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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I bit the bullet and made the jump to buy a Windsor “The Hour” from bikesdirect.com. A couple of years ago I tried to buy a bike from Bikes Direct but wound up quite disappointed in their customer service. I had a bike on order for approximately two weeks before they let me know it was out of stock. To their credit they did offer a discount on another model but nothing else they had was close enough for my taste. Most of the reviews I’ve read lately have left people feeling they’d been treated fair so a figured I’d give them a second chance at a much cheaper purchase. I’ll give you a little background about myself before I review “The Hour”. Skip ahead to see my opinions of the bike, or read on to get a feel for who is writing this review.
I grew up riding and racing BMX and then moved on to ride road and race mountain bikes through my high school years. For a handful of years, I worked in a bicycle shop in the late eighties/early nineties. I’ve also raced motocross, jet skis, go carts, you name it. More recently, I’ve run marathons and ultramarathons and raced singlespeed mountain bikes as well as, time trials on the road. So, this should give you an idea I’m no new comer. My current bikes: (Salsa Juan Solo single speed mtn), (Kestrel Talon Ultergra), (Santa Cruz Superlight Shimano XT), (Jamis XLT, Fox, XT, Hope, etc), (Azonic DS1 Deore/XT Fox)
On to the review; bikesdirect.com sent an automated email when I placed my order (total $295) and followed up with a second email including tracking info. I received my bike exactly six working days after order. The box was in perfect condition and packed similar to way most bicycles shipped to shops are. It looks like it came strait from the boat.  Upon unpacking I noticed everything was packaged very good and nothing was scratched or damaged. Assembly or a track bike is a simple as it gets but here is the run down.

  • Front wheel
  • Hub ever so slightly tight (cones were locked down well)
  • Spoke tension low (3/4 of a turn to each nipple)
  • Brass nipples seem soft
  • Wheel was true
  • Notable spoke wind-up caused lots of popping (nipples probably not prepped, typical of machine built wheels)

  • Rear wheel
  • Hub adjusted perfect (cones were not locked down well)
  • Spoke tension low (3/4 of a turn to each nipple)
  • Wheel was true
  • Notable spoke wind-up caused lots of popping (nipples probably not prepped, typical of machine built wheels)

  • Cog and lockring loose
  • Seat and seat post (heavy)
  • Post no name 27.2 dia (seams typical low quality)
  • Seat (seams typical low quality)
  • Mounted Ringle seat post and used seat I had lying around

  • Bars, stem, and headset
  • Bars seam fairly stout and weight is reasonable (no noticeable flex)
  • Stem (approx 10 degree rise) no logo or markings, hardware looks cheap but functional
  • Ritchey headset 1-1/8” (1-1/8” was preferred, I got lucky)
  • Replaced aluminum spacers with carbon
  • Replaced top headset cap with a Chris King I had lying around just for looks
  • Headset lacked enough grease (pretty common for most new bikes)
  • Skimpy bar tape but nice job taping and full tape from drops to flats/top

  • Pedals
  • Typical, just enough to get you going
  • Used old platform mtn pedals with plastic toe clip I had lying around

  • Drivetrain
  • Front sprocket seams cheap but with do the job for now (steel?)
  • Cog, lockring, and chain look cheap but functional
  • Will replace all drivetrain someday with nice components

  • Cranks
  • FSA - look decent but forgot to check bottom bracket adjustment, fixing cups, crank arms, chainring bolts, etc

  • Things to check
  • Cranks BB etc
  • Frame alignment
  • Gearing (currently 48X16)
  • Spoke tension, again
  • Weight

The ride, this is only my second time on a fixed gear bike. My first experience was at the Velodrome. The gearing seems tall but it keeps my RPM in check for now. Handling is precise. No noticeable frame flex when sprinting. Wheels seam a little flexy. Overall it seams heavy but solid (heavier than my roadbike by lbs). I need to learn to skid this thing. Going downhill can be a bit intimidating. Overall a good buy. Like most budget bikes the low end components suffer but I feel it’s a safe entry level ride and a great buy for the money. Would I pay $795? No. Would I pay $400 - $500? Yes. I will continue to upgrade as I go but for now “The Hour” is a usable one hour ride bike. Hope this helps someone make a decision when it comes time to buy a cheap track bike.

Enjoy,
 

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Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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Wow, this is so well formatted and written, it makes you wonder why nobody else posts reviews of their bikes like this even though they usually spend thousands more...

interesting...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, actually it was written quickly and no doubt has gramatical errors and such but, I figured it would get the point across. Now that you mention it, I've never written an in depth review of any of my bikes. I had a hard time convincing myself I could spend this little on a bike and be okay with it. So I figured others might be in the same baot and use my conclusions to form their own opinion on if they can live with "The Hour" themselves.
 

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I agree, they aren't bling, but with a little love, they can be perfectly functional bikes, i use mine as a work commuter/fun bike for alleycats and such.... Yes i've changed some bits, but most that was to tweak the gearing for me, and stuff i had lying around (had a brake, diff bars, and a wheelset laying around soooooo)

Honestly i can't believe that people roll around cities with they pista concepts and such with aerospokes etc........too much money imho.
 
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