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Discussion Starter #1
So I was looking at getting some cheap road bike to ride to class with, I looked on ebay and found some junk for like 3-400$ for a complete...

then i decided to check out giants website. They have a fixed/ss bike for 500$ and i can get somwaht of a discount for the cycling team or use ont of the coupons they give us at the start of the year..

so it would be about 450 or something for the bike.. my question is will i be happy with it? I will be mainly riding it arond campus, might tag along with the cycling team for some of their rides.. if i can make it..

but the question is mostly this, my other option is the langster by specialized.. i think its a bit more expensive, like 100-150$ or something (i think the bike shop said retail was 660)

so what do you guys suggest?
 

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Well, if you're looking for a new $450 fixie, the Giant is heads and shoulders above the eBay junk like Windsor and Mercier (actually they aren't total junk, but let's be honest-- there's a reason why they're sold so cheap and only on eBay).

If you're willing to go $660 for the Langster, you have many other options, including (but not limited to) the ubiquitous Bianchi Pista, The IRO Mark V, Angus, or Jamie Roy, the NYCBikes TriCity, Raleigh Rush Hour, etc, etc.

As for whether you'll be "happy," only you can answer that. For example, I personally don't like aluminum frames, but you might love them (lots of people do). I personally don't care much for the rear brake cable guides on the Bowery, but you might want to run a brake back there. I don't like the straight-blade fork on the Langster, but some folks think they look sexy. I eventually found that the Pista was a little steep for longer rides, but tons of people have no problem with its geometry. See what I mean? Get out there and throw a leg over some bikes, and if that's impossible, list the features you're looking for/not looking for on a bike and see which ones are closest. Take some measurements from a bike you like and see if any of the fixies are in the ballpark.

If your primary concern is money, a brand new Giant Bowery for $450 is going to be hard to beat. I'm just not of the opinion that cost should be the sole determinant of such an important purchase! Best of luck - let us know what you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
well, the specs on it were somewhat undisclosed... I hear that the langster is about 16 or so lbs, the giant is closer to 20 but its pure speculation as the shop said the giant rep couldnt tell them specifics..

also i was wondering about the intergrade headset.. I think the gearing on the giant is 18/48 and it comes wiht both freewheel and cog, ready to go..

It looks good, but i hear they are backordered a few weeks.. and this local shop is pretty nice so i would like to order form them (plus they give free maintnence.. so they will true my wheels and stuff)

but things like the intergrade headset? It looks nice, and 20lbs isnt heavy.. cant really beat th prie..

I would prefer it, as it is cheap, but im more wondering if there is any reason i shouldnt go with it.. like bad brakes, or any problems or anything??

if it all sounds good, i might wait until they get the medium in and go for a ride.. place an order for the large..
 

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20 lbs is a fine weight; no worries there.

I've never owned a bike with an integrated headset, so someone else should weigh in on that, but they're fairly common these days.

You'll probably need to change the gearing depending on your terrain and fitness.

Without reliable specs, it's hard to say what the componentry shortcomings may be, but all entry-level bikes have some corners cut. The moving parts, like the hubs, BB, and headset should be your first concern, as these will exhibit wear and tear the fastest, and thus are the most critical parts. By upgrading these before the bike leaves the showroom, you'll usually get a better deal than going back for them after the sale. Most of the "stationary" parts (seatpost, stem, saddle, cranks, and bars) are likely to be Giant or "house" brand; not necessarily bad, but nothing special. I say use those stock parts until they give you trouble, then upgrade as necessity and budget warrant.
 

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Fixed/SS in a group.

Good advice from BianchiJoe.

might tag along with the cycling team for some of their rides.. if i can make it..
First time riding fixed or single speed with a multi-geared group, you'll probably notice how your perfect gear for riding alone will be too small to hang. I found a 3 :1 ratio (like a 48 x 16) just right for staying with a fast-moving group on relatively flat terrain. Normally, I wouldn't recommend something just because it works for me, but I've noticed that the 3 : 1 ratio works for other fixed riders in multi-geared groups as well.
 

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No worries on the headset. Giants nomenclature is confusing but their headset design incorporates cups set into the headtube that gives the appearance of an integrated headset. Their design is actually an internal headset. For what it's worth there has been no evidence that integrated headsets have been a problem. Chris King published an article discussing the potential for problems with the integrated design in 2002 but their fears haven't been proven in actual practice. The Giant headset is an internal, not an integrated headset, despite their use of the word integrated.
 

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tamu said:
and this local shop is pretty nice so i would like to order form them (plus they give free maintnence.. so they will true my wheels and stuff)
I bought two bikes from the shop right there on Lincoln and Texas (the name escapes me - I'm just coming up with CS Cycling, but whatever), and they will always take care of you. For instance, once I took my bike home and my uncle got to tinkering around with it. I couldn't shift into any of the higher gears. Took it to rod and some kind of bolt was too tight on the back. It was quick and easy, and they never made me feel stupid (even though I pretty much was at that point).

I ride Cannondale now and live far away (and not a fixed), but there's not a better shop in the area and you can't put a price on how handy a good shop comes in. Even if you don't buy from them, they'll still be great. It'll just cost you more.
 

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What you might wanna do if you have the time/money is make a trip down to one of the bigger shops in the houston area and ride the specialized fixed and the giant fixed. The Giant is setup like a track bike which for just around campus, seems a little harsh. Plus, some of the roads in the area are really bad. You might find you like the way the Langster rides better. And anyway, you can always order in CS.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
well, there are 2 good bike shops, BCS bikes, and aggieland cycling...

as far as getting the bikes, the giant is backoderd.. but they will get a medium in (im 6'2"-3")

but I can test ride that, and as far as a langster, i know a good friend who rides one so i will ask him for a ride monday (tomorrow)

i think a fixed would be fun around campus.. next year i will live .5 mi from it.. and i think it would be nice for those medium rides i want to take (a mile or 2) that i dont want to bother with on my current bikes

the giant also comes with a freewheel, so if i want i can flip it.. but i think i will mostly ride fixed...

my other main bike (that i usually ride everywhere because its so fun) is my trials bike (not time trials) but the kind where you jump off stuff.....but its now being converted into single speed so i cant really ride that around anymore, like 22/18 gearing front/rear
 

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I knew it would be something obvious. Aggieland Cycling. I feel like I just got punched in the face. ;)

They always took care of me, so I'm partial. Plus they have Giant and Specialized and are closest to campus besides that place on Northgate, but every time I ever passed by that Northgate place was closed. Don't know how they ever did any business.

Also, living right next to campus is tons of fun, especially if you live on the northside instead of in the historic district.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
next year i should be .5 mi north of campus, that shop on northgate sucks, the owner is a total... (not sure what im restricted to saying here ;) )

BSC is usually cheaper than aggieland, and i have swapped out a few bottom brackets there and used their tools alot..

yea, i was going to get it from aggieland, because i got some spokes for a wheel online and they were too long so they swaped them out for me..

they are real nice... but i would want their mec working on my bike, not the owner.. i went in for a tune up on a specialized hardrock.. a few days later a spoke was so loose it was bouncing around.. the mech that work there are great tho
 

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You are thinking about the wrong things.

You are a student (which normally means cash poor).

The functional differences between all the bikes you list are so small as to be meaningless (and NEVER, NEVER trust or compare manufacturer quoted weights (not that weight on a fixed makes much of a difference anyway)) .

Fixed gear=a simple basic bike. You are thinking about buying a simple basic bike and any manufacturers simple basic bike is pretty much going to be a whole lot like any other manufacturers simple basic bike.

So.....your decision should between buying from a nearby bike shop at a fairly good deal and getting what sounds like great service or buying on-line for somewhat less and getting no service.

If you have tools and are handy buying on-line can be a good way to go but don't expect to get any help or parts at less than full retail if you take it to a shop.

I vote for waiting the week or two and getting the Giant at a deal from the local shop.
 

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tamu said:
but i would want their mec working on my bike, not the owner.. i went in for a tune up on a specialized hardrock.. a few days later a spoke was so loose it was bouncing around.. the mech that work there are great tho
Oh, yeah. I've never seen the owner do any work on the bikes. It was their mech that found the problem, but their owner is the one who always sweet talked me. ;)
 

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BianchiJoe said:
Damn.... if I had known I was giving advice to an Aggie I wouldn't have been so helpful. Forgive me, Lord. Hook 'em!! :D
The name "tamu" didn't tip you off? Stupid t-sips. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thats what i plan on doing, but its more of a problem than you think.. its like 4 weeks, and school ends in 3.. so ill be going home for summer.. its a 2 hour drive..

luckey for me, a friend of mine comes up here every so often and he said he could pick it up for me :)

I think thats what i will do, going to inquire more about it after class today when i pick up some spokes
 
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