they're fairly different bikes, at least in terms of setup. the redline appears as if it would be a good commuter or city bike(fenders/tire clearance/bars), the langster appears to be more like all the other ss/fixed factory bikes out there-a good ss trainer or with the addition of a track cog, a track bike. that said I havent ridden or seen either in person, just online. if youre just buying a bike to play on in the street, the redlines the way to go imho.
I really like my langster. I was not that impressed with the redline. I don't really have a lot of bad things to say about it my langster. It's light (for the price), pretty comfortable (I've done a 60+ mile ride without feeeling like the bike was a problem), and It looks pretty nice too (subjective, I've got a carbon track fork which helps). However, the stock fork is a boat anchor and a jackhammer, the saddle is a brick wrapped in wet card board, and the wheels are alexrims. But that's just if your being picky, it's usually just a lot of fun to ride The redline feels much heavier, sluggish (geometry), and it seems like it's trying to have "the uncool" factor built in, like it's trying way to hard. I guess it's a little like those bikes that use 650B just to give grouchy, bored men something to argue about, and feel like they belong to a club. If you really want moustache bars, fender eyelettes, relaxed geometry, and nicer steel tubing then go with a high end steel roadbike conversion with all the above mentioned parts. It may even be cheaper to go the last option if that's what you want.
In summary, decide which style bike you want: track or commuter and if you don't want the track-like stripped down langster - buy a conversion and be much better off. I'm sure a lot of people really like their redlines, so no offense is meant- it does everything it's supposed to, and it's remarkably affordable @ ~$500..
I am a bit concerned with the wheels (what do you expect for the price) and overall comfort of the Langster, but don't need a full on commuter like the Redline. How have the stock wheels held up (as I do not want to spend money on upgrades)?
The wheels aren't all bad, I'm still using them. I can't really estimate my mileage accurately, 2500+? 2500 miles of mostly commuting on rougher roads. I haven't really had any real issues with the wheels besides that they are on the heavy side and aren't really as stout as they should be at their weight. I'm about 185lbs and they have stood up rather well for rolling over potholes, but I would expect them to not need to be trued again, since they were trued when I bought the bike. Oh, and there is a small hop (<1mm) in the rear rim from going off a curb rather roughly. I may be able to get that to even out through truing. I can't think of anything wrong with the hubs, though, I may buy some new hoops and rebuild them. They are still smooth and I commute throughout the winter.
and there have been some issues I'd be remiss not to pass along. the freewheel is crap. I've blown through two of them in a short period with intermittent rides in the rain. The alex rims dont set the rubber very well so be careful if you're changing flats or whatever as the tire has a tendency to separate around the stem (may be user error, but I don't think so). The specialized tires are not good quality...several cuts in the first few weeks on average pavement (could be coincidence but hasn't happened to Michelins or Conti's).
The gear ratio on the Langster stock is 48:16 which is fine on flats, but will knock your BA*&S on any incline...so expect an instant purchase of an 18 or 19 cog in back or a smaller chainring. The langster frame is good, very stiff and I've been happy with it. The Alex wheelset are boat anchors for the most part, but hey it was only 400$.
I've listed a lot of negatives, but the Langster is rock solid for the most part. Just make sure the shop tightens the hubs and BB before you walk out with it (assuming you go that route). Should treat you well for a SS trainer or commuter.
I have never used the freewheel so I can't comment, but the tires are garbage. Mine haven't died yet so i use them as emergency tires but they have very,very high rolling resistance, low pressure, no tread so they're fun in the rain, and puncture really easily. The rims do seem to have a shorter sidewall than other rims I have, so you need to watch slightly stretched tires and new tubes. However, I have only had a problem once out of the many times I've changed around tires. I figure you should know all the problems beforehand, but even with these negatives, I would still recommend a Langster.
They pretty much are in the same price range but one leans more to be a commuter type use and the other as a training bike. For me, I found a dealer who gave me a price that I couldn't refuse for the Redline. It had all I was looking for in a single/fixed gear bike except for the drop bars. Also, it came with fenders, so I saw this as an added plus (rain bike).
I also looked at the Langster last year and it looked like it was a great value.
A freind has a Langster and loves it. I SSed a road bike waiting for a 29er. I am not a roadie. However, when I have to ride the road and see a trail along the the route I jones for getting on it even if I fall off the pack.
Maybe this is something of interest, only $600. It's a San Jose.
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