the wheel is becoming an option.

2) the paint is too nice to use as a beater bike!

other than that he loves it and rides it daily.
 

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Got one looking for a home

If you're interested - 57+cm TT bianchi. Steel frame. Comes complete witih full fenders (mounted to eyelets on frame). Currently a 39x16 fixed (on a flip flop Sovos hub) and one front brake. Good shape - it has seen some use though. Great commuter -set up with moustache bars but have drop bars too.
 

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last years models..

ADKBiker said:
I have been shopping around for a commuter, beater, single speed. I don't want to spend lots. Something I can ride in the bad weather and not worry about it. I have been looking for a vintage bike to convert but have not had any luck. I have also looked at Ebay for a used bike but after calculating how much it's going to coast to convert a used bike into a single speed, I might as well spend the extra $100 to $200 and buy a new one. I have looked at Somas, Bianchi Pista and would love to find a KHS. I have also found a Mercier Kilo TT for $300 plus shipping. This bike is definitely in the price range I would like to spend, not not sure if it's worth it. I am not looking for a crazy name. Half of the single speed bikes you see out there, you can't tell what make they are. I love the ride of steel and currently ride a full steel Lemond. Can anyone give some suggestions on a good bike? Should I just go for the Mercier Kilo TT and call it a day. Has anyone had any experience with these Mercier bikes. I know that they are a Bikes Direct brand but they are also made in the Kenesis Factory where lots of other good bikes are also made.

Thanks for any tips or suggestions :)
can be much cheaper...I'm on a 2005 Langster for about 425$. gear ratios were huge (48x16) but if you're a flat lander, should work just fine if you can fine one. quality is good, just a bad warranty (1 year from Specialized). Try craigslist.com on a local search...things pop up if you're not in a hurry.
 

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giant bowery

if you can wait, two months till it is avail - looks like it hits the mark tire wise, gearing wise etc.. - only possible downside is the giant compact geometry - don't know much about it but some appeart to not be fans
 

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Hollywood said:
1) the dropouts are rear-facing. That, with a rear fender, make flipping the wheel or fixing a flat a problem. The wheel backs right into the fender before it clears the drops. Why they didn't use forward facing drops is kinda strange. Cutting the fender near the top of the wheel is becoming an option.

Another idea he might consider is getting a couple of those SKS Securi-Clip quick-release fasteners (I know Rivendell offers them). They bolt up to the braze-ons, and capture the loops at that end of the fender stays. That way, when the time comes to remove the wheel, he could just unplug the stays, then plug them back in again when the deed is done.

ECB
 

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ADKBiker said:
I have also found a Mercier Kilo TT for $300 plus shipping. This bike is definitely in the price range I would like to spend, not not sure if it's worth it. I am not looking for a crazy name.
Hey adkbiker,

I picked up this mercier kilo barley-used, several weeks ago. Got a great deal on it and have left it stock, except for the wheelset/tires, pedals (now eggbeaters) and saddle. I like to ride fast and have a bailout option (geared at 48x16) so I slapped on an old cross lever for the front brake for just-in-casies.

Total cost: about $475. She rides very nicely and feels absolutely bombproof, though I may move to 25mm tires when these Vredestein's wear out. I commute on some ripped up, gnarly roads amongst lots of construction here in San Francisco.

The geometry fits like a glove for me, I'm in the drops 90% of the time (carryover from roadbike). She laughs at inclement weather, something a nice geared bike could never do. Just plan to upgrade your wheelset, at the very least, if not sooner, then later. I know many have used the stock wheelset heavily for up to a year before finally chucking 'em. Frankly, I just sold mine at the outset, recouped some cash and directed it towards the new pair.

 
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